“Popcorn Murder” Fuels Gun Control Feeding Frenzy

 (courtesy David Horsey @ baltimoresun.com)

“Opponents of any kind of gun restrictions argue that they are meaningless, since criminals by definition don’t follow the law, and therefore won’t allow gun laws to hamstring their criminal behavior. That’s true. But gun violence isn’t only committed by classic criminals, as recent gun-related tragedies show,” Susan Milligan writes at usnews.com. “Even though there is steadily accumulating evidence of the futility of criticizing the gun culture, certain episodes prod me to go there. One of those occurred last week, when an unarmed man was shot dead after assaulting a fellow movie patron with, ah, popcorn,” Cynthia Tucker writes at jacksonsun.com. “Guns don’t kill people, popcorn kills people. Or maybe it’s texting. Or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time with some fool who thinks he needs to take a gun to the movies,” writes David Horsey at baltimoresun.com. All three writers argue that Florida’s so-called “popcorn murder” proves the need for greater gun control. It does not . . .

A man in Florida, meanwhile, shot and killed a fellow movie-goer after said viewer refused to stop texting. The annoyance of the shooter is more than understandable – and many of us might have no problem with grabbing a phone from a theater-goer, throwing it on the floor and stomping on it – but the fact that this man felt he could shoot and kill someone for behaving so boorishly is alarming. Is he a criminal?

It didn’t sound like it, based on evidence from before the shooting. In fact, he was a retired police office with a spotless record. And early reports indicate he thought he was being threatened (turns out the “threat” may have just been thrown popcorn). The point is he had a gun, had it with him in a movie theater, and could not have killed someone if he had not had the weapon with him. If people were not allowed to carry concealed weapons into the theater, this particular tragedy may not have happened.

You see what Milligan did there? “Many of us might have no problem with grabbing a phone from a theater-goer, throwing it on the floor and stomping on it,” she says. Huh? She might not have a problem with assaulting a fellow patron, stealing their personal property and destroying it maliciously, but the vast majority of Americans surely would. And that’s no small point.

Ms. Milligan wants her readers to believe that we’re all living on the edge of uncontrollable anger. Which means Americans are not – in general – emotionally stable enough to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. “If people were not allowed to carry concealed weapons into the theater, this particular tragedy may not have happened,” Milligan asserts, ignoring the fact that the Grove 16 movie theater is a “gun-free” zone. And the Aurora theater massacre.

Yes, there is that. Banning guns from cinemas to prevent shootings doesn’t work. Ipso facto. Banning guns from cinemas leaves citizens defenseless against criminals who ignore the ban. What sense does that make? You know, for a rational, emotionally stable thinker. A description that does not apply to Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Cynthia Tucker.

Human beings have a limitless capacity for irrational acts, bizarre confrontations, moments of utter craziness. — and that includes those of us who are usually mature, sane and rational beings. If we allow firearms everywhere, we simply increase the odds that one of those crazy moments will result in bloodshed.

Ms. Tucker speaks for herself here. I do not have a limitless capacity for “irrational acts, bizarre confrontations, moments of utter craziness.” While I have acted irrationally and had bizarre confrontations, I’ve never experienced moments of utter craziness. Nor have I ever, at any point in my 54 years, considered using a firearm against another human being unless that human being posed an imminent credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm to myself or other innocent life.

This “self-restraint” is shared by some 150 million American gun owners. Yes, a small percentage of that total misuse firearms, sometimes with deadly results. But why should the non-violent majority of gun-owning Americans be restricted (a.k.a., punished) for the illegal acts of [a statistically insignificant number of] armed Americans who commit a criminal act or lose self-control?

Gun rights fanatics (these days there are few who are not fanatics) insist that only a few poorly trained, mentally unstable or criminally inclined gun owners give all the millions of God-fearing, Constitution-defending firearms enthusiasts a bad name. But can anyone think of a person more well-trained and responsible than a retired police captain, SWAT team leader and security guard?

Me! I can! Mr. Horsey buys into and promotes the myth that police – the armed and trained instruments of his beloved state – are the “only ones” capable of handling the life-and-death power of a firearm. In fact, police are notoriously bad at handling firearms and, as a group, more prone than the general population (and certainly concealed carry permit holders) to acts of domestic violence (for example).

If a cop – a SWAT team leader! – can lose self-control and shoot someone in a fit of popcorn-scented pique, anyone could! Or so Mr. Horsey would have his readers believe. It’s a deeply cynical point-of-view that betrays the liberal mindset: the average American is too stupid/irresponsible to exercise their freedoms. They must be regulated for their own good.

All three writers are guilty of psychological projection and political condescension. None of them understand that common sense gun control is already inside the common man. I have a sneaking suspicion none of these columnists own a firearm. Which is just as well and proves my point, not theirs.

comments

  1. avatar Texheim says:

    What about all the carveouts for ex cops that they like to include in anti 2A legislation? This guy was a Retired Police Captain after all. Those they only people they want to have guns… and look what happened…

    1. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

      Even if the anti’s got EVERY law and/or ban that they wanted, this guy would have still carried his gun into the theater.

