Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Good Guy With a Gun Kills A...Guy With a Phone.

This story is an example of why I don't really appreciate people carrying sidearms for no good reason:

 Sheriff Chris Nocco told ABC Action News that Reeves left the theater in an effort to find an usher that could tell Chad to turn off his phone. Nocco added that when Reeves returned, the men exchanged words, popcorn went flying, and that is when Reeves pulled out a .380 pistol and opened fire. 
"For a retired or off duty officer, who has that training and all that, it should have never escalated to that point," said Chad's friend Joseph Trapani. 
"Chad doesn't carry weapons, doesn't hold weapons," he said. 
According to witnesses, when Reeves pulled out the gun, Chad's wife lunged to protect him. She reportedly put her hand over his chest but the bullet ended up going through her hand. 
Chad, according to witness Alex Cummings, took a few steps and blurted out, "I can't believe I've been shot." 
Chad fell down and died seconds later.

I'm going to allow that maybe the victim seemed belligerent to the shooter, but this really makes no difference. The way I see it, the psychology of the shooter was thinking he had the tool to "fix" what it was about Chad Oulson that bothered him (like, breathing, I imagine), so he forgot the guy was even human. He aimed for max body mass. It was a kill shot.

I'm about Chad Oulson's age, and I grieve for that little girl's understanding of how this went down. Three is almost the age at which memories are made, so she will always remember her daddy as a tragedy. That is so horrible to think about. He was texting her (or maybe her daycare or babysitter, or whatever) and that was something that tee'd off some crankcase old gunslinger. I don't know what carrying that sadness would be like for that little girl, but I can imagine.

This is why I don't think guns are a great solution to lots of things,


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Guns always destabilize a situation, they allow hotheads to kill people with no consideration whatsoever. If the perp had had a stick or a knife, he would have had time to reconsider his actions, not that he would have.

Also, I can't wait for the gun-nuts to go on about an armed society being a polite society. This is some real Emily Post shit here.

Anonymous said...

Vixen, this is a tremendous tragedy for the Chad Oulson and his family.

My wife saw something about it on the news tonight, and she told me that the shooter looked so depressed that she would not be surprised if he committed suicide.

This is a unusual story because the shooter was a retired police officer. I believe many states allow retired police officers to continue carrying firearms. On one hand, this makes some sense. A retired cop has spent years understanding the law and the parameters of force. Presumably someone who always acted in compliance with the law would not be different after retiring.

I'm not sure that this is the best way to look it it though.

Back in the old days, they thought that the best point men in military operations were country boys who had grown up in the outdoors. What they discovered was that the best point men turned out to be those from very bad neighborhoods and who had lived in danger every time they stepped out the door.

All of which is simply to say that sometimes old assumptions are not the best ones, and maybe a lifetime in law enforcement conditions people to act in a more aggressive and authoritarian manner than your average citizen who has the gumption to stand up for himself and his family.

I presume that Florida law enforcement will review the policy and maybe investigate some psychological procedures before a retired officer can automatically carry a gun. Obviously, this guy was a taco short of a combination plate.

You are not going to find any decent Americans who do not deeply sympathize with the Oulson family.

BBB, if I had your old Russian sensei to walk around behind me, I wouldn't need to think about guns. He sounds like the real deal.

--Formerly Amherst

Vixen Strangely said...

I did wonder if, in part, the shooter had stress-related issues carried over from the job. Also, it seems that he did have a previous altercation with another couple at the same theater over texting--it's possible there were other warning signs.

It's a touchy business. I think we're all familiar with the talk you sometimes have to have with an older relative about whether it's time to stop driving? And it's difficult because you have, usually, a very responsible and independent person, and it's hard to ask them to give up some freedom for their own and others' possible safety. I don't know how often the same conversation might be had with a spouse or parent over just not carrying a weapon. I would think it would go harder because it's difficult to broach without sounding accusing.

It's a tragic situation all around.

Anonymous said...

Hi Vixen,
I had a thought trailing on the footsteps of your reply.

Your colleagues frequently oppose gun owners, but I have noticed that they often do not know how to talk to gun owners about the subject.

Although you are not likely to persuade gun owners, you would have a better chance if you took some factors into consideration. Here are a few of them.

