In Defense of Batman: Stop Passing the Buck for Bad Parenting and a Youth Mental Health Crisis

By Matt Rooney | Cross-posted at SaveJersey.com

Almost as obnoxious as liberal attempts to turn a tragedy into a political football are the concerted efforts to blame Batman himself for inciting violence.

Talk about “passing the buck,” Save Jerseyans!

It’s a little ironic, too, because Batman voluntarily takes the fall for District Attorney Harvey Dent’s death in the “Dark Knight” movies’ universe. Why? Because before Dent lost his mind and turned into a homicidal maniac, he was a Christie-esque crusading anti-corruption hero trying to stem society’s deepening decay in gritty Gotham City. Batman allowed himself to be the scapegoat in order to preserve Dent’s inspiring public image.

Batman is no villain, folks. He’s a principled superhero who struggles with his own issues while selflessly sacrificing himself for the common good. He also lives by a strict code of avoiding lethal force. He battles pretty wicked and warped characters. Any more disturbing than those confronting other fictional heroes in western literature? Or the Greek tragedies? Hardly! Batman faces these demons (and his own) in a manner that embodies courage, discipline, compassion, and all of the other values which we’ve traditionally promoted in our society.

Well, unfortunately, it looks like Batman is yet again taking the blame for something else which he didn’t do.

This time, I’m convinced it’s not in our nation’s best interest to let him take the fall…

The 2nd Amendment is really an ancillary issue coming out of Aurora. Yes, I firmly believe (as do all of those among us who revere the 2nd Amendment) that disarming sane, responsible, law-abiding citizens is 100% counterproductive if our real goal is protecting society. That’s a political/policy discussion, and I would’ve much preferred if liberals had allowed the dust to settle and victims’ families to grieve before launching into a vicious, hyper-personal and coordinated assault on the Bill of Rights.

But at the end of the day, Save Jerseyans, yesterday’s Aurora shooting is symptomatic of a cultural disease in two respects:

(1) Parents are doing a lousy job of raising well-adjusted kids with worldviews rooted in reality

Does anyone doubt this particular point? If you do, then you’re living under a rock. Parents are a child’s first teacher. External cultural stimuli are all filtered through the moral, critical lens which our parents, close family members and friends help us develop at very early ages.

God knows excessive video game usage can have ugly effects. But life has been a lot uglier, shorter and more brutish during other periods in human (and even American) history. There was also a time in our history when the vast majority of homes had guns that were used regularly

What is it about recent generations that they can’t separate fiction from reality? Where is this disturbing disrespect for human life originating? Can we really blame Hollywood for a 24-year old’s inability to separate the villains from the heroes? Or have parents surrendered their primary and most important duty? And have the collapse of institutions like neighborhoods and churches made matters even worse?

The fact that the youngest confirmed Aurora victim was only 6-years old tells you everything that you need to know, Save Jerseyans! There are even unconfirmed reports of a 4-month old victim! No children that young should be out so late, let alone anywhere near an adult-themed movie like The Dark Knight Rises. Their parents need CAT scans!

(2) Schools are doing a terrible job of spotting and addressing anti-social behavior.

I’m not one of those people who think schools bear responsibility for screwing up kids. They can nevertheless make things much, much worse once they’re already maladjusted. How? A lack of discipline for starters, a topic which I have repeatedly written about here at Save Jersey. Extreme political correctness and a litigation-adverse administration usually gets in the way. The less-than-stellar parents discussed above make things worse by adopting a defensive posture when their kids mess up instead of assisting the school in exacting corrective measures.

We’re also dealing with a very real epidemic of emotionally-disturbed kids in America who, for similar reasons to those discussed above, aren’t being flagged and treated when tangible trouble signs emerge. Just ask a teacher what they’re witnessing on a daily basis! One recent study suggested 15 million American kids suffer from some species of behavioral or mental disorder. If that isn’t a crisis, then I don’t know what is! Our country isn’t going to like how this ends up if it isn’t addressed quickly.

We all see what the result looks like. Emerging details of the suspected Aurora shooter’s psychological profile are all-too familiar for these types of incidents; published reports allege that he had few if any friends, anti-social behavior, extreme shyness, etc. I would not be shocked to learn that, at some point in his life, a teacher/coach/friend/adult of some kind noticed how something wasn’t quite right. Why didn’t anyone, or any thing, spring into action?

As Americans, we need to revisit our culture’s approach to raising healthier kids and helping them when they’re going astray before passing the buck to the 2nd Amendment, Save Jerseyans. Nothing is more important.



Matt Rooney is a New Jersey attorney, noted conservative commentator, and the founder & Blogger-in-Chief of New Jersey’s #1 conservative blog, Save Jersey. You can learn more about Matt and the Christie Revolution by visiting today!