The mass shooting at the Aurora, Colorado, Cinemark Theatre on July 20, 2012 is a tragedy. There is no doubt about that.
It was, however, a preventable tragedy (at least as far as the high body count goes) except for one thing: all of those fine Colorado folks did what law-abiding people always do... they obeyed the rules.
The rule issued by Cinemark that said nobody was allowed to carry a firearm on their premises, not even if they were a lawful concealed carry license holder. Their movie theatre is precisely the kind of “target-rich environment” that spree killers like James Holmes pine for: a gun-free zone.
Colorado is what we in the concealed carry movement call a “Shall Issue” state. If a citizen applies for a concealed firearms permit and has no criminal record then the state MUST issue that citizen his or her concealed carry permit. This is a good thing.
The problems we have when faced with spree killers such as this Denver moron are two-fold.
First, no matter how fast the police response is to the shooting (and in this case the police response time was truly remarkable) they cannot get there until bodies are already on the ground. They are not on the scene at the time all Hell breaks loose.
Second, rules based on a political agenda instead of the safety of human beings ultimately cost lives, as this case proves so terribly.
The anti-gun (and anti-human life) policy of the Cinemark theatre chain only prevents rule-following citizens from carrying firearms.
Their politically based ideological rule that prevents law-abiding citizens from carrying legally-owned firearms inside their premises is, of course, their right. It is their business and they can make any rule inside that place of business they deem reasonable, even if that rule just cost dozens of people their lives and health.
This “gun-free zone” rule had no effect whatsoever on the murderer willing to kill dozens of people. These rules never do. The only thing they do is guarantee a tragically high body count.
You would think that even the most anti-gun fanatic would be able to comprehend this simple truth! Sadly, they never do and more people will die because of that.
Criminals do not obey laws. Criminals do not obey rules. I will never comprehend why seemingly intelligent people cannot comprehend this simple fact.
The Cinemark movie chain is every bit as responsible for the dead and wounded people as the deranged idiot who shot them.
Because it was their anti-gun decree that put their political agenda ahead of the lives of their patrons.
Timothy Warner, the CEO of Cinemark, whined to the press that this tragedy was "totally shocking" as though he had nothing to do with it.
"This is just an isolated.. deranged gunman that... had access to really high-power weapons," he told reporters.
That is only partly true.
The other half of the equation is that Timothy Warner’s company chose to ensure the “deranged gunman” would be completely unopposed as he emptied magazine after magazine into the crowded theatre.
Concealed Carry legislation saves lives. What costs lives is stupid policies that take away a person’s ability to defend themselves when they need that ability most: when their lives are threatened by a lunatic with a gun.
It’s a simple statement, but it’s true nonetheless. Armed citizens save lives.
Don’t believe me? Fine. Just answer me this question.
Who do we call when some lunatic with a gun goes on a rampage like this?
Armed citizens. We call them police officers. The only difference between a police officer and a lawful concealed carry firearm owner is the police officer has a badge to go with his gun. Due to the legal issues surrounding concealed carry, the vast majority of concealed carry holders have far more training with their firearms than cops do.
Again, this is as it should be. If you’re going to carry a firearm for self-defense, then you ought to be proficient with it. That’s a no-brainer.
The second problem is much more difficult and there is nothing we can really do about it. That’s the idiot that grabs a gun and goes around shooting people. As early reports show so far in the Denver case, there is nothing to show this idiot was about to do what he did. There usually isn’t.
No law created by man will ever prevent a lunatic from doing the evil that is in his or her heart. Laws don’t do anything to prevent people like this.
The reality that politicians and anti-gun fanatics never want to face is that laws only affect those who are willing to abide by them. Period.
Had there been a single armed person inside the theatre when this bloody lunatic opened fire they could have drastically reduced the body count of both dead and injured. It’s not that there wasn’t a safe time to come out of a hiding spot and shoot the deranged killer. There was. When people realized the killer was reloading, they ran for the exits. They ran for their lives. Not a single person attempted to take down the killer when he was at his most vulnerable point: reloading before killing some more.
I’m reminded of 7 brave young Boy Scouts led by Jacob Ryker at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, who were faced with a similar situation in 1998. They were faced with a nutbar with a gun who was killing them inside their classroom.
Instead of running like cowards when that deranged killer stopped to reload, Ryker led the charge against their attacker, overpowered him and took away his ability to kill anyone else.
Jacob Ryker had already been shot once in the lung. That didn’t stop him from doing what needed to be done. He and his fellow Boy Scouts were successful in disarming the lunatic with the gun. They prevented anyone else from getting shot or killed that fateful day.
For his heroic part Jacob Ryker was awarded the highest honour a Boy Scout can receive for bravery and leadership.
Sadly, there were no Boy Scouts in the Cinemark theatre on July 20th, 2012. There were no brave men or women willing to do whatever it takes to stop the madman in his tracks.
That is, to say the least, unfortunate.
I fully understand why people would run away from the madman. It is a terrifying thing to have someone shooting at you with the intent to end your life. It’s all the more terrifying when there is absolutely no reason for it as in the case of this lunatic in Aurora, Colorado.
That being said, I’m saddened that there wasn’t a single person willing to try to stop this jerk in his tracks before he killed anyone else.
Jacob Ryker did that when he was just 17 years old, and he’d already been shot once in the lung.
Jacob Ryker could have hidden. He could have run away.
He did neither.
He stood up like a man and did what needed to be done, the cost to himself be damned.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family members of those killed in this tragedy. They face insurmountable grief in the coming days, weeks and months ahead.
My thoughts and prayers are also with those injured in this shooting spree and I pray they all recover fully from their wounds, both physical and psychological.
Since I cannot say it better than my friends at JPFO.org, I’ll end with a quote from their message:
Unfortunately, the opponents and liberty will not hesitate to dance on the victims' graves while singing their tired songs of firearm bans and confiscations. Already, the Brady Bunch has called this "yet another horrific reminder that guns enable mass killings."
At JPFO, we take a more commonsensical, measured approach. Lunatic mass murderers will not be stopped by gun bans or confiscations; those with criminal intent will always find a way to access firearms.
If we revoke freedoms and liberties in reaction to every tragedy, we will soon not only outlaw all guns, but also knives, screwdrivers, hammers, pipes, and eventually pens.
But blaming the tools is just a small step better than blaming the victims. Instead, let's put the blame where it belongs: on the murderer. At best, he should be given a life sentence with no chance of parole.
But feel-good sophists -- the same feel-good sophists who would confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens who want no more than to have a tool to defend their families -- want us to ignore the criminal and blame the tool.