One man, one phone call, and one less violent arcade game
It only took one phone call to make a difference.
A man in Yonkers, New York didn’t have a good feeling when just after the Aurora, Colo. shooting he walked into his local mega-chain movieplex and saw the arcade game “Buck Hunter” on prominent display and in use by kids.
“You can’t help but see it.” Richard Reitnauer told KIRO Radio’s Andrew Walsh Show that it’s where your eyes travel as soon as you walk in the brand new movie complex near his home.
Just days after the Aurora shooting claimed the lives of 12 people and injured 58 others, “here stand two little kids with rifles in their hands shooting at this game.”
It wouldn’t be the last time Reitnauer walked through the lobby of this movie theater to see young kids shooting the pretend rifles at the game. Every time he walked passed he would mumble to his partner how inappropriate it seemed.
Finally, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School – just an hour away from Yonkers – he decided enough was enough.
He told his partner he’d write a letter to the editor of the local paper about his frustration about the gun-aimed game in the movie theater.
But, it wouldn’t be fair to go on the attack without reaching out to the theater first.
“I called, and got right through,” Reitnauer said. He figured he’d be disappointed with the result of his conversation. Instead, he was surprised. The man said he’d get back to him about the request, but since it was few days before Christmas it might take some time.
The wait was worth it – when he got the call back from the man, they had already pulled “Buck Hunter” from the movie theater.
Now that movie theater chain has plans to meet with their video game vendor and examine if the game should be taken out or left in other theaters – on a case by case basis.
“I wanted to take one step and be an example.”
It turns out sometimes one phone call is all you need when you want to get something done.