The horrendous and calculated killings in Aurora Thursday evening are a great tragedy not just for the victims and their families but for everyone who can clearly see the utter evil of such acts and the helplessness we all feel as a result.
However this massacre might have been far less likely for there are a number of key problems that have gotten virtually no attention in the media and the political demagoguing that has resulted.
1. The patrons of the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises had entered a zone in which there existed no real protection of any kind against acts of violence. The theater chain owned by Cinemark maintains a strict no-gun position, not just for customers but for all employees, including security personnel. Of course, the theater has full right to ban guns for its customers not just for safety purposes but to keep insurance costs to a minimum, but I draw the line when it also includes security personnel, deferring the only security to the local government police.
In addition and while Colorado has a liberal policy of issuing concealed carry permits for adults over 21 years of age, most of the theater goers were under-age for such permits. Furthermore, at midnight the rest of the shopping center area was closed and deserted of employees and patrons, so that aid from others was not possible. Nevertheless, film critic Roger Ebert has predictably and ignorantly made wild claims that the incident proves the failure of concealed carry permits and that America’s gun laws as “insane.”
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