Gun Free Zones

Yesterday, a landmark judicial opinion was issued by a US District Court judge in Denver, Colorado.  The judge declined a motion for summary judgment by Cinemark Theaters over the infamous Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre years ago. 

If you recall, that theater prohibited legal concealed or open carry of firearms except by uniformed police officers by posting a prohibition on firearms.  This is not anything new or rare.  Nearly every mass shooting to occur (where more than 3 people not necessarily related are killed by gunfire in one location) has happened in a location where firearms are generally prohibited. 

That fact was not lost on the judge when it was ruled that Cinemark can be held liable for not providing ample security for it’s “sitting duck” patrons. 

How differently would business owners feel toward lawful open and concealed carry if every location that posted a “no guns” sign would be held liable for any injury or death that occurred on their premises due to a violent encounter by another individual? 

When you, as a property owner, insist that someone else either consciously trespass on your property by continuing to carry against your personal policies, or rather, those of your insurance company, or put their life in your hands by forcing them to surrender the most effective means of self-defense held by the general public in modern times, it is you who are immoral for foisting such a Faustian bargain on them.

You may say, “just shop somewhere else,” but perhaps you work for a company that requires it.  Should you surrender your livelihood or be forced to put your life in the hands of a company that doesn’t take employee safety and security as importantly as it puts data protection or the bottom line?  Should the doctor who stopped a murderous rampage have left his gun in his car in the parking lot rather than keeping it with him in the firearms-prohibited hospital?  If he hadn’t disobeyed a stupid policy, he would likely be dead, and many more in addition.

As a business owner, when you ask your patrons to lay down their God-given right to life (and defense thereof), in order to conduct business with you, you are acting immorally and unethically and it’s about time that someone finally called them on it.  This will be a lesson learned the hard way unfortunately as we have witnessed shooting after shooting in these firearms-prohibited locales and will continue to do so until they are eliminated entirely.

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  1. As I understand the ruling yesterday didn’t say that Cinemark could be held liable; it held that the trial to determine that can go forward.

    Instead, Jackson’s ruling denies what is known as a “motion for summary judgment” filed by Cinemark. Similar to a previously denied motion, the theater chain had argued that the lawsuits should be dismissed because the attack was “legally unforeseeable.”

    It allows more than 20 lawsuits to proceed to see if the shooting was a ‘foreseeable event’ and that Cinemark had a duty to take steps to protect the patrons. Especially since it rendered them defenseless.
    This is huge, just allowing the law suit to proceed will scare businesses witless. If the suits do establish that Cinemark had responsibility it will be epic for those businesses that prohibit Concealed or Open Carry and yet provide no additional security.

    Bob S.


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