The roughest, toughest, rootinest, shootinest, etc.

yosemite_samIn the wake of the recent theater shooting, The Tampa Tribune contacted a team of psychiatrists to speculate on why “senseless shootings, escalating from minor disputes, are becoming an all-too familiar pattern.” Here are some theories offered by the experts:

Reeves [the theater shooter] showed signs of a personality disorder called extreme narcissistic injury…such a disorder, when combined with Reeves’ police background, could be a deadly combination.

But isn’t there something else that might have contributed to the tragedy…the ubiquity of something metal that goes “bang” and the loosening of restrictions on the use of deadly force? Nope; it must be the shooter’s age:

Reeves’ age, 71, could have been a contributing factor. As people get older, their brain’s prefrontal cortex suffers some degeneration. Among other things, this brain region is responsible for regulating behavior and suppressing emotional or sexual urges.

That accounts for the retiree crime wave that has the Youngs sheltering in place while graying hordes rape and pillage. Or not:

Society… seeks instant gratification. With smartphones and apps that effortlessly secure reservations at restaurants or seats at a concert, the world seems to be at our fingertips. When it isn’t, people sometimes react badly.

Yeah, that’s why I killed those dragging-ass varmints in the Piggly-Wiggly checkout line this morning; I completed my online banking in seconds flat, but those motherfuckers were STILL bitching about Obamacare, so BOOM.

Here’s an alternate theory: People were dumb hotheads even before the NRA rammed the Stand Your Ground law down the state’s muzzle. But since the state jettisoned the “duty to retreat” principle in favor of the Yosemite Sam mud flap, people are ending up dead over texting, popcorn, Skittles and walking while black, among other sinister activities.

The good news is, we don’t have to cure personality disorders, dementia, paranoia or impatience to address this sorry state of affairs: We just have to reassert the principle that saving lives and preventing harm is our highest priority, not affirming everyone’s right to be a badass.

Such a move won’t stop crime or eliminate idiotic aggression in public spaces, but it will signal to the citizens of the state that it’s no longer open season.

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107 replies
  1. 1
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    A writer’s prose never suffers for a mention of the Piggly Wiggly.

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    When you all but legalize killing for white guys when they feel “threatened”, this kinda removes one of the disincentives for opening fire on the guy in the next row in the movie theater.

    “ZOMG that guy is reaching for a bag of popcorn! Die, asshole!”

    We just have to reassert the principle that saving lives and preventing harm is our highest priority, not affirming everyone’s right to be a badass.

    That will negatively impact the bottom line of the merchants of death. What sort of commie shit is that, Ms. Cracker, huh?

  3. 3
    elmo says:

    @Quaker in a Basement:

    Ha! You know, until I moved to a small town in the South, I thought “Piggly Wiggly” was just a made-up thing to signify backwardness, like “country music.” Damn if I didn’t find out it’s a real thing!

  4. 4
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @elmo: There are/were Piggly Wigglys in Wisconsin.

  5. 5

    Saw yesterday that Reeves had a previous incident at the movies with texting. It is his hill for other people to die on.

  6. 6
    Greg says:

    My take on it is that Stand Your Ground caused this. The pro-gun people keep saying “Oh, no no no. This is not stand your ground at all”. But he thought it was, because the first thing he said was that he feared for his life. In other words, people who know that the law is out there may decide to go ahead and shoot. Before the law they knew they would have to work pretty hard to prove self-defense, and would therefore probably go to jail.

  7. 7
    catclub says:

    @elmo: Jitney Jungle was renamed after an ad goofed up Jitney Jingle.

    @Quaker At least if your name is Welty.

    Also, why I live at the P.O.

  8. 8
    srv says:

    This post almost make me look forward to aging.

    Sometimes I wish John was older. He was so much angrier when conflicted. Now, he’s just milquetoast.

  9. 9
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Watch the confusion when two white guys shoot each other while standing their ground.

  10. 10
    charluckles says:

    Here’s an alternate theory: People were dumb hotheads even before the NRA rammed the Stand Your Ground law down the state’s muzzle.

    This, this, and this. One of the most fascinating and telling things about the gun control debate is the extreme theorizing required to explain why gun violence is such a problem in this country. If you accept that our rates of gun violence are extreme in comparison to other first world nations (granted a lot of nuts refuse to even cede that point) but refuse to believe that guns are the problem you are forced to come up with some pretty crazy explanations as to why Americans are so unique. If it’s not the guns, are Americans just more violent then people in other nations? And if Americans are just more violent, do we really want everyone to be armed? And round and round it goes.

