The immense number of guns in circulation in America and the ease with which open carry or concealed weapons permits can be obtained in certain states make for a dangerous scenario.
It seems that increasingly, people resolve arguments at the point of a gun. Gone are the days when people scuffled. Now one can be shot for saying a bad word, or for going too slow on the highway.
But the latest incident in a cinema in Florida highlights how grievous the problem has become.
During the movie preview, not the movie itself, that preceded the showing of the movie "Lone Survivor" a man begun texting his daughter on his phone.
Not long after a man on a row behind him started complaining about the man's texting. An argument ensued, popcorn was thrown, and the next thing that happened, was a loud bang.
The man who was on the phone died of a bullet wound. His wife was injured as she tried to save her husband.
Until now, this could be nothing more than one of the myriad argument that result in death because people carry guns indiscriminately and no longer know how to control their anger.
But what makes this case even more scary and serious is the fact that the man who was carrying the gun, and who killed the texting spectator is none other than a retired SWAT police member. A person whose permit to carry a gun should be synonymous with protecting the public, if not himself.
Of course being in Florida, the shooter knows that he can make good use of the 'stand your ground' defense. Just the intimation of a possible act of violence is now a legal pathway to murder. What can be construed as the threat of violence? Is it an exchange of words? Is it throwing popcorn on the other person?
There is no doubt, in this writer's mind, that the self defense plea will be employed. Although there were many witnesses, the final determination of what self defense is will rest with the judge and the jury, and considering the previous cases highlighted by the press in the past years, there is more than a fair chance that the shooter might walk free.
Source : NBC news/ 1.14.14