On The New Yorker website, film critic Anthony Lane has written a thoughtful piece reflecting on The Dark Knight Rises massacre in Colorado earlier this morning. Lane asks, rhetorically, "Were the terrible events in Aurora suggested, aided, or in any way inspired by matching events onscreen? We have been here before, many times; once, very specifically, when John Hinckley, Jr., became fixated on Taxi Driver, which came out five years before Hinckley attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan. What holds true then remains the case today: no film makes you kill." We tend to agree (though we were briefly tempted to jump off a bridge after renting Contraband last night). But Lane concludes his post by asking another question that isn't so rhetorical:

A modest proposal: could midnight screenings be suspended? First, for reasons of security; there are always troubled or idiotic souls who dream of fomenting repeats of a public disaster, though they seldom succeed. Second, because those screenings, starting when most people are in bed, often have a crazed and hallucinated air, which is all part of the game to those who enjoy them—anyone who has driven to a theatre to fetch teen-aged Harry Potter devotees, as they wander out in costume at three o’clock in the morning, can attest to that weary delirium—but which, right now, seems volatile, ominous, and redundant.

We're reluctant to rush to suspend or ban anything in an attempt to prevent homicidal rampages, because it goes without saying that violent maniacs can pop off at any hour. Would the Dark Knight Rises shooter have been less inclined to slaughter innocent people at an 8 p.m. screening? Something tells us deranged psychopaths aren't so easily thwarted. And let's face it: is movie theater security any less of a joke at midday than it is at midnight?

We just don't know. But it will be interesting to see if this leads to any changes in movie theater security. At the very least, we have a hunch it's going to be harder for us to sneak our bottle of wine into the theater when we go see The Babymakers next month. What do you think?