      1. avatar Texheim says:

        Bingo, laws only disarm law abiding citizens.

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        No, the antis didn’t like the police carveouts and national carry law, they just accepted them as the price of doing business.

    2. avatar Rich Grise says:

      If they want background checks and mental health BS to keep the guns out of the hands of “dangerous people,” then doesn’t this story show that “a retired police office with a spotless record” who shoots actual people should be one of their first targets?

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        Except, Rich, that he would have passed every one of their supposed checks.

        One serious problem with attempting to use the mental health issue as a measure of fitness to be allowed by the government to exercise your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected RKBA is that the majority of people are not noticeably crazy before the moment they ACT crazy. Like this guy. There would be no disqualifying record anywhere to prevent them from legally buying any firearm or even getting a carry permit.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          I’m sure Rich didn’t mean what you thought he meant. (clears throat)

          After all, he’s a libertarian.

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Maybe I wasn’t clear. I wasn’t doing anything like advocating (or even condoning) background checks, I was trying to do reductio ad absurdam, i..e., “for a ‘future criminal’ check, better add ‘trigger-happy retired cop’ to the restricted list.”

  2. avatar Hobbez says:

    The theater where this occurred is already a “no guns” theater. He was carrying in a gun free zone, where he knew no one else normally would be. Makes him a criminal as I see it. (I don’t visit or spend money on anti-gun businesses, no matter how much the wife wants to go out to a certain theater or restaurant)

    Kinda blows everything these anti-gun media folks are saying about this story right out of the water.

    1. avatar Pulatso says:

      “Gun Free” signs carry no weight of law in Florida.

      1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

        So we must believe harder and pass another law, right?

        1. avatar Pulatso says:

          I think you have me confused. I want to repeal the few places that are legally gun free in Florida, not add more. Stating a fact does not mean I want that fact to change.

        2. avatar NYC2AZ says:

          @ Pulatso: My comment was meant to be general sarcasm and not directed a you. Sorry for the confusion.

        3. avatar Pulatso says:

          No worries NYC2AZ, my apologies for making assumptions.

  3. avatar Yoel Grauberg says:

    Only the police should be trusted with guns, they are highly trained!

    http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/24507840/marion-officer-accused-of-stealing-money-drugs

      1. avatar J- says:

        WTF? Looking at this, if there is any group of people who should not be trusted with guns, it’s cops.

  4. avatar Gregolas says:

    Can Susan Milligan please tell me the difference b/tw a ” classical criminal ” and this obviously deranged retired police chief who murdered this guy; including how that refutes our argument that criminals will always disobey the law?

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      I don’t believe in this ex-cop’s “spotless record.” With two movie rage incidents only weeks apart, one resulting in a homicide, there’s just no way this guy went his entire career without incident.

      Now, I haven’t actually seen his service record yet. I’ve only heard media accounts describe it as “spotless” without actually publishing it. So who knows? Regardless, should this go to trial, I would expect additionally witnesses to come out detailing abuses that never found their way into his official record.

  5. avatar KMc says:

    “The point is he had a gun, had it with him in a movie theater, and could not have killed someone if he had not had the weapon with him.” Wrong answer, fool. He could just as easily strangled the idiot.
    Some of us just handle our urges better than others.

    1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

      This, and in line with a main point of the article. I’ve had to deal a-holes many times in many contexts, just like we all do. Not once has it ever even occurred to me to draw on one of them.

      I wish the leftists could just carve out a part of the country and have it to themselves. Then they could station a cop at everyone’s house, and confine people to little padded rooms when they can’t be watched. Blissful peace, safe and snug in the loving arms of Big Sister.

      1. avatar KB Dave says:

        I absolutely agree. Can we just give California to the progressives and let them do as they will, without affecting the rest of us? I mean, they pretty much own California already anyway…

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          Not the whole state! Orange County, CA is Republican and somewhat conservative. Parts of the state aren’t ruled by idiots like DeLeon, and not everyone votes for Feinstein.

          Still, I’m all for walling off LA, San Fran, Sacramento, etc. and just letting everyone there make any laws they want. Within their own little walls only. It could be sort of like the olde East Germany vs. West Germany. Walled vs. free.

        2. avatar rlc2 says:

          Same with San Diego County- conservative overall but with progressives running the City of SD, and poorly at that.

        3. avatar William Burke says:

          The damned Venusians always seem to rise to the top…

      2. avatar Cliff H says:

        Ben, I’m with you. On many occasions I have been confronted by and had to deal with a-holes. So far I have not shot any of them, but at all times I was more willing to make an effort to deal with the issue KNOWING that if it really went downhill at some point I had the option of dealing my trump card. That level of confidence makes multi-level options more realistic.

