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Movie Theater Shooting: Sign of Lax Gun Laws?

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Many are baffled by the senseless shooting that occurred at a Wesley Chapel, Florida movie theater on Monday. What allegedly transpired involved a 71-year-old retired police captain named Curtis Reeves becoming livid at Chad and Nicole Oulson over texting. The couple in front of him’s texting noises were bothering him, and Reeves reportedly asked them to stop. They failed to comply, which resulted in Reeves leaving the showing of “Lone Survivor”. When he returned, an altercation erupted as Chad Oulson loudly proclaimed that he was only sending a message to his very young daughter. The confrontation ended in the 43-year-old man being fatally shot by the former police officer. Nicole Oulson was reportedly shot trying to shield her husband from gunfire.

Reeves was detained by an off-duty police officer. Meanwhile, nurses who were present tried unsuccessfully to revive Chad Oulson, who later died. Curtis Reeves has since been charged with second degree murder.

The entire scenario seems even more unbelievable than the movie that many were there to see that afternoon.

The theater’s website made it clear that certain items were not allowed in their establishment, and guns were unsurprisingly among them given certain recent events. Still, why would anyone bring a gun to a movie theater? Why would would someone walk away from a confrontation and then come back?

It’s not unusual for persons who have access to a weapon to use it in the heat of the moment–even when their lives are not in actual danger.

As a former officer of the law, many would expect Reeves to know better. The fact that even those trained to use weapons to protect themselves and others can lash out in such a way is very discouraging. Florida’s gun laws in fatal situations has been called into question recently, especially with the controversy surrounding the Trayvon Martin murder trial.

Is this latest shooting a sign of just how lax gun laws are? Is it enough to raise questions regarding just who and when persons are entitled to walk around armed?

Only time will tell.

Image via ABC News Youtube

Movie Theater Shooting: Sign of Lax Gun Laws?
About Toni Matthews-El
Toni Matthews-El hails from the land of chunked pumpkins and people who come to a complete stop before making any and every turn. When she isn't contributing articles to WebProNews, she spends her time freelance writing, cheering Liverpool FC, and enjoying life as a hair flower connoisseur. Disclaimer: Written opinions do not necessarily reflect that of WebProNews or its affiliates WebProNews Writer
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  • Todd

    Q: “Is this latest shooting a sign of just how lax gun laws are? Is it enough to raise questions regarding just who and when persons are entitled to walk around armed?”

    A: No.

    • http://att.net mike

      Touchy issue for sure, isn’t it? But, Who decides where you draw the line? Maybe requiring these people to take and pass regular psych exams or lose their guns and gun licenses would be a good idea. Also, most movie theatres, not sure about this one, have signs up letting patrons know they can’t bring in concealed weapons, but you know what’s not there? Anything or anyone to do anything about it. Maybe that’s what needs to change.

      • http://twitter.com/d4m_d33zy d33zy

        I do agree. All it takes is getting “pissed off” and thinking “I have a gun, I’ll show him/her/them what for”. A weapon gives a sense of power and like all power, ppl will misuse it. Even a normal guy having a bad day may resort to “no thinking” and pull his weapon to “show it off” and end up killing someone. I think that makes up most of the urban misshootings and killings. Most a movie place kould do is have metal detectors and security with scanners like some Schools and all AirPorts. I think American’s to on edge to have public weapons, I’m sure many have pulled a weapon but stopped them selves… but alas, its to many guns out there todo anything now. Even if they started adding Chips inside them.

    • maggie

      Yes!!

  • Cops Kill a Lot of People

    Really what this shows is how crazy cops are. Just look on this website today. There is an article about a group of cops killing a homeless person. Now an ex-cop killed over texting. Many people who get into law enforcement are mentally ill control freaks.

    Cops are simply crazy. They have the highest rates of domestic abuse but no one ever talks about this. The rates are astronomical. I also worked with cops for half a decade. Being a cop is not as difficult as people make it out to be. Cops make it difficult on themselves because they are confrontational. In fact, the really good guys that start out at the academy end up quitting because they realize how dysfunctional it is. The academy brainwashes those recruits into believing everyone is guilty and up to no good. Over time, cops begin to think of people as less than human. Over time, that then twists so much that a person would kill over a text message.

    Guns aren’t the problem. People are the problem. Also, I wouldn’t trust any government that comes after guns. History has shown time and time again, that is a pretext to suppression of the masses. Hell, we already incarcerate the most people in the word. Can you imagine what would happen if the masses didn’t have guns? It would be martial law within 5 years.

    Guns don’t kill people. Tempers kill people. Jealousy, anger, ego, and self-righteousness kills people.

    • maggie

      Japan does not allow guns, they do not impose
      martial law and have the lowest rate of violence of any other country.

      • nuna business

        No Japan doesn’t have the lowest rate of Violence. North Korea has the lowest. oh yeah no guns there. Go live in a state where the government controls your guns.

      • @Maggie

        We still pay Japan for WWII and people forget how brutal those people were when they had guns.

