Well they are annoying

January 15th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A retired police officer has shot and killed a man who wouldn’t stop texting during a movie in Florida, US police say.

To be fair it is a very annoying habit, and it may have been a very good film.

71-year-old Curtis Reeves asked Chad Oulson, 43, to stop texting.  When he didn’t, Reeves allegedly shot him.

The major problem with that, is you probably then don’t get to see the rest of the film.

No tag for this post.

40 Responses to “Well they are annoying”

  1. James Stephenson (2,145 comments) says:

    Related posts:

    1. A taser would have helped.

    I can only agree.

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  2. CJPhoto (219 comments) says:

    Disagree – he probably got to see the rest of the film with no one else in the theatre.

    Depends on how long the AOS took to turn up.

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  3. labrator (1,844 comments) says:

    The film was ‘Lone Survivor’.

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  4. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    A man was just killed.

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  5. RRM (9,786 comments) says:

    Friend of yours Cato?

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  6. cha (3,935 comments) says:

    I expect scrubbit will be here soon enough to remind us that it’s okay to kill unarmed people.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/cops-friends-stunned-respected-captain-movie-theater-slaying-article-1.1578945

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  7. David Garrett (7,005 comments) says:

    RRM: I might surprise you, but I am with Cato here…and this is an excellent example of why handguns shouldn’t be readily available (I can say that now I am no longer an ACT MP)

    If this guy hadn’t had a gun – and a retired police officer is likely to pass any “good citizen” test for carrying one – there would at worst have been a bit of a brawl in the theatre…

    I once lived in an oilfield town in Louisiana…at the time, the state had “open carry” laws..in other words anyone could carry a gun, but it had to be visible, in a holster, not concealed…the theory was anyone looking for trouble would see your gun and leave you alone…to quote Captain Blackadder, the only problem with the theory was that it was bollocks…Morgan City La. had a population of about 25,000 at that time…it also had one homicide roughly every 14 days, usually with a gun..

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  8. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    No – and I realise that with time and distance it becomes, at a point, prudish to react like that.

    Still, there’s just seems to be something off about it. We wouldn’t make jokes about, say, Aurora, for example – which is no more tragic to the victim and his family.

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  9. NK (1,223 comments) says:

    David, you and I know that anyone who wants a handgun would get one, regardless of their availability or legality. Humans kill people, not guns.

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  10. Ed Snack (1,839 comments) says:

    And yet, David Garrett, research in the US suggests that concealed carry states are typically safer; there are however many confounding factors. The gun laws in Chicago for example, are very restrictive, but the murder rate there is one of the highest in the US.

    I’d suggest that with the population of the US, you are bound to encounter unstable people; a gun doesn’t help, but that level of rage for texting, well, brawls kill people too if one party is determined enough.

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  11. David Garrett (7,005 comments) says:

    Nick: I didnt know you were one of the “gun nuts” as Rodders used to call them…Yes, people kill people, but it’s a damn sight easier if you have ready access to a handgun…If someone has a brain fart and they are not armed, more likely than not nothing serious will happen…if they ARE armed, then tragic consequences can occur, as in this case…I would not be surprised if the shooter is overcome with genuine remorse…but someone is dead…

    And No, I dont know “anyone who wants a handgun would get one”…I am a licensed firearm owner and know some “interesting” characters from my past, but I wouldn’t have any idea where I might get a handgun..

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  12. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    There are 310 million guns in circulation in America. Moreover, the country shares a porous border with an increasingly anarchic southern neighbour. Whether or not it would be worthy to attempt it, any attempt to ban civilian possession of handguns would be futile.

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  13. NK (1,223 comments) says:

    I’m not and never have been a “gun nut” – never owned one, and only fired them on the range at police college. But the guy could have pulled out a knife and stabbed him to death; knives are more readily available.

    And No, I dont know “anyone who wants a handgun would get one”…I am a licensed firearm owner and know some “interesting” characters from my past, but I wouldn’t have any idea where I might get a handgun..

    Buy one using your licence?