  11. 11
    beltane says:

    Instead of prohibiting guns in movie theaters, it’s more likely we’ll see old people prohibited from movie theaters. Or maybe old people will be banned outright.

  12. 12
    West of the Cascades says:

    Fuck ALEC and its efforts to make “draw first, ask questions later” the law in so many places with receptive legislatures.

  13. 13
    ally says:

    Those gruesome nail-fungus ads are back this week. Two of them at the moment. WHY GOD WHY? Even Politico is less offensive than those.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @beltane:

    Or maybe old people will be banned outright.

    And so we finally get our Death Panels.

  15. 15
    jl says:

    I read the description of extreme narcissistic injury in the link. Sounds like a description of the gun nut stand-your-ground teabagger fetishists in my family. Except they only imagine that anyone ever listened to them or minded what they said at all, but they are convinced of the imaginary authority.

    @ranchandsyrup:
    I would like to know what was it about the texting, of all things, that sets this deranged old retired cop off? Do the little buttons click too much when people text, or what?

    @Greg: I am with you and BC. Gee, you know, maybe get rid of insane laws that give people the idea that they can just fly off the handle and shoot at whoever they are prejudiced against, or random anybodies who irritate them, or have a grudge against, or get too close to them on a bad day, a lot of the problems would stop. You could make a big dent in the problem without even doing anything about there being too many damn guns in too many damn places for no reason at all (though working on that problem would still be a good idea)

  16. 16

    Wait, what are you, some kind of commie-nazi-socialist hybrid 0bummer lover? Surely you know that the first law Hitler had passed–the very first, first, foremost and firstest law of all, even before all the others–was to take away everybody’s guns, right? How can you commie pinkos live with yourselves?

  17. 17
    balconesfault says:

    Had a long discussion with a friend’s friend on Facebook yesterday on this … he was trying to point out that Texas has a “Stand Your Ground” law as well … but really, Florida’s law is unique (as far as I know) in boiling away all the responsibilities and caveats that even TEXAS, for chrissakes, puts in there (eg – provisions that it doesn’t apply to verbal provocation alone, or that it doesn’t apply if the actor provoked the act of force against him).

    Florida’s law simply states “a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if: He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”

    Seriously … if you accept there are some folks out there who are sociopathic … or even just “narcissistic” with “prefrontal cortex degeneration” … who are running around out there with guns, doesn’t it make sense to kind of remind them that they have a responsibility to not kill people unless there’s really no other good choice? Like … say … moving to another seat in the theater?

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ally:

    Even Politico is less offensive than those.

    This is what I would characterize as “a stretch”.

  19. 19
    WereBear says:

    I think the gun nuts should watch The Godfather a million times. Not the dead people part so much as the part where Michael Corleone asks, “Where are all the men?” and is informed they were all murdered in vendettas.

    The SYG provisions spit in the face of a thousand years of self-defense law. Something that was painstakingly crafted over centuries by lots of brilliant minds.

    This is what exasperates me about anyone who wants to “tear it all down” and start over. It’s taken over five thousand years to get this far.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @balconesfault:

    Like … say … moving to another seat in the theater?

    The only more egregious attack on freedom than this that I can think of is the outright confiscation of firearms.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @balconesfault: The word “reasonably” in the FL statute is where most reliance on this law as a defense should come a cropper.

  22. 22
    cleek says:

    the ‘P’ and ‘W’ on the big electric sign on the front of our Piggly Wiggly have been out for years. so we call it the ‘iggly iggly’

  23. 23
    GregB says:

    An armed society is a polite society. Go ahead, make my day and call me wrong.

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    @WereBear: “Something that was painstakingly crafted over centuries by lots of brilliant minds.”

    I think they are all reading “The 5000 Year Leap” and hoping it is backwards.

  25. 25
    jl says:

    @balconesfault:

    What is that ‘reasonably’ doing in the law? Did you give a direct quote from the text? The way the Florida law enforcement and justice systems have handled some of the stand-your-ground shooting cases I have read about, not sure that a word like ‘reasonably’ could be in the text of the law.

    I remember a line in the remake of Thing Red Line. The soldier who goes apeshit and leads the charge that wins the battle for the hill gets started with the thought ‘I can kill a man, and no one can touch me!’ (I think that is direct quote from the movie). There is, sadly, a small percentage of the population who will think that thought and like the power. And dumbass law like stand-your-ground, no matter how carefully written, will bring them out into the open.

  26. 26
    balconesfault says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: If Reeves walks … God help the next person at a theater who asks the texter nearby to stop … because that person will now have reason to believe his life is in danger to a degree justifying deadly force.

