14 January 2014

Bare Arms

I read (on line!) that in Tampa Bay, Florida, a retired police officer reportedly shot and killed a man who was texting his three-year-old daughter before the movie had actually begun. The film was, ironically enough, The Lone Survivor. The story is absurd on a number of levels. Certainly, the response of the accused seems in gross excess to the stimulus. If the movie hadn’t even started then the regular announcement requesting that all mobile phones be silenced and that texting was prohibited had not yet even been made. The theater lights were not yet dimmed. I appreciate that time to read whatever material I have managed to carry in with me.
            And if the requisite pre-theater previews and advertisements were being shown, then still the theater lights were on because people entering the theater had to find their way to seats. For safety’s sake (!) the theater lights have to remain on.
            And the man was texting his three year old daughter? Was he texting to her personal telephone or to that of a baby-sitter? Why? Okay, I know: he was saying, “I love you. See you soon.” But it does interest me (who himself borders a bit on helicoptering as a parent) that the man would assume that the child would actually at that moment need this communication. Like my mother, she would probably and immediately forget in the excitement of the present activity organized by the obviously competent companion. The text might actually be an interruption. At least, I hope the child was imaginatively engaged and wasn’t moping about anxiously at the front door awaiting her parents return from their movie.
            And frankly and most importantly, I am horrified, disgusted, appalled, terrified at the ubiquity of firearms in the United States, the ease with which they are used, and the remarkably absurd belief held by too many that without the right to bear arms (though not in the service of a militia or other military outfit organized for the defense of the country, which was apparently the intent of the founders in framing the second amendment (most fools should be able to see that), the very democracy in which we live would be endangered. What endangers the democracy is the intellectual level of those who hold these views.
            A final absurdity appears in the report in the paper (denied by the theaters) that they have considered reserving the last rows of the theater for people who want to text during the film! I remember when the back rows were reserved for those lucky couples who wanted to neck!  Make love, not war, I say!


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