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  14. David Garrett (7,005 comments) says:

    Ed: I am a bit rusty, but when I was an MP I was given some of the research which allegedly showed concealed carry states were safer…I seem to recall they were some glaring methodological holes in it…but I can’t remember now…

    Nick: You know very well that you need a C category licence to own a handgun, and that the conditions of owning one are very onerous…do they still need to be stored in a safe at the pistol club?

    but just analyse this one incident: curmudgeonly retired cop – unarmed – gets enraged by someone texting…result = perhaps a fairly serious assault, since as a cop he would have had some unarmed combat training…Add a gun to the scenario and you have a homicide…and maybe an old guy who lives out his days on death row, since Florida is a death penalty state…

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  15. scrubone (3,092 comments) says:

    I expect scrubbit will be here soon enough to remind us that it’s okay to kill unarmed people.

    I’m sorry if the subtleties of self-defense law are beyond you.

    Or are you saying that having your head smashed against concrete is morally equivalent to someone talking during a movie? Do tell.

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  16. gravedodger (1,546 comments) says:

    Maybe have a gun check where the hat check used to be, then add smart and dumb phones to the list.

    Dont think a half decent brief will have much difficulty withy an insanity defence, the old plod must have left his brain at home.

    All a bit sad really, I doubt tightening gun laws will work though, how many gazillion are there in the US, ATF guestimates suggest over 300 000 000 and rising by 10 000 000 annually.

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  17. MH (703 comments) says:

    He should have watched the movie in Textus, there it’s legal to carry a phone.

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  18. David Garrett (7,005 comments) says:

    NK: You are quite right about the knife…but again examine this scenario: you can SHOOT a person from some distance away ( I don’t know how close this guy was) but to knife them you have to get right up close, and risk harm to yourself…and then there’s all that messy blood..

    BTW you haven’t accused me of it, but those stats from Morgan City La. in 1978 are accurate to the best of my recall..perhaps in this internet age someone can actually confirm my memory?

    I do recall – very vividly – reading the morning paper and seeing a report of a fatal shooting in a bar in Front Street… a small item on about page 5…I remarked on it to my American work/flat mate…his answer “Happens all the time man”…and this was a town of 25,000

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  19. cha (3,935 comments) says:

    Do tell.

    Movie theater shooting suspect’s attorney: Reeves had “every right to defend himself” after being hit with popcorn

    https://twitter.com/MyFoxTampaBay/statuses/423156285853278209

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  20. David Garrett (7,005 comments) says:

    gravedodger: In 1978 in La. they DID have “gun check” available in the better bars..my friends very sound advice: If you are in a bar where people are still wearing their guns, get out of there immediately!

    Didnt prevent there being a homicide every two weeks…as I said, usually with a gun…

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  21. Fentex (923 comments) says:

    Twice in my life I have been angry enough to literally see red. If I’d had a gun to hand on both those occasions I’d likely have fired it.

    Although those occasions were both when I was a kid and I’ve never been so angry as an adult I think the obvious consequence of having deadly weapons constantly available is, well, obvious and stupid and easily avoided by the sane requirement of not having deadly weapons too easily available.

    I hate talking and the lights of phones in theatres, the presence of other people has almost stopped me from attending any movies and I now see perhaps three a year where once it’d be two or three a month. I often tell people to be quiet and about two movies ago threw my empty drink container at a person texting so I sympathise with the anger that leads to aggression.

    And I think people so anti-social as to talk and txt in theatres deserve opprobrium, and though I’m tempted to joke I think they deserve getting shot I think everyone knows the consequences are appalling – not just for those shot who, frankly, I’ve less concern for (because it really does piss me off and one is tempted to think ‘evolution in action’) and even thinking about it I have to rein in my anger, but for those who shoot who on a moments reflection probably don’t want to cause so much harm or pay the price for doing so.

    Having firearms always handy means firearms will be used when and where they shouldn’t be. It’s just stupid.

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  22. Harriet (4,798 comments) says:

    It’s not guns. It’s thoughtlessness of the consequences of violence that kills. Or total disregard for it. And of course no respect for life itself. Or it’s mental illness.

