When someone gets killed, people will stop texting-and-driving for approximately 10 seconds, which is the length of time it takes the urge to Tweet a selfie to become unbearable. Excuse me a second … *click* … ok.
No, this post is about a question that has haunted mankind for generations: When is it OK to kill somebody for using their cell phone inappropriately?
There are no clear answers to the matter, only questions:
- Talking loudly on the bus? — It depends on the topic of conversation.
- Checking Facebook while the kids wait for you to make their lunch? — How am I supposed to know how much cuter my kids are?
- Tweeting in church? – God is on Twitter after all.
The act of texting at movie theaters lands in a particularly gray area. It is universally agreed upon that texting while a movie is playing deserves at least a few jujubes tossed into the hair. But one patron in Florida took it to another level, gunning down a man who was texting his *3-year-old daughter during the previews.
*The fact that his 3-year-old is texting is fodder for another post
The New York Times reported the story, sagely hitting on the social importance of this story as it refers to gun contr… err.. I mean cell phone use:
The killing underscored the increased debate about when to use smartphones in public.
The story goes on to talk about how one theater owner banned Madonna after she was caught texting during a premier. The story failed to note that on the scale of Madonna Offensive Acts, this one landed somewhere between staging her own crucifiction and attempting to play guitar. Nor did it mention that Madonna had not been killed.
The story also failed to mention anything about gun control. And why would it? Forget Columbine, Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech. Those incidents, as well as the thousands of shooting deaths that occur in the U.S. every year are merely outliers and by no means signs of an epidemic we should be worried about.
It’s not about the guns, it’s the cell phones. That’s the real problem, people.