      3. avatar Don Tetra says:

        Or you could call it Japan, a nation with an almost complete gun prohibition and far lower homicide rate than the US. The problem with Americans is you can’t have civil society without being civil, and adding guns to the mix doesn’t create more civility, as per the Heinlein attributed quote. Well armed societies are violent, whether war zones or states with a strong 2A spirit (just compare the homicide rate in Chicago with the cities with looser gun laws like St. Louis or New Orleans!). The taming of the West came about through gunslinging LEOs like Wyatt Earp demanding that firearms be prohibited from their jurisdiction (Dodge City, among others), so the new middle class families could enjoy civic life. If families want to enjoy movie theaters without carrying, without maintaining their alert edge at all times, they’re going to require ever more isolated and secure zones to do so.

    2. avatar Sam Houston says:

      “just as easily strangled the idiot.” NRA supporters will say anything. How is it just as easy to strangle somebody in a theater, with his wife sitting next to him, an off-duty cop a few seats away, and plenty of other people who could break up a popcorn throwing scuffle, as it is to just point and shoot? It took him less than two seconds to reach in his pocket and pull a gun and fire, after he was hit with his own popcorn.

  6. avatar peirsonb says:

    I must be mentally defective. A girl directly behind me made a CALL during Superman Returns. Sounds like if I was normal I should have immediately contemplated opening fire.

    Then, it was Superman Returns so I didn’t miss much…

  7. avatar Pat says:

    It’s easy to prove someone else wrong then yourself right. The Obama group would have to correct something they have no control off (people) some are nuts. So they took guns. One problem, GGWG cross party lines. Ha!

  8. avatar 505markf says:

    Criminals do not follow the law and sometimes complete jerks don’t either. It is a shame when it happens. While being a complete jerk (the texter/popcorn thrower) is not justification for getting shot, I personally feel no pity for the “victim”. Act like an jerk often enough and sooner or later you may encounter a like-minded person with unintended consequences to follow. I likewise feel no sympathy for the shooter.

    Figure the odds, two jackwagons encounter each other and crap happens. Maybe the progs can pass laws that require everyone to act nicely toward each other. They can try, but I’ll just consider this situation a case of evolution in action.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      It’s like a cosmic dance; criminal and victim always seem to find a way to be in the same place, at the same time. There is a theory that some victims subconsciously summon their killers. I’m not sure about that, but I’ve thought about it a lot.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        According to Metaphysics, because of the way fragmentation works, victim and perpetrator are always two fragments of one spirit inhabiting two bodies, kinda like on Star Trek. The ultimate solution is to fill the gap with Love. 🙂

  9. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    I find it hard to believe that this shooting could be discussed in such a context without mention of the Aurora, CO theater shooting where movie goers were disarmed, except of course for the lone lunatic who ignored the ban. That’s the flip side of the coin.

    Perhaps if the retired cop wasn’t allowed to carry a firearm into the theater he would have pulled out a knife and stabbed the man. If you’re so unhinged that you’d rip a cell phone out of another persons hands and throw it on the ground and smash it, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to think you might pull a knife out an stab him. I’m sure the victim’s family would feel consoled in the knowledge that at least he wasn’t shot to death.

    1. avatar anonymous says:

      the Aurora, CO theater shooting where movie goers were disarmed

      Oh god, not this argument again!

      Name one CCW permit holder who was in the theater that night.

      CCW permits are public information in Colorado. As far as I know, nobody has correlated the list of victims with the list of CCW permit holders.

      Nor has anybody who was in the theater that night come forward and said, “I would have had my gun with me, but I left it in the car, per theater policy.”

      1. avatar Morgan Gatorsee says:

        “Name one CCW permit holder who was in the theater that night.”

        I will counter, my wife and I are both CC holders and do not do business anywhere we are denied our right to protect ourselves. I am soooo proud of her for standing her ground and waiting for the new Hobbit movie to come on DVD … it was her favorite book as a kid. Anyway back on topic the question now begins how many people like me and my wife are in CO? Those that are not willing to break the law and carry where they are not allowed or not willing to compromise their safety for a stupid cause….like going to Sears or going to see a movie that will probably be terrible anyway?

        “Name one CCW permit holder who was in the theater that night.”

        If the answer is zero all that tells us is the “good guys with guns” walked up to the door, read the sign, and thought, “Screw that I am not giving up my sidearm” and on any other night the anti gunners would say, “Wow are you THAT paranoid?” however on the particular night we are talking about the CC holders that went home instead sadly made the right call.

        1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

          +1

          My wife and I are the same. We are lucky that there are still a few independently-owned theaters that have yet to put up the “free fire zone” signs, but AMC and Harkins have been off my list for quite sometime.

