Sometimes I hate people. With the unfortunate rash of violence that has been occurring recently inside movie theaters, we’re coming dangerously close to not being surprised when we hear about more. This however, is not a story about people being hurt by a violent lunatic. This is a story about people being hurt by a couple of morons. Morons with a leaf blower.
Deadline reports an incident that occurred over the weekend at a movie theater in Newport Beach, California. During an evening screening of the Joel Edgerton thriller The Gift, two or possibly three unidentified subjects entered the theatre screaming and running a leaf blower. The sudden noise caused the patrons to head for the exits, and the ensuing rush of bodies led to three people being injured.
By the time police arrived the suspects were long gone. They had apparently entered through an emergency exit. While the suspects were not apprehended the theater does have security cameras, so the footage is being reviewed in hopes they’ll be able to track down the idiots involved. At the moment, however, the description is fairly vague. The suspects are described as "White or Hispanic, in their late teens to early 30s." This description matches approximately half of Southern California.
The Newport Beach Police seem to feel that while the recent theater shootings were in the minds of the patrons of the theater, the suspects were not trying to "copycat" those events and were not looking to "cause direct harm." It seems to be something of a double standard. If one assumes that those in theater instantly thought about the events in Louisiana and Tennessee, why would we not assume those committing the act were not thinking the same thing? While it’s probably true that they were not intending to cause harm, it’s the sort of prank that has the obvious potential to cause harm if you consider it for extra four seconds. Nobody actually shouted "fire," but the result here is exactly the same.
On the positive side, injuries are better than deaths, and these injuries appear to be minor. Only one of those injured was admitted to a local hospital, and they were released shortly after. Things could have been a lot worse. Hopefully security footage will lead to the perpetrators getting arrested so nobody else thinks something like this is funny in the future.
We all go to the movies to escape for a couple of hours. Can we please just all agree to let everybody else enjoy their movie? We’re getting dangerously close to having to deal with security guards and metal detectors at the door to every screen. Is this what we want? It’s already bad enough that we have to deal with evil people doing terrible things. Now we have to worry about the idiots too.