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Stop Victim Shaming

We’re all waking up this morning to the horrible news that a gunman opened fire in a Colorado movie theater, killing at least 12 and injuring dozens. Among the injured were a three-month-old baby and a six-year-old girl. I am sickened by the actions of the shooter, and also terribly disappointed by the judgement I’m seeing thrown toward the parents who brought their children to the midnight showing.

Like this one:

Or this one:

And this:

Or this one:

Except it DOES MATTER, because you are heaping your judgement onto parents on the worst day of their life.

And this:

Or this:

Look. By putting this out into the world, you are basically implying that it’s the fault of the parents that their children were injured. The parents of the three-month-old were probably so happy to be out of the house. The parents of the six-year-old were probably doing something special for their child, who didn’t have school today because it’s the summer. I’m sure ALL the parents were prepared for the only realistic consequence of taking a kid to a midnight movie: next-day crankiness. No one thinks, “I shouldn’t take my kid to this movie because they might get shot.”

I’m going to say this as “loudly” as I possibly can: Stop shaming the victims. You don’t think a child or baby should go to a midnight showing of a comic book movie? Don’t take your child to the midnight showing of a comic book movie. It’s that simple. But don’t you DARE heap your judgement onto these parents suffering the kind of horror and loss few people can comprehend.

This is a tragedy that could have happened ANYWHERE, while doing ostensibly good parenting things like attending church,  an assembly at school, or even a showing of Madagascar 3 at 2pm. Whether taking their children to a midnight showing of Batman was a good parenting decision or not, it has nothing to do with what happened, and to link the two is despicable and only serving to make the parents feel worse.

The families and parents will be reliving this day for the rest of their lives. Do what you can to make it better, not worse.

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