Theater Shooting Proves Signs Do Not Prevent Massacre

by Michael Newbern

Colorado Theater Shooting
Century 16 Theater in Aurora, Colorado after the shooting where 12 have died.

Gun free zones are never gun free.

The people of Aurora, Colorado were struck by tragedy early this morning. This morning’s massacre has left 12 dead and 59 more injured, including 3 United States service members. It was the worst mass shooting in the United States since 32 innocent people were killed and 23 others were injured on the Virginia Tech campus in 2007. It was the worst in Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 where 13 innocent people were killed and 26 others were wounded.

Each of these tragic incidents and many more mass shootings, including Ohio’s most recent massacre in Chardon where 3 innocent people died and 3 more were injured, share one common thread. They were all carried out by people determined to inflict as much harm on others as possible. They were also enabled and provided a victim rich target pool by authority. All of these incidents were carried out in areas where lawful carry of firearms was banned.

Gun free zones do not disarm bad guys.

Yes, the theater in Aurora Colorado banned firearms on its property. reports that several firearms enthusiasts noted the prohibition and were even asked to leave while carrying into theaters owned by the same company. One person even stated that “Cinemark’s official policy is that ONLY LEO’S CAN CARRY INTO THEIR THEATERS


He reports that Dan Myers at Cinemark Corporate also asked him not to email complaints about the policy, indicating they had no desire to consider changing it.

Even here at Ohio State, criminals show no regard for the signs, policy, or law banning firearms on campus and inside buildings. A male staff member was robbed at gun point in his office at 33 W 11th Street in December 2011. A disgruntled Ohio State employee entered his workplace, a maintenance building, in March 2010 and opened fire with a handgun killing Larry Wallington and injuring Henry Butler, Jr.

Gun free zones only disarm the good guys.

In the Aurora shooting, a gun free zone disarmed 3 US service members that may have otherwise been able to minimize the carnage and instead made them victims. Virginia Tech shooting survivor Colin Goddard, who has now become a spokesperson for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said that one of the people in his classroom had a permit to carry a concealed handgun. She didn’t have it that day as the shooter easily murdered his victims and was not able to defend herself or minimize the tragedy.

Gun friendly zones enable potential victims to refuse.

Gary Kleck, criminologist at Florida State University, reports firearms are successfully used in self-defense 1,000,000 times per year. Just last week 71 year-old Samuel Williams prevented a robbery and possibly saved his life and the life of 30 internet cafe patrons when two robbers rushed in with bats and guns. Earlier this year, Aaron Guyton used his handgun to subdue a man who kicked in the doors of South Side Freewill Baptist Church in Boiling Springs, South Carolina wielding a shotgun saving himself and everyone else listening to his father’s sermon that day.

Gun free zones protect criminals.

Self-defense enthusiasts call areas where firearms are banned Criminal Protection Zones. Banning legally carried handguns ensures criminals are able to victimize innocent law-abiding citizens in a safe work environment.  Ohio’s college campuses are criminal protection zones and Ohio State is the largest.

We need to stop enabling criminals and providing them safe work environments on college campuses. We need to allow students, many who by the way can carry a fully automatic firearm in the military and some who have, the right to defend themselves. We need to do it before a Virginia Tech, Columbine High School, or Colorado Movie Theater happens at Ohio State.

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