The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge this week is to share a sign and explain why you chose it to share.
This “No Weapons Allowed” sign made its appearance on the door of my local AMC movie theater after the Aurora, Colorado shooting during the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012.
I hate this sign.
Obviously, I hate the sign because it’s there and I hate what happened in Aurora almost a year ago. I hate that the joy of going to see a new movie is instantly diminished before I even walk through the door. I hate that we live in a world where people would bring weapons to a movie theater.
Maybe you’ve been able to tell from my excitement during awards season that I love going to the movies. It wasn’t always like that. In fact, when I was a kid I experienced two very traumatic movie theater incidents.
The first incident occurred when I was at the movies with my family and a stranger sat next to my brother and tried to molest him. No joke. My dad freaked and chased the guy out. I didn’t even know what happened until I saw my dad running out of the theater. It wasn’t until years later that I was told the details. Even now the incident is a blur, like I dreamt it.
The second incident I remember more clearly. My father, brother, and I were at an old local theater watching Beverly Hills Cop (I think the sequel) and a fire broke out. My dad, being a fireman, took charge and the theater was evacuated. We got a coupon for a free movie but Dad wouldn’t let us go back to that “death trap” theater.
Needless to say, whenever I go into a movie theater I recall these events. I always look for the emergency exits and check out the people around me. Still, I’ve learned to love the movies again– going to the movies is always my first choice for date night (although somehow I married a man who hates going to the theater).
Then Aurora happened and this sign went up and now there’s a third incident, that gratefully I wasn’t directly involved in, that also dims the event.
The sign also annoys me for another reason though: it’s stupid. If people have plans to commit shootings in a movie theater, is this sign going to be the thing that stops them? As if they’ll get to the door and change their mind, thinking, “Hey, there’s a SIGN that says I CAN’T do this! I’ll just turn around and go home now!”I doubt it.
My guess is that the sign only speaks to the regular, non-violent patrons and the only purpose it serves is to make us nervous. Maybe these days though, it’s good to be nervous– you know– the whole “be alert and report suspicious activity” directive after 9/11, Boston, and various other terrorist attacks. My dilemma though is that the movies are supposed to be an escape from reality. I love getting lost in a story for a couple of hours. I don’t want to worry about whether or not the person next to me has a concealed weapon.
I certainly don’t want to see this sign every time I walk into the theater. It’s really a shame that this sign even exists.
Sorry if I bummed you out. I’m going to go catch up on reading some of your (hopefully cheerier) blog posts now and maybe work on my Love Boat post! Fun stuff ahead, Blogtropolis, fun stuff ahead.
Have a nice night. Thanks for reading.