, Newburyport, MA


March 27, 2014

Between 'lightning' and 'lightning bug'

To the editor:

Responding to my March 6 column about the shooting in a Florida cinema, a letter (“Nothing light-hearted about shooting someone,” March 21) asks what I think about the shooter “himself texting moments before he killed another man.”

However, the letter cites a March 13 Christian Science Monitor report in which the word is not “moments” but “minutes.” According to the Associated Press, 15 minutes, well before the confrontation began.

Also worth noting: The CSM headline, “Man who shot texter was texting, too,” lends itself to the impression that the texts were simultaneous.

Headline writers often look for an apparent paradox in a story to grab readers’ attention, trusting that the report will supply precision and detail — such as the sequence of events.

Despite that, and despite her claim that I “do not have all the facts,” the headline is the only quote the writer takes from CSM.

If the CSM can be twisted to that extent, perhaps I shouldn’t mind that my line, “While I cannot approve of the shooting,” was ignored in order to make it appear that I do approve.

Or that my intent was called “light-hearted.” Clearly, my use of that word referred to my reminders to audiences before the start of films to silence ringtones and refrain from flashing screens.

Judging from the approving nods, the laughter and at times applause, audiences understand this. Judging from comments that follow, they are reminders that stick.

Moreover, reactions of those who scramble to find and silence cells as I speak show that they appreciate the reminders as much as anyone.

For this I am most grateful. Unlike the letter writer who is “annoyed … frequently” by that loud cellphone voice in the grocery store, my job obligates me to silence those voices and ringtones in a theater near you.

Jack Garvey

Plum Island

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
How Brian Hoyer Stacks Up With Johnny Manziel Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Victoria's Secret Models Prove They're in Fighting Shape Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Man Poses for New Mugshot Photo Wearing Shirt with Old Mugshot Photo On It Disquieting times for Malaysia's 'fish listeners' Caught On Camera: Johnny Manziel Obscene Gesture Rita Ora Embraces the Ice Bucket Challenge Bird surprises soccer player Ashley Young during game Chapter Two: Never too late to become an artist Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral, Raises Over $15M For ALS Damaging Winds Stop the Show! In the Cockpit of the Air Force's Elite Squadron Pathologist: Autopsy Shows Teen Repeatedly Shot Christina Aguilera Has a Baby Girl Marvel Fans: Watch Dancing Baby Groot Over and Over! Raw: Protesters, Police Clash in Ferguson Gov. Rick Perry responds to indictment Breaking: Officials release name of police officer in Ferguson shooting
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans