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Popcorn, M&M's and Ammunition

By       Message Robert De Filippis     Permalink
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From http://www.flickr.com/photos/91994044@N00/10685053685/: 1956 pistol
1956 pistol
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Retired Tampa cop fatally shoots moviegoer who was texting during the previews of coming attractions. No surprise here. Tragedy, yes, but no surprise.

Wait a minute. According to the NRA, the best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But the shooter was not a bad guy. He was a good guy; a retired cop with a hang-up about people texting in theaters.

The problem with hang-ups is they're usually based on categorical thinking and don't allow for any gray area. That is, texting in a theatre is wrong, even if the movie hasn't started and the text message might be important.

Come to think of it, most times I've had encounters with officers of the law, they were categorical thinkers; zero tolerance, if you know what I mean.

So this unfortunate situation was the toxic combination I've written about before. This time it was on steroids. A categorical thinking, gun toting, retired cop who hates texting in theaters, in Florida, "the" stand your ground state. Add to this, people feel more aggressive when they carry guns and the pop corn seemed like a drone attack to this good guy.

Voila! We have a tragic death of a father and husband, the end of normal life for a retired cop, the excruciating pain of loss for both families.

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But on the bright side, you can now carry concealed weapons in all 50 states so maybe the answer is to arm yourself when you go to a movie.

Wow, what a country we live in where you can be shot for texting in a movie theater and the largest gun lobby and half the country's answer is we need more guns!    

So going back to how good guys with guns are the answer, I don't think that solution would have worked in this case.

This victim wasn't carrying a gun but in the heat of the argument, he did throw a bag of popcorn at the shooter. Good thing he didn't have a gun or we would have had a good old fashioned Western shoot out. The kind that every immature, wannabe cowboy in America fantasizes about when he packs his concealed weapon to walk his dog.

The sad fact is we have too many guns in this country and too many immature cowboys whose manhood gets wounded with the slightest hint of an insult. Now that these folks can hide behind a law, I'm almost afraid to go out of my house.

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We don't need more guns. We need more grownups.

And that can only start when the Americans learn that manhood is not based on how many guns you have. It's based on character. And building character takes a lot more effort than is to be found at the shooting range.

I guess I can't blame gun-loving Americans. Our culture was founded on the actions of gun toting individuals taking anything they wanted from anyone as they pillaged their way from the East to the West coasts.

I'm afraid a part of me agrees with the gun lobby and half the population. With over 300 million guns already in circulation, we're stuck with the problem

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Author, columnist, and blogger with a long career in business management, management consulting and executive coaching. I've authored and published six books: "You, Your Self and the 21st Century,"The Flowers Are Talking to Me," and "Faith (more...)
 

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