Social Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Death penalty for texting in a movie theater?

Asked by elbanditoroso (15755 points ) January 14th, 2014

Retired policeman, carrying his .38, didn’t want the guy in front of him to text during the movie.

http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/florida/man-fatally-shot-at-fla-theater-over-texting/ncnBK/

No doubt the ex-policeman had a carry permit. So he’s legal from that point of view. I don’t see how this is even remotely “stand your ground”.

Is this a desired logical outcome of the 2nd amendment supporters? That if you don’t like what someone else is doing, you shoot the guy?

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78 Answers

josie's avatar

Not sure I understand the “logical outcome” part of the question. It is entirely likely that the guy will be convicted of 2nd degree murder, and he should be. And I am sure there will be arguments that there is a list of aggrevating factors, not the least of which he is a former policeman.
He certainly is not going to get away with it. There was a theatre full of witnesses. He’s toast.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Talk about a misleading headline…

Oh, and what @josie said. Just because the guy said he was in fear of being attacked doesn’t mean a judge will fall for it.

Kropotkin's avatar

At least he’s retired, so he won’t be getting the same impunity to murder that current cops have.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It will be interesting to watch the outcome of this. There will inevitably be those stretching for a defense of the shooting. Perhaps we should ALL be allowed to “stand our ground” against rudeness.

filmfann's avatar

The deceased was not only texting. He also threw popcorn on the ex-cop.
He had it coming.~

stanleybmanly's avatar

See what I mean. (I get the sarcasm)

JLeslie's avatar

Stand your ground bullshit. This guy is going to jail, I can’t see any way around it. Some states stand your ground only applies to on your own property, I don’t remember for FL. Maybe he will argue self defense? But, really, popcorn and texting compared to getting shot?! This sort of thing just reinforces the argument if he had not had a gun that man would still be alive. I have a friend who lives in Wesley Chapel, I live just an hour away. Scary shit. People are crazy.

Judi's avatar

The victim was white. Stand your ground will never fly. ~

JLeslie's avatar

FYI, stand your ground was not part of the Zimmerman case. The media and everyone else talked about it, but it was not part of the case.

flutherother's avatar

People shouldn’t be allowed to bring mobile phones into cinemas. Sorry, I meant guns.

JimTurner's avatar

This is a case of “I’m bringing my gun with me because I am paranoid and have major anger problems. Sneeze in front of me and you are dead.”

@Judi shame on you for bringing race into this discussion just to get a little more worthless Fluther points.

KNOWITALL's avatar

The ex-cop should have followed procedure and talked to the mgmt of the theater, he had no business interjecting himself or his power trip onto civilians in any way, shape or form. And yes, I’m pro-gun.

JLeslie's avatar

By the way, he was texting during the previews, not during the main attraction. I don’t see why people are so bothered by texting. I do think people should refrain from using their phones in movie theatres, but a person chacking their phone now and then, or replying to a text isn’t really that big of a deal if it is done quickly. I have doctor’s offices that say no cell phone use in the waiting room and I think that is ludicrous.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie It’s distracting in a dark theatre, it irritates the crap out of me on the rare occasion I’ll fork over $20 for a movie. But I wouldn’t kill ya for it, doll…lol

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I understand it can be distracting, I think no cell phones is a good rule in a theatre, but if a person breaks the rule for a few minutes I don’t think anyone should be too upset. Some people really need to be accessible depending on their personal situation. Elderly parent, sick child, etc. if they get up and walk out to use the phone it is just as distracting.

Seek's avatar

Sheesh. It would have taken about the same effort to take the phone out of the man’s hand and hurl it across the room.

And the rest of the theater would have either laughed or thanked him for it.

Friggin’ trigger-happy Americans.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I guess I don’t see how following the rules for two hours is that big of a deal for so many people, it’s not like it’s a surprise when you get there. I think it’s rude, but that’s pretty typical of a ‘me’ society.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I agree about the two hour thing in general. I say the same about people who eat the overpriced popcorn and candy. I’m too cheap to buy candy in a movie theatre, and I can’t understand why people have to stuff their faces while in a movie theatre for just two hours. I honestly have never had someone constantly on their phone or very disorderly during a movie, so I come from the perspective that this rare. My biggest pet peeve in theatres is people leaving their trash behind when the movie ends.