        2. avatar Cliff H says:

          As I recall there were five or six other theaters in the same general area showing “Batman” that night but that were not posted as “Gun free zones.” That is why the shooter chose the one place he did, which was not the closest theater to his home.

          CCW holders had a lot of options other than ignore the GFZ sign in Aurora.

      2. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        Whether or not there actually was a CCW permit holder in the theater at the time of the shooting is immaterial. Gun free zones guarantee that the only outcome in such an event is that the mass murderer will be free to inflict his carnage on his victims until police arrive (with backup) or until the ammo runs out. Perhaps if Cinemark welcomed CCW permit holders someone like Mr. Gatorsee would have been present, perhaps not. Perhaps if Connecticut allowed teachers to CC one of the teachers at Sandy Hook would have taken the shooter out before 26 people were dead. Perhaps not. The point is that as the laws exist there is only one potential outcome to such events and it’s not a good one.

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          I’m assuming you’ve never heard of Suzanna Hupp.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzanna_Hupp

        2. avatar KB Dave says:

          The question I have for you is: did you ever get a non defective wooden paddle ball?

        3. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          I think it was just the ball that was defective. The paddle worked just fine on Miss Stein.

        4. avatar Lucas D. says:

          Sure he has, but our good Governor tends to give them all away; the little red devils just love those things, you know.

          In seriousness, most theaters where I live have a No Guns policy on the door, but I never comply with them and I carry concealed anyway. Worst they can do is ask me to leave if I’m busted, so why wait 6 more months to watch a movie just because theater management wants to be a dick?

        5. avatar anonymous says:

          I’m assuming you’ve never heard of Suzanna Hupp.

          Why are you assuming that? I knew who she was before there was a world wide web.

          Bringing Dr. Hupp into this argument bolsters my argument, and weakens yours. Not one single CCW permit holder has come forward, as she did in 1991, and said that they might have stopped James Holmes that night except for the theater’s no-guns policy. Not one.

          Not one single CCW permit holder was among the dead. Not one. Since CCW permits are public record in Colorado, it would be easy to correlate the two lists.

          Not one single CCW permit holder has come forward and said, “I would have been there that night, but was not due to the theater’s no-gun policy”. * Not one.

          As far as I know, James Holmes has never said that he targeted that theater due to it’s no-guns policy. And I’d bet he’s been questioned about that night. Instead, TTAG readers believe they have the power to read his mind. Was he even aware of the “no-guns” policy?

          The gun-owner rights movement insists on using logic as fallacious and twisted as the gun-owner control movement does, with a whole bunch of speculative “would of”, “could of”, “should of”s. And it is really pathetic. Are you people even listening to yourselves?

          It makes me ashamed to say that I’m a gun-owner, and angry that I wasted so much time last year fighting the anti-gun measures in Colorado. Because with friends like you (pl), who needs enemies?

          * speaking only for myself, I tend to ignore those “no guns” signs. I don’t do it as a form of political protest or anything like that, but simply a matter of convenience. I don’t want to leave my gun in the car, where it can get stolen. And for the record, I would not have been there that night.

        6. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          Whatever, Pajama Boy.

      3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        I was just about to say that, too. Ever occur to you that legal concealed carriers avoid victim disarmament zones in the first place? I know we do in our household. Holmes drove past several movie theaters to reach that particular one that is self-designated as a so-called “gun free zone.” Why would legal concealed carriers similarly go out of their way to enter that same sort of theater?

        How can you get so exasperated over hearing “that argument” again, as though it’s the umpteenth time you’ve heard it, but never in all of those apparently frequent occasions did this fairly obvious point come up?

        1. avatar anonymous says:

          Ever occur to you that legal concealed carriers avoid victim disarmament zones in the first place?

          Has it ever occurred to you that a lot of them don’t?

          Holmes drove past several movie theaters to reach that particular one that is self-designated as a so-called “gun free zone.”

          Name those theaters.

          How can you get so exasperated over hearing “that argument” again, as though it’s the umpteenth time you’ve heard it,

          If it was only the umpteenth time.

          but never in all of those apparently frequent occasions did this fairly obvious point come up?

          Considered, and dismissed for lack of evidence. Speculation is not evidence.

      4. avatar William Burke says:

        Call me stupid, but I don’t understand your point at all.

  10. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “… the liberal mindset: the average American is too stupid/irresponsible to exercise their freedoms. They must be regulated for their own good.” — Robert Farago

    And that there, people, sums up what is WRONG with the liberal mindset.

    Although I do want to offer a slight correction. I would state it this way:
    ” … the liberal mindset: anyone who is NOT in the ruling class is too stupid/irresponsible to exercise their freedoms. They must be regulated for their own good.”

    I think this should be our basis for debates. Remember, when dealing with Communists and Progressives, the “issue” is never the issue. The “issue” is just a diversion. What Communists and Progressives want is control and power. And it is up to us to inform them that they cannot take it from us without a nasty fight.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      “They must be regulated for their own good – BY LIBERALS.”

