There is a suburb outside of Chicago named Aurora. This is the closest I will probably ever get to the community near Denver that was hit by violence early this morning.
As someone suspended between fandom and archive, this incident is terrifying. I can’t imagine the unreality of watching one of the darkest superhero movies of our generation, at midnight, and seeing a true villain come through the doors in full combat regalia with three guns and multiple tear gas projectiles. It would have been traumatizing. If this had been a practical joke gone wrong, if he’d done nothing but stand there and wave his guns around, it still would have made the news, he still would have been detained, and a psychiatric evaluation would still have been issued. More than likely, he would have been charged with some misdemeanor for the awful shock he gave moviegoers young and old. As Alisha Gaines noted on twitter, “it matters that many witnesses first thought is was ‘part of the movie.'”
But for this man to then open fire…in a theatre filled to capacity…in the dark….
I have nightmares around scenarios like this.
And when I heard this was happening in New York, I didn’t feel better. I felt worse.
There is no question that all of my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, the survivors, their kin, and with the city itself. But there is also no question that in a city where the mayor and police department are under fire for using ‘Stop and Frisk’ to harass, beat, and kill young black and Latin@ residents, increasing the police presence doesn’t make me feel safe.
It makes me feel terrorized.
Who do we think they will target first if they (think they) see something amiss at the movies this weekend? How many young people will be killed and how many more will be frisked, placed in handcuffs, or publicly intimidated and made to feel violated and shamed in the name of public safety?