Judi's avatar

@JLeslie , I saw an interview with one of the jurors and even if it wasn’t part of the defense she considered it when she found Zimmerman not guilty.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie The town next to ours has several movie theatres and is a college town, so I probably see a lot more of the rude behavior than most.

I hate the trash but the movie people clear it out after each show, kind their jobs ya know?
I worked in a theatre for a year or two at 16 yr old, I saw some crazy stuff, trust me.

Judi's avatar

@JimTurner , It’s a reality, it has nothing to do with “fluter points.” Can you name one black defendant that got away with shooting a white victim by using the stand your ground defense?

JimTurner's avatar

@Judi It’s irrelevant to the question.

Judi's avatar

The question is in social.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OMG. Well, this seems to be the “logical outcome’ of today’s rude, rude society. The old guy had every right to ask the asshat to stop texting during the movie! Did the guy deserve to die? Of course not. But where has all of our common courtesy gone???

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ohhhh! Butterfly! The question is in social.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Agreed.

Am I the only person who turns cells off during funerals? Or during events at concert halls? Do you guys text when driving, too?

I have to admit that I’m not overly fascinated with cell phones (just tools to me) but at some point don’t we all need to respect others?!

Seek's avatar

My cell is set to silent – not vibrate, silent – when I’m out without my son.

If there is an emergency, I want to be able to be reached by the sitter. I check the phone periodically to make sure there hasn’t been a call.

In movie theatres, restaurants, funerals, and pretty much anywhere other people congregate quietly, the phone goes off.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr You turn your phone off in restaurants? I never even think to do that. I use my phone very little though. I don’t receive a lot of calls or texts and I don’t send many. But, I have used my phone to text or even check facebook in restaurants. I don’t see why that is a problem.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I can appreciate that, that’s just being a good parent but not inflicting it on other people.

@JLeslie I tend to think of restaurants and social events more as Face Time, I want to be social with the people I’m with, not on my phone. Does that make sense?

livelaughlove21's avatar

My phone is on 24/7 unless it’s dead. It’s on vibrate sitting in front of my all day at work, in fact. I used to put it on vibrate during class or leave it in my car during interviews, but that’s about it.

My husband and I use my phone when we’re in a restaurant to amuse ourselves. We were at Bellacinos the other day and something I said made him vaguely recall a joke by a stand-up comedian on the subject, so I did a quick search and we ended up watching a 5-minute Carlos Mencia clip while we waited for our food. I rarely go to restaurants with anyone but him and I don’t get a lot of phone calls, so it’s never been an issue. He doesn’t care if I respond to a text or answer a call from my mom (and then spend the next few minutes trying to get that woman off the damn phone).

I have seen people sitting at a restaurant completely focused on their phones and ignoring each other – even on dates! How rude is that?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Just curious, could the people around you hear the video you were playing for your own personal amusement?

Judi's avatar

I never saId that it was OK to text in a theater. As as a matter of fact I’m usually the first person to speak up and ask someone to stop but I wouldn’t even consider shooting someone for it no matter how rude they got.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III Of course not. We were sitting in a corner away from everyone (our preferred spot in a restaurant) and had the volume turned down so only we could hear it when we huddled in close together. Besides, the only other people there, a group of 8 or so, were being so loud that I doubt they could hear much over their own voices and obnoxious laughter.

Seek's avatar

I almost never get calls, but somehow the robot telemarketers always seem to know when I’m in the library. So I turn off the sound at least when I’m in any place in which the sound of ringing might be a distraction.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I wasn’t thinking about the people at my table, sometimes my table is just me. @Seek_Kolinahr mentioned at a restaurant and we have been talking about the people around us, not necessarily the people we came with.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@judi I don’t even say anything, I just gripe in my own head, people are crazy you know! There is just as much possiblity that some old gal will turn around and blow me away for checking her so I just mind my own bidness.

Seek's avatar

@KNOWITALL My hubby does not stand for people on the phone at the movie theater. Obvi, he’s never shot anyone, but he has confiscated phones from teenagers. “You can have this back after the movie, or you can have it now and leave.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I’m glad you were aware of it. To me, hearing “Hee hee haaa haaa, ta dum, some yelling, laughing, blah blah blah” being emitted from a cell phone, even quietly, that two people are huddled around, giggling at their private joke is almost as annoying as someone yelling into the phone. I just want to go sit next to them and say, “Care to share?”
It’s like…whispering. It is considered rude to whisper around others.