  27. 27
    feebog says:

    I’m confused by the whole story. The shooter was an ex-cop, so obviously he was the good guy with a gun. Tell me again who the bad guy with the gun was?

  28. 28
    catclub says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “The only more egregious attack on freedom than this that I can think of is the outright confiscation of firearms. ”

    Well, that, and sneezeguards at the salad bar.

  29. 29
    Trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It does conjure up a slogan opportunity: “Politico–better than toenail fungus.”

  30. 30

    @feebog: The deceased was the bad guy with the popcorn that along with the slippery slope fallacy put Reeves in imminent danger.

  31. 31
    beltane says:

    @balconesfault: Texting? I’d be afraid to sneeze in a Florida movie theater. It might piss off a law-abiding patriot.

    If this guy deliberately ran the victim over with his car, the SYG defense would not apply. It would seem that death by firearm is special in that it isn’t “real” murder any more. How sick is that.

  32. 32

    @jl: Dollars to donuts that it is a “respect for other people” thing. Young people these days and such.

  33. 33
    jl says:

    @Trollhattan: No, BJ should say nothing about the ad placement algorithms. Since the first of the year, most of the ads I see have hot chicks with big boozoooms. Not sure what internet behaviors I engaged in that triggered that development, but I am fine with my ads right now.

  34. 34
    kc says:

    “Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains.”

  35. 35
    kc says:

    Here’s an alternate theory: People were dumb hotheads even before the NRA rammed the Stand Your Ground law down the state’s muzzle. But since the state jettisoned the “duty to retreat” principle in favor of the Yosemite Sam mud flap, people are ending up dead over texting, popcorn, Skittles and walking while black, among other sinister activities.

    I agree, and it’s not just SYG but the increasing popularity of concealed carry. Especially amount people who already have a chip on their shoulder, or are just itching for a confrontation. Combine concealed carry with no duty to retreat, and, well, you’re gonna have some dead Floridians.

  36. 36
    Belafon says:

    @Greg: Which is actually why we have juries: If you injure someone or take their life, you should have to justify why you did it. The problem with Stand Your Ground is that it turns “innocent until proven guilty” on it’s head: You’re not having your innocence challenged, you’re proving the other person’s guilt. Which is why you have to kill the witnesses, including the person you shot.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    More like, I think, “failure to bow and scrape before me, the 71 year old retired cop who is due deference by everyone, especially those who don’t realize he’s a retired cop, by gum.”

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    So the wingnuts are really putting themselves on the side opposing manly man Wyatt Earp? Didn’t the whole OK Corral thing arise from some people not wanting to take off their guns in town?

  39. 39
    kc says:

    @jl:

    I would like to know what was it about the texting, of all things, that sets this deranged old retired cop off? Do the little buttons click too much when people text, or what?

    I was wondering that myself. Once a movie got going, I think I’d be unlikely to even notice another patron texting, unless the phone was beeping or the texter was holding it up in front of me. In which case I myself might want to shoot someone. Good thing I don’t carry a gun to the movies.

  40. 40
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Betty Cracker, top:

    We just have to reassert the principle that saving lives and preventing harm is our highest priority, not affirming everyone’s right to be a (fake) badass.

    FIFY.

  41. 41
    balconesfault says:

    @kc: Sadly … this texting was even taking place during the previews, and not the main feature itself.

    Anyone who doesn’t accept that Florida’s SYG law has something to do with these types of events becoming way too frequent in the state is just living in denial.

  42. 42
    Roger Moore says:

    @Greg:

    My take on it is that Stand Your Ground caused this.

    It’s not SYG alone that’s responsible. The killer wouldn’t have been in position to pull the trigger if he hadn’t been armed, and he wouldn’t have been armed if not for the broader macho gun culture that teaches the need to be armed to the teeth and ready to react to lethal threats at all times. SYG is just the next step along the path returning us to shootouts as a part of daily life.

  43. 43
    jl says:

    @balconesfault:

    ” Anyone who doesn’t accept that Florida’s SYG law has something to do with these types of events becoming way too frequent in the state is just living in denial. ”

    ‘Living in denial’ is a very polite way to put ‘bloodthirsty, idiotic, or insane’.

  44. 44
    Betty Cracker says:

    @balconesfault:

    …does not have a duty to retreat..

    That’s the nut, right there. It’s how the NRA (in the person of pistol-packin’ granny Marion Hammer) sold SYG, and it’s at the heart of why it’s such a terrible mistake.

  45. 45

    @Villago Delenda Est: Heh, I could buy that.

