An emergency preparedness expert writing for the Homeland Security Policy Institute suggests the parents of children shot in the Colorado movie theater massacre are responsible for taking their kids to a movie theater that late in the evening.
Initial reports state children as young as four months old were among the victims injured when suspect James Holmes opened fire on the audience in a movie theater during the midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
The final movie in the Batman series is described as particularly dark and violent and is rated PG-13. It is not geared toward young children. You can watch the trailer here:
Rich Cooper — who has worked in the Department of Homeland Security’s Private Sector Office and is Chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association — writes in a blog entry titled “After Colorado Tragedy, Contemplating the Responsibilities of Why” that he questions why children were in the movie theater in the first place.
While he acknowledges no parent takes their kid to a movie expecting it to be shot up, he writes the tragedy could have been mitigated if the parents hadn’t taken the kids:
That’s a brutal and judgmental statement to make, but it’s a decision that will be talked about in the days and weeks to come. It’s also a horrifically painful decision that those movie-going parents will have to deal with for the rest of their lives.
There is a weighted responsibility that comes with parenthood. You have to care, feed, nurture, teach and most of all, love a child to get them ready for a world that can be bright and beautiful as well as beastly and brutal.
I am far from ever being a perfect parent. I’ve expanded my kids’ vocabulary from time to time and have certainly said and done things I regret. I’ve found after 15 years in this most unique of adult statuses (parenthood) that the weight of all of your decisions and actions are tremendous, and so are the ripple effects.
In reflecting on the horrors of the Aurora shooting, the word “responsibility” comes to mind here in so many ways. I don’t doubt that the perpetrator of the Aurora shootings will be held responsible for his actions, but perhaps discussion that needs to happen in this country is how we as parents are held responsible for our children.
It’s a conversation I’m going to have tonight at the dinner table. Right after I hold my kids really tight.
As a mom, I resent the implication that the responsibility of a tragedy of this magnitude be placed on these poor parents’ shoulders. We have all made decisions concerning our children that others might judge us for, but we alone know what works best for our families. None of us are perfect parents. None of us deserve to have our children shot or injured because we took them to a movie. His piece comes off like victim-blaming.
That said I’m not sure if this movie is appropriate for young kids. Parents, your thoughts in the comments below: