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Dark night at the cinema

Publication Date : 25-07-2012


On Monday, a 24-year-old man suspected of mass shooting which killed 12 people and injured 58 others, appeared in a Colorado court. James Holmes allegedly committed the offence during last Friday's screening of The Dark Night Rises, the latest film in the Batman franchise, at a cinema in Aurora, outside Denver, Colorado. Emerging from a fire exit, the gunman threw two canisters of noxious gas and fired one round into the air with a pump-action shotgun before shooting people at random.

Staring blankly at lawyers, the red-haired young man, who had dyed his hair to identify himself with "The Joker", Batman's sworn enemy, did not return the gazes of family members of the victims who were staring at him in court. Prosecutors are calling for the death penalty while debates rage across the US on addressing the country's liberal gun laws. Was he insane? Or just evil? Can this happen in Brunei? It is not impossible.

It is not just gun laws but the lack of control over the Internet. We need to know what our children are watching, discussing. We need to, at least know, a bit about popular culture. Imagine our child becoming so engrossed in a particular fantasy or cartoon character that he or she wants to be just like that character. We may think it's funny at first. But what if it gets out of control?

A documentary titled Child of Our Time observed toddlers watching two videos of someone hugging a life-sized inflatable toy then hitting it. The children emulated by hugging the toy after watching the first video and hitting it after watching the second.

There are many lessons to be learnt from this incident. We should be cautious about how we raise our children and always engage with them so we know what goes on in their minds. Hopefully, with more interaction and strong support, we can guide them to choose the right path.


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