Should parents take youngsters to late night movies, especially those with a mature rating? Photo via Peter Szustka.
Only moments ago I read commenters on CNN who were passing judgment on the parents who took their young children to the midnight showing of the Batman movie last night which ended in horrific tragedy. They were referring to the three children rumored to have been shot by the deranged gunman in Aurora, Colorado last night after James Holmes shot upwards of 70 people in a crowded movie theater, killing at least 12.
The premiere showing of the PG-13 rated ‘Dark Knight Rises’ was scheduled to start after midnight.
Media reported that among those shots were a 3-month-old infant, 6-year-old and young girl who witnesses described between the age 9 and 11. While the injuries and conditions have not been confirmed, media outlets have reported that the 3-month-old was discharged from the hospital, suggesting she suffered only minor injuries. The 6-year-old is likely in critical condition, having been rushed to a pediatric trauma unit and the 9 to 10-year-old was laying on the sidewalk in front of the theater, gun shot wounds to her leg, stomach and chest. She may have been one of the fatalities, it’s just to early to get that kind of information.
When I read on CNN that people were being Judgey-McJudgey’s when they heard about these youngsters had been brought there by their parents or caregivers, to a mature movie in the middle of the night, I had to admit to myself that I said the same exact thing this morning.
Although my hearts breaks for these families, my ire for those who bring babies to late night movies has been a bone of contention for me long before this tragedy occured.
Not only do I think it’s unfair to these youngsters to have their sleep disturbed by really loud noises (sometimes the sound at movie theaters gives me a jolt) but it’s not fair to the other patrons when the baby starts crying which is almost certain to happen in such a foreign environment. Furthermore, children around 6-year-old could have nightmares from such a movie, not to mention, I don’t even allow my teenagers to be out that late. I just think it shows a lack of parenting prudence.
Furthermore, the MPAA states PG-13 ratings are given when: PG-13 — Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13. A PG-13 rating is a sterner warning by the Rating Board to parents to determine whether their children under age 13 should view the motion picture, as some material might not be suited for them. A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category.
What do you think? Should we reserve our judgment or should movie theaters take a more proactive approach in denying entry to parents who bring small children to late night movie showings?
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