The shooting in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater has incited the usual debate over guns. One side says tighter gun restrictions could have prevented the horrible incident that night. The other responds that more guns in the hands of law-abiding people might have prevented it.
While the theater chain prohibits firearms, it is hard to say that the alleged shooter, James Holmes, would have been stopped by armed moviegoers. He wore protection from head to toe and caused mass confusion by setting off tear gas. This isn’t to say that a few shots might not have stunned Holmes, giving others time to subdue him. Perhaps there would have been fewer victims that night. We’ll never know.
However one comes down on this issue, we should understand that it is not relevant to the gun-policy question. Even if there was no chance of stopping Holmes, that would not justify restricting law-abiding people from carrying handguns.
Let’s go over some basics, which the gun controllers stubbornly refuse to acknowledge:
People intent on breaking the law against murder are not likely to respect a law against possession of firearms. The only people restricted by gun laws are law-abiding people. This point is so obvious, one wonders why some deny or ignore it.
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Sheldon Richman (photo)