      Fixed that up real nice fer ye.

  11. avatar Mark N. says:

    Their point is as simple as it is naïve: eliminate all the guns and these murders will not happen. This position ignores 10,000 years of human history–perhaps tens of thousands of years–where there were plenty of murders and no guns. Without a gun, we humans will simply select another weapon. Or use our fists.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Yes. According to their logic the world must have been a paradise in the eleventh century.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        That’s the funniest comment I’ve read in a week.

    2. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      Even more to the point, the gun was the one tool in the hands of the commoner that leveled the playing field with those “chivalrist” armor-clad noble thugs that would go around slicing a dicing their “subjects” for more land and wealth.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        ““chivalrist” armor-clad noble thugs that would go around slicing a dicing their “subjects” for more land and wealth.”

        i.e., Lord So-and-So.

  12. avatar Swobard says:

    Sometimes it’s just nice to read a clear, well written article. This one qualifies. Well done, RF.

  13. avatar Alex Peters says:

    Shouldn’t there be a larger lesson here? How about using “common sense” (see what I did there) to avoid escalating a situation. Both parties involved failed to do this. It’s certainly alright to ask someone in a movie theater to stop texting. However, that should’ve been the end of it. You don’t dump popcorn on someone and, obviously, you don’t shoot someone for doing so.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Well clearly, he didn’t shoot the guy for texting, but for throwing popcorn at him. Now movie theater popcorn is probably slow poison, so this really was self defense.

      /sarcasm (but maybe some puke of a lawyer will try using it).

      1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

        Popcornfluenza?

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          Popcorncardia. The whole “killer saturated fats” BS is going down the toilet, as we speak. Butter is “good” again (it always was), and saturated fats, like coconut oil, is killer nutrition now. I’m not being sarcastic; it really is now.

          I was always right about this; now I’m vindicated. I only wish I could have turned my dad away from his doctors’ advice. He might be here with me today. YEARS of watching him take “doctor’s orders”, i.e., no fats no cholesterol (the human brain is MADE of cholesterol, largely); I watched him BOIL lean chicken – and if there’s anything that stinks as bad as boiled chicken, it might be frog legs. Poor guy. He trusted them, instead of me.

          BUTTER is back in, on a lighter note. BACON is back in! REJOICE! What kind of sad sack can live without butter and bacon… which leads us back to the KILLER POPCORN, in that theater…

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Body has always known how to survive. Problem is, Mind thinks it can do a better job than God.

  14. avatar PNG says:

    Oh the irony, one of the anointed few that liberals say could carry a gun misused one. What do we do now, disarm soldiers and police after everyone else, too? If that day ever comes, we deserve to be invaded and conquered by whatever comes across our borders or out of the skies.

    1. avatar Andy says:

      Soldiers ARE disarmed already… It is more diificult for me, a 22 year still on active duty sailor, to have a firearm than it is for the vast majority of the readers of this blog…

      Why is it more difficult: firearms bans on base- I cannot legally carry to and from my place of work, regardless of local or federal laws or any CCW permit I may have…

  15. avatar A-Rod says:

    The price for popcorn at the theatre is the real murder here folks.

    1. avatar sbk510 says:

      Zzzinnnng!!!

  16. avatar bgreenea3 says:

    Ok, what if instead of shooting he stabbed the man? With an ink pen? The pen is mightier than the sword after all. Pens are evil ban pens! The man reverted not to his prior police service training, but to what he has probably made his self defense mantra. “At 62 I’m too old to run, fight, or take a butt kicking I’ll just shoot ” add to that the years of “if you don’t do what I say I shall have to do the police thing” you have someone who wants to impose his will but has no other options but sending lead. Previous reports have him being irate with people at the theater before, he may have been headed down the dementia/grumpy old man road too…

  17. avatar HiPlanesDrifter says:

    If we allow firearms everywhere, we simply increase the odds that one of those crazy moments will result in bloodshed.

    You’re exactly right, Ms. Tucker. And more often than not it’s the bad guy whose blood is shed, and I find that to be a good thing.

  18. avatar PeterK says:

    I for one am grateful that all these people that admit to being a hair’s breadth away from an extreme psychotic episode choose not to carry. Most of us aren’t like you though. We do this thing called self-control.

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      ^^ This ^^ x 1000

  19. avatar Fred says:

    Deep down we’re not so different, us and the anti-gunners. We both want to protect ourselves and loved ones from criminals and crazies that want to or will harm us. The difference is one side takes active steps to be better prepared individually and the other takes active steps to take that away from everyone. They quite simply don’t want to do anything to better themselves or be prepared and truly believe the rest of the world has to change for them to fit their ideals. Their argument really works against themselves far more than they realize. They argue crazy people are everywhere and are on the verge of snapping, therefore guns should not be allowed to exist. There are two problems with this,

    1.) Crazies don’t follow the law: they frame their argument with the assertion crazy people are everywhere and can snap at any time, even those in the protected class of LE. Their solution relies on those same people agreeing to follow the restrictions they create. How they miss that baffles me to no end.