    I’m not a big fan of talking/texting in the movies. But I learned to let go.
    A few points:
    1. I have a friend who won’t shut up in movies (usually because he was out of his head on pain pills and weed). We made a deal with him that every time he talked he had to go out in the lobby and do a 5-count from the melted butter dispenser. It worked.
    2. When I was feisty about this, I wouldn’t shoot people, but if they were behind me I’d just turn around and stare at them until they stopped talking or texting. In hindsight, I’m surprised there wasn’t ever a physical confrontation. In hindsight and in present-sight, I’m an asshole.
    3. Back when the Star Wars movies were re-released, me and a buddy went to check it out. Besides he and I, there was one other person in the theater. My buddy left to use the restroom and came back in and sat next to the other guy, thinking it was me. The other movie-goer leaned away from my buddy as best he could. I had a heck of a time not laughing. After about 10 minutes my buddy leans over to talk to the guy and finally realizes it’s not me. He was so pissed at me for letting that happen that we had to leave.

  46. 46
    Ripley says:

    Strictly speaking, asking a “team of psychiatrists” for anything other than self-inflating bullshit that’s many miles distant from realistic/pragmatic information is like asking the checker at your grocery store for a reference-laden treatise on global financial markets: U R DOIN IT WRONG

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @GregB:

    An armed society is a polite non-uppity society.

    Translated from the wingnut.

  48. 48
    gbear says:

    @jl:

    I would like to know what was it about the texting, of all things, that sets this deranged old retired cop off? Do the little buttons click too much when people text, or what?

    As an old fart, I would venture to guess that the glow of the screen and a pre-emptive (imagined) outrage that the texter might continue to text once the movie started. He had already decided that his movie experience was going to be disrupted, and he over-reacted in the most stupid way possible.

    …as if he was going to settle down and enjoy the movie after shooting everyone he thought was going to cause distractions. I hope this guy spends the rest of his miserable life rotting in a cell.

  49. 49
    hoodie says:

    The good news is, we don’t have to cure personality disorders, dementia, paranoia or impatience to address this sorry state of affairs: We just have to reassert the principle that saving lives and preventing harm is our highest priority, not affirming everyone’s right to be a badass.

    Maybe a mutant version of “saving lives is our highest priority” is the problem. SYG and other gun nuttery may be motivated by a perverse sense that “we have to stand up the bad people or they’ll kill all the good people” more than it’s about empowering everyone’s Yosemite Sam, i.e., you have to stand your ground against the bad guy so he doesn’t do it again. Gun fetishism may be more about preserving everyone’s right to have absolute security than about preserving the right to be a badass and, in that sense, it is of a piece with obsessions about terrorism and national security when those threats are not even close to existential. There were plenty of badasses when I was coming up, they just didn’t use guns or think they had to shoot someone to feel safe. What happened to the good old days when guys just beat the shit out of each other when they got into an argument?

  50. 50
    WereBear says:

    @gbear: I think there was also the fact that he went to management and got shrugged off.

    I do think movie theaters are entirely too lax about that, but they are too cheap to hire ushers and obviously don’t care. (Not that I’m blaming them for this.) I’ve kinda stopped going to movies because I’m surrounded by people who are somehow unaware they are not sitting in their own living room.

    That, and the 20 freakin’ minutes of commercials I’m subjected to. Not coming attractions, either. That’s extra.

  51. 51
    Mike in NC says:

    The idiot with the Yosemite Sam mudflaps on his monster pickup truck is likely to have an NRA sticker on one side of the rear window and a Confederate battle flag on the other. So having a concealed carry permit naturally follows.

  52. 52
    danielx says:

    Yeah, that’s why I killed those dragging-ass varmints in the Piggly-Wiggly checkout line this morning; I completed my online banking in seconds flat, but those motherfuckers were STILL bitching about Obamacare, so BOOM.

    I can get behind that. I’ve often felt that the inconsiderate dolt with fifty items who is ahead of me in the express lane at the grocery should be taken out and maimed at the very least; I’ve managed to restrain my impulses to date. I’ve heard that cops think a lot of petty and not-so-petty crime is due to poor impulse control. Florida law now gives people no reason to reign in their impulses and every reason to indulge their OK Corral fantasies. And – trust me on this – there are a lot of people out there who harbor a secret or not secret hope that someone will give them what they regard as a valid reason to use their toy/hobby/dick substitute/whatever. Start an argument, get in the other person’s face – BOOM! I was concerned for my safety!