        • http://twitter.com/d4m_d33zy d33zy

          The US will always be more Brutal then in other nation, from its history alone.

    • Lilly Guzman

      First off this man was a retired cop. Secondly if this had been a normal person would you have said “Over time, People begin to think of people as less than human. Over time, that then twists so much that a person would kill over a text message”? or was the fact that he was a cop gave you the advantage to generalize all cops?

      Just because you worked with cops doesnt give you the authority to say that a cops job isn’t a difficult one. Unless you were a cop do not act like you know the stuff they go through on a daily basis.

      It is true cops have killed people but people have also killed cops. Wouldn’t you be confrontational if you knew people hated what kind of job you had? I know hundreds of cops and not one wants to or wanted to shoot someone. Not One, No one starts their day by saying or thinking I am going to shoot someone today. They understand that these people have families who love them just like cops have families that love them and want them home. when faced with someone trying to kill you are you just going to let them or are you going to fight for your life? So think about that before you paint everyone with the same brush.

      If you really feel this way about cops you should probably not use their services when you really need them

      Really this shows how people avoid the subject of ‘should there be stricter gun laws’ and instead blame a whole group because of a select few.

      The National Institute of Justice reports;

      0.2% of arrest involve the police drawing their weapons.
      0.0419% of calls result in the police using “any” force.
      Percentage of cops that shoot and kill a civilian 0.09%.
      Police have a 48% chance of being injured during a “use of force” if they just use their hands to make the arrest.

      So very few people are shot by the police, how many of those are wrongful shootings, some but the vast majority of police shootings are justified. I don’t know any cop who wants to be in a shooting incident, the results to the officer is greater than most people think, after all police are people just like you, they just do a job that most would not do, protecting innocent people from predators and keeping our communities safe.

      • @Lily

        Wow … someone drank the Kool-Aid.

        I wouldn’t trust those statistics. Cops rarely report things and they never report their buddies. I worked for a firm that prosecutes corruption within police and corrections. It is amazing how many things simply get “lost”.

        Of course, a cop may get injured using his hands. Anyone would!!! But I assure you the person that the cop is using his or her hands on —- has a 100 percent chance of getting injured.

        You are naive.

  • Steve M

    I can’t believe that after the Colorado shootings that movie theatres don’t have metal detectors like airports do. There probably should be in malls & hospitals also.

    • maggie

      If all the gun nuts want to talk about losing freedoms, how about all the rest of us having to be subjected to X-rays and metal detectors. That to me is a far bigger loss to our freedoms then having to get a comprehensive background check including mental illness etc. A background check only effects the person buying the gun. Metal detectors and X-rays expose people unnecessarily to excessive radiation and it effects everyone.

      • http://twitter.com/d4m_d33zy d33zy

        If a metal detector will keep my daughter safe when she goes to the movie then I’m all for it. I still remember having it at my High School, wasnt a big issue… I’m also pretty use to it at AirPorts and it doesnt take to long. If we kan fight pointless deaths, lets do it.

  • boner

    The article starts off ‘Many are baffled by the senseless shooting’….blah blah blah.. Well, one thing that it was not was senseless. In fact, it made perfect sense. Guy, 71, probably been going to movies all his life. Had good times back in the day. Then, along comes the me generation and all of a sudden, you have to get lucky to enjoy a movie without being munched and crunched and rattled and texted and yakked to death, to the detriment of the enjoyability. So, after having 90 of his last 100 movies trashed in such a fashion, he finally says ‘Enough’, and does the right thing. Some may disagree of course, and that is your right. Just as it is mine and Mr. Curtis’ right to watch a movie we paid 9 or 10 bucks to see (times 2) without some wad ruining it for us with his/her lack of consideration. BLAM BLAM.

    • http://att.net mike

      Calm down, boner. Breathe. Please read my comment below, and remember why they made vhs cassettes and dvd’s in the first place- so you don’t have to get annoyed by others in movie theatres. If you can’t handle it, then don’t go.

  • bob r

    maybe if he wasn’t texting and annoying people he’d still be alive. people who are inconsiderate can cause other people to get mad.the last time i went to a movie the first thing that came on the screen was a notice to turn off your phone. maybe he should have followed the rules.

    • maggie

      Lets make the punishment fit the crime. A shooting is way excessive, how about asking the ushers to remove them from the theater while they were texting.

    • R Patel

      Follow the rules? Like the rule that he should not BRING A GUN INTO THE MOVIE THEATER??!?!?

