Many of the movie theaters in the Twin Cities area are posted. Thankfully those signs have very little legal weight in Minnesota, they basically tell patrons if their gun is spotted they’ll be asked to leave and if they refuse to leave the police will be called and the gun carrier will be cited for trespassing, because I ignore them. Why? Because of horrible situations like this:
A lone gunman dressed in riot gear burst into a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., at a midnight showing of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises” and methodically began shooting patrons, killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 50.
The suspect, James Holmes, 24, of Aurora, was caught by police in the parking lot of the Century 16 Movie Theaters, nine miles outside Denver, after police began receiving dozens of 911 calls at 12:39 a.m. MT. Police said the man appeared to have acted alone.
Witnesses in the movie theater said Holmes crashed into the auditorium through an emergency exit about 30 minutes into the film, set off a smoke bomb, and began shooting. Holmes stalked the aisles of the theater, shooting people at random, as panicked movie-watchers in the packed auditorium tried to escape, witnesses said.
Holmes was wearing a bullet-proof vest and riot helmet and carrying a gas mask, rifle, and handgun, when he was apprehended, according to police. Holmes mentioned having explosives stored, leading police to evacuate his entire North Aurora apartment complex and search the buildings early this morning.
A body armor clad individual tossed a smoke bomb (which is later referred to as tear gas) into a crowded theater and walked the isles picking off panicing people. It was basically the worst scenario one could think up whether you carry a gun or not. Getting a clean shot off at the bad guy in a smoke filled theater with panicing people isn’t an ideal situation. On top of that the guy was wearing body armor and most of us carry handguns which aren’t known for their stellar ability to penetrate body armor. Of course there is always the possibility that the shooter would do the common act of suicide upon meeting armed resistance but I wouldn’t want to bet on it. Still, I’d rather be armed in a situation like that than unarmed. The scenario that played out at that theater sucked but it would suck a whole lot more if one was unarmed.
Either way I’m sure we’ll see gun control advocates dancing in the blood soon enough. Nothing gives a gun control advocate a hardon like dead people. They’ll probably be pounding the war drums trying to get gun control, body armor control, and tear gas control legislation out of this tragedy. Fortunately people don’t seem to listen to the gun control crowd anymore so they’ll huff and puff but