Many of us tried to sound an alarm bell over the rising intolerance of the left, but establishment liberals kept quiet because the radicals were only attacking the rights of people they disagreed with: conservatives, gun owners, Christians, pro-life activists, etc. But as their bullying tactics have met with more success, they’ve widened their targets to include even those on their own side who are not 110% behind their radical agenda. And liberals are shocked to discover that they’ve become targets, too. Welcome to the party.
We’ve seen the gradual awakening across America, from black and Hispanic voters who are tired of being pushed to vote against their own interests just because leftists falsely label their opponents as “racists” and “white supremacists”…to Brandon Straka’s #WalkAway movement…to comedians fed up with the left’s “cancel culture” if they told an insensitive joke 15 years ago…to Marianne Williamson’s recent revelation that people on the right were nicer to her than those on her own side who could be really mean (she’s since backtracked, I assume out of fear of more bullying.)
Now, you can add Hollywood filmmakers to the list of those who are finally removing their blinders. The makers of the new comic book-inspired movie “Joker” were stunned when anti-gun activists who lost relatives in the Aurora movie theater mass shooting in 2012 blasted the film (which hasn’t even been released yet) for allegedly glorifying violent acts by bullied, deranged loners. They're demanding that the studio, Warner Brothers, support anti-gun legislation and stop any contributions to politicians who support the NRA. Because of the connection to “Batman,” they feel especially triggered, saying the film might encourage the same type of shooter who attacked the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
The film’s director, Todd Phillips, and star Joaquin Phoenix argued that a movie doesn’t turn someone into a mass killer, and it’s obvious (or should be) that if you don’t know the difference between right and wrong, you can misinterpret anything to mean whatever you want to see in it, but that’s not the creator’s responsibility, it’s the viewer’s. Sounds as if Hollywood has two freshly-minted Libertarians.
Incidentally, I think it’s worth reminding people that not even the “Dark Knight” shooter was inspired to kill by “The Dark Knight Rises.” He had a long history of mental problems, and the showing he attacked was the very first midnight screening of the film, so he likely hadn’t even seen it. But as John Lott pointed out, it wasn’t the closest or biggest theater near him, but it was the only one that banned patrons with concealed carry permits from bringing in their weapons to defend themselves. While it's not certain whether he chose it because it was a "gun-free zone," his own diary revealed that he'd rejected attacking an airport because there was too much security.
This suggests that if you really want to stop mass shooters, stop attacking the NRA and Batman movies and go after “gun-free zones.”