Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Road Rage

Decades ago the overwhelming drama on the evening news was of "road rage." This is where a driver feeling angry about some slight perpetuated by another driver - cutting one of, changing lanes, driving slow in the fast lane, or whatever odd excuse/justification/explanation for why the Driver had to open fire on the cad who infuriated him. And guess what that hasn't gone away it just isn't the salacious priority today in the land of school shootings, unless you are the victim.

Now like today, where another school shooting transpired and once again a Teacher intervened and possibly saved more lives, we have the story of the angry movie goer pissed that during the never ending trailers a fellow movie goer was texting. So after not finding acceptable resolution by the movie attendants there to encourage the rules of etiquette expected by patrons, the one pissed patron opened fire.

CNN) -- It started with a father sending text messages to his daughter during the previews of a movie.

It ended with the 43-year-old man shot dead amid the theater seats, and a 71-year-old retired police officer in custody.

The shooting Monday during a 1:20 p.m. showing of "Lone Survivor" at a Wesley Chapel, Florida, movie theater escalated from an objection to cell phone use, to a series of arguments, to the sudden and deadly shooting, according to police and witnesses.

As a male moviegoer texted, the man seated behind him objected, and asked the texter to put his phone away.

They argued several times, according to police and witnesses, and the man who was texting watched as the other man walked out of the theater. Curtis Reeves, a retired police officer, apparently went seeking a theater employee to complain about the texting, police said.

Two seats away Charles Cummings and his son watched the squabbling.

When Reeves returned, he was without a manager.

"He came back very irritated," Cummings said.

The man who had been texting, Chad Oulson, got up and turned to Reeves to ask him if he had gone to tell on him for his texting. Oulson reportedly said, in effect: I was just sending a message to my young daughter.

Voices were raised. Popcorn was thrown. And then came something unimaginable -- except maybe in a movie. A gun shot.

Oulson was fatally wounded. His wife was hit, too, through the hand as she raised her hand in front of her husband as the shooter drew a handgun.

Oulson staggered toward the Cummings and fell on them, Charles Cummings said.

The shooter sat down and put the gun in his lap.

It happened that an off-duty deputy sheriff from Sumter County was among the 25 people theater at the Grove 16 complex. He rushed to the scene to make sure no more shots were fired and the shooter would stay put.

It also happened that there were two nurses there and one came to Oulson's side and performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

Oulson later died. His wife, Nicole, suffered a non-life threatening wound to her hand.

Now what Wayne LaPierre has to say will be of course something about the problem with texting or maybe the whole interminable previews that seemingly go on for hours prior to the scheduled start time, but undoubtedly the whole idea that having a gun with one in the theatre particularly one possessed by a former Police Officer is not the problem. In fact a good guy with a gun can solve these kinds of problems in two shots. Texters beware. Irony was a current Police Officer was there as well as registered nurses and yet they could not save this bad man with a smartphone. Good guy with gun one, bad guy with smartphone, zero.

The current stats on Texting while driving way outnumber the scourge of supposed drunks behind the wheel. Yet I see not MAT groups forming in line with varying threats and demands of legislation to criminalize anyone so brazen as to drive distracted unless they are maybe carrying a gun and waving it about. Oh wait not even that.

But again, isn't this really about our obsession with guns?

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