    Guns are sure to do the job and it’s the thoughtless people who disregard that point, and then use the weapon at hand when enraged – their gun.

    If it was a knife at hand, they may well stop after one stab, leading to lower homicide rates. And less news. Homes which don’t have guns may well have as many acts of violence!!!!!

    Those who want a gun licence should have to go through a ‘wind-up test’ by police. :cool:

    Or at least recite the Seven Virtues. :cool:

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  23. scrubone (3,092 comments) says:

    Movie theater shooting suspect’s attorney: Reeves had “every right to defend himself” after being hit with popcorn

    Who knows, maybe they’ll find an password encrypted hidden folder in the guy’s phone talking about how he loved to throw popcorn and bought and sold illegal popcorn on the black market.

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  24. Fentex (923 comments) says:

    I doubt tightening gun laws will work though, how many gazillion are there in the US

    If the U.S were to try and enact sane laws, which is hard to conceive given the barriers, it would be a decades long project to improve the situation – no one ought claim to expect quick improvements.

    One would imagine some early improvement as events such as discussed here likely wouldn’t happen assuming the potential offenders would obey new laws and not carry a sidearm in theatres at least, but given the infrequency of this sort of thing in a statistical measure it won’t show much.

    The U.S didn’t have so many guns per head of population in the 1970’s, NZ had just as many as most gun ownership in both countries was by farms where there’s typically a few .22s for varmint control, shotguns for hunting, and one or two big bore weapons for culling and euthanizing large animals.

    It was primarily the late 1970’s and 1980’s that saw the beginning massive increase in ownership in U.S urban populations in the face of spectacular rises in crime and very active marketing by gun manufacturers that lead to the current situation of saturation which has continued even though violent crime has dropped to pre-1970’s levels.

    The U.S needs to over-ride it’s 2nd amendment and then legislate state by state for improved regulation and accept it’ll take decades for the surplus of weapons to be removed, for which the commitment, both publicly and politically, seems missing in the U.S.

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  25. MH (703 comments) says:

    maybe Chad shouldn’t have been whistling “Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care”.

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  26. J Bloggs (226 comments) says:

    The U.S needs to over-ride it’s 2nd amendment and then legislate state by state for improved regulation and accept it’ll take decades for the surplus of weapons to be removed, for which the commitment, both publicly and politically, seems missing in the U.S.

    Except that at the first attempt to change the 2nd amendment, the pro gun lobby will declare that this is precisely the reason they need to remain armed to defend against the tyranny of the government. Unfortunately, their declaration of “having to take thier guns from their cold, dead, hands”, is probably only way it can happen.

    Which sort of defeats the point of reducing gun violence by implementing those changes really.

    I have no idea how you are going to change the gun culture over there. I don’t even know if it can be changed. Certianly decades of slow progress is going to be required. all the while more schools, shopping malls, and political rallys are going to attract mass shootings.

    sigh

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  27. peterwn (3,239 comments) says:

    J Bloggs – This is a serious problem with written constitutions and indicates they should be limited to democratic processes, righrs, etc is very general and basic terms. USA is stuck with things in the constitution which are no longer relevant like guns and jury trials for civil cases. Islam is the save – stuck with things in the Koran which are grossly outdated in modern society, but which cannot be changed.

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  28. scrubone (3,092 comments) says:

    I have no idea how you are going to change the gun culture over there. I don’t even know if it can be changed. Certianly decades of slow progress is going to be required. all the while more schools, shopping malls, and political rallys are going to attract mass shootings.

    There are plenty of steps that could help. In no particular order…

    1. Stop treating everyone who advocates for gun rights as a murderer. No one wants more dead people.
    2. Stop denying the statistics. Most gun deaths are suicides or gang murders – and even with those the murder rate is going down.
    3. Stop thinking that putting up a sign saying “no guns” will help, when the evidence says these are the very places mass shooting happen. Instead, advertise that there are people in these places who have guns, and are trained to use them.
    4. Stop reporting mass shootings. There are two good reasons for this.
    1) It means that those conducing them no longer have the the added motive of fame in death “blase of glory”.
    2) It reduces the perception that these are a big problem. The reality is that they’re quite rare, in a very large country.

