Perkins: It’s time for mandatory anger management classes for some hotheads

Did you hear about the man who got shot in the movie theater because he was texting? A retired 71-year-old policeman got so angry with a young father who was texting his daughter during the previews (the movie hadn't started yet) that the retiree pulled out his gun and shot and killed the man right in the theater.

Remember, the shooter was a retired police captain. Now I know it is irritating to be surrounded by all these tweeters and texters, especially when you're an old guy, but I think capitol punishment for the texting offense in this case is a bit harsh. It's just another example of the lack of anger management in our society today. There seems to be no governor switch on some people's tempers.

Another example is the man who stabbed and killed his roommate over a television remote. Talk about reality TV.

On the opposite gender side we have the bride-to-be who stabbed her fiancé after arguing over the predominant colors to be used for their upcoming wedding. If they make it to the altar he better say "I don't."

C'mon people, take a breath, walk around the block and have a cup of coffee. On second thought, skip the coffee, as you are agitated enough already, but do whatever it takes to calm down.

Imagine if all those drivers were armed who receive the one-finger salute from opposing drivers. There would be blood all over our highways.

It's scary to realize how many arguments are now settled by gun or knife or other violent methods. There has to be something occurring in our culture that seems to inure many of us to violence. We accept it as an approved method to settle our differences.

Now, I know there is more violence on our TV screens and in movie theaters and of course many blame the many forms of video games with their unlimited amounts of gore, but even so there must be a change in our society's tolerance to have allowed it all to escalate to this degree. Even Justin Bieber got so mad at his neighbor, he allegedly egged his mansion. Well, at least he didn't shoot him. I hope he avoids a lengthy sentence, as I don't think he would do well in prison. Eggs would be the least of his worries.

How about the man who was so mad at his wife and their upcoming divorce that he took her little dog for a ride in his car trunk, let the dog out in a narrow alley and then ran over it with his car. No matter how mad the wife made him, I think that was a little over the top, to say the least. Maybe he ran over the wrong ... oh, never mind, I'm not going there.

And then there's the older man who grew so incensed with the guy in front of him who had obviously more than the 12-item limit in the speed checkout line that he beat the hell out of the guy. As the cops led him away, he had both fists raised like he wanted to give him a little more. Actually I kind of like this guy!

The only suggestion I can think of is proposing that we have a national "Anger Management Day" when every person in the country is given a mandatory anger test and those that flunk are sent to Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan to release their anger on those people who seem to have issues of their own. This way we could solve our anger issues and release many of our troops stationed over there to come home. Problem solved.

TOM PERKINS IS A RETIRED ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE WHO LIVES IN WATERFORD. EMAIL HIM AT TNGPERK@SBCGLOBAL.NET.

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