A gun is not the answer…to everything.
Just recently a retired cop took a gun to a movie theater. He argued with a man who was using his cellphone. Upset over the cellphone use, he stormed off to talk to the manager, but the manager was busy speaking with someone else.
The retired cop returned to his seat, angrier then ever. The cellphone user and the cop exchanged words again. The two men stood up, and the ex-cop (in his words) was struck in the face with something. He drew a .380 pistol and fired a shot. The wife of the cellphone user was either trying to hold her husband back or trying to protect him. The bullet passed through her hand and struck her husband, fatally wounding him. A witness later recounted to reporters that Oulson fell, saying in disbelief: “I can’t believe I got shot.” The former cop is now facing life in prison.
Ironically, there was a ban on phones and guns in the theater.
If you are carrying a gun, you must rise to a higher level of behavior. If someone denies a polite request to quiet his phone, report it to the manager. If that fails, sit elsewhere. The former cop here was the survivor, the “winner” who is now facing life in jail. But he might have been fatally wounded in this encounter had circumstances been different.
As for the caller, why do you throw a bag of popcorn in a man’s face? Maybe you figure he’s 71 and can’t do much? “I can’t believe I got shot.” Those are tragic and pathetic last words. You blithely assumed that you could get away with throwing crap in an old man’s face because guns are not allowed in the auditorium, because he looks old and unimposing, because shooting someone over cellphone use is a felony, because killing you for your oafish behavior would get your shooter life in prison. You had a fatal lack of imagination.
The retired cop says he was struck in the face with an “unknown object,” but I think this is pure and simple rage. I know if I got struck in the face with a bag of popcorn I’d fly into a rage. We can dismiss a bag of popcorn as nothing, but if a corner catches you in the eye, it could hurt just enough to be infuriating.
So don’t put yourself in that situation!
Some people seem to think that a gun is a magical talisman that will miraculously protect them from all danger and solve every problem. Increasingly I see the need for layers of defense, for multiple options, especially non-lethal options.
Let’s say you have a gun and words are exchanged. He socks you right in the mouth. What do you do? You can’t legally shoot him. You can draw your gun on him, but if it’s close enough, you may be in a grapple for a gun.
What if you’re fighting a genuine bad guy in the theater? He punches you, and goes for a knife. Perhaps he has a knife that you are unaware of. You need to draw your gun, which is hard to do when you’re fending off a knife attack. You have a pistol, but you can’t get to it. The gun’s mystic powers do not extend so far as magically appearing in your hand.
When I go to the theater I carry a flashlight. It comes in handy because the theater is dark, and it’s perfectly legal. In the event of trouble, the flashlight is already in my hand. Let me also make the case for the neck knife, which can easily be drawn while seated. Even if you do have a gun, alternate weapons may help you create enough space to draw it. (This is a point I make in Steel Baton EDC)
This is a saying of Machiavelli. “Upon this, one has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.” Simple: A man who has a small injury will want revenge, yet a man who is dead will not. Therefore it is better to do a big injury to someone than a small one.
This goes to the popcorn thrower. If you’re going to make a move, make it big. If the guy is about to draw a weapon, then take him out. If you’re not justified in blasting someone, then don’t resort to half measures. Think of it, this guy has just publicly insulted another man, enraging him, and is now going to sit with his back to the man he just humiliated. How many ways can that end badly?
When you hit someone in the face with a bag of popcorn, you have infuriated him but not incapacitated him. He is still, for example, able to draw a gun and shoot you. I might in certain circumstances throw a bag of popcorn in someone’s face –but that is immediately followed by me moving offline, closing the gap, and striking with some sort of weapon.
You must expect the weapon. Don’t just throw something and sit back at a distance where he can comfortably draw and shoot.
Either nuke him or sit quietly, but no half measures.
Extraído de Big Stick Combat.
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