SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- On January 13, retired police captain Curtis Reeves, 71, shot and killed a man in a Florida movie theater after getting into a heated altercation. Reeves confronted 43-year-old Chad Oulsen about sending text messages on his mobile phone during the previews before the main feature, "Lone Survivor." As the argument escalated, Mr. Oulsen allegedly threw popcorn at Reeves, provoking an armed response. Under the state's exceedingly broad Stand Your Ground law, a person carrying a firearm may gun down, in cold blood, any perceived assailant or ambiguous, trivial threat. Reeves was charged with second-degree murder, although legal experts suspect he will invoke Stand Your Ground to justify killing a man equipped with only popcorn. But as the National Rifle Association (NRA) points out, citing George Zimmerman's acquittal under the "Skittles Defense" for his part in the slaying of otherwise unarmed teen Trayvon Martin, confections and snack foods in the state pose serious threats to the population. The NRA has now added popcorn to its growing list of "deadly assault snacks."
George Zimmerman's fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012 sparked national outrage, a federal investigation, a reaffirmation of America's timeless love affair with the Second Amendment, and legal recognition, at least in the state of Florida, of candy as a legitimate threat to the nation's health, which must be put down through the exercise of extreme force. Zimmerman maintained that he gunned down Martin in self-defense, believing his life was in danger at the time the teen menacingly brandished a bag of candies, a dubious looking bottle of iced tea and a phone. A jury agreed and acquitted Zimmerman in July 2013. In the Oulsen-Reeves incident, a cell phone was also present. NRA officials say they will be looking into a possible connection between phones and snacks, which was overlooked during their initial investigations.
Despite the prompt filing of murder charges against Reeves, state officials are bracing themselves for a contentious debate about whether Reeves may be exonerated by claiming self defense.
In 2012, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre created several internal task forces, one devoted to classifying perceived threats pertinent to Stand Your Ground cases. Following the successful outcome in the Zimmerman case, the NRA declared Skittles candy a "deadly assault snack."
After studying hours of surreal Skittles commercials on YouTube, George Zimmerman learned that the candies contained magical properties, which allowed them to suspend children from rainbows, turn a man's feet to confections and bestow Midas-like gifts upon a middle-aged office worker. And the wishes granted by Skittles, Zimmerman realized, always came at a deadly price. Questioning the existence of the Skittles rainbow, for example, caused one child to plummet to his death. In the ads where body parts turned into Skittles, zombie-like passersby began eating the victims, which LaPierre and Zimmerman described as no lesser a crime than cannibalism.
On Tuesday, spokespeople for the NRA announced that the gun lobby would be including popcorn in the list of deadly assault snacks, on Mr. LaPierre's orders.
"As with so many of the Lord's blessings, such as those that endow paranoid people with the ability to brandish powerful firearms, the passage of Stand Your Ground protections in many U.S. states speaks to intelligent design," said Thorn Havershabe, head of the San Narciso County chapter of the NRA. "I say 'intelligent' because these laws were wisely written to be as broad in scope as possible. But while any perceived threat, real or imagined, may warrant the use of lethal force, the NRA wants its members to know that we remain committed to responsible policies. We are therefore attempting to classify various threats, such as deadly assault snacks, to aid members in understanding their rights when slaughtering others and to help them mount more effective defenses for their completely understandable actions."
Not only has popcorn been added to the list, it has been elevated in rank to the first spot.
"Skittles are obviously frightening, but in a sort of supernatural way," Havershabe explained. "Popcorn, on the other hand, is a bonafide weapon. It's basically an explosive. All you need is a little oil, and the kernels explode like miniature grenades."
Popcorn is also made using pressure cooker type devices, the same implements deployed by terrorists during the attacks on the Boston Marathon.
"So now, any nut in America can fashion an improvised explosive device for a few dollars at any grocery store," Havershabe noted. "The fact that the ingredients are so accessible and so easy for even a child to get his hands on means that more people need to consider protecting themselves. That's why Mr. LaPierre has redoubled his efforts to make weapons ownership a mandatory federal requirement for all citizens over the age of 10, regardless of their physical, emotional or mental states. Now more than ever, it's us or them."
2014. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See disclaimers.