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Shootings in movie theaters have become an all too common phenomenon these days. From the tragic Dark Knight Rises massacre in Colorado, to the Trainwreck shooting in Louisiana over this past summer; what was once a leisurely, fun activity has become something fraught with peril and anxiety for many. The release of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi has already been marred by controversy due to the film’s subject matter, but now the film has become one of many recent movies to be drawn into the arena of gun violence. It's an infuriating, yet important story.
A new report from The Wrap indicates that a woman was shot during a screening of 13 Hours in Washington State. The man who shot her reportedly was drunk and fumbling around with a handgun he had brought with him into the theater. While he handled his firearm in the theater, the weapon went off in his hand and struck the innocent bystander as she watched the film. No harsh words or conflict preceded the shooting. There was no conflict between the patrons prior to the incident, according to reports. It was all merely a matter of bad luck.
Despite taking a bullet to the torso, the woman is no longer in critical condition and expected to make a full recovery. Reports also indicate that the man was actually within his legal rights to have the firearm in the movie theater in the first place. Concealed firearms are legal with a permit in the state of Washington, and can be brought into a private business unless a business has an explicit no gun policy. Even if the man had been searched – which has become a policy for some movie theaters in the wake of mass shootings – he still would have been allowed to carry the firearm into the theater because he was fully licensed to carry it.
This whole ordeal is actually somewhat baffling to officers who responded to the incident. The gun went off because the man dropped it on the floor, which is apparently an incredibly difficult way to make a gun fire. We’re a pop culture website, and therefore we aren’t going to get ourselves into the nitty gritty details of the gun control debate; however, it should go without saying that this man should be ashamed of himself for ever thinking it was alright to mix any sort of alcoholic substances with firearms in a public place. Movie theaters are places where people go to be brought to another world and escape from the boring or stressful nature of their lives. Drunkenly fiddling with a gun in a crowded room while others are trying to enjoy a film is not only irresponsible, it’s selfish. Thankfully the man's victim is going to be OK.
Despite the tragic nature of this news, don’t let it discourage you from enjoying yourself at the movies this weekend. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is currently in theaters, and hopefully we won’t be bringing you any more news of this nature any time in the near future.