Dr. Keith Ablow, the man who apparently will say anything
if it means Fox News will keep letting him be on the teevee, has figured out how to explain the recent Florida movie theater shooting in a way that doesn’t implicate guns at all: data rage
. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds.
Fox News “Medical A-Team” member Keith Ablow thinks smartphones may be even more dangerous to have in theaters than handguns.
Ablow on Tuesday said a smartphone caused a retired police officer to experience “data rage” toward a man who was texting in a Florida theater and fatally shoot him.
After Curtis Reeves was ordered held without bond on Tuesday, Fox News hosts Bill Hemmer and Alisyn Camerota asked the television psychiatrist what might have caused the 71-year-old ex-Tampa officer pull out his .380 pistol and shoot 43-year-old Chad Oulson while he was texting his 3-year-old daughter.
“I think we may have to look at something I’ll call data rage,” Ablow opined. “Just like road rage. We know that when people interact with machines that sometimes they feel emboldened to do things that they never would, that it can be tremendously frustrating and that people who could be vulnerable — by the way, they may be impulsive to begin with or explosive — add in technology or a machine and things can go over the top.”
I guess, in Ablow’s mind, if the gentleman had not had a gun, “data rage” would have driven him to bludgeon the texter to death with some Twizzlers, or maybe build a bomb using popcorn butter and other found items.
What truly amazes me is that this is supposed to be an argument, essentially, for letting this man have a gun. I’ll give Dr. Ablow the benefit of the doubt for a minute and pretend “data rage” is really a thing. Isn’t this an issue of mental health, to which the NRA et al are always trying to change the subject? If people are prone to uncontrollable rage in the presence of people texting, what are the public safety implications for gun regulation? Or should I just pack my own heat in case I enrage someone through texting?
Not that I expect a thoughtful or coherent answer to such questions…
Photo credit: By Jacrews7 (Flickr: On The Floor Texting) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.