Judi's avatar

I was at a Shakespeare play att the Oregon Shakespeare Festival with a guy next to me texting the entire first half. (He was probably 65 years old.) I finally said, “you know that’s really distracting.”
He didn’t come back for the second act.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Wow, I’m in awe. <kneeling> Around here they’d wait until you left and ambush you in the parking lot with ball bats…lol, bunch of entitled little rich kids waging terror on civilized people.

Seek's avatar

The upside of having a big, scary dude as a hubby.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Yeah, mine’s 140 soaking wet, I could take him…lol

Seek's avatar

Once, at a Joe Satriani concert, a bunch of kids (early 20s) sitting behind us kept doing Death metal growls. It was just not that kind of show. Satriani was doing virtuoso guitar, not metal.

Mitch just turned, got really close to their faces and said very quietly, “If you do that once more, I will end you.”

They left.

JLeslie's avatar

I would say something at a theatre if it went on for more than a couple minutes during the show. Ince went to an outdoor concert, symphony and people around me talked the whole time and I couldn’t believe it. I would have said something, but There were many many people doing it. The event was picnic style on the lawn, people came early ate a late lunch an nthen the concert began. It was just around 70 minutes the concert, it shouldn’t be that hard to be quiet for that amount of time. They weren’t on the phone they were talking to each other and letting their kids run around. I feel really sure the children would have sat still if their parents had been quiet and respectful themselves. This is not a complaint about the children, but a lack of etiquette among the parents.

poofandmook's avatar

I personally don’t see what the huge deal is with cell phones… especially if it’s not during the actual movie.

What I find MUCH more annoying is the rustling of candy wrappers and popcorn bags and ice in cups of soda. But you don’t see me leaning over and telling someone they’re rude or taking it away from them. These are the things you deal with when you go out in public. It’s not your job to school people on their manners.

Seek's avatar

Popcorn bags don’t glow brighter than the screen I paid to look at or sing pop music.

poofandmook's avatar

I agree if they’re not silent.. but really, the glowing doesn’t bother me. And again, I agree if it’s DURING the movie. But not during previews. Then you’re just being unreasonable.

I should note that I often have to check my on-call phone for work if I’m in a theater, but I try to discreetly open it inside my purse to check for activity

Seek's avatar

I appreciate attempts to conceal if needs must. And I don’t care about previews either. But I find glowing very distracting, especially if it’s more than a “check” to see who called. When kids start waving shit around and giggling over Facebook during the movie, I want to smack ‘em around myself.

poofandmook's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr: THAT I agree with. If I was going to do whatever with my phone during a movie, I would either do it from inside my purse or at the very least turn the brightness down as far as possible and bury it in my lap.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III Nothing about our behavior was rude and, quite frankly, I don’t care if someone thought it was. We were minding our own business, and anyone that has a problem with that can kindly mind their own. I’d never think anything of a couple huddled together watching a video on a low volume, even if they were audibly laughing. Laughter in a restaurant is perfectly acceptable.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@poofandmook That’s what the complaints are about..it happens DURING the events.

@livelaughlove21 Sounds like your set up was OK to me. I said it was. I just referenced others who are not so considerate, discrete or quiet.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III Gotcha. This comment made it sound as if you’d find what we did annoying:

“even quietly, that two people are huddled around, giggling at their private joke is almost as annoying as someone yelling into the phone.”

johnpowell's avatar

Pretty sad that the conversation is about proper etiquette instead of the gun and the guy who shot someone for no reason.

Seek's avatar

^ I’ve sadly resigned myself to the fact that this country – and particularly this STATE – is batshit insane, and we keep hearing about crackpots shooting other people for no reason at all, and we just take it and ask for more.

I’m just biding my time and avoiding large groups of people until I can nope the fuck out of this stupid place.

MadMadMax's avatar

Before the movie starts, you can chat, text whatever you want – they are commercials and the request to turn off all cell phones comes just before the main film starts.

I was told to shut up during a TV season previews and I told the woman to pound sand. I don’t have to watch or listen to tv series previews. When the movie starts I clam up and I turn off my cell phone.

But no matter what, the guy needed to leave and get management if he had a problem. I have a feeling management would not come and stop the guy from texting because it was during previews. So the retired copy came back alone and had worked himself into a fit.

