The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Dark Knight Massacre: Are we to blame?


The midnight showing of “The Dark Knight” took place across theaters nationwide June 21. The film, surrounding the life of super hero Bruce Wayne, intended to lend privy to the inside world of bat-like heroics and socially acceptable civic involvement. Instead of thrilling audiences with an action packed plotline and onscreen explosions, those trapped inside a Colorado theater left with a real image of terror circulating inside their heads.  

“Tonight that was supposed to be a great night turned into a horrible nightmare. I saw that shadow of evil and literally had blood of an innocent man on my hands. I am so lucky to be alive with my sister and friends. I’ll never forget this night and the many people that were there with me,” posted Chris Ramos on his Facebook wall only hours after the shooting.

During the rampage, James Holmes, 24, interrupted the film and began detonating smoke bombs while carrying (up to) four loaded guns. He was dressed in a bullet-proof vest, ballistics helmet, gas mask and gloves. He shot victims at random, stopping only to reload and those who attempted escape were obliterated on the scene. Twelve people were killed and 59 were injured. The devastating number of casualties makes this travesty the largest mass shooting in U.S. history according to ABC News.

Those speculating the event suggest his costume resembled the comic book character Bane, a super-villain assassin who is credited as “The Man Who Broke the Bat.”  This occurred when the super-strength anti-hero snapped Batman’s spinal cord, which forced him into a quiet state of recuperation.

Friday’s eruption of violence consequently blurs the line between fact and fiction, between enjoyment and obsession, between life and death. Although the Holmes’ attack could be attributed to insanity, the motive is still unclear. Regardless, such extreme actions point out a dangerous lack of social connectivity.

It’s not to say that a mass murder should stalk the streets, free of any blame or mistrust. However, people like Holmes must be noted for their disconnected level of deviance. In a world where the price of social inclusion is at an all-time high, social media and technology are forcing people to adapt regular modes of communication.

Essentially, the integration of technology into daily lives has hindered any chance of authentic human development and thoroughly separated us all. This drop in cohesiveness has made normalcy less valuable and created a space for destructive abstractions and terror. 

Because Holmes couldn’t conform to the false standards of connectivity established by a sense of individual isolation, he exceeded the levels of deviance and new summit of violence. On a cultural level, it’s a worst case scenario. Those wounded emotionally and physically in the attack deserve the thoughts and prayers of this nation. It is no doubt they are experiencing true sorrow.

In a statement, President Obama said, “We are praying for the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of deep shock and immense grief. We expect that the person responsible for this terrible crime will be quickly brought to justice.”

However, our nation should also take sorrow in the fact knowing that Holmes and people like him have been pushed into a corner of social isolation. Free will played a part in his decision however, the people, the places, the society that encompassed his reality destroyed the simplicity of a true human connection.

Perhaps this event will urge citizens to say hello to the stranger next to them or take time to shake the hand of an acquaintance. If not, multiple cases of isolated violence will undoubtedly ensue while the public watches disconnect bleed through a forgotten form of innocence. 

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