A few days ago a 71 year old retired police officer shot and killed another theatre patron during the previews for the movie “Lone Survivor”.  The deceased man’s crime? He was texting during the coming attractions.

I know you are probably as shocked as I am. I mean, what kind of person texts during the previews, right? However, as much as I hate poor movie etiquette, I do think it was a bit of an overreaction on the part of the retired cop. For those of you with conceal/carry licenses, I thought this would be a good time to go over some of the rules of courtesy governing when it is and when it isn’t OK to shoot someone in a movie theatre. Here are a few basic, common sense tips…

The Offense: Texting During the Previews

This is what caused the actual shooting. Texting. During the previews?!? Maybe I can see this being aggravating especially if it’s a trailer for a movie that you’re really looking forward to. But shooting someone over texting during the previews is just taking it too far!

The Appropriate Response

A warning shot, at least, is called for. Just blast one into the ceiling and see if that doesn’t do the trick. Then, you can go back to enjoying the trailer for The Lego Movie in peace.

The Offense: Talking on Your Phone During a Movie

Believe it or not, it’s 2014 and this bull***t still happens! As egregious as this is, I still don’t think lethal force is called for in this situation.

The Appropriate Response :

As soon as the person makes the decision to answer their call, you should loudly pull back the trigger on you firearm. Make sure everyone in the theatre can hear it. This should solve the problem. On the outside chance that this doesn’t dissuade the inconsiderate talker, the phone should be taken from them, tossed into the air and shot. Make the phone dance in the air like Butch Cassidy shooting a tin can, just to let them know you mean business.

The Offense: Bringing a baby to a 9 pm showing of “Drag Me to Hell”.

If that seems like an oddly specific scenario, there’s a reason. This actually happened in a theatre I was in. Who would’ve thought?!? A baby might start crying as Alison Lohman is being loudly tortured by a demon??

The Appropriate Response:

You should make a citizens arrest and hold the parent(s) until C.P.S. arrives. The baby should be turned over to theatre management so that he or she can be raised in the theatre and given an apprenticeship in the theatrical ushering arts. Once the child becomes a master usher, they can go about making amends for the sins of their parents.

The Offense: Coughing Nonstop Through the Entire Movie

This is another real example from my personal movie-going history. I’m trying to watch “White Noise” with Michael Keaton a few years ago and in the row behind me a woman is having a full-blown tuberculosis episode. I can’t hear any of the horrible dialogue on the screen because I’ve got Doc Holliday here behind me spitting up blood.

The Appropriate Response

I still….still don’t deem lethal force a necessity, although in this case it might be considered a mercy-killing. This offense calls for nothing more serious than a flesh-wound to a non-vital part of the body (I recommend the meaty part of the thigh or the buttocks.) The now necessary visit to the emergency room may even result in treatment of the consumptive disorder plaguing this barbarian. However, given what you already know about their manners they probably won’t even send you a thank-you card.

The Offense: Yelling To the Characters on Screen or Adding Your Own Dialogue

It doesn’t get worse than this. If any in-theatre behavior calls for vigilante justice, this is it.

The Appropriate Response

And yet, even this doesn’t qualify as a capital offense. A knee-capping, however, is completely within the bounds of decorum. A single bullet to a kneecap is exquisitely excruciating and after the initial 30 minutes of anguished screaming, you should be able to hear the rest of the movie over your victims mewling and whimpering.