Thoughts on the Dark Knight Rises Theater Tragedy
July 20, 2012

By now, you’ve likely heard the terrible news we woke up to in Colorado this morning.  It is a sad day.

This happened in my own community, just a few miles from my home.  That’s a violating experience.  I appreciate all the calls, texts, and social media messages checking on our welfare.  While we are safe, many more families are in a state of shock, confusion, and grief.  I have friends and acquaintances that were at the theater, among the first-responders, and are currently working at the medical centers treating victims.  It’s overwhelming.

The emerging details are horrifying, frightening, and sickening.  Many lives have been forever impacted.  The anonymous armies of the net are quick to point out the various religious and political blame and finger-pointing, not to mention the usual pro/anti weapons discussion, but the assumed motivations of the person responsible shouldn’t matter right now. The focus should be on the people and lives affected.  Families out for evening of simple enjoyment may never psychologically be able to go to a movie again.  First-responders, police, and firemen were greeted with images of horror they may never forget.  As I type this, many more are actively putting their lives at risk to disarm the devices in the individual’s home.  Keep them in your thoughts.

And of course, this reopens the emotional wounds from the Columbine tragedy from thirteen years ago.  I was painfully close to the events at that time, and I found all those feelings came right back – heartbreak, confusion, frustration, sorrow.  The daily emotional ordeal from Columbine lasted for many months for me, and I anticipate this will be similar in some ways.  My head and heart hurt right now.  The unfortunate link between the events are understandable, but it’s still tough to see the entire state of Colorado being painted with a very broad and negative brush nationally.  This is a beautiful and safe community, and a wonderful place to work, live, and raise a family, but the fact is we’ve had two mass shooting tragedies in thirteen years.  That is unfathomable to me.  Combined with the recent fires in Colorado Springs, this has been a very rough summer for our us.

What will be the fallout from this?  Will anyone be able to go to a theater and feel safe?  I know my family doesn’t want to see any movies right now.  Will there be copycats?  What about foolish people playing ‘pranks’?  I hope this is an isolated incident, and we are able to get back to some sense of normalcy soon.  It’s a frightening reality that we go to places where we are vulnerable, but we cannot let the isolated actions of a depraved individual change the way we go about our daily lives.  It’s not easy, but we must.

Jessica Ghawi Redfield was on of the victims. She was an aspiring broadcaster and intern with the local sports networks, and, eerily enough, barely avoided tragedy at the Eaton Centre Mall shooting in Toronto just a few weeks ago.  She detailed her experiences on her blog.  Below is a beautiful and thought-provoking excerpt:

I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday… I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.

I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.

Use this tragedy to think about your own life.  Find a way to help someone.  Hug your kids.  Call your parents.  Reach out to an old friend.  Donate blood.  Resolve a long-standing feud.  Volunteer.  It sounds trite, but life can change in an instant and without warning, and events like this help remind us of what we take for granted.

Please keep the people of our community in your thoughts and your prayers today, tomorrow, and the near future.  May God bless you, and keep you safe.

Ryan "TheSuperfly" Prast
Current designer, future artist, eternal manchild, Ryan "The Superfly" Prast uses his toynerd acumen to delve deep into the profound nuances of life. With a penchant for tiny plastic men and nostalgia of times past, he also enjoys panelology, obscure cultural references, tomfoolery and/or shenanigans, conspiracy theories, and watching his Cubs flush another season down the toilet. And he always keeps his fork when there’s pie.
Read other articles by Ryan "TheSuperfly" Prast.





  • Boba says:

    I took my little sister to see it last night, and now my dad doesn’t want me taking her to midnight showings anymore.

    the way I see it, if there are copycats, we can’t predict that. If we all choose to live in fear of this happening again and never go to movies, the guy got exactly what he wanted. We all saw the Dark Knight, guys. The way to beat these people is not to play their game. He’s a terrorist, regardless of whether he’s attached to a group or not. He wants everyone to be afraid, simply for the sake of being afraid. Bloody friggin’ psychotic attention whores.

  • joe says:

    perhaps if (armed and lawful) citizens were rightfully carrying, they could of easily saved half of those lives that were lost…

  • brand42 says:

    Very eloquently stated thoughts, Mr. Superfly though I’m sure the situation that calls for them is not pleasant at all.

    I will certainly keep your community in thoughts and prayers and I pray that in due time, all will be well. If there are any memorial funds set up, please let us know as I wouldn’t mind lending a hand in that manner.

  • demoncat says:

    sad for the familes who are now experiance hell and loss of a loved one all due to some nutcase decided to use a trip to the theatre as his own shooting gallery my prayers are with the families. as for how this will change things . it now proably means movie theatres will almost be like fort knox plus theatres will also lose some business due to people not wanting to go out to them due to this tragedy.

  • We often struggle for words the same way we struggle for answers when tragedies such as this happens. They take your breath away, they cause your heart to fill with an aching pain that wishes that the event was all just a bad, bad dream. For me personally it hurts, as I think about families, friends, children all excited, happy to take part in a fun tradition of american pop culture, only to be met with the worse of circumstances. What has happened and how it has happened can only be described as pure evil. Tears have replaced the joy that should have taken place for all those victims. May all that have been touched by this tragedy feel the warmth of prayers in the days, weeks, years to come.

  • Tom2814 says:

    My family’s thoughts and prayers are with yours, and with the families of all of those affected, especially the kids. We live just up the road from the Amish school massacre of a few years ago, so I think I might have a small sense of what your community is feeling. It changes you forever, but it gets better.

  • Shellhead says:

    Well said, Superfly.

  • Just seen this movie. Great ending to the trilogy

  • Danny CamtinaDan says:

    Thank you for posting your thoughts, Ryan. My fear is that as more and more of these rampage tragedies occur society will become somewhat numb to them. It grieves me to feel like this will kinda fall victim to some short-attention-span news cycle. My brain is having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that this terrible thing DID happen. I don’t want to believe that this is reality. Your post helped. Wishing very much that your community heals and that society can start taking a long hard look at why these things are happening and what we can do to minimize the damage psychopaths are able to render on innocent victims.

  • […] Thoughts on the Dark Knight Rises Theater Tragedy […]

  • Susan says:

    It’s so sorry to the tragedy.

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