    In my fair state there are currently 493,205 people with concealed carry permits, which amounts to about 11% of the 21 and over population. Going way out on a limb, I’m guessing that those 493,205 permit holders are not all emotionally stable people. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if “stand your ground” was the standard here, it’s bad enough the way things are now.

  53. 53
    Eric S. says:

    Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the icicles?

  54. 54
    balconesfault says:

    There is a very young girl who will have to grow up without her obviously very loving father … with no way to shield her from the knowledge that his texting her led directly in a very sick way to his murder.

    I just don’t know how the “right to carry every damn place I want” and SYG supporters can absorb this bit of information, stick to their guns (so to speak), and not have their minds completely fucked up by the massive resulting cognitive dissonance.

  55. 55
    WereBear says:

    @balconesfault: not have their minds completely fucked up by the massive resulting cognitive dissonance

    But their minds are messed up!

  56. 56
    Neutron Flux says:

    The good news is, we don’t have to cure personality disorders, dementia, paranoia or impatience to address this sorry state of affairs: We just have to reassert the principle that saving lives and preventing harm is our highest priority, not affirming everyone’s right to be a badass.

    Write your problems down in detail and take them to a higher place.

  57. 57
    Elizabelle says:

    @gbear:

    I hope this guy spends the rest of his miserable life rotting in a cell.

    Yeah. And if he wasn’t happy with his moviegoing experience before, wait until his future options become clearer to him….

    Since one of their own has fallen badly afoul of SYG, I wonder if Florida’s finest law enforcement officers might get behind removing SYG from the books.

    It is not keeping Floridians safer.

    There is a duty to retreat.

  58. 58
    WereBear says:

    Just to be clear, I’m a pain when it comes to “the movie experience” but people can have kangaroo races while singing in the nude… before the movie starts.

    Heck, that’s when you are supposed to talk to your friends, get the popcorn, and such!

  59. 59
    Trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Am wondering whether retired LE officers get de facto concealed suthorization in Florida? Would not surprise me in the least.

    “An armed society is a politeperforated society.”

  60. 60
    jl says:

    @Elizabelle:

    ” There is a duty to retreat.”

    You mean a duty to retreat from possibly annoying glow of a mobile screen in somebody else’s face while they text? You know, Madison predicted that our freedom was more endangered by gradual encroachment than sudden obvious affront.

    Next thing you know, people in Florida will have a duty to retreat from skateboarders on the sidewalk who give backtalk or neighbors you have a spat with setting their foot on your lawn. What next? Sweden!, probably.

  61. 61
    Gravenstone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Still are. Not sure they’re directly related to the southeastern chain, beyond the name though.

  62. 62
    MomSense says:

    Maybe this all boils down to something as simple as the kind of person who thinks they need a gun on their person at all times in order to feel safe is a troubled person and should not have a gun on their person at all times.

  63. 63
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @gbear:

    I hope this guy spends the rest of his miserable life rotting in a cell.

    Five bucks says some kind of diminished-capacity defense keeps him out of jail. (And I hope I’m wrong.)

  64. 64
    Gravenstone says:

    @jl:

    I would like to know what was it about the texting, of all things, that sets this deranged old retired cop off? Do the little buttons click too much when people text, or what?

    Most likely the glare of the phone screen being visible in his foreground. In the most recent case, the couple he shot were sitting in front of him. No idea where the woman he had his previous (and unlikely to be only other) run in with was in proximity to him.

  65. 65
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jebediah, RBG: His lawyers likely only go down that path if the SYG trial balloon gets shot down.

  66. 66
    Ash Can says:

    We just have to reassert the principle that saving lives and preventing harm is our highest priority

    I think I’ve found your problem…

  67. 67
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Gravenstone:

    Yeah, sloppy typing on my part – I did mean “if he doesn’t walk completely via SYG.”

    If he does get a SYG walk, does that negatively impact the family’s civil suit against him?

  68. 68
    Cassidy says:

    I would like to know what was it about the texting, of all things, that sets this deranged old retired cop off?

    He’s a cop. Someone didn’t do what he was told when he told him to.

  69. 69
    danielx says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I read an article (can’t cite it, unfortunately) in which it appeared that many Florida cops don’t like SYG, and county prosecutors like it even less. It’s been used and upheld as a defense in gang-related shootings – the shooter was afraid for his life, sure enough, leaving aside the other whys and wherefores.

  70. 70
    Glocksman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The word “reasonably” in the FL statute is where most reliance on this law as a defense should come a cropper.

    Quoted for Truth.

    Especially considering that Reeves is a retired police captain.
    As it is, given Florida juries’ strange interpretation of the phrase ‘reasonable person’, he just might walk.

    ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, my client could have choked to death on that popcorn, thus leaving him with a reasonable fear for his life.’

  71. 71
    burnspbesq says:

    it will signal to the citizens of the state that it’s no longer open season.

    Ha. Out of the bottle, that genie is. Going back in, it’s not.

  72. 72
    jl says:

    Except I forgot, that if you are a wife trying to keep an abusive husband at bay, you DO have a duty to retreat before you fire a few warning shots into the ceiling of your garage.

    Edit: Oh.. wait.. she did retreat from the kitchen into the garage. Whatever, she shouldn’t have gotten herself into that situation, I guess. Too bad for her. I guess certain types of people have to retreat more than others.

    Seriously, there are certain state where I do not think I want to go anymore unless I have to for work, when at least I can hide out in some stupid convention hotel for the duration.

    ‘Stand Your Ground’ Fails to Protect Abused Wife
    http://www.takepart.com/articl.....bused-wife

    15 Shocking Florida Stand Your Ground Cases
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....06405.html

  73. 73
    Glocksman says:

    @charluckles:

    This, this, and this. One of the most fascinating and telling things about the gun control debate is the extreme theorizing required to explain why gun violence is such a problem in this country. If you accept that our rates of gun violence are extreme in comparison to other first world nations (granted a lot of nuts refuse to even cede that point) but refuse to believe that guns are the problem you are forced to come up with some pretty crazy explanations as to why Americans are so unique. If it’s not the guns, are Americans just more violent then people in other nations? And if Americans are just more violent, do we really want everyone to be armed? And round and round it goes.

    Interestingly enough, if you look at the homicide rates of the 50 states the data suggests that gun laws aren’t the only factor.

    Murder rates of the 50 states, highest to lowest

    Of the ten lowest states, only Hawaii and Massachusetts have strict gun laws.
    Conversely, out of the 10 highest states, only one (Maryland) has strict gun laws.

    It is interesting though that of the 10 states with the highest murder rates, 6 of them are states of the old Confederacy.
    Perhaps our homicide problem is a Southern problem?

  74. 74
    Anoniminous says:

    @Glocksman:

    Big cross-discipline debate going on about Scots-Irish immigration and the culture of violence in Southern states. AFAICT, everybody agrees there’s “something” there and there’s no consensus as to what and extent of the “something” is.

  75. 75
    gene108 says:

    Reeves’ age, 71, could have been a contributing factor. As people get older, their brain’s prefrontal cortex suffers some degeneration. Among other things, this brain region is responsible for regulating behavior and suppressing emotional or sexual urges.

    What? My libido should be going up as I age?

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:

    @Anoniminous:

    Tee hee. You beat me to putting up the Scots-Irish supposition.

    Cracker Culture.

  77. 77
    Elizabelle says:

    @danielx:

    I think we read the same article; maybe from the Miami Herald (?) not long after the Trayvon Martin case became national news. Will look for it later if you don’t find it first …

  78. 78
    jl says:

    @gene108: guns owners know they need to clean their pieces regularly, need to oiled and ready to go.

  79. 79
    Tone In DC says:

    @WereBear:

    I have given up on most movie theaters. The ubiquitous 20 minutes of ads (as opposed to actual coming attractions) is a prime reason for that*. There is one theater I know of, way out near Dulles, that has no ads before the feature. I may have to make that drive more often. And since this theater is connected to a museum, there should be a dearth of Erick von Erick wannabes in attendance with their SYG mentality, like that ex-cop.

    *Along with the shitty sound systems they use.

  80. 80
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Anoniminous: It’s an honor culture thing (as are many of the world’s problems!). Best modern cinematic depiction of its manifestation in the American South I’ve ever seen was in the movie “Winter’s Bone.”

  81. 81
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Still Jennifer Lawrence’s finest performance to date.

    Winter’s Bone is one of my top ten movies evah.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:

    @charluckles:

    “But that doesn’t mean Americans are more violent than other people. We’re just better shots.” (Barcelona)

    A lot of gun nuts will tell you that the assault rates are higher in other countries, which is why we need guns. But the reason assault rates are higher in other countries is that when two idiots get into a fight in a bar, they can only punch or stab each other, so they usually survive to become assault victims. In America, one of those same idiots would pull a gun and kill the other guy, who then becomes a murder victim.

    If we banned guns, I would fully expect assault rates to suddenly go up, because the idiots shooting each other would have to go back to fighting with switchblades and fists and more of them would survive to become mere assault victims.

