Former ASIS Chapter Chairman Shoots Guy Texting In A Movie Theater
Oh Florida. At it again.
And this time it's a retired police captain and former ASIS Tampa Chapter Chairman doing the shooting. The offense? A guy texting in front of him in a movie theatre.
UPDATE: Here's the surveillance video of the shooting:
This is ironic since we were just hotly debating gun rights / use / restriction.
Did he really need to bring a gun into a movie theatre? Was he 'standing his ground'?
US gun enthusiasts, set me straight!
Guns make people crazy (thinking they are on top of things)! The vast majority of animals in the wild do not kill each other (other than to feed their stomach). But give all those wild animals guns and things might change. Even we, humans would be in serious trouble if animals would arm themselves.
Well, people might say, if guns didn't exist, people would kill each others with knifes. Well, not all knifes are dangerous, only those with blunt end (which we could literally live w/out as well).
I would imagine that if you really consider a theater to be a place where you need to bring a gun, then why are you even going there in the first place?
Let's just say that you feel that someone like James Eagan Holmes is not going to deter you from going to the movies, and that if someone like him does shows up, you'll show him who's boss. But if there's one thing to learn from Aurora, it's that the crazy gunman that you are trying to protect yourself against, already expects you to have a gun. That's why James Eagan Homes was wearing protective gear, fired off smoke bombs and what have you? So why didn't you bring a bulletproof vest and a gas-mask to the cinema too? Case in point: in the Aurora shooting, people in adjacent theater got hit too, so sittin' pretty with your concealed handgun when stray bullets are flying through the walls, seems like a dumb idea. Vest, helmet and gasmask should be the first thing you pack, only then should you think of your sidearm.
When I was a soldier (in peacetime), we had guard duties around the base. We carried live ammo and a fully automatic rifle, but it was never locked and loaded. It may seem stupid to walk the premises without being fully prepped for action, but the reality is that the number of people killed because of stupidity by people carrying guns far outnumbered those killed by intruders. People got killed for all sorts of reasons, but cheifly because of stupidity. Being forced to spend that one split second it takes to arm your weapon, is enough that your brain kicks in going "are you sure this is a good idea". In 99 out of a 100 times, you back down. Killing drunk kids climbing the fence for kicks is a terrible choice to make, just as it is killing people that are pissing you off in a theater.
So, by all means, when you've packed your bulletproof vest, helmet and gas mask, then pack your gun, but make sure you keep gun and ammo separate, so you have that split second to think about your actions. In Aurora you surely would have had time to grab your magazine and load your gun before you got shot.
But remember - James Eagan Holmes was expecting gun-carrying audience members, so you'd have to shoot through the smoke, aiming for a head-shot to take him out cold. Granted a few good body shots might have stopped him too. But James didn't care who HE is hitting, so he's just firing at random. But you - on the other hand - only have one target. A target that is moving, wearing protective gear and hard to see on account of the smoke. A real challenge for any wannabe hero.
Now the chances of James Eagan Holmes walking in while you are watching the 4 pm matinee are slim. Very, very slim. And the likelyhood of you becoming some sort of hero, when people are screaming and running all over the place are zero to none. I'm not denying that shootings do happen, and that the shootings happen (seemingly) quite often, but people win the PowerBall too, yet I am not constantly contemplating what to do if I should win, making precautions, updating my will in the event that I become a multimillionaire next week. Something else that is rare, is the chance that you, in a heated argument, kill the father of a 3-year (not accidentally, but on purpose and out of sheer stupidity), that your 6 year old son found your loaded gun and shoots himself, a friend or even you, to death.
We tend to remember the dramatic episodes, the big bangs, much more vividly than the smaller, almost everyday occurences. When a single kid is shot, it's one of those things we - as observers - almost immidiately shrug off and call it part of life, but when mass murder happens, we make movies about it, we demand legislation to be written to prevent this from ever happening again, and we carry loaded guns around in public as if it was a war-zone.
We had movies like Elephant and Bowling for Columbine made when these tragedies happened, naturally the media will instill fear in you, just to keep you glued to their broadcast - making you think "this could happen to me too". You don't see any movies being made about the hundreds of people that every. single. year lose their children for something so - demostrably irrational - as having a gun in the house.
