Monday, September 10, 2012

Gun-Free Zones

Dr. John Lott has an article published September 10, 2012 at Fox News pointing out that the alleged shooter in the Aurora Batman murders did not go to the nearest theater showing the movie, nor the largest theater showing the movie--but the theater with a most unusual policy:
So why did the killer pick the Cinemark theater? You might think that it was the one closest to the killer’s apartment. Or, that it was the one with the largest audience.
Yet, neither explanation is right. Instead, out of all the movie theaters within 20 minutes of his apartment showing the new Batman movie that night, it was the only one where guns were banned. In Colorado, individuals with permits can carry concealed handgun in most malls, stores, movie theaters, and restaurants. But private businesses can determine whether permit holders can carry guns on their private property.
Most movie theaters allow permit holders carrying guns. But the Cinemark movie theater was the only one with a sign posted at the theater’s entrance.

Read more:
Perhaps there was some other reason that the shooter picked this particular theater--but this was a perfectly logical reason to pick the Cinemark, if your goal was to maximize deaths while minimizing your own risk of getting shot.  As Dr. Lott points out, with 4% of the adult Colorado population having a concealed carry license, a theater with 200 people in it (if licensees were allowed to be armed) means a very highly likelihood of someone being able to fire back.


  1. Saturday, as I headed into Chipolte's for some good Mexican food, I noticed their no-guns poster on the door, and had to go back and drop off my weapon.

    I then pondered whether one should have a web-site listing "gun free zones" and whether that would change the minds of some business owners.

    But I'm too chicken to do it.

  2. I understand Lott's point, but the Century 16 was in fact the second closest theater to his residence - as the crow flies, pretty much the theater "easier" to reach in terms of simpler driving directions, and the closest one that was within the same municipality (if he searched the internet for where the movie was playing in Aurora).

  3. Getting "Access Denied" on the link. Cutting off the part with the # in it freed it back up.

  4. The link seems to work for me. What browser?

  5. I also get "Access Denied." I'm using Firefox 14.0.1.

  6. Wow! It seems like a smart attorney could make a case that the theater acted negligently by banning concealed weapons. The theater should have known that mass murderers typically pick gun free zones in which to effect their madness. From Lott's research we now know that the standard safety practices of other theaters was to allow concealed carry thereby ensuring the safety of their patrons.