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If you have followed the release of the most recent Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, you are aware of the terrible tragedy that took place in Colorado the night of the midnight release. No one should have to fear for their lives during something so innocent as a movie premier – my heart breaks for all those involved, and they are in my prayers.

If you haven’t been brought up to speed, check this article.

I couldn’t believe it when I heard about it. Having been a participant in a number of midnight releases, I have seen my fair share of hype and craziness associated with such excitement.  I’ve seen foam sword fights on the theater floor before the release of Pirates of the Caribbean movies, complete with pirate ship floats parked outside. It was all in good fun. However, it seems that fun will be had no longer.

It seems AMC theaters, a national theater chain, has banned costumes, fake weapons, and face-covering masks from their theaters.  Now, while I respect that this is in effort to make customers more comfortable, I cannot help but feel this is some serious overkill. Being a cosplayer, I have known my fair share of costumes, both simple and elaborate. I have experienced, first-hand, the discrimination against our culture, but also can see the potential dangers behind the fake weaponry. No matter how fake a weapon is, it can be disconcerting for those who do not understand it is just for show. Not to mention, in the wrong situation, even a fake weapon can be used improperly and inflict some damage. That I have no argument with, nor the masks – in a public place outside of a convention setting, people should be able to see your face.

However – costumes are NOT the problem. Costumes are harmless. One could argue that they are simply eccentric clothes. To ban weapons and masks is one thing, but to completely silence the enthusiasm and passion of millions of fans nation-wide is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. At best, they are simple accumulations of fabric and sometimes plastic – things you will find in EVERY clothing store in America.

I respect some people are uncomfortable with the costume culture. If that is not your deal, I understand. However, that does not mean you have to take away the privileges of those who enjoy it. The young man who lit up that theater was not in costume. Don’t you think we are overreacting just a tad? What happened in Colorado was absolutely tragic. However, costumes were not the cause of it.

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