Guns, movies and bag checks
I’m a big fan of Amy Schumer. I love her stand-up and could hardly wait to see her movie. Almost the second it was out, I heard about another mass shooting. Yep, another angry white man with a gun. This time it happened in Lafayette, Louisiana. Nine shot, two young women dead. So tragic.
I was afraid to go to the movies.
I didn’t go see Batman after that nut-job in Aurora threw tear gas grenades and shot up dozens of people at the midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises”.
But I really wanted to see “Trainwreck” because I can identify with Amy… young, blond, carefree, we have so much in common… I had to go when I saw an interview in which she talked about how hurt she was that something so senseless as gun violence happened at a screening of her movie. You know Batman didn’t come out and talk about the mass murderer from his screening. Right?
Davis, California seemed like the least likely place for a copycat shooting, so we chose Davis’s Regal Theater. After waiting in line for tickets, we walked in and the ticket taker was positioned away from the door and far into the lobby. That never happened before. If a gunman came in, he would have to buy the ticket and walk 30 paces past the popcorn and boxed candy. I’m sure Davis’ theater put a lot of thought into what it would be like to have a violent shooter walk into the lobby and get subdued by the buttery smell.
Oh Davis. You’re so cute I could pinch you.
The ticket taker asked for my tiny purse when I presented my ticket. That’s never happened to me either. He opened it and while rifling through I said, “Nothing to see here. A wallet, a checkbook and three shades of lipstick.” He dug a little farther and found the five tampons of various degrees of absorption at the bottom. And he didn’t say a word.
He waved me on through and continued to go through other ladies’ bags behind me.
What are they saying?
“Ladies, now that several of your kind have been targeted and murdered at another venue, we are going to check your bags to make sure you aren’t packing heat.”
Oh Davis, you are so smart, but so misguided. I see what you are doing. You are gas-lighting the situation. You can’t come out and say that there is nothing you can do to keep us safe, because that would be too honest. Too dreadful. Instead, you target the one demographic that has had nothing to do with all these shootings. Women.
Dear Regal theaters, Davis, et al.
Gaslighting occurs when you decide to overwrite someone’s reality. Maybe you don’t mean to, but here’s what you are doing. Women were made victims by a shooter, and now we are the ones being treated like criminals. My personal rights are being violated so that you can try and sell me the illusion of my own safety.
What we know to be true is that crimes of mass murder are almost always done by white men. The color might differ occasionally, but it is men. Angry men get their hands on guns and use the guns to kill strangers in public places. Look at the damn demographics for fuck’s sake.
(We are not the droids you’re looking for.)
I understand the decision to do something, even if it isn’t well thought out, but you aren’t doing anything helpful. If a ticket taker had searched every woman’s bag in Aurora, Lafayette, Columbine, and Sandy Hook Elementary, the same people would be dead.