There's no argument that can be made, that will convince someone with an irrational fear of something, to change their minds. We are beyond rationalization here. It's like fear of flying - it doesn't matter what statistics you show people, they will always remember those episodes when the fear crept in, and now there's no arguing with them.
Granted, there are many other situations where a gun might come in handy - being mugged is a typical scenario that gun-proponents bring up. But if a lot of people carry guns, the assailant will simply shoot you from behind before robbing you, armed or not, you will lose in the long run.
I'm pretty sure Nancy Lanza has made a lot of the pro-gun arguments we hear all the time.
P.S. Writing this longwinded essay, I looked up Aurora shooting, Newtwon shooting, James Eagan Holmes, Adam Lanza and so on. So now I'm waiting for NSA come a knocking.
P.P.S. I don't think it is "ironic", it's a tragic coincidence.
Was he a legal, permitted concealed carrier or police officer?
Haven't we been making a distinction between the two in our discussions?
I have no good answers here. What is wrong with people?
Yes, he had a right to bring a gun into a theater. It lawfully happens thousands of times every day, and no one involved then gets shot. The world over, people argue with cops... nobody gets shot. I'm even relatively sure that people have loudly texted in front of ASIS chairmen before... they haven't been shot.
Trying to amplify this and generalize it as a normal risk of 'too many guns' is wrong. The USA could have '100% gun controlled citizens', and this poor guy in FL gets shot by a former policeman. Are we going to argue that policemen shouldn't have guns now? (Constibles and Bobbies in the US?)
The impulse for sane, rational people is to fix the problem. Unfortuantely, being sane and rational is not the proper criteria for understanding the problem here.
Also keep in mind people who justly and wisely use a gun to defend themselves from an attack, without a shot ever being fired (for example just brandishing it makes the would be assailent back off) rarely, if ever, make the news. It's only when shots are fired it ever makes the news and then usually only when there's a controversy associated with it.
That theater shooting was stupid. Never should have went that far. You'll probably see the law about retired police officers being able to automatically carry changed or challenged soon, and I think it should. I still believe in peoples right to own and carry, but people need to be more carefully screended and reviewed and it should be done on a regular basis.
One hot topic aspect of this not addresed, is when you get older, when does age start affecting your judgement? A LOT more people are killed or injured by elderly drivers than shooting. It was recognized by my state a long time ago and there were proposals to do extra screenings when people reach a certain age. But one thing senior citizens do better than anyone else, they vote, and proposals were quickly killed and silenced by senior citizen groups.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
past tense: infringed; past participle: infringed
- 1. actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.).
"making an unauthorized copy would infringe copyright"
Another day, another IPVM gun thread... :(
Was the shooting at least caught on a surveillance camera?
Lots of emotion in this thread. Misplaced emotion is useless. Matter of fact, much gun violence we read and hear about is based in misguided emotion. We will never be rid of guns....or gun violence. That ship has sailed long ago. You cannot un ring the bell, right? That simple fact must be accepted without reservation.
Where we can make a difference is addressing the central issue: Our mental health system is broken in this country. Most of the recent mass murders by gun were committed by the mentally ill. Until we have a viable way to document and categorize the truly mentally and criminlly insane, we are stuck right here. All the rules and hippa violation that go along with this. . Lets start there and maybe just maybe we can have some effect.
Otherwise, we are just spinning our tires in the mud.
Yes on mental health problem. The guns are already here, over 300 million in this country. The "government" can never take them away as there are just too many. Our local paper runs a 2 page ad almost every day, to advertise the biggest gun seller in town. Sales are even better than ip cameras!
As for "blame", our world changed after 9-11. In particular "homeland security", right out of the George Orwell book "1984". I noted the law that allowed the crazy retired police officer to kill a guy over texting at a movie theater was part of the entire "Homeland Security" frenzy. The big question is, how do we start the pendulum going back the other way? NSA anyone?
And how many mental health "professionals" are whacky?
I am so glad to live in rural North Idaho. Life is pretty good, even though we have 'packin patriots in abundant supply.
I'm glad to hear rural Idaho is safe! I hear Mormon majority Utah is pretty safe too.
Personally, if I wanted to go out and purchase a handgun, I would have no idea where to go. I've never heard of a gun store anywhere in this country. They must exist, but I've never seen any publicity. I suppose it is like prostitution brothels. They exist but you won't find them in the yellow pages nor on street signs.
