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A Crowded Theater

Well, this was predictable.  A man brings a gun to a movie theater complex in Colorado – in a holster, in plain view, standard open carry, legal in this jurisdiction.

Staff and movie goers are frightened.  The police are called.  Theaters are evacuated!  Finally, it is discovered that the theater serves alcohol – not that the man had any – and this gives the police the excuse to arrest him, which they do.


Is it so unreasonable, after what just happened, that a man wanted to be able to protect himself, should it happen again?  Or maybe he wanted to make the larger political point, that he should be able to do so?  If that was the case, then the conversation should go something like this:

Manager: “I’m sorry, sir.  It is against company policy to allow weapons inside the theater.  I am going to have to ask you to leave.”

Gunny: “If that’s the way you want it!  But me and my gun-totin’ friends will never come here again.  There are a lot of us who feel this way, so maybe you need to ask your bosses to think about that.”  Departs.

Instead, everyone overreacts.  Instead, the police are called and a crime is invented.  Why?  Because that is how we have been trained, by schools, by politicians, and by media.

Citizen-drone: “Hey!  Help!  That otherwise-law-abiding man has a gun strapped to him!  And he isn’t even wearing a uniform!  Uniforms mean he can’t hurt me, but he isn’t wearing a uniform!  Or a badge!  Nobody with a uniform or a badge has ever hurt anyone!  Please, won’t somebody make that armed man wear a uniform?  I don’t want my child to see this!  I will never feel safe again!  Help!  Please, HELP!!  Kill him now!”

Seriously, this is a learned response that has been cultivated in our people, reacting to the mere sight of a gun.  But what if as few as ten people out of the two hundred in that theater in Aurora had been armed?  The whole thing would have ended quicker, with much less loss of life.

“More guns would have just gotten more people shot,” the Citizen-drone responds, as he has been trained.  The thought that anyone with a gun might have brought this man down totally eludes him.  The fact that most personal gun owners have more practice, better marksmanship, and better understand the rules of engagement than most police officers has never been told to him.

Theater companies and malls and restaurant chains all have lawyers and the lawyers tell them not to allow guns on their premises, for fear of lawsuit and liability.  By doing so, they endanger all of us, by creating more safe-havens for crazed killers.  Because, in case you have missed it, pretty much every mass killing in recent memory has happened in a gun-free zone, be it in schools, in aircraft, in post offices, or, indeed, in a movie theater.  The nut-job knows he is far safer in such a place, as others have done the job of disarming his victims for him.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mapes is probably going to jail, for the crime of making people nervous, and he will probably get there long before the Aurora nut-job does.  He was probably taking a stand.  More power to him.

But the people don’t want to be told when they are being stupid and they will not reward him for it.


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