    2.) They never look at the other side of the coin: a defenseless man was shot, that’s really the problem here. Their answer is not to change being defenseless but make everyone equally defenseless. The problem with that thinking is not everyone is equal. A young male out to prove something to a gang or motivated by poverty or greed has a clear advantage over those older, weaker, slower, and/or smaller than themselves. Their argument again relies on everyone buying into their perfect utopian ideals of nonviolence. What happens when people don’t? The UK and Australia, where crime is so out of hand they just stop reporting crime and enforcing the law. Defensive gun uses rarely make the news and never make as large a splash as a crazy with a gun, but they greatly outnumber the tragic events. When arguing on other topics social utility is their best friend, but when it comes to guns that argument is dropped because guns have a clear and overwhelming social utility.

  20. avatar Billy Colman says:

    The problem is that this ex cop was operating under the same ROE that he did when he was a cop. The reality is that if a cop encountered a nut on the street who refused his direct orders and reached into a container, forcefully expelling projectiles at the cop he would most likely get shot. And the cop would receive no discipline. Any one of us would be strung up for the same actions. More reason exactly why ex cops are the only ones who should receive extensive re-training, psych screening and attitude adjustments before they are allowed to carry guns. For crying out loud, our military is subject to more strict scrutiny and discipline than the uniformed thugs that roam our streets and terrorize us. When these cops retire they are still the same thugs, sans uniform.

    1. avatar scoutino says:

      The popcorn thrower commited the worst crime of all – he did not respect (ex) cop’s AUTHORITAH!

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Submit to my irrationality or die!

  21. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Unstable people?

    You mean police?

    OK, deal!

    Next issue…

  22. avatar dwb says:

    Maryland has had 21 homicides in 21 days. Most were execution style over popcorn pharmaceutical distribution.

  23. avatar Sam Spade says:

    Have any real facts come out yet?

    News reports say that the 43 year old immediately assaulted the 71 year old as he returned to the theater. But so far no one has said if the 43 year old actually attempted to physically batter the old man.

    1. avatar knightofbob says:

      That’s the real issue I’ve been having with this case. Most public opinion has been based on the testimony one witness gave to the press. Among other things I find fishy, this guy claims to have heard, in detail, every word of the original, hushed exchange, and is more than happy to give specific, exact quotes. But when it comes to what the (I’m not sure what to call him here, because I’m not convinced he was truly a victim) aggressor said very loudly when initiating the assault (and, yes, throwing your popcorn at someone IS assault), the witness is suddenly hazy on the details, just that he said something very loudly.

      Add to that the wife/girlfriend’s wound through her hand, and it’s more likely in my mind that she was trying to hold her posturing significant other back. And if someone half my age and twice my size stood up and yelled, “I’m going to kill you!” (pure conjecture), especially with the added bonus of throwing anything in my direction, I probably would have fired as well.

      1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        Anything’s possible. However, how many aggressors persist once someone produces a firearm? The abundant research demonstrates that most DGU’s do not involve discharging the firearm, precisely because the presentation or threat is typically sufficient to halt the aggression.

        So if the deceased here were the true aggressor, then you would have us believe he reacted vastly differently to staring down a gun from even regular criminals. That seems unlikely, especially since so far nothing’s come out about the deceased having a history of being a hothead.

        Contrast that to the shooter, who does, and who apparently violated the law by having a firearm there in the first place. Eyewitness accounts aside, even the uncontested elements of this case don’t bode well for the shooter’s credibility. But, again, anything’s possible and we’ll have to wait for all the evidence to come out.

        1. avatar Sam Spade says:

          If an angry someone is rushing you from just a few feet away, there’s no oportunity to flash a gun, which is against most state laws in any case and could get you killed. And in a dark theater. Who could see it?

          And I think Florida is one of the many states where No-Gun signs have no force of law, even for private citizens. Thank goodness.

          Something else, “Rush a gun, flee a knife” is not a just an old wives tale–it’s an survival rule even for thugs.

          Anyway, I think there’s still not enough information to go on.

        2. avatar knightofbob says:

          I’m really not on either side, honestly. I’m just inclined to play Devil’s advocate until I have enough details to form a stronger opinion. Too many questions right now.

          Even the media friendly account does clearly paint the deceased as the aggressor, though. There’s not really any question there. Responsibility for escalation is in question, though.

          As far as backing away from the gun, I don’t think he had the chance. It was dark, he may not even have noticed a tiny .380 until it went off. In addition, in several states, you have to remember that shooting, even fatally, in self defense is legal (as long as it was actually in self defense). Brandishing or attempting to intimidate is not. Even if the house lights were on, he probably wouldn’t have time to try to back away before the shot was taken.

