Roger Ebert Tries to Exploit Colorado Crime for Gun Control Purposes

-By Warner Todd Huston

Dear Mr. Ebert, the Colorado theater was a ‘gun free zone’

Jumping on the gun-ban band wagon and to take political advantage of the murders in Colorado, film critic Roger Ebert immediately ran to his keyboard to decry our “insane” gun laws in an Op Ed in the New York Times. His goal was to invalidate concealed carry laws by noting that no one in the theater shot back at the murderer in black. But, Ebert misses an important point. The Cinemark theater chain has a “gun-free zone” policy.

In the NYT, Ebert decried America for its gun laws (my bold).

That James Holmes is insane, few may doubt. Our gun laws are also insane, but many refuse to make the connection. The United States is one of few developed nations that accepts the notion of firearms in public hands. In theory, the citizenry needs to defend itself. Not a single person at the Aurora, Colo., theater shot back, but the theory will still be defended.

Of course, if Ebert had bothered to check before trying to use this murderous crime for his own anti-Second Amendment purposes, he may have found that no one could have shot back because the theater chain does not allow its customers to carry guns in its theaters.

As it happens, the Century 16 theaters at 14300 E. Alameda Ave in Aurora, Colorado are owned by Cinemark Century Theaters, headquartered in Plano, Texas, and for several years this chain movie theater has told customers they are not welcome to bring their firearms into theaters.

Back in 2009 an Alaska-based member of a gun owner’s message board going by the handle SubNine reported that he tried to enter a Cinemark owned theater with his open carry weapon but was told he was not allowed to enter the premisses armed because the chain had a no-weapons policy. It was a “gun-free zone” he was told by the manager.

A year before the above post another message board started a similar conversation. In 2008 the Open Carry forums also noted Cinemark’s “gun-free zone” policy. One message board member even communicated via email with a Dan Meyers at the corporate offices of Cinemark. That corporate official confirmed the restriction and added that only police officers could carry their concealed weapons into Cinemark theaters. He also asked gun owners not to bother complaining to them about the policy.

So, as Ebert scoffs that no one returned fire at this theater and assumed that it went to invalidate concealed carry laws, he didn’t bother to find out if anyone was or even could be armed in that theater. Turns out, they couldn’t but Ebert tried to use this crime and its tragic consequences for his own political purposes anyway.

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  • Maybe you can exhume Charlton Heston from the dead so you can use the news story for a gun rally.

  • In reply to Joseph Pallenburg:

    If you can get your trucks trying to exhume Karl Marx out of my way, maybe I would.

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    People just aren't thinking straight about this issue in relation to gun control. Every law society makes about the control of guns in America can and always will be thwarted by would be killers. So I suspect it's not the guns or the availability of guns that could have changed this and similar crimes, because this man purchased all the weapons and ammo he needed above board. Mental illness wasn't detected because he didn't have a history of mental illness- he was an honor student in HS. He built bombs and created enough booby traps in his apartment, that at this writing, the police still haven't gotten in. Clearly this man was angry, and placed himself on a mission of clear intent. No the answer isn't a new law, as I've said, laws can be circumvented. No, the answer isn't to arm everyone, because this man thought of that and wore body armor- he has more powerful weapons in in possession and anyone could walk in the front door with. No, there is no need to ban books, news commentary and other free speech, because this is what our country was built on. What needs to change is simple - we need ALL to have more compassion for our fellow man, and that compassion should be reflected in government policy, our jobs and our religion, in any possible. Ask any other person from another country why people don't blow up school buildings, churches offices and movie theaters- the answer is always the same: why would anybody want to do that? What reason would they have? In America, the reason is almost always the same: people strike back at innocent people because they want to strike back at society at large. Anyone can be pushed to the point where they feel all hope is lost- even an honor student. A better society produces better citizens with little reason to strike back. American society has to do a better job at caring for itself.

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    Gosh, I'm glad the cinema was a gun free zone. Rules like that stop something terrible from happening.

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