I’ve been in love with Ancient Egypt since I was a little kid, so of course I was going to see “Gods of Egypt” this week.
However, what happened in the lobby after the film put a damper on my outright joy about the astonishing special effects and gorgeousness of the movie. My happiness turned to fear the minute I saw the gun.
There I was with a friend one minute, laughing and joking, excitedly talking about the film. The next minute, she got quiet and asked me, “Do you see that guy with the gun?”
I froze. I felt cold all over. And then I began looking to see what she was talking about. About 15 feet away was a man at the concessions counter with a semi-automatic in a holster on his hip. He didn’t look like a cop; he was dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans, was older and balding.
My friend and I talked about what we should do. The man seemed to just be getting popcorn. But what if he was dangerous? What if he had come to the theater to kill people? In a week where there have been two mass shootings in our country, and a two-month period where there have been a reported 34 mass shootings in the U.S., that didn’t seem like a stretch to me. And that very thing had happened in Aurora, Colorado, in July 2012; a man opened fire in a movie theater and killed 12 people.
“Do you think he’s law enforcement?” my friend asked me in a hushed tone. “That’s a pretty serious-looking gun.”
Indeed it was. I’ll admit it – I was really scared.
“What if he’s crazy?” I answered.
“Think I should ask him why he has it?” I almost asked, and then immediately pictured him pulling it out and shooting me in the chest as soon as I asked why he had the gun.
“Well, if I report him to someone from the theater,” I said out loud, “I would hate for him to be crazy and then I would be responsible for that person getting shot.”
We discussed the man for only a few minutes, but it seemed like forever. My eyes never left the gun at his side.
Finally, my friend’s friend had arrived for the movie they were going to see. We headed for the ticket counter and my good sense finally kicked in, or maybe my curiosity got the best of me. I asked the girl at the counter, “Did you know that man has a firearm?”
She was the one who looked panicked now, and she quickly said, “No,” and radioed for a manager.
I pointed him out and the manager approached him. A minute later, she laughed and headed back toward us. Turns out she knew a man the man with the gun was with, and he was involved with law enforcement.
A family member told me later that it’s the law in this state that you’re allowed to carry a gun in the open as long as it is clearly visible. OK, I guess, but I have some questions.
If that man was law enforcement, why did he need a gun in a movie theater on a Saturday when he was clearly not on duty? Did anyone else see that gun and get scared witless like me? Sure, maybe it would be good to have a person trained in shooting if someone else went off the rails and opened fire, but how are the rest of us supposed to know who is who anymore?
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