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Horrible happenings


Published:   |   Updated: January 17, 2014 at 10:55 AM

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When something as irrational as the fatal shooting Monday at a movie theater in the Wesley Chapel area occurs, it can be hard to craft rational responses. Knowing that danger, we will hazard a few observations anyway:

For one, anyone not prepared to confront the distractions of contemporary life, including mobile phones being used in inappropriate places, should stay home. People should be able to enjoy a movie or a musical performance without someone’s phone going off. People shouldn’t put others’ lives at risk by sending text messages while driving. Unfortunately, no amount of hectoring is going to prevent these sorts of annoyance. That genie is out of the bottle, and nothing is going to put it back in. That said, no matter how boorish such behavior is, violence is never a proper response to it.

The fatal shooting of Chad Oulson at the Cobb Grove 16 Theatre in Wesley Chapel during a confrontation over texting generated worldwide headlines. At least as of this writing it hasn’t rekindled the debate over gun control and private gun ownership. That may be because the man accused of shooting Oulson, Curtis Reeves Jr., is a retired former Tampa police captain. Some of the more restrictive gun control proposals we have seen over the years would only allow military and law enforcement members to possess firearms, especially handguns. Given the deference lawmakers show to retired law officers, we suspect they might retain the right to possess handguns under laws that denied them to most everyone else.

Sometimes, we humans do horrible things to each other. Unfortunately, we don’t know how to change that either.

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