Item: Gun ownership is not a right/left issue.
I know that in big metropolitan areas people on the left tend to think of gun ownership as being a province of conservatives.

This is not true. In small towns and agricultural areas where gun ownership is ubiquitous, you are just as likely to find gun owning Democrats as Republicans. In fact, gun owners think people are daft if they see guns as a political issue (like cars are not a political issue).

Item: It would help to remember that gun owners are every bit as compassionate and caring as you are.

I have noticed that the left seems to feel that gun owners are all uneducated, dim-witted, callow, cruel people when in fact many are the very spirit of warmth and caring from the heartland.

Item: The wisest thing would be to stop trying to remove gun ownership from the NRA and start trying to remove guns from the Bloods and Crips, the Hells Angels, the Outlaws, the Gambino crime family and the thousands of other organized and independent criminals.

As a member of the NRA myself, I can assure you that the vast majority of members are very responsible, good citizens.

Item: Not all gun owners are John Wayne-gone-bad.
It might surprise you to know that there are gun nerds. You can meet gun owners who you assume spend all of their time playing dungeons and dragons when in fact they are very nerdy about guns. They just dig the technology, and somehow they get turned on by guns they way that butterfly collectors get turned on by butterflies or stamp collectors get turned on by rare stamps.

Item: Most often, anti-gun spokesmen are the least knowledgeable people about guns.
It is like a woman who has never changed a tire lecturing a bunch of auto mechanics about something they know a lot more about.

I heard a woman the other day talking about releasing the safety on a revolver. (Revolvers do not have or need safeties. Safeties exist on semi-autos.)

Item: Anti-gun spokesmen frequently act as if all firearm activity has to do with people planning for lethal force.
This is not true. Until you get into the gun aficiando world, you have no idea of the number and variety of contests that take place. Marksmanship contests of every sort, vestigial historically-based quick-draw, skeet shooting contests, and of course state and regional contests of the same sort, not to mention several Olympic events.

It's a bit like not knowing anything about bowling except the location of a bowling alley, not realizing there is an entire sports infrastructure.

This is getting too long, and I could go on, but these are some factors that would help anti-gun spokesmen form better and more persuasive arguments if they took these things into consideration.

--Formerly Amhers

Vixen Strangely said...

My spouse has a Smith & Wesson .45, but I'm not by nature a good shot because I've poor hand-eye coordination and a natural cringe-reflex at loud noises so I've never really felt like owning one. I know I suck at using an air rifle. We're your typical urban (Philadelphia)lefty totebggers, but my dad and most of the men I knew growing up did shooting as a thing because they were veterans and we have a lot of cops in my family.

I respect people using guns for sport and home defense, but I feel really awkward about people who seem to hoard them (cable tv idea-Hoarders: Firearm Edition) or need to carry everywhere, whether bars, or churches or movie theaters.

There was recently a mini-thing about some country star who didn't want guns in his restaurant, although I forget they guy's name. It seemed to me like people were arguing that if they went to a restaurant, some of the pro-gun folks would feel like they were in the kill-box if they weren't strapped while they ate their strip steak. It reminded me of the disdain the same type of folks had for the "pajama boy" of the Obamacare commercials. I bet that kid can go to restaurants unarmed without yellowing his bvd's.

Some of the pro-gun folks don't know how to talk to gun-free by choice people. When they argue they don't feel safe at church if not packing, my mind just boggles.

Anonymous said...

Vixen, who knew you were a reasonable person disguised as Catwoman?

I was still thinking about the Vixen over on Rumproast. Apparently, over there you are somewhat in disguise, but actually you are a mild-mannered reporter... I mean, actually you are a reasonable person in your secret identity.

One of the frustrating things to me is that you and I could probably sit down and come up with a gun policy that was more satisfactory to both sides without either of us having to give up a great deal. This will never happen, of course, inasmuch as politics has become entirely dysfunctional.

I largely am in agreement with you, however we have had instances in my part of the world of disgruntled people coming into churches during services and shooting them up. And we have also had madmen come into cafeterias and just start killing people. Insane, but as the British say, there it is.

Your husband is packing some serious heat. You might want to try shooting a .38 or .32 which would be a lot easier to handle and not as loud.

--Formerly Amherst

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