THE BLOG
03/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A Modest Proposal

I read recently of a shooting at a movie theater near Philadelphia. One man, a veteran, enraged by the incessant talking of another during the movie, enraged that the talking went on despite several shhhhssss-es, took matters into his own hand, with a hand gun. Yet, he was charged with a crime.

No jury will convict, nor judge sentence, such a reasonable and corrective action. The shooter should be lauded not indicted. I would have shot to kill.

In fact, licensed movie goers, with approved top ten movie lists, should be armed and allowed enormous latitude in pronouncing summary justice on the few who ruin movies for so many. Of course, the pistols will be equipped with silencers to minimize any further disruption and bodies collected after the credits roll along with empty popcorn boxes and discarded drinks.

Movie theaters are being ruined by louts. They have been for years. How many of you have stopped going or go less frequently or never go on a Saturday night because it's just not worth the aggravation? Or go to movies expecting to be assaulted with utterly rude behavior as a matter of course?

At a recent showing of Defiance, a rather serious movie about a very serious subject, a couple in the front of the theater took out their cell phones and began reading and answering text messages. Seemingly unmindful and unconcerned that the bright light of their phones, supernovae in the darkness, were completely distracting to all those sitting behind them. Not flipped open for emergency notifications or a quick note in reply...no, either they were both reading live transcripts from a Senate hearing on the dangers of industrial pig farms or responding with complete chapters of War and Peace. Minutes passed. Sitting there trying to watch the movie, amidst octogenarians who may have actually experienced the events of Defiance, I, armed only with umbrage, was moved to action.

I walked down to the cretin's aisle: Excuse me, I said, the light of your cell phones is really distracting to those sitting behind you. Could you lower them so we can watch the movie?

This in my most pleasant, neutral tone.

Get the F... out of my face, man. Was the shouted, menacing response. Get the mother F...out of my face, was the second response as the speaker considered the lack of sufficient adjectives in his first rejoinder.

What do you do with creatures such as these?

Trained movie loving sharpshooters equipped with silenced weapons is, as I mentioned, what leaps to the mind of most Americans. Problem solved. Mopery bled out of the system.

Or kangaroo courts held in the lobby, staffed by judges picked by Roger Ebert. Citizens handing out summary judgments as miscreants are hauled out of theaters in handcuffs for various offenses.

Talking during the previews: first offense...loss of popcorn privileges.

Talking during the movie: first offense...an hour in the stocks (set up outside the theater) to be pelted with popcorn and Jujubes. Second offense: the offender's tongue being cut out by approved surgeons in full view of cheering patrons. Third offense: death by lethal injection of artificial popcorn butter.

Feet on seats: loss of two toes. Subsequent offenses: progressive amputation until the problem takes care of itself.

Talking on cell phone during movie: cell phone inserted in traditional cavity, there to ring and vibrate to posterially remind the offender of his/her offense.

Texting: see above, head shots obviating the need for court action.

Chewing popcorn with open mouth: the court has dentists on call. Someone sitting right next to you in an empty theater: ejection seats.

I welcome readers to respond with offenses I have missed and punishments that would fit such crimes. It's time for defiance. It's time for justice. It's time for the eight o'clock on a Saturday night to be reclaimed by the many, not ruined by the few.

As for the ACLU's inevitable screechings: Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.