If he didn’t have a gun, nobody would have have gotten hurt.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@MadMadMax “I don’t have to watch or listen to tv series previews.”

So to hell with the people that do want to see the previews but are distracted by your phone and you chatting with your companions?

I say, once those lights dim, your phone should be put away and your mouth should be shut unless you’ve mastered whispering (I find most people have not a clue what the word means). One of my biggest pet peeves is the movie-talker. I’m 99% sure what you have to say isn’t all that important, so shut the hell up.

Seek's avatar

Anyway, I nip all these problems in the bud by going to the theater (the once a year I actually go anymore) at 9:30 AM on a Tuesday. My husband and I have often been the only people in the whole theater for a huge blockbuster movie, and got in for half price.

jerv's avatar

Another reason for me to enjoy living as far away from Florida as possible without leaving the 48 states…

If this happened in the US, the law would deem the response disproportionate to the perceived risk , and he’d be lucky to get a plea bargain for Murder 3. However, this happened in a Third World jurisdiction, so I have doubts that justice will be served.

Regardless, the 2nd amendment has it’s merits for law-abiding citizens. It’s the fact that some places are lawless that is the real issue.

Seek's avatar

^ Take me with you, @jerv

JLeslie's avatar

This shooting did happen because the guy was using his cell during the preview. I should say it happened because a lunatic guy with a gun was in a theatre and decided to shoot, but you know what I mean.

Some people are really so extreme about cell phone use. They have zero tolerance for it in public where they have to be within several feet of the cell phone user. Movie, restaurant, doctor’s office, even a bench at a park. They have decided it is a rude and horrible and a new generation of people who have no respect for others and common courtesy, and they get angry when they see it. Really angry. Here we are discussing things like not minding during the previews, or if it is just for a minute, a restaurant is ok, but those people mind for everything. They are tuned into it, dwell on it, and are obsessed about it. Maybe this guy was like that.

Funny, sometimes I wait for a commercial when I am watching TV with my husband to ask him something, and he shhh’s me, because he likes or is interested in the commercial. Most of us see that stuff as nuisance and we are annoyed by all the previews and commercials, but I guess some people want to watch them as much as the movie.

Also, I agree the noise of popcorn and candy can be annoying, but I haven’t noticed lately, because the movies are turned up so damned loud! I prbably could not hear if the two people next to me were having a conversation. Restaurants also. Music too loud, no money spent on absorbing sound, it’s all bad for us. I think it all contributes to why so many of us are on edge.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie good point. The person may not be bothering anyone, but the knee-jerk reaction is to get angry. Like that time I was smoking in the Student Union at college and they guy kept waving his hand in front of his face long after I put the cigarette out.

pleiades's avatar

I am just so sorry for the killer that he felt so offended to the point he should end someone else’s life.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I honestly don’t think people are actually thinking “I’m going to kill this person.” I think they just mean to….scare them. Shot a bullet in the leg or something. It’s a stupid way of thinking but I really don’t think they plan to murder people.

Seek's avatar

I don’t think anyone that carries a gun into a movie theater and considers pulling it out during a stupid argument is a logical course of action is thinking much of anything at all.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I agree completely. Unfotunately crazy people sometimes don’t know they’re crazy.

filmfann's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Yeah, but sometimes we do

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s the real danger of making it legal to casually carry a gun around. In an emotional moment people will pull it out, just because it’s there, instead of taking another course of action.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It appears that a person is three times safer with a concealed carry permit holder than they are with a police officer.

http://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2013/10/concealed-carry-permit-holders-are-one.html

Seek's avatar

Unless that permit holder is the crazy bastard that is shooting people.

MadMadMax's avatar

I don’t text and I don’t bring my cell phone to the movies. However, I do not feel I have to watch “upcoming TELEVISION show previews,” commercials for a used car dealer, or COKE commercials and not chat very quietly with my husband. That is nuts.

