Aurora Theater Victims Were Denied Their Right to Protection

First, let me say that my heart goes out to the victims of the shooting that occurred at the theater in Aurora, Colorado earlier today.  The tragedy they endured touches far more lives than theirs.  While we don’t know all the numbers yet, I’m sure dozens and dozens of people lost husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers,  and sisters in the massacre.

I’m also saddened because these victims were rendered defenseless by the Century 16’s “no weapons” policy.  The truth is, while Colorado is very good about allowing the law abiding (who have been fingerprinted, passed a background check, legal written test, and shooting test) to carry a handgun for personal protection, Cinemark (the company that owns the theater) forbids them.

There are two exceptions to Cinemark’s ridiculous policy: law enforcement, and people who choose to disobey the sign. Thus, the law abiding who obeyed the “no gun” sign at the door were victims of the criminal who didn’t care what the sign said.

A local news site,, has an article about the tragedy.  There was one comment when I read the article, from “Vicki McMillan of Leawood, Kansas”:

When are we going to take automatic firearms off the “common” market…..NO private citizen needs an automatic weapon…..hand guns for protection yes, automatic firearmes NO….

While I applaud her defense of personal protection, I had to chime in with a response of my own:

While I understand that you mean well, please do your research. He didn’t use automatic weapons, and it’s already illegal to own any automatic weapon manufactured after 1986 when the ban went in effect. Pre-ban automatics cost $20,000 or more, so they’re well out of the reach of the “common” market.

It’s not all your fault – the article uses terms like “sprayed with bullets” to make it seem like he was unloading hundreds of rounds per minute, when that just wasn’t the case. If he had an automatic, there would have been no need to fire a shotgun or handguns.

I went on to explain the problem with Cinemark’s weapon policy, as I have above.  My comment never made it past moderation, and a couple hours later both comments were removed.  I guess somebody with an anti-gun slant at the site didn’t want my simple facts getting in the way of an emotional, fear-based response.  Again, I think Ms. McMillan’s heart is in the right place, but 9/11 taught us we pay the price when we’re willing to give up our freedoms for the “promise” of safety.

Sadly, we should have learned this lesson centuries ago, when it was obviously an issue.  That’s why Benjamin Franklin himself once stated:

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Pray for the direct victims of today’s attack, and their friends and family who are victims as well – victims who must live with the consequences of one man’s actions for the rest of their lives.  Don’t dishonor them by fearfully asking the government to take over.  Fight to ensure that in the future, the law abiding can defend themselves wherever they choose to peacefully assemble.

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