Nonetheless, the federal conservative government recently scrapped the gun registry program. Now, you can't have a dog without a permit, but you can purchase firearms without one. Brilliant! Reason given? Too costly and serves no useful purpose. Police officers totally disagree. The gun owners should pay (via special tax) for the registry, IMO.
The whole thing saddens me beyond belief. And this chain of notes is indicative of the problem. You're all correct - we need to address the issue of gun ownership & training but we also need to stop blaming "guns" for the shootings. Parents have few resources to find help for a troubled child in the early stages as the childs slip into poor mental health, we as a society see the 6 or 7 year old tyrant and blame it on the parenting making it difficult for the parents, and eventually the grown child, to be willling to seek out mental health healing. Before we know it, they're a teenager shooting up thier classmates. Lets take the stigma out of having mental health problems, provide avenues for people to get help when they're not acting/feeling right (this guy in Florida had some questionable behaviors in the weeks & days preceding this incident) Maybe then they'll think nothing of telling thier doctor and asking for help. As to guns, lets get reasonable - I'm a gun owner, I have a shotgun & a handgun. I don't need an UZI or a extended magazines or 100's of guns for my "personal" safety or pleasure shooting. I too was trained from age 6 to shoot and the loudest, most oft repeated instructions had to to with respecting the firearm and safety. It was not a toy, you didn't point it at anyone, you never touched another persons gun until they a: gave you permission and b: demonstrated to you that it was unloaded &/or on safety. So, I would not be against enforcing gun handling and safety training as part of owning a firearm. This is not a USA problem, our entire planet has lost its common sense and common courtesy. THATs what we should be discussing. Why can't we have a civilized, unthreatening conversation about both guns & mental health and come up with a viable solution to both issues. Instead we're (in this blog) being sarcastic and rudely suggesting anyone who doesn't agree with a particular position "don't come here". Are we any better "security professionals" than the guy in Florida when we discourse in this manner?
Actually this discourse is a pretty good one and the reason I stuck my two cents in. Many, many other blogs, news story comments, etc are crazy with folks supporting the shooter in some slippery way. I like the security camera pros. You folks are pretty reasonable. I also totally agree with Meghan that we need to de-stigmatize the mental health issue. There are so many folks that need some guidance yet will not consider it and it will never be offered.
It is a crazy world now days. I thank my lucky stars for my genes and culture every day. We are getting way too tribal and are forgetting we are all a part of the big tribe of humanity. I was raised in the 50's and 60's. things really were different back then. I always say thank you and sir and 'Maam and sometimes get the scowl look. Young guys don't hold doors for women much anymore. I am glad to be late '60s and headed out to the wild blue yonder before too long as it is getting so crazy out there.
Good job opportunities for the security camera business but scary to me anyway. Hell, I use my cameras to watch my cows, pigs and Elk and wild turkeys. Sometimes I get to keep an eye on the grandkids. We are at the end of a one mile road, hidden in a heavily wooded draw with the closest neighbor a half mile away. Married 50 years. I'm one of the lucky ones and we have plenty of firearms around but I would never think of using one on another person unless my life or a family member was threatened with iminent death.
Sorry to get off topic abit. The Seahawks won tonight. It's their fault! And you are all great in my book.
Do I have the god given right to protect myself and my family from harm? If yes…then the whole ‘should we have guns’ debate is over. If no…then I suppose that gives you a sense of what America is today vs. the way our founders intended. Is there anyone that really believes that I don’t have an inalienable right to protect myself? Do those people really believe that there should be limits to my ability to protect myself? Who are you to tell me what is sufficient in terms of my means for protection? I don't need high capacity mags but the police do? Why? If there isn't a threat in our society great enough to demand 30 rounds... why do they need them and I don't? Makes no sense.
How does an unarmed society combat a tyrannical government? Oh…they can use their 6 capacity revolver? LOL!!
You indeed have the right to defend yourself ... It's a basic human right.
I once knew a guy from the city and I asked him why he was constantly carrying a knife. His answer? For protection. Well, 99 percent of people in this town probably don't carry any weapons and don't feel like they need to. This guy (a tough muscular guy that was an ex-con) feared what? Paranoia cannot be cured with weapons. When he got drunk one night and asked him to go away, he threatened me with a knife, I called the cops and got him arrested. He ended up in a mental institution. He had even threatened 911 operators and the local police station. Or, if you genuinely live in a tough area, then just move. Sanity is more important.