      Ohhhh…you were talking about the @other@ rule

  • Peter O

    For one, texting in a theater should be allowed…PROVIDED…the cell phone with texting is “SILENT”. No beeps or boops or bleeps etc. No sound to aleart of incoming texts. The sound is one thing that can be irritaing to people around you especially if your constantly doing it. If I am concentrating on the movie..or even the “COMING ATTRACTIONS” I have the right to be UNDISTURBED!! I paid a LOT OF $$$ to see the movie…movie are NOT cheap these days. If the coming attractions are not important to you, that’s irrell
    ivent to MY RIGHT to concentrate on viewing the screen!! I’m not condoning the actions of the retired cop, The man who got shot went to find someone to attend to this problem, got NOBODY! That’s same as someone causing trouble for you in any other situation and you tell a cop or go to the police station and report the situation as a good citizen…they tell you “Well we didn’t see it and there’s nothing we can do!” They make no attempt to investigate it…NOTHING! Then they want to know why people take the law into their own hands!! the answer to that is because “THEY JUST PLAIN AS DON’T GIVE A DAM!!!!….DUH!!!

    • Ay

      Peter O – you’re a jerk! And you jerks need to be taught a lesson in civility. Texting is prohibited in movie theaters, not because of the sound coming out of the phone. What bothers other movie goers is the bright light that is emitted from the phone. That bright light is the main distraction from the movie. Just because you paid money to be inside a movies gives you NO RIGHT to text inside it. If you need to use your device, FOR GOD SAKE – go out and do it outside .. go to the movie lobby to do it. If this guy went out to the lobby to text his daughter after he was POLITELY asked to – he would still be alive today.

  • http://att.net mike

    For as much as this is definitely a tragedy, and I genuinely feel sorry for the victim and his family, and I hope the shooter, ex-cop or not, goes to jail for murder 1, Its almost kind of funny, because everyone whose ever been annoyed by some weenie in a movie theatre who refuses to put away their f’n cell phone, I pod, I pad, Android, or whatever, has thought about shooting that annoying person. I hope you weenies will remember this. Also, don’t shoot the person. Shoot their damn phone.

  • Career Soldier

    Funny, I was ready to wreck some kid during Saving Private Ryan. An idiot girl was sitting I front of me talking to all her friends. I am a former Ranger and retired from the Army. I had the manager throw her and her 3 friends out. They were lucky.

  • Storm

    Here we go again…let’s blame carrying guns some more. I have been a conceal carrier for over 7 years now….haven’t killed anyone. I carry at the mall, and yes, in the movie theater…just for this EXACT reason! For self defense…if someone with my training had been there, it’s possible they could have taken the retired officer out before he shot! MAYBE, just MAYBE, instead of all of this let’s ban this gun, or let’s make a law that you can’t carry here or there, maybe concealed weapons carriers should have to go through the same training I, as well as my fellow armed Coast Guardsmen went through to carry a weapon on duty. We go through the same training, if not better, than the police and Sheriffs Dept’s go through. Maybe they should first have to go through a basic marksmanship course, then as we did, a Practical Pistol Combat course. From there, it was not finished..we then had to go through Judgmental Shooting…training that tests you in 10 different shoot / don’t shoot scenarios…just like Police. This is all accomplished with a certified small arms instructor, for which I was for 8 years of my Coast Guard Career.

  • Storm W.

    Here we go again…let’s blame carrying guns some more. I have been a conceal carrier for over 7 years now….haven’t killed anyone. I carry at the mall, and yes, in the movie theater…just for this EXACT reason! For self defense…if someone with my training had been there, it’s possible they could have taken the retired officer out before he shot! MAYBE, just MAYBE, instead of all of this let’s ban this gun, or let’s make a law that you can’t carry here or there, maybe concealed weapons carriers should have to go through the same training I, as well as my fellow armed Coast Guardsmen went through to carry a weapon on duty. We go through the same training, if not better, than the police and Sheriffs Dept’s go through. Maybe they should first have to go through a basic marksmanship course, then as we did, a Practical Pistol Combat course. From there, it was not finished..we then had to go through Judgmental Shooting…training that tests you in 10 different shoot / don’t shoot scenarios…just like Police. This is all accomplished with a certified small arms instructor, for which I was for 8 years of my Coast Guard Career.

  • tlk2bski

    Looks like entitled Ol’ Cappy’s gettin’ senile and doesn’t comprehend that you can’t, in front of witnesses, shoot and kill someone just because they annoy you. I’ll bet anything this retired law enforcement thug has a well-hidden history of anger management via shoot and cover-up.

  • Phil

    One again, another gun law lobbyist not thinking through their “solution” to gun violence. No matter how much you “tighten up” the gun laws, this could never be prevented. The shooter was a cop. Cops (even retired) are not subject to the same laws as citizens.

  • wvbpwuienpweion

    The ex-cop didn’t shoot him for texting. He reported him to the manager for texting, then the texter confronted HIM for reporting him. Then he apparently assaulted the ex-cop, whether or not it was enough to justify a shooting is unclear.

  • Ay

    This is not about texting or guns. This is about civility. If the arrogant texter just went out to the lobby to text his daughter, and stop bothering movie goers with the bright light coming out of his phone. He should still be alive today. He was asked politely to stop texting. He should have the civility to follow the rules of the theater. He is part of this generation’s “I can do whatever I want. If I’m bothering you in the face, I don’t care”. Be considerate of others, and that lessens your chance of your heat being blown off !

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