Gary Quackenbush’s father gave him a 1941 model Beretta, a gun he treasures. In fact, he still carries it from time to time, as he did when he took his wife to see “The Hobbit” last week. For him, it’s probably the one gun to rule them all. The movie, however, apparently didn’t do much for him as “he found himself in an uncomfortable seat, bored by a long film and pained by a tender tailbone.” Which explains why he was so happy to get the hell out of there after the flick’s 2 hour and 50 minute run time. Only one problem: he left the theater without his precious . . .
Seems that during all that uncomfortable wriggling and writhing, the vintage Italian gat managed to work its way out of its holster. And Gary, who’s described by oregonlive.com as a concealed cary license holder and a registered gun dealer, was understandably upset when he finally realized he’d left it behind in the theater.
After Quackenbush discovered the gun was missing Tuesday night, he tried repeatedly to call the theater, but got no answer, he said. In a letter to the editor he shared with The Oregonian, he wrote: “By 11:10 I gave up but continued to pace the floor until dawn. I was sure they were busy cleaning up and couldn’t hear the phone.
Too bad getting in his car and driving back to the theater never occurred to him. Well, not until the next day, at least.
“Wednesday I made sure I was at the movie house before their normal opening only to find that a school group had been there earlier. I had them call the police to inform them I was there to recover my property. Much to my shock the officer had a trail of media on his heels five minutes later. How they got there from Portland baffled me.”
Yeah, having a couple of seventh-graders find a loaded firearm in a movie theater tends to garner attention, especially given the current anti-gun media feeding frenzy. And the local 5-0 were none too amused either.
Tillamook Police Chief Terry Wright said he’s recommending that Tillamook County prosecutors charge Quackenbush with reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it wouldn’t affect his gun-selling license. ”This is not something we can just blow off,” Wright said, noting that the gun had a bullet in the chamber and the safety was off. District Attorney Bill Porter wouldn’t comment on the case, other than to say it was under investigation.
Quackenbush is still kinda baffled by the kerfuffle he caused. ”‘You have people shooting up malls, building bombs,’ he said. ‘And I’m the bad guy.’” Go figure. Anyway, we’ll make sure he gets a lovely piece of commemorative hardware to let him know that we think he’s a very big deal.