Welcome To Florida, Where The NRA Rules And We Proudly Stand Our Ground
Coming less than a year after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, another unarmed black youth, the Dunn case should have shamed legislators into action.
It hasn’t, although there’s another one looming that should bring more heat. This time the victim was white, a Navy veteran and the father of a young child.
Chad Oulson was shot to death in a Wesley Chapel movie theater by 71-year-old Curtis Reeves Jr., who’d become aggravated because Oulson was texting during previews.
The two men argued. Oulson stood up and turned around. Police said he threw popcorn at Reeves, who pulled a gun and shot Oulson in the chest. The bullet nicked the hand of Oulson’s wife.
Reeves, a retired Tampa cop, has been charged with second-degree murder. He told police was he was scared “s—less” by Oulson, whom Reeves said had struck him with a fist or some other object.
No punches are visible on surveillance video from the movie theater, and even Reeves’ wife said she didn’t see Oulson hit her husband. Reeves’ attorney said the video shows a small shiny object striking Reeves and falling to the floor.
After the popcorn was flung at him, he whipped out a .380 semiautomatic and fired point-blank. Then he sat back in his chair while Oulson died.
Oulson’s wife said Reeves had taunted her husband about using his phone even after he’d put it away. She said Chad had been texting the family babysitter to check on their daughter, who wasn’t feeling well.
This is life in Florida — guns everywhere, and laws that favor the trigger-happy. Shoot first, then cry self-defense.
Kids playing rap music too loud? Lock and load.
Some guy texting at the movies? Teach him some manners.
Don’t walk away from an argument when you can end it with a bullet. Stand your ground and hope you get the right jury.
Welcome to Planet NRA.
(Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for The Miami Herald. Readers may write to him at: 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132.)
Photo: brian.ch via Flickr