>How does an unarmed society combat a tyrannical government? <
There are civilized countries that have no tyrannical government.
That is the first time someone has referred to me as "meek". A new one to add to the list and I appreciate it.
As for blowing it in some sort of rage, no way Jose. We have been tested thoroughly over the last several years by an ex family member who went so far as to convince, through malicious lies, a part of "the tyrannical government" that we were bad people. We had over 40 police, 2 SWAT teams, 2 helicopters at our place at 6 AM one fine summer morning in 2012. AR 15s pointed at us with completely black clad officers with helmets and all the gear you could imagine. They left 6 hours later and arrested no one. They then liened our property which was paid off(that is why they liened it), took all computers and personal records besides trumped up criminal charges over three months later. This same person also caused us to lose most of our savings prior to that event hiring lawyers to allow our son to keep custody of his three sons. Even the "tyrannical government event" was over child custody. It is all gone now after the government spent well over $100,000 on us. They got nothing. But we were tested, big time.
All that did was mellow us even more. It taught us how to deal with life one day at a time. It taught us, again. "you get what you give". It taught us again that there is something greater than us and we love whatever that is with all our heart, mind and soul.
We decided over 40 years ago to become "rural". Maybe that is what saved us from the normal chaos of the real world. I will admit to being naive about much of the world but we are strong and calm and will always be that way.
We do have a right to defend and protect ourselves in this country but there are many ways to do that. Firearms are only one way and that option is extremely over played in these confusing times.
BTW, my name for something greater than me is "The Master Flow". I believe all life is about flows of some kind. I also find you Integrators prove that every day, every hour.
Our government became more tyrannical after 9-11 IMO and it was planned. Google "Project for a New American Century" which started in the late 1990s. It will send shivers down your spine. Nations do not have friends, they have interests. Fear works wonders for power, control and greed.
Once again my apologies for taking this discussion a bit off course but I must reply to undisclosed integrator 422 and thank John for his comments on North Idaho.
I graduated from the University of Santa Clara in 1970. One required class my senior year was comparative religions taught by a Jesuit. Every day of class he would take the Bible and use a verse or passage to support a different Christian religion, showing us the basis for each religion. From that class I learned the Bible is not for me. Any "word of God" that causes us to argue and dislike or hate other people who believe differently can not be good for us. Every year of my life since that time has only reinforced that opinion. I do not believe in "Satan the Devil". In my mind that is a violation of the First Commandment. I believe evil is simply us humans not knowing God, whatever we want to call God. You bet evil exists, we see it every day and it is the basis for this discussion. But it is not some power greater than us.
I could go on and on as this is one of my favorite subjects so I will close with something I heard long ago. "Gods light comes to us through an infinite number of Oracles". The Bible works for many folks but it also confuses many folks. It makes for alot of jobs(ministries) trying to explain all the different confusing messages. It has been the basis for much war and killing of our fellow humans. I also believe that same confusion contributes to the original topic of this discussion. Gods word is simple and has been taught repeatedly over the years by many great teachers only to be later twisted for power and control of the masses.
Thank you John for a great website that teaches us so much more about "security" cameras. I am learning much and am thankful I got in on a real deal here at IPVM. I love my IP cameras. I'm just a little guy using Blue Iris as my VMS but it is my main hobby besides a small Organic Farm we do every year, selling produce to a group of five star restaurants with real security cameras everywhere. The Coeur d'Alene Resort
BTW 422, 'things' have always been turned around in a good way for us. Even the events I related earlier are good for us. Some day......some day.... I have an incredible story to tell........ The cup is always full.
UPDATE: Here's the surveillance video of the shooting with commentary from attorneys:
Where did the old dude go when he initially left? How long was he gone? Story says that he mentions that he was going to 'alert management', but this seems unlikely.
Maybe he didn't have his piece on him and had left it in his car's glove compartment or something. If there is video of the old dude leaving the theater and then re-entering, that would not bode well for the defense.
Not that the old dude has a chance in hell of being found not guilty based on any plea of self-defense.
This is definitely an interesting play-in to Arkansas now allowing firearms into football stadiums during games. No risk of anything going wrong there...
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