To be fair, people who sit texting in movie theaters can be annoying. I don’t much like them even if they text just during the trailers. It’s an irritant. They can text before they come to the theater. Or when they leave it. Or if it’s truly urgent, they can go back to the lobby and text away. But they don’t, and they make me mad as hell.
But when a retired police captain, 71 year old Curtis Reeves, pulls out his gat and shoots and kills the guy in the next movie seat for texting, also shooting the victim’s wife through the hand in the process, I do think we can fairly say either that movie seat rage has gone too far, or that Florida’s so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws haven’t gone far enough.
How could they go any further? I’d be surprised if the NRA hasn’t already done the groundwork. Just as badly as people need a Stand Your Ground law, we need a Stand Your Seat Law. That law would give moviegoers the right to take the life of anybody who threatens to interfere with them sitting in a movie theater and watching the ads for the local ice cream parlor and next month’s action movies.
In fact, we Americans need lots of other legalized reasons to shoot one another. How about a Hold Your Parking Place law, so that if you’re trying to back into a parking spot just as somebody comes along behind you and tries to push his car’s nose into the same spot, you can blow his head off?
In New York, we need a Hold Your Cab law, so that nobody can snatch a taxi away from me by climbing into the rear left hand seat, just as I’ve reached for the door handle to get in on the rear right hand seat. Especially not during rush hour. And most especially not during rush hour when it’s raining. You steal my cab? I shoot you between the eyes.
Of course we need a Hold Your Place In Lane law, and another Hold Your Place In Line law, one to help you and me prevent automobiles from cutting in front of our cars, the other to prevent people from cutting into line at sporting events and yes, movie theaters again. This would assure all of us that, after shooting the person who tries to take our place in line, we can shoot somebody else for texting, in the warmth and comfort of the theater.
In fact, wouldn’t it be helpful if we had a Hold Your Anything and Everything From Anyone and Everybody law, which would allow anybody to shoot anybody for any reason at all? Or for no reason at all?
I think that’s where the NRA is heading with this. Everybody will be armed, not only with a gun, but also with the philosophy that nobody on the planet will be safe until everybody’s dead.
The problem is, while I’m kidding about this, the NRA isn’t. They don’t seem at all moved by a woman who has been widowed and her three year old child who has been half orphaned by “a good guy with a gun,” who happened to be a retired police captain in a bad mood who went to the movies. Nor do I expect any NRA outcry of emotion over the New Mexico school shooting that came in over the Internet just as I sat down to write this piece.
The trail of tragedy, of innocent people mowed down by stupid people with guns, is getting to the point where it’ll stretch from here to the moon and back.
Remember, the only thing that stops a good guy in an ugly mood is another good guy in an equally ugly mood, especially when both of them are armed.
Meanwhile, for the delectation of some of us, here’s why people who own guns should at least be required to pass a basic intelligence test, Second Amendment or no Second Amendment.