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“Gun free zone” businesses should be held liable for failing to protect their customers


Erstwhile film critic Roger Ebert used his First Amendment rights the other day to attack the Second Amendment, claiming that the United States’ gun laws are “insane” after a 24-year-old man shot 70 people and killed 12 in a movie theatre during the opening night of “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.”

I know something about this place, this event, and the laws that liberals like Ebert are complaining about. For years, I lived next door to the Cinemark Century 16 theatre where last week’s massacre took place. I used to attend movies there. It was a popular place for teenagers. But the Aurora Mall, whose parking lot is where the Cinemark Century 16 theatre is located, has been the scene of violence and murder before,and that is one of the reasons why I moved away from there. As the neighborhood grew poorer and darker, gang shootings and murders increased until it wasn’t safe to live there anymore.

Ebert claimed that the Century 16 theatre massacre proves that concealed-carry laws don’t work, because no one in the theatre fired back at the shooter to stop him. Colorado (and Arapahoe County, where the theatre is located) issues concealed-carry permits for weapons, and at least 139,000 permits are in force in Colorado today. Ebert failed to notice, however, that Cinemark bans guns on the premises of its theatres, and therefore law-abiding citizens would normally honor a posted notice that a business is a “gun-free zone.” That’s why no one fired back. They all left their guns at home, or in their cars. The attacker, of course, ignored the posted notice and the “gun-free zone” policy. That’s why it was a massacre. Criminals don’t obey the rules. That’s the problem with “gun-free zones.” They’re actually “killing zones” for mass murderers, and the law-abiding citizens in that zone are sheep for the slaughter.

When I see a sign on a business or a college campus forbidding weapons, I ignore it and walk right in with my weapons. I have every right to be there, and if the proprietor doesn’t like weapons on the property, well, they just don’t know about it. I’m not concerned about offending their little sensibilities. I don’t see them offering to protect me while I’m there, so I will protect myself, and others who happen to be there. If the proprietor discovers that I’m armed (unlikely), what can they do? Nothing, other than asking me to leave. My weapons are legal. They have no recourse other than to resort to claims of “trespassing” if I refuse to leave.

I went to the Cinemark Century 16 theatre often when I lived there. I was usually armed, and no one knew about it except me. If I go back there, I will still be armed, and they will still know nothing about it. The only way that anyone will know is if someone attacks me, or attacks the people around me. Then the attackers will find out the hard way.

In the jungle where I live now, I still carry weapons, even though the incidence of violent crime is much lower. It’s insurance. You never know when you will need it. Here are a few instances where armed citizens stopped a massacre. They didn’t know they were going to need their “insurance,” but in each and every instance, everyone (except the attacker) was glad they had it. I’ve seen posts on the internet from ignorant liberals who think that people should not be offered a chance to defend themselves, because they’ll just make a bad situation worse. I think that’s ridiculous. Everyone deserves a chance to survive. If they refuse to defend themselves when they had the chance, then that was their choice. But if they are denied the choice to defend themselves (whether by business policies or legislation), then the people who write those policies and laws bear some responsibility for the victims’ deaths.

If a public place, such as a business or a school, is going to ban guns on the premises, then it is that business’ or school’s responsibility to provide protection for the people on the premises. It’s as simple as that. I hope the families of the Cinemark Century 16 victims will sue Cinemark for failing to protect its customers. Only lawsuits against businesses and schools which ban guns and yet fail to protect their customers will change their behavior.

  1. Mike permalink
    2012-07-23T20:59:33-04:00 20:59

    I couldn’t have said it any better. I absolutely concur. I find it interesting that none of the mainstream reporting that I have read or seen on TV or heard on the radio has mentioned this “gun-free zone” nonsense at that theater. I only first heard about it days later in the blogosphere. We need to get this discussion OUT THERE!


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