Rant: Cinemark USA reopens Century 16 theater.
Over the holidays, relatives of the victims of last July's theater massacre in Aurora received a most unwelcome Christmas letter. In it was an invitation from Cinemark USA—the parent company of the Century 16 theater where the mass shooting occurred—to attend the reopening of the theater later this month. Although it's unclear why anyone, let alone the victims' families, would want to attend a movie there ever again, the community of Aurora evidently supports the reopening as a way to help itself heal. Even so, the timing and tenor of Cinemark's offer was nauseatingly tone deaf—an example of capitalism at its clueless, heartless worst.
What's more, the actual theater where the carnage happened is being remodeled into an "extreme digital" (XD) cinema. It's Cinemark's answer to IMAX, with amplified sound and floor-to-ceiling screens—you know, the kind of amenities that are tailor-made to showcase hyper-violent films that offer glorified and sensationalized depictions of the havoc that high-tech weaponry can wreak.
Cinemark, as a red-blooded American corporation (headquartered—where else?—in Texas), is free to do whatever it pleases with its properties, and in this case, its event will likely be greeted by protests. Whether you go there to watch a movie or rail against the reopening, or you ignore it altogether, we'd all do well to remember the words from one of the victim's family members: "It's like people going back to a slaughterhouse, as far as I'm concerned."
Rave: High-capacity ammunition magazine bans
Emboldened, at long last, by last year's horrific assault-weapon bloodbaths, two Democratic Congresswomen, including Diana DeGette of Colorado's First District, have proposed new legislation that would ban high-capacity ammunition magazines. Hold your applause, because the United States House of Representatives has a Republican majority whose more rational voices are still stuck in the Tea Party's irrational headlock, so the legislation may ultimately go nowhere.
That said, it's heartening to see that our elected officials are at least willing to have a conversation about this issue. No, eliminating certain classes of guns or ammunition will never totally eradicate the evil and illness that causes certain people to go on such rampages. But if there's a cogent argument for why anyone other than law enforcement or active-duty soldiers should be allowed to wield one of these killing machines, I'm still waiting to hear it. (Sorry, citing the Second Amendment doesn't qualify as cogent.) Gun control alone won't even begin to solve the deeply ingrained American cultural dysfunctions that lead to these tragedies. It is, however, a start.
—Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
—Follow articles editor Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad.