After the horrific shooting in an Aurora, Colorado theater last month, in which several people were killed and injured, not to mention the most recent shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, gun control debates have been central in headlines around the country. You’d think people would be wary of carrying their firearms into a movie theater, and extra vigilant about the care of the weapon after such a horrific accident scarred an entire community in the southwest, but one man proved that those principles are not always so popular this week.
A 56-year-old man at a Sparks, Nevada movie theater shot himself in the buttocks during a Tuesday night showing of “The Bourne Legacy,” according to 8 News in Las Vegas. NBC News reports that witnesses saw the gun fall out of the man’s pocket as he adjusted himself in the seat. The gun went off and struck the man in the buttocks, injuring him but not threatening his life.
The man then reportedly apologized to those around him before quickly leaving the theater. He exited before police showed up at the scene of the incident. While he checked himself into a VA hospital to treat the gunshot wound, witnesses called the police to report the firing of the gun.
While the report claims that no one panicked after hearing the shot go off, and only a handful of people reported hearing the noise out of 30 attendees of the movie, the incident still brings to life the threat of gun violence in public places. No one else was injured, except for the man who apparently failed to employ any safety features on his weapon while in a public space. One of the biggest questions that remains after the incident is: what if that gun had fired at an unaware moviegoer, fatally injuring them? This accident could very well have become a murder caused by carelessness.
If pro-gun advocates want to maintain their right to bring concealed weapons with them into movie theaters and other public places where families, children and average adult people are also congregating, this newest incident does those advocates no favors. The unfortunate and clumsy nature of the incident reveals how quickly and easily a gun can be fired, even when there is no intention of harm involved.
The man in question could face charges for the incident, even though he did have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The item that so casually fell out of his pocket while he resituated himself in the movie theater is certainly that: a deadly weapon, designed to fire lethal bullets at targets. They are not toys. These items should not be taken lightly and their use and availability should be seriously questioned after so much gun violence has occurred in such a small window of time. After another nearly-fatal gun incident, we should closely reconsider the kind of training and availability that is currently required for gun owners in the United States.
Photo Credit: Takeshi Mano, Flickr