On Sunday afternoon, I went to the movie theater to see “The 15:17 To Paris.” There was a young guy & his girlfriend in front of me at the ticket window. The guy, wearing a holstered gun on his hip, was waiting for the ticket agent to finish his conversation on the office phone and verify that he could, indeed, wear his holstered gun into the theater. After the ticket agent finished his phone conversation, he explained to the young male customer (the gunslinger) that since North Carolina is a concealed carry state, he could take his gun into the movie theater. ( I wanted to speak up and say that the pistol was not concealed, because I could see it. But, I decided to zip my lips. ) The potential movie goer explained that he wanted to take the gun inside with him because he didn’t want to leave it in the car with his young child. (I sifted through lots of questions at that point; but, still, I zipped my lips.). The ticket agent—a young Black guy—remained calm, said “no problem” to the potential movie goer(whose cut-off blue jeans’ shorts wearing girlfriend stood quietly by, holding his hand ). The potential movie goer asked the ticket agent which movie had a lot of violence. The agent said something like there are a lot of good movies. The potential movie goer pressed the agent for the name of the movie with “ like a lot of violence.” Seemingly, dissatisfied with the agent’s responses, potential movie goer wandered away, holding the hand of his true love, mumbling that he would have to think about it.
I stepped up to the ticket window and asked for a ticket to “The 15:17 To Paris.” I whispered to the agent, that if the young gunslinger should return to buy a ticket to let me know so I could leave the theater; or, better yet, sell him a ticket to something else. The agent laughed and explained to me that in a concealed carry state, the gunslinger has a right to carry his gun wherever he wants. I replied that I don’t care where he carries his gun, I just want to know if he’s in the theater with me so that I can leave. The ticket agent suggested that I sit up high in the theater. He seemed pretty smart to me, so I followed his advice, determined to keep my eye on people coming in to see my chosen movie.
Unfortunately, although “The 15:17 To Paris” has gotten bad reviews from professional movie critics; I got so caught up in the movie, I have no idea if the gunslinger and his girlfriend decided to come into the theater or not.
Today as I watch the news reports of the school shooting in Broward County, Florida, I am struck that the best advice that our leaders and politicians seem to have is: “If you see something, say something.”
So, I want to say something:
1. Take the high ground
2. Look for the exits
3. Listen to young people
5. Vote against any politician supported by the NRA.
And, ignore the movie critics when you choose a movie!