Advocates on both sides of the gun control debate remain silent after a shooting at a Renton, Washington theater left an unidentified woman in serious condition.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the shooting occurred during a showing of Michael Bay’s new film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. According to witnesses, 20 minutes into the showing of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi at a Regal Cinemas theater, a man described as intoxicated fumbled with a concealed handgun. A woman was shot in the upper chest. Police arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting and evacuated the theater, but the gunman was already gone. Witnesses report that the suspect left the theater through the front door immediately after the shooting, “as if nothing happened.” After the theater shooting, the suspect reportedly visited a nearby restaurant where he again dropped his gun, though nobody was injured.
— Keith Eldridge (@KeithKOMO4) January 22, 2016
According to The Guardian, the 29-year-old suspect returned to his home after the restaurant incident, where his father called 911 to alert authorities about the shooting. Investigators reported that the suspect was apprehended at 10:15 pm, over two hours after the shooting occurred. Reportedly, the man claimed that he dropped the gun and it fired accidentally. Although, investigators did not provide an explanation for why the unidentified man brought the gun into the theater. Investigators say that the suspect had a conceal carry permit, but they are confident that the shooter and the victim did not know each other.
Though mass shootings such as the 2012 The Dark Knight Rises shooting in Aurora, Colorado and the 2015 Trainwreck shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana have received prominent news coverage in recent years, this isn’t the first single shooting to occur in the United States.
According to CNN, in January 2014 a then 71-year-old Curtis Reeves shot and killed 43-year-old Chad Oulson after an argument that started when Oulson sent text messages to his 2-year-old daughter during a showing of Lone Survivor, a similarly-themed war film directed by Peter Berg. Witnesses testified that Reeves reported Oulson to theater management, but the argument became heated. Oulson allegedly threw a bag of popcorn at Reeves, who responded by shooting him.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that, although he admitted to shooting Oulson, Reeves, a retired Tampa police captain, claimed self-defense under the controversial “stand your ground” law.
Though the recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino brought gun control back into the forefront of the 2016 Presidential Election, the Republican nomination hopefuls have been strangely silent on the Renton shooting. While businessman Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are in a statistical dead heat in the upcoming Iowa caucuses, neither has acknowledged the Renton shooting on their official social media accounts. Democrats Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), and President Obama have also been silent on the Renton shooting. Instead, most of the candidates are using their social media to clearly mark themselves as pro-life or pro-choice in the ongoing debate over abortion rights on the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v Wade ruling.
Notable exceptions to the deluge of abortion rights tweets are Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz. Donald Trump devoted most of his tweets to slinging mud at the National Review following an article in which the magazine encouraged conservatives to shun him. Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz is still on the defensive about his eligibility to run for President because he was born in Canada to a mother who was a United States citizen.
The National Rifle Association has, likewise, failed to acknowledge the Renton shooting. Which begs the question, do politicians and advocates lack the will to address gun crime below the standard of mass shootings and acts of terror?
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]