The gallant paramilitary contractors of Michael Bay’s Benghazi film 13 Hours risked life and limb to defend our American way of life — our freedom to speak our minds, to worship as our souls move us, and most importantly, to carry fully loaded firearms into public spaces. And so it is with a dark, tragic irony that we relay the news that a Washington state woman sustained a gunshot wound during a screening of 13 Hours last night.
TheWrap reports that at around 9:41PM, a seemingly intoxicated man was fumbling with a gun that he had lawfully brought into the movie theater when it accidentally went off, wounding his fellow viewer at the Renton Regal Cinema. Though the woman took the bullet to the torso, the Associated Press has confirmed that she is no longer in critical condition and will make a full recovery. Renton Police Department public information officer David Leibman provided TheWrap with a statement indicating that the man had not extended beyond legal territory in bringing his gun into the theater, saying, “It’s legal in Washington to carry a concealed weapon and you are allowed to bring a gun into a business unless the business prohibits it.”
As deeply regrettable as this incident is, it’s hard not to view it in its larger cultural context. It was not too long ago that major movie theater chains invested in heavy security complete with body scans to prevent anyone from bringing guns to showings of Straight Outta Compton. Nobody was shot during any Compton showings, and though the intended audience of 13 Hours tends to be vocal about the importance of gun ownership, no security measures were taken whatsoever. It’s a conversation for another time, but this incident does raise some troubling questions about which sorts of movies and which sorts of people are publicly viewed as dangerous.