          Like I said, this is purely armchair speculation from a state comfortably far away from Florida.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      I’ll wait for judgement too until there’s a more comprehensive set of facts. On the shooter, the other guy can clearly be judged as a jerk just like anyone who uses a cell phone in a theater. Get netflix if you want to multitask.

      Does it mean he deserved to die? Ehhhh… but don’t worry folks, I stopped going to the movie theaters long ago because of people like that. Hey maybe there’s one theater I can go to where people won’t be using phones! 😀

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        I suspect this one in Florida will not have a lot of cell phone incidents for awhile.

  24. avatar Duke of Sharon says:

    “Human beings have a limitless capacity for irrational acts, bizarre confrontations, moments of utter craziness. — and that includes those of us who are usually mature, sane and rational beings.”

    Okay, I’ll spot you that for the sake of argument.

    Do these same human being suddenly become infallible when they enter the voting booth to elect those whom you would have do the thinkin’ for us?

    Are those elected to office to write and enforce gun laws excluded from your description above? (and can you cite any evidence of same?)

    Do those who are elected to write and enforce laws have more or less, better or worse, incentives to make good decisions than those of us who must live or die by those decisions?

    1. avatar silverwarloc says:

      Excellent point, btw…I often tell my friends that they deserve the people that they elect. Often times, it goes over their head in what I’m trying to say…

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        And you’ve found it’s not hard to go over their heads, I bet.

        How sad that people so easily choose to be slaves.

  25. avatar Bruce L. says:

    The reason the person texting was shot is that the person was texting. He had been asked to not text, or make calls, but he did it anyway. Everyone knows you should turn your phone off in a theater. Should he have been killed for it, probably not. But, the reason he died was because he decided to ignore reasonable behavior in the theater. He would be alive today if he had left his phone in his pocket.

    1. avatar Mediocrates says:

      The first rule of concealed carry is to avoid confrontation. No matter how big an ass a person makes of themselves, the consequences of this action or not worth the five dollars for the movie, nor the eight dollars for the box of popcorn.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Absolutely. But we always hear that an armed society is a police society… how do you think that happens? Once in awhile some impolite person has gotta be shot by an armed person or the saying holds no water. (I don’t think it holds water, myself)

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      DAMN RIGHT! The louse got what was coming to him, right?

      You disgust me.

  26. avatar Mediocrates says:

    We just had a police officer somewhere just shoot his wife and kids and then off himself. Police Officers should all be disarmed when not on duty.

    Human beings have a limitless capacity for irrational acts, bizarre confrontations, moments of utter craziness. — and that includes those of us who are usually mature, sane and rational beings. — Cynthia Tucker

    This lady is two kernels shy of a bucket of popcorn. Pun intended. Isn’t she the one that slapped a peace officer in D.C.? Which subsequently resulted in her being booted from the Congress? Yet this ignoramus still finds a place from which to broadcast her foul ignorance.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      LOL. You are referring to Cynthia McKinney. She was a member of Congress, just like your own congressman, who was insulted and hassled by a Capitol Police Officer, while trying to get to the floor and DO HER JOB. And you bitch and moan about when congressmen AREN’T on the floor… DOING THEIR JOB.

      DOUBLE FAIL.

      1. avatar Mediocrates says:

        Doh! Yeah, I realized that later. Wrong Cynthia!

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          I voted for Cyn in 2008. I’d do it again. No matter what you may misunderstand about her politics, the woman has fierce courage of her convictions; she would never betray her principles. In fact she would die for them.

          That alone makes her an ally, in my book. You have no idea what’s she stood up for, often alone, for her principles. She’s the most courageous politician since JFK. And, whenever she has had the impetus to fight for change, she’s the last to forfe up, with a tiny neiborhood Utahl

  27. avatar Mina says:

    One of the things I am always surprised by here is that you guys really seem to think that Liberals think like us. At any level. They don’t.

    The reason they say the things they do a lot of the time is “Projection”. They attribute actions, thoughts and feelings to others that they know they would have given the situation.

    Replaying this entire article from beginning to end with that knowledge – the article would have turned out a totally different way.

  28. avatar Davis Thompson says:

    There’s no argument to be made here. CCW holders commit murder at far lower rates than the general population and retired cops. Which means any of these writers is more likely to murder someone than a CCW permit holder.

  29. avatar Jeff says:

    Horsey is one of the most arrogant, condescending political commentators/cartoonists in America. Even when I agreed with much of the Democrat line during the Bush years, I thought Horsey was, well, a huge jackass.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      And what is your issue with the cartoon in question?

  30. avatar 4Horsemen says:

    What’s The Sense Of Having “Gun Free Zones” If More and More People Are Carrying Concealed Carry Weapons Permits (In Which I Plan On Getting Myself In The Near Future)…If A Madman (Or Woman) Came Into A “No Gun Zone” Public Place Like A Movie Theatre And Started Shooting Up The Place And This Guy Shot And Killed That Person He Would Be Hailed A Hero. Having More “Gun Free” Zones Isn’t The Answer People…

  31. avatar Sbolla says:

    This guy should go under the jail. First of all if a person is texting in the movie theater go and notify management or get another seat. Just because I can protect myself doesn’t mean I need to fight every battle that presents itself. I have yet to be in a theater where nobody texts or talks, kicks the back of the chair, or goes to the concession stand in the middle of the climax and steps on my foot without uttering one word such as excuse me or I’m sorry. People are rude, obnoxious, and lack home training and manners but if it gets that serious quit going to the movies. Carrying concealed doesn’t mean that you have a right to police other peoples activities no matter what. Plus you have a hard time proving that your life was in danger of someone carrying a loaded bucket of popcorn.

    1. avatar Jean Paul says:

      He did inform management. First, he asked the texter several times to stop, and was rebuffed. The shooter left, informed management, and when he returned was confronted by the texter, “Did you just tell management on me?”. Then the confrontation started, the popcorn was thrown, and the shooting happened.

      If the shooting hadn’t happened, the texter would have been charged with assault, with special circumstances because the shooter was a senior citizen.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        “with special circumstances because the shooter was a senior citizen.”

        Oh my god.

  32. avatar sacorey says:

    This cop better get life, its terribly naive to trust the monopoly of violence to individuals who seek it. Theres a reason the powerhungry look to become cops and politicians, yet we ignore the risk they pose in society

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      +100,000. Those who seek power over others are often those least qualified to utilize it.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      “Who will guard us from the guardians?”

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Mr. Smith, Mr. Wesson, Mr. Kalashnikov, Mr. Colt, etc… 🙂

  33. avatar eugene says:

    The victim was sending a text to his daughter during the previews he was not interruping the movie. And there was another incident with this excop when he followed a woman to the bathroom berating her for texting. This death could have been prevented if just one of the parties had kept their cool and that’s the part that’s scary. I know my head is screwed on straight. I just have to worry about everybody else.

    1. avatar Jean Paul says:

      I consider the previews part of the movie. Now, the advertising before the previews, not so much.

      If the house lights are down, the movie has started.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        More palms! My kingdom for more palms for my face!!

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        And if someone texts, SHOOT AWAY, right?

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      No kidding.

  34. avatar Jus Bill says:

    I think we’re approaching the point where all the contradictions in the “journalists'” heads attain critical mass and cause an uncontrolled chain reaction and subsequent meltdown.

  35. avatar C says:

    Because if you own guns, you obviously think that it was a good shoot.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      It was a good SHOT, although at that range it would be surprising if it was not, but it was most definitely NOT a good SHOOT.

      There is absolutely no way that a texting and popcorn throwing argument should escalate into shooting unless or until the unarmed antagonist is actually committing a physical assault likely to result in grievous bodily injury or death.

      And even at that, the retired cop escalated the incident to the point of violence, not the victim.

  36. avatar William Burke says:

    Possibly the greatest editorial cartton,of all times! And from the LA TIMES! Who woulda thunk it?

  37. Odd… I always considered murderers to be “classic criminals”.

  38. avatar Ing says:

    That cartoon could easily be read as a caricature of the hyperventilating prohibitionist mentality. That’s how I’m looking at it.

  39. avatar Bayou Boy says:

    The golden boys take a hit, (the ones that they keep setting up carve outs for) and they distance. Of the 3 bs stories, only 1 mentioned the fact that he was a cop. CCL requires responsibility. I love baseball, and football, and hanging out. I love movies. But, I have taken responibility for me and mine, something that I take serious. I refuse to ever enter some place that leaves me unarmed. That is my consequence, because of my choice. I gave up things that I loved, they want no consequences. Nothing is they’re fault. So, if I clear leather, I have heard all of both sides of the arguement in my head. Life is easier when you rely on someone else to protect you. You take no responsibility, just rely on someone else to watch out for you and yours. Once a great nation, now a nation raised by the lowest bidder!

  40. avatar Rich Grise says:

    I still can’t figure out that texting/popcorn thing. Were there four people? Guy A complains about guy B’s texting, guy C throws popcorn, and guy D shoots guy A?

    Does anyone know what actually happened?

  41. avatar Pat says:

    Stupid libtards (democrats). Maybe he should have just stabbed the popcorn guy to death with a long bowie knife instead of using a gun…then the libtards would not be angry.

  42. avatar Basil Walls says:

    That’s crazy! I went to a movie a few nights ago with a gun! My wife had one too! Holy hell, we could have KILLED someone! I guess we won’t do that again…. I think that’s the response they expect, but I guess it’s a good thing we aren’t as ignorant as they are.

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