My client has no propensity whatsoever for violence.
Attorney Richard Escobar, arguing in court for the defense during a bail hearing.
Actually that statement is demonstrably false. Mr. Escobar's client is one Curtis Reeves. Mr. Reeves is a 71 year old retired Tampa, FL police captain whose service included establishing the department's first SWAT team. In addition he was, for a while, director of security at Tampa's Busch Gardens.
You bet, just another good guy with a gun as the NRA likes to say. Unfortunately for 43 year old Chad Oulson, this good guy with a gun has a really short fuse.
The details are still a bit sketchy, but apparently this is what happened: Reeves and his wife settled into their seats at the Grove 16 theater in Tampa to watch the Mark Wahlberg film, "Lone Survivor." Seated in front of them was Oulson and his wife. Before the actual film started, but while the trailers were running, Oulson was texting on his cell phone which pissed off Reeves. An argument ensued. Reeves left the auditorium for a few minutes. When he returned Oulson was incensed and demanded to know if Reeves had complained about him to the theater's management. Things got heated, both parties rose and began to yell. Someone--it isn't clear who--threw popcorn.
Then, because it is Florida and people in Florida are both nuts and heavily armed, Curtis Reeves pulled out a .380 caliber hand gun and shot Chad Oulson to death. Oulson's wife was wounded in the hand by the single shot. She was either trying to pull her husband out of the line of fire, or restrain him in some way.
An off duty cop detained Reeves afterward and confiscated his weapon. Two nurses who were in the theater tried to administer aid to Oulson, but his wound was too severe. NBC reported he was texting his daughter.
Brother Reeves is, at the moment, sitting in a Tampa jail charged with 2nd degree murder. The judge denied bail, but not before he heard, Mr. Escobar state that his client had, "every right to defend himself."
Where have we heard that excuse before? It looks like the George Zimmerman defense is right around the corner. "That's right ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Curtis Reeves was standing his ground in the face of a deadly assault involving hurled popcorn husks and he simply defended himself in a manner allowed by Florida state law." Why not? We've seen it work before. Of course Oulson wasn't a black teenager wearing a hoodie, but then every white person in America knows race had nothing to do with the death of Trayvon Martin, so it shouldn't matter here either.
The next step is a pat down search of every movie goer in the nation prior to admission. Indeed, if the NRA is going to fuck us with the second amendment, why can't AMC Theaters screw the fourth in order to keep everyone wanting to see, "American Hustle" safe?
If this wasn't enough, reports out of Roswell, NM today are that a shooter entered Berrendo Middle School this morning and gunned down two kids. A 14 year old boy was flown to a Lubbock, TX hospital in critical condition while a 13 year old girl is in serious condition. There aren't any details at this time about the age, gender, or race of the assailant. Police apparently have him, or her in custody.
It is unclear when we began to believe paranoia, stupidity, and violence equaled safety and freedom. We're certainly at that point though. And, quite honestly, at this 21st century moment it isn't working out real well for us, because, obviously, we're neither safe, or free.
In fact we might want to rethink that whole e pluribus unum thing on our money. Something along the lines of, mors vincit omnia somehow seems more appropriate in this, the golden age of the NRA's reign.
Hey, who says anarchy isn't fun?