At the risk of sounding all doom-and-gloomy, I must admit I am not at all surprised that panic broke out when blanks were fired on the set of this Cannes TV broadcast. It’s a sign of the times that instead of just perking up at loud noises crowds are having this intense, panicked reaction.
Television footage showed [Daniel] Auteuil and Academy Award winner [Christoph] Waltz — a member of the Cannes festival jury — scrambling from the seaside stage with dozens of others as a voice said “there’s someone shooting.” When transmission resumed minutes later, host Michel Denisot said the noise had been caused by blanks. There were no reports of injuries.
Although I’ve never heard gunshot noises in a crowd, I will admit that all of the public gun violence in the news has seriously affected my ability to enjoy many public settings — namely malls and movie theaters. I went to see Star Trek in IMAX 3D with my husband the other day, and when the previews started up, I started to panic a little about how dark and crowded it was. What if somebody in there had a gun? This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but I actually ran a drill in my head of what I would do if gunshots broke out. I made note of the exits. I imagined if my husband got shot I would use my purse to stop the bleeding. Then I wondered if I’d have the gumption to tackle a gunman. My heart sank as I realized I’m definitely not the heroic type, and I’d probably just sink down and make myself small and wait for it all to stop.
Then, because this is how my Crazy Anxious Mom Mind works, I started thinking about how going to the movies and the mall and theme parks was a weekly activity for me as a teenager, and how one day it may be the same for my daughter, except it seems like nowadays it’s way more dangerous to exist in public anywhere. I can’t keep her locked up, but my god, if it’s this hard for ME to spend time in a crowd, how on earth am I going to keep myself calm when she takes off in a car with her friends to hit up the mall for an afternoon?
I can only hope that I’ve gotten my anxiety under control by then, because I seriously doubt we’ll ever live in a society where gun violence isn’t a big deal.