Gun-Makers Didn’t Murder Aurora Theatergoers—Somebody Else Made That Happen
In an utterly predictable move, liberals fell all over themselves to use last week’s rampage killing to clamor for more gun control. Making a guest appearance in The New York Times, criminologist Roger Ebert offered the following pithy advice to the little people who arm themselves because they feel threatened in their own neighborhoods: “It would be safer if you moved.”
This is not only a condescending but a head-scratching suggestion, given that 41 states besides Colorado allow the purchase of assault rifles, and 3 others regulate but otherwise allow the weapons. (We always knew liberals secretly loathed every state except California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.)
In 2010, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence ranked Colorado 27 out of 50 in its list of states with the strongest laws regulating firearms. So Colorado is right in the middle of the list in terms of strictness of state gun control laws, not near the bottom, as you might expect from liberal ranting.
In fact, a review of all mass shootings in school and non-school settings over the past decade reveals that virtually all occurred in states with relatively strict gun control laws. The only mass shooting in the past decade to occur in a state in the bottom third of the country by restrictiveness of gun laws was Jared Lee Loughner’s 2011 killing of 6 in Arizona.
Apparently it needs to be explained ad infinitum to pro-gun control liberals: It’s the individual criminal who kills, not permissive gun laws, NRA members, or Smith and Wesson employees.
Though Colorado passed a statewide concealed-carry law in 2003, there are plenty of public facilities in the state that prohibit guns on their premises. The theater chain Cinemark—owner of the Century 16 theater where the Colorado shooting took place—bans firearms, as indicated on multiple signs posted throughout its facilities. Somehow this legal restriction didn’t factor into Holmes’ calculations.
In his gun control Times essay, Ebert declared, “In theory, the citizenry needs to defend itself. Not a single person at the Aurora, Colo., theater shot back, but the theory will still be defended.” Yes, the theory will still be defended, because all of the law-abiding citizens in the theater were following the cinema chain’s policy and were unarmed, despite Colorado’s concealed-carry law. The only person in the theater who was armed was the one breaking the law by murdering people.
Any simpleton can see that an armed populace is better able to protect itself from criminals than an unarmed one. If someone in the Aurora theater had been carrying a concealed weapon, this ordeal would have resulted in fewer deaths and less survivor trauma. Gun control advocates not only have no confidence in private citizens’ ability to protect themselves and others from armed bandits, their emotionally-laden ignorance leaves them with the blood of unarmed victims on their hands.
As gun-rights scholar John Lott noted, virtually every mass shooting in modern American history has occurred in a so-called “gun-free” zone. Mass murderers may be psychotic, but they’re not stupid. They don’t implement their killing sprees at Hell’s Angels gatherings or rodeos.
When guns are outlawed, only the Comic Book Guy will have guns.