Gun-Makers Didn’t Murder Aurora Theatergoers—Somebody Else Made That Happen
Based on circumstantial evidence, it is infinitely more likely that gunman James Holmes was an Occupy Wall Street sympathizer than a Tea Party supporter. In addition to stockpiling rifles, ammunition, and gas canisters, and possibly being connected to anarchist group Black Bloc, Holmes intricately booby-trapped his apartment to kill or maim police and emergency responders. (I could have it backwards, but I think it’s Occupy and not the Tea Party that slanders the police as heavy-handed, fascist tools of the state.)
As soon as their premature Tea Party smears were falsified, liberals predictably turned to the next step in their playbook: clamoring 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 2002, Ronald Popadich killed 2 and injured 24 in a crime spree in New Jersey (#2 on the Law Center’s list) and Manhattan
- In 2004, Chia Vang killed 8 on a hunting trip in Wisconsin (#17)
- In 2005, Jeff Weise killed 9 at an Indian reservation high school in Minnesota (#15)
- In 2006, Kyle Huff killed 6 at a rave in Seattle, Washington (#14)
- In 2006, Charles Roberts killed 5 at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania (#11)
- In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 on the campus of Virginia Tech (#16)
- In 2008, Steven Kazmierczak killed 5 and injured 21 at Northern Illinois University (#6)
- In 2009, Jiverly Wong killed 13 at an immigration center in Binghamton, New York (#8)
- In 2011, Scott Dekraai killed 8 at a hair salon in California (#1)
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 (#50). That shooting differs from the others in that Loughner specifically targeted a local public figure, Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords.
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. As Obama might say if he were pro-gun rights: Assault rifle manufacturers didn’t murder Aurora theatergoers—somebody else made that happen.
Although 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—or in the lecture hall at Virginia Tech, or at the rave in Seattle, or at the immigration center in Binghamton—had been carrying a concealed weapon, these ordeals 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 NASCAR races. How long would James Holmes’ shooting rampage have lasted at a Texas rodeo?
When guns are outlawed, only the Comic Book Guy will have guns.
Previously published in modified form at Red Alert Politics