'Dark Knight Rises' Tragedy, a Problem with Parenting?

As the tragic details of the shooting at the 'Dark Knight Rises' premier in Aurora, Co. were released, I was surprised to see so much focus on the parenting skills of the victims.

First, it came out that a 3 month old was taken to the hospital which led people to question what a 3 month old was doing at the movie. While I personally have not brought an infant to a movie, if the infant remains sleeping what harm could it really do. Maybe the parents involved simply didn’t have a babysitter. Sure they could have waited to see it when it came out on DVD/Blu-ray, but it is their right to see it in the theater like everyone else. As long as the baby isn’t crying during the movie, then it’s fine by me.

Then, information came out about a 6 year old victim. This is when I got really fired up! Not because these parents took their 6 year child to the movie, but because people were questioning why they would do so, and taking it further to say that they are now paying the price of poor parenting!

Really?! Poor Parenting?! They are paying the price because some guy decided to open fire on a theater full of people! No one said I’m going to take my 6 year old to the movies in hopes of getting shot!

It’s a PG-13 movie about an iconic superhero. A Superhero loved by children around the world, so why would you be surprised to see a child there?! It’s Summer, there’s no school in the morning, so why not give your Batman loving child the experience of a midnight premier? Might the violence of the movie have been too much for a 6 year old? Maybe, but that’s up to the parents to decide based on their child and their experiences. Had there not been a tragic shooting at this movie, no one would have even stopped to think about this child attending the movie. Had there not been a tragic shooting, the parents could have discussed the language and violence with their child after the movie. It may have even turned into an excellent parenting decision to teach the difference between right and wrong. It would certainly have been a great memory of time spent with parents.

The parents will never get to have their positive Batman memory; not because of their decision, but because of the killer’s decision.

Don’t make this tragedy a discussion of parenting or politics. It’s a senseless act of violence. What happened, happened. The victims need our support, not our judgement. The only one to blame is the one who pulled the trigger.