Jonathan Freedman, a social psychologist at the University of Toronto, said he assessed several media violence studies and concluded there was no connection between violent movies and aggression. Freedman wrote a book on the subject sponsored by the Motion Picture Association of America and published in 2002.
He said the Colorado movie theater shooting was the first he'd ever heard of, but that the movie itself didn't make alleged shooter James Holmes pull the trigger this morning. The theater showing "The Dark Knight Rises" was just his venue of choice.
Holmes, 24, reportedly told police he was "The Joker," the villain in the previous "Batman" movie. He even dyed his hair to resemble the character.
"I think it [choosing a movie theater with a violent film] is perfectly reasonable if somebody is going to commit this kind of a crime and just wants to go and shoot up people," Freedman said, adding that this person would probably be mentally disturbed. "He's not going to go into a romantic movie and dress up as a romantic character."
The following is a list of selected movie theater shootings nationwide:
1955 (Chicago): Ex-con shoots rookie cop in a movie theater four miles from the Loop.
1985 (Chicago): Movie-line quarrel ends with one man dead of a gunshot wound to the back of the head.
1989 (New York): Bronx man kills 20-year-old for buying the last bag of popcorn at "Batman" premiere.
1989 (Southfield, Mich.): Man opens fire in parking lot on opening night of Eddie Murphy's "Harlem Nights."
1990 (Queens, N.Y.): 15-year-old dead and three others wounded when a shootout erupts during "The Godfather Part III."
1991 (Los Angeles and surrounding area): "Boyz n the Hood" sparks shootings that leave 11 injured, one critically.
1993 (Brooklyn, N.Y): 19-year-old man shot to death during a late screening of "Judgment Night."
1998 (Bakersfield, Calif.): Eight people injured after shooting during "I Got the Hookup."
1999 (Seattle): One man shoots another in the stomach during "Analyze This."
2002 (Philadelphia): Janitor shot twice in the head in movie theater bathroom.
2006 (Baltimore): Man sits behind victim in movie theater, shoots him in head, hollers for everyone to stay down, fires three more shots.
2006 (Pittsburgh): A screening of "Get Rich or Die Tryin" ends when one man fatally shoots another in the lobby after a trip to the restroom.
2008 (Philadelphia): Man enraged by noisy family in movie theater throws popcorn at son, shoots father.
2008 (Raleigh, N.C.): Masked man tries to rob theater, fatally shoots owner.
2010 (Daly City, Calif.): A man shoots three people outside a Bay Area movie theater, including a pregnant woman.
2011 (Tuscaloosa, Ala.): Teen shoots another teen in movie theater parking lot.
2012 (Aurora, Colo.): Man opens fire at midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 people and injuring 59 others.