  83. 83
    Roger Moore says:

    @jl:

    Except I forgot, that if you are a wife trying to keep an abusive husband at bay, you DO have a duty to retreat before you fire a few warning shots into the ceiling of your garage.

    The unfortunate lesson in that case is that she would have been much better killing her husband and claiming self defense under SYG, since he wouldn’t have been there to contradict anything she said.

  84. 84
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “But that doesn’t mean Americans are more violent than other people. We’re just better shots armed.”

    Fixt for reality.

  85. 85
    dance around in your bones says:

    @elmo:

    When I first moved to Albuquerque as a kid, I thought ‘Piggly-Wiggly’ was hysterical.

    When I first went to Pennsylvania I thought someone was kidding when they asked me to stop at a Wawa. Of course, the first time someone there told me to “Get out!” I flinched, because I thought they meant it.

  86. 86

    @cleek: we call it the ‘iggly iggly’

    That makes you sound like Quagmire.

  87. 87
    aimai says:

    @WereBear: But here’s the thing–management can’t do anything against armed customers and probably, by this time, figures that all of the customers are armed. The ex sherriff asshole went and complained to someone that someone in the audience was texting during the previews–lots of people text during the previews because its when you are shutting down your phone for the duration of the movie. The sensible thing to do is to reassure the old fart and just see wha thappens next. Basically the old guy wanted someone else to come in and make a fuss and make him feel like a big man. When he was denied his due he could just as well have pulled the gun out and shot the manager.

    This really diddn’t happen because of a failure of management. If an old man wants to shoot someone he’s going to.

    What I see happening here is that the ready availability of guns and free floating masculine anxiety is creating a situation where the people with the most reckless disregard for other people and the least judgment are no longer young men in their teens and twenties but old guys who use the concealed carry as a means of continuing early male agression into the later years when they used to not be able to get away with it.

  88. 88
    karen says:

    Money and transportation issues have meant that I rarely go to the movies. No offense Betty Cracker but if I lived in Florida, I’d rarely ever go outside because if you’re a white male, SYG gives you carte blanche for legal homicide. And based on what I saw in the comments section of the newspaper websites, Floridians want it that way.

    I wish I was shocked at all the comments that said the texter deserved it and they’d have done the same thing but I wasn’t. Nauseated, but not surprised. If the texter had been black, the cop wouldn’t have been arrested at all or if he was, the prosecution would just throw the trial like they did with Trayvon Martin’s. Since the texter is a young white father with a young daughter, Fox will now try to dredge up everything the dead man ever did in his life and will help the cop raise money for the best defense he can get.

    That’s what Stand Your Ground means. Kill whoever the fuck you want and don’t worry. But only if you’re white. If you’re white, and the person you shoot is black you can kill them if the music in their care is too loud. You can kill them for any reason you and your neighborhood/senator/governor… I mean defense can drum up.

    But if you’re a black female shooting straight up into the air to scare her abusive husband? You’re screwed and in jail.

    Not sure if Florida has death penalty.

  89. 89
    karen says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The unfortunate lesson in that case is that she would have been much better killing her husband and claiming self defense under SYG, since he wouldn’t have been there to contradict anything she said.

    Nope. Then she’d be a murderer and be jailed anyway.

  90. 90
    aimai says:

    @Anoniminous: We’ve known this forever. I was a student in an undergrad class taught by a wonderful southern sociologist (Thomas Pettigrew) 30 years ago and he told us about how as a young southern graduate student he investigated what was then seen as rampant black violence in Chicago and discovered that if you traced the roots of the offenders they were all southern, and their rates of violence were identical to the rates of white southerners in their home counties. He noticed this enough to make a research project out of it because as a southerner he didn’t find the kinds of things that were spawning violence (Betty Cracker’s honor tradition) at all surprising. He said that from a northern point of view front page horror stories were back page nothings where he came from.

    Also: see also Albion’s Seed for an investigation of this violent/honor culture going right back to the earliest settlement.

  91. 91
    sparrow says:

    @WereBear: Go to independent theaters. Much better behaved crowds, especially at the throwback features. Plus old stuff is better than new crap most of the time.

  92. 92
    sparrow says:

    @Tone In DC: If you’re in DC, go to the Avalon. Much better crowds there, and they have fantastic film festivals.

  93. 93
    sophronia says:

    @danielx: Very true about the impulse control. My guess is that the shooter was angry and loud and when someone threw popcorn at him he decided he had all the provocation he needed to end the argument his way.

    The problem with the Florida stand-your-ground statute is that the word “reasonable” has been interpreted to mean as long as the shooter can come up with some half-assed reason why he felt his life might be in danger, then he’s completely justified. I’m worried that the thrown popcorn will be enough to get this particular menace back out on the street.

