On July 20, 2012, a mass shooting occurred inside a Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of the film “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Dressed in tactical clothing, James Eagan Holmes set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience with multiple firearms. He killed 12 people and injured 70. It was a horrific crime that should never have happened. DA George Brachler sought the death penalty at the trial of Holmes.
On voir dire DA Brachler asked each potential juror if they were ideologically apposed to the death penalty. All 12 jurors who became the final 12 for the trial stated that they had no such objection and could agree with a death sentence in a case involving aggravated murder of multiple victims.
One juror apparently lied. She was the lone hold out on the jury and refused to vote for the death penalty. Thus, the people of Colorado were forced to support the cost and indignation of keeping one of the worst criminals in history alive in prison for several decades to come.
I don’t know if it was introduced in testimony at the trial but apparently Holmes scoped out several theaters to see which ones had a “no gun” policy. Wicked cowards like Holmes want the slaughter to be easy. They don’t want to risk the possibility that anyone might be able to shoot back at them.
The Century 16 theater met all of Holmes requirements. It had posted signs at the entrance declaring that no guns are allowed on the premises. Thus, those with state government issued concealed carry licenses, being law-abiding citizens, dutifully disarmed themselves before entering the theater. Little did they know what awaited them. Little did they know that the gun free zone created by the Century 16 theater would leave them vulnerable to the wicked intentions of a monster.
Gun free zones can become killing zones because monsters such as James Holmes prefer unarmed victims. One good guy with a gun could have stopped Holmes and saved lives. At least once and perhaps more times Holmes’ gun malfunctioned or ran out of ammo forcing him to reload. At that point it would have been easy for a licensed person to have taken him down and stopped the killing.
James Holmes proved that gun free zones only disarm the innocent. He proved that such policies do not create safe places. Just the opposite, they place people in more not less danger.
A new book tells of another tragic killing in a gun free zone. Stalked and Defenseless: How Gun Control Helped My Stalker Murder My Husband IN Front of Me by Nikki Goeser.
Recent legislation in Tennessee has created more gun free zones. Thus, Goeser had locked her legally carried gun in her car before entering the area that legislators had designated as a gun free zone.
The legislators probably thought they were advancing public safety. They were instead subjecting innocent law-abiding people to greater danger.
It seems to be a common occurrence that some well-intentioned ideas do more harm than good. We should stop and consider what unintended consequences might be created by good intentions. The question that should always be asked is, “If we do this, what might happen next?”