Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ignorant cinema texter taken out!

As this did not involve a currently serving law-enforcement official it can't be added to my Shoot First... series, but it nevertheless highlights a justifiable, if a tad overdramatic, response to something that ought to be considered a heinous crime.

Earlier in the week, a dispute over the use of a cell phone inside a cinema “escalated quickly” to quote Ron Burgundy, leaving the cell phone user dead and a smoking gun belonging to a former police officer.

The dispute began around 13:30 at a showing of new Mark Wahlberg movie Lone Survivor at The Grove 16 Theatre in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Curtis Reeves Jr., a 71 year old retired Tampa Bay police captain, asked Chad Oulson 43 to stop texting on his cell phone. According to media outlets Oulson apparently refused, telling Reeves that he was sending text messages to his young daughter. Reeves subsequently alerted the theatre staff, an act which seemed to escalate the confrontation.

A Marine Vietnam vet and eyewitness in the theatre, Charles Cummings [68], told reporters that the men started raising their voices and popcorn was thrown. According to authorities Reeves allegedly drew his .38-calibre semiautomatic pistol in front of about 10 people and shot Oulson.  According to the arrest report, Reeves claims that the victim struck him in the face with an unknown object and said that he was in fear of being attacked and the shooting was self-defence. Judge Lynn Tepper rejected the notion that second-degree murder charges were too severe and refused to let him out on bond.

Personally, I think that people who use their mobile phones in a cinema deserve to be shot. It’s a darkened room and cell phones are bright with increasingly bigger screens nowadays and are very distracting. Chad Oulson was given ample warning by Curtis Reeves to cease and desist but was too much of a dickhead to comply. Interestingly, he was also allegedly sending a text to his daughter whom different media reports are saying is aged between 22 months and 3 years, in any case – too young to have a cell phone, so if true, Oulson was apparently a bad parent as well as an asshole.

However, perhaps surprisingly I don’t think Reeves was entirely justified in his actions in this event; this is because the trailers were still showing. You see, the main feature hadn’t actually started yet and I think it should be OK to use your phone up to the point where the movie proper actually starts. Regardless of the lack of justification, we now live in a world there this has happened; of course the lesson here is if you use your phone during a movie from now on, you should be prepared to go down like a punk.


Civilian Overseer said...

or going to a cinema where cranky old bastards carry concealed weapons can get you killed.

There's a little girl who'll grow up without her Daddy because of this f***. That's the real crime.

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

WRONG! The crime that will lead to the conviction is as you say, but the real crime is in fact the substandard parenting that allows a man to text a three year old! As a parent yourself I'm genuinly horrified that you're not taking issue with this, nevertheless I'm confident that you'll not present your own offspring with digital communications devices before they come of age.