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Florida text shooting sparks debate, just not the right one

Twitter screen grab/now removed
Twitter screen grab/now removed

Yesterday afternoon in Florida a man was shot in a movie theater by a retired police officer. The victim’s offense? Texting his three-year-old daughter during the trailers. What’s really bizarre about the New York Times article about this tragic event is this line written by Frances Robels, the NYT's Florida correspondent. .

The killing underscored the increased debate about when to use smartphones in public. opposed to the killing underscoring the increased debate about when to use handguns in public.

Note: The article has since been quietly edited but not before Ms. Robels received a "deluge of hate mail" from NYT readers. (see image above)

Unfortunately, senseless killings have become so common place that many have become desensitized, however Ms. Robles unique and disturbing take on what this killing brings "up for debate" certainly made people pay attention (just read the comments on various blogs). So... what issues should this bleakly surreal event really have raised for Ms. Robles?

Perhaps something about the prevailing fear based culture of violence in our country? Or the need for more gun control? Or why there was even a need for the shooter to carry a gun into a theater? OK... I know some are going to mention all those that were killed in the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting. But that was a blitz attack by a heavily armed crazy man wearing a ballistic helmet, a ballistic vest, ballistic leggings, a throat protector, a groin protector and tactical gloves, making it highly unlikely, even if every person in the theater had been carrying a gun, that the slaughter could have been prevented.

It's clear that when you begin talking about the person's right to carry a gun you're in bullheaded territory... Yet even in the wild, wild west guns were left at the door of the town.

In the 19th Century we managed to regulated guns without shredding the US Constitution. Why does America keep dealing with a problem that was already solved in the distant past?

Well... it seems a movement, led by the conservative business establishment, to ban handguns began in the Northeast during the 1920s. In response, the National Rifle Association became involved in politics and was able to defeat handgun prohibition. Gun control and gun rights have been a topic of intense political, social, and cultural debate ever since. Read more

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