The Right To Shoot Back: Another "Gun-Free-Zone" Fail
Posted 07/23/2012 06:53 PM ET
Gun Control: Colorado is a concealed-carry state, as a noted film critic points out, but so was Virginia when a college campus there was racked by violence. Like the school, the theater chain was also "gun-free."
In December 2007, two church members were shot to death and three others injured after a gunman opened fire outside the New Life Church in Colorado Springs as Sunday services were wrapping up.
That tragedy could have been much worse, but the gunman was shot by a church security officer and was found dead when police arrived at the scene.
On April 22 of this year a just-released felon went to the New Destiny Christian Church in Aurora, Colo., and killed the mother of Pastor Delano Strahan before being killed himself by a congregant carrying a gun.
Unlike the tragedies at Columbine High School and the movie theatre in Aurora, there was someone at these venues willing and able to shoot back.
Other than the shooter, there was nobody armed in or at the Century 16 theater complex where 12 were killed and another 59 wounded, unable to exercise their right to self-defense.
Colorado is a concealed-carry state, as was Virginia at the time of the Virginia Tech shootings. But like Virginia Tech, according to World Net Daily, the Century 16 theater's parent, Cinemark Holdings Inc., has a strict "gun-free" policy at all of its 459 theaters, even for those who have concealed carry permits.
Film critic Roger Ebert opined in the New York Times that Colorado's concealed-carry laws didn't protect moviegoers, overlooking the theater owner's gun-free policy as will the media in coming days .
The similarities between Aurora and the Virginia Tech massacre are eerie and maddening. In 2006, a Virginia Tech student was disciplined for carrying a gun on campus, despite having a permit. School officials were quick to note their school was a "gun-free zone."As Warner Todd Houston reported at Breitbart.com in 2009, an Alaska-based member of a gun owner's message board reported that he tried to enter a Cinemark-owned theater with his open-carry weapon but was turned away because the chain was a "gun-free zone," the manager said. No one in that Aurora theater was allowed to defend himself.
On April 16, 2007, there was no one able to shoot back when Seung-Hui Cho shot 32 people to death on a Virginia Tech campus. Had one or two students or teachers been armed, it could have been stopped.
One wonders if Cho would have even walked on campus with a gun if he knew his victims would be able to defend themselves. Or how the story would have been different had Professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who lost his life barricading a classroom door so his students could escape, had been able to fire back.
Few Americans are aware that in an October 1997 shooting spree at a Pearl, Miss., high school that left two students dead, assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieved a gun from his car and immobilized the shooter until police arrived, preventing further killings.
Or, in another school shooting in January 2002 at the Appalachian School of Law in Virginia, a disgruntled former student killed Law Dean L. Anthony Sutin, associate professor Thomas Blackwell and a student. Two of the three Virginia law students who overpowered the gunman were armed, preventing further deaths.
In February 2007, at a Salt Lake City mall, armed off-duty police officer Ken Hammond killed a young Muslim named Sulejman Talovic after he had killed five people, preventing an even larger massacre.
Yet liberals will insist the answer to criminal violence is more "gun-free" zones and the disarming of more potential victims.
It remains to be seen whether Aurora, Colo., will be used to push the U.N.'s global gun grab in the form of the Arms Trade Treaty. After all, in this administration's view a crisis or tragedy is a terrible thing to waste.