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  29. SHG (310 comments) says:

    The guy was shot and killed before the movie even started – this all happened during the ads and previews.

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  30. All_on_Red (1,559 comments) says:

    The reason the Constitution was amended to allow the right to bear arms was not just to allow defence against burglars etc but to actually allow you to defend yourself against the Government!
    In this context no wonder Barry O is the best Gun salesman in the world.

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  31. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    I’d rather people had guns than cell phones.

    Cell phone blockers should be legal in movie theatres and restaurants. A large minority of cell users are incapable of following basic etiquette. They’re almost as bad as cyclists.

    If you are an employer, don’t hire anyone under 30 who texts. They are a waste of space.

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  32. Crusader (303 comments) says:

    Imagine if cyclists in Auckland had handguns. People already use cellphones will driving…
    Driver cuts off cyclist while texting, cyclist gives driver finger, driver yells abuse, cyclist pulls gun….
    No. No. No. It’s so much better that we just yell at eachother and make obscene gestures.
    It’s true that people kill people, rather than guns killing people. It’s just that widespread gun ownership makes it WAY too easy for people to kill people.

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  33. Feanor (38 comments) says:

    Nice of Farrar to makes jokes about this 43 year old husband and father getting gunned down.

    If he’s randomly shot to death the next time he’s in the US I hope someone updates Kiwiblog so we can all have a good chuckle about it.

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  34. All_on_Red (1,559 comments) says:

    “It’s just that widespread gun ownership makes it WAY too easy for people to kill people.”
    Not a very valid argument since most deaths from guns are done by illegal guns. More likely to be “black on black” shootings too. Besides why bother with a gun when you can just nudge the cyclist into the ditch with your car.
    Want to ban cars too? How about black people since they do most of the killing?
    Of course you do.

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  35. DavidR (102 comments) says:

    I totally agree with David Garrett on this one. Today’s news on Stuff has an article about two women fighting in the street in Masterton, one of them was stabbed in the arm, which is not good, but we all know what the likely outcome would’ve been in the US.

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  36. SGA (983 comments) says:

    All_on_Red at 2:01 pm

    … Besides why bother with a gun when you can just nudge the cyclist into the ditch with your car.
    Want to ban cars too?

    That’s not the best argument for allowing gun ownership. Yes, you can kill people with cars, knives, softball bats, piano wire, or your bare hands, but all have much more useful, benign functions. Most guns, on the other hand, are explicitly designed to kill things in a convenient, user-friendly sort of way – that’s their prime function.

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  37. David Garrett (7,005 comments) says:

    DavidR: Yes, that is exactly the point I am making…one only needs to watch the various crime channels on Sky to find incidents like this happening in the US every day…the difference between gun vs. knife is death rather than nasty injuries…

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  38. Sonny Blount (1,777 comments) says:

    David Garrett (4,564 comments) says:
    January 15th, 2014 at 2:55 pm
    DavidR: Yes, that is exactly the point I am making…one only needs to watch the various crime channels on Sky to find incidents like this happening in the US every day…the difference between gun vs. knife is death rather than nasty injuries…

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    Well if the various Sky channels say so who are we to argue?

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  39. scrubone (3,092 comments) says:

    find incidents like this happening in the US every day

    It’s a really big country, a lot of things happen every day.

    But look at the UK – few guns, but they have a real problem with knife crime. In fact, they have a bigger violent crime problem than the US.

    That is to say, this isn’t a debate about violence, it’s about how people conduct the violence. And I think that misses the point to a larger extent than most people would care to admit.

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  40. Rufus (653 comments) says:

    Related posts:

    1. A taser would have helped.

    Why would a retired police officer need to carry around, or use, a taser?

    Muppet.

    Also, re: “tasers saving lives” – no, they allow the cops to incapacitate someone to make shooting them easier.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/01/14/Officers-acquitted-in-California-homeless-death

    I suggest American cops and their attitude to guns and using them willy-nilly are part of the problem here.

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