Modest proposal for new gun law in response to horrific mass shootings

Colorado, like almost every other state that issues concealed carry gun permits to law-abiding citizens who get training, restricts the right to carry on private property where the owner or occupier of the property prohibits it. Gun owners who strongly support gun rights don’t quibble with the substance of this situation because they also support private property rights, including the property owners’ right to determine whether people entering the property may bring their guns with them when they enter.

I suggest a distinction should be made between two different types of private property owners. Those who only give license to others to come on their property as guests should retain the right to prohibit guns on their property. This includes just about every type of guest where the owners purpose in non-commercial.

Commercial property owners who invite the public at large to enter their property for commercial gain presents an entirely different situation, it seems to me. Thus, a movie theater, supermarket, shopping mall, or other similar business establishment open to the public should be denied the right to prohibit those with a government-issued permit to carry a concealed firearm from bringing their concealed gun onto the premises.

Nothing untoward will change in these places if this becomes the rule. No one is even going to know who is armed and who isn’t. Come to think of it, that describes the present situation. The only difference will be that the bad guys will not be the only ones armed. There will likely be some armed good guys on location as well.

Since 9/11 we have all become familiar with the term “first responders.” Right now, that generally refers to the first police officers who respond when called. But they are not the real first responders. The real first responders are the innocent victims who must respond to the likes of James Holmes when he comes into a movie theater and starts shooting up the place. All first responders who legally qualify should have the right to be armed so they can respond to the James Holmes’ of the world as defenders of the innocent, with the means to stop or lessen the carnage, instead of as helpless victims.

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

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