Nobody asks that you turn off your cell phone or be quiet until the beginning of the film itself but we like to watch movie previews so we’re quiet and we don’t expect that nobody will comment on a preview—people have been commenting on previews in movie theaters all my life.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think it’s the glow of the phone in a dark movie theater that’s the most annoying part. I don’t think anyone has a problem with people chatting quietly during commercials. Now if their hair lit up when they talked, others might have a problem with it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III And it’s usually not just one person, you get any group of kids or even adults at this point, together and they’re showing each other stuff and there’s flashing displays all over the theater. I go on Sunday afternoons sometimes and it’s much nicer, the rude creeps aren’t there…lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

I haven’t been to a theater in so many years that I haven’t experienced that. I think if I did I’d set my phone to ring, grab it, turn it off and say LOUDLY “I’m sorry! I didn’t realize my phone was on! I am turning it off now so I don’t disturb anyone else in the theater.”

poofandmook's avatar

@johnpowell: What’s the point of discussing the shooter, really? How much can we comment on this batshit, irrational asshole misusing something that so many Americans fight for the right to use responsibly?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I have to agree that there is only so much that can be discussed about one thing before things meander.

jerv's avatar

I recently ran across a Facebook post from one of my favorite musicians (“Captain” Robert Brown) on the topic. Since I don’t trust links to moving targets, I’ll just copy/paste his words (and please overlook his dyslexia);

“I know its a hot topic, and I know I’m not likely to convince anyone of anything. Nobody ever changes their mind on anything, it seems to be a human defect. And, likely, this is going to explode into a place where everyone is rude to everyone else, and I will have to delete this. That being said, here is the logic as I see it:

Unarmed, a “mugger-rappist-theif-whatever” is always going to have the upper hand because they will alway be bigger and stronger then whoever they attack. If grandma is gunna be stabbed for her purse, there will never be any chance for her. Grams is gunna die.

Unless grandma has a gun. Then grandma wins by default. The bad guy simple won’t bother, nothing granny has is worth the risk. That’s the point. Its not about granny shooting some one, but granny has made the crime not worth the risk.

If the bad guy has a gun, too, now they are both equal. Physical strength is irrelevant now. It’s now just a matter of luck; who shoots first. Again, bad guy won’t want to risk it any more then he’d want to play Russian roulette with a half loaded gun. Nothing grams has is worth that.

So, that’s city logic. Out of the city, everything changes. Bears, wild cats, wolfs, etc…and that’s just in my neck of the woods! Australia, and the south east of the US you’ve got crocks, and don’t ever get me started with Africa and Asia. Anti-gun is actually a pretty naive standpoint: you have to be assuming everybody environment is a safe urban one. That’s just not the case.

Now, I’m an incredibly big and scary dude. People do not pick physical fights with me. Actually, I’m lying. Every damn time I go to a country where guns are outlawed, people try to pick fights with me, BECAUSE THEY HAVE KNIVES. You know what a stab wound is? A BIGGER WHOLE THEN A GUN SHOT, but it made no noise going in, so no ones coming to help.

In gun-owning countries, I have NEVER felt like I was in danger, but I’m constantly scared and threatened in non-gun countries. And no, I don’t carry a gun when I travel. Outlawing guns simply tells all the bad guys that nobody can stop them under any circumstances.

“What about accidents! Kids killing themselves with a left out gun!” Yeah, thats a problem. With guns, cars, chainsaws, boiling water, axes, cleaning supplies, ladders, tree houses, beaches, cliffs, camping, bikes, motorcycles, medicine, passing trucks, subways, bridges, just about everything. Doing ANYTHING stupid enough, and your gunna hurt yourself. So, if there is a gun around, don’t be stupid. Same as anything.

Suicide is the same thing – you can kill your self with anything around you.

SO, okay, there is my opinion. Guns equalize people: suddenly size and strength does not let a bully get away with robbing-rapping, whatever. Lot of things are dangerous, that doesn’t mean they should be outlawed. Any there are many parts of the world (most, in fact) were dangerous creatures need to be factored in.

Guns give strength to those who might not have otherwise had it, and I don’t believe weaker people are safer.”

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I guess the guy should not have been texting. What is the flap about? The fact a cop or ex-cop can blow someone away and walk home to have cornflakes in the morning? Is the over the law itself, that allows other people to basically use their morals to justify popping some lead into another person doing things they don’t like?

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Maybe if they made it legal to shoot people for being rude in public, say, not stopping after two polite reminders. People maybe would be more careful about their manners. Just sayin’
Maybe it’s time to turn back on weapons laws. Men and women of the old west days required firearms to survive, and to defend themselves in lawless territory. With the criminals now ouitnumbering the cops, and soon the innocent bystanders, maybe we let people start packin’ to even things up.
How about we bring back stocks for petty theft and loose behavior too.

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