  94. 94

    We go to Cinepolis exclusively these days. Because you can order booze in there, people are chatty. I don’t mind this at all. Because I have booze.

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @sophronia:

    IIRC, the difference in Florida is that the standard is no longer what a “reasonable person” would believe in that situation, but what the person involved “reasonably believes,” which is not the same thing at all.

  96. 96
    sparrow says:

    @sophronia: I am wondering if the popcorn thrower was not even this guy. Imagine the horror of throwing popcorn at some idiot that won’t shut up, and watching someone die because of it. Jesus.

  97. 97
    Origuy says:

    Last night I was watching a documentary about Thomas Blake Glover, the Scot who was instrumental in modernizing Japan in the 19th Century. It mentioned the Namamugi Incident, which happened in 1862 when a party of British merchants failed to give way to a procession of Satsuma samurai quickly enough. The samurai took offense, killing one of the men and seriously injuring two others. The British government demanded an apology, and when none came, bombarded Katsuma, the capitol of the Satsuma domain.

    Stand Your Ground seems to be causing people to behave like samurai, only without the code of honor.

  98. 98
    mclaren says:

    As a nation of sadistic cowards, America loves the concept of “open season” — especially open season on defenseless women and small children, preferably crippled.

    Shithole America will not get less violent, it will get more violent. And fast. As the middle class disintegrates, Americanos will take out their rage, hatred and frenzy by climbing up to rooftops and shooting one another with sniper rifles while screaming quotes from Ayn Rand novels.

    This is the dim dead end of a “devil take the hindmost” society devoted to selfishness and cowardly bully-worship….the devil winds up taking everyone.

  99. 99
    PIGL says:

    @kc: as commenter mclean put it so cogently a while back: the problem is the fucking guns.

  100. 100
    chopper says:

    @WereBear:

    i know, it was the fucking previews! people are still coming in. what, are we not supposed to use that time to go get some popcorn because some asshole might blow your brains out when you come back for the crime of making him stand up to let you to your seat? the ticket says 5:00 sharp, motherfucker! blam

  101. 101
    The Other Chuck says:

    @mclaren:

    Shithole America

    Yunno, I’ve never been a patriot of any stripe, let alone a “Love it or Leave It” kind of guy.

    But I’ll make an exception for you.

  102. 102
    jake the snake says:

    My son and I were at a theater recently. During the previews, my son was on his cell phone, not talking, but texting. A young man came up and, in what I thought was a rude manner, asked him to stop using his cell phone. I really could not understand, why he was upset about it. I could understand if it had been during the movie, or he had been talking loudly. It is not like
    movie trailers are of any importance. Evidently, there are some people who have appointed themselves the cell phone police for
    movie theaters.
    On the subject of American gun culture, I will add this commentary by the Father of Country Music. Though several of the lyrics seem to be intended as double entendre.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....a_a7cUjC4o

  103. 103
    cckids says:

    @jl:

    I read the description of extreme narcissistic injury in the link.

    Me too. Sounds remarkably like the definition of an asshole.

  104. 104
    debbie says:

    Has anyone heard Wayne LaPierre comment on this shooting? Is this a case of a good guy murdering a good guy, or would he call a retired cop a bad guy?

  105. 105
    JoyfulA says:

    I have relatives visiting FL, against my advice, and I had to look up where they are on a map and make sure they’re safely distant from Tampa.

  106. 106
    wenchacha says:

    @danielx: Exactly how my son’s best friend was shot in the back, leaving the killer’s home. His spine was severed by the blast. District Atty assigned a rookie to the murder trial, and the killer walked, because he was “afraid for his life” of a 22 year old boy who was in the process of calling 911 upon seeing the gun.

    I sat through the trial, certain of justice for our dead friend, but it never happened. The killer, about 26 and mentally messed-up before this, is free to walk the street. There was no justice.

    Also too, I spent the last 4 days at my spouse’s cousin’s house during prep for my FIL’s funeral. It was already a stress-filled time, but our host is a full-fledged NRA gun nut who still contends we may not have been on the Moon. He gets on my last nerve on a good day. He still contends everyone should be armed. But he also likes to share his daydreams of blasting anybody who makes his day a bit miserable.

    I tried to take a lot of naps, to limit my exposure.

  107. 107
    Paul in KY says:

    @Glocksman: Unfortunately it could be ‘he threw the popcorn & I thought a fist was coming next and as an old man i can’t take a punch to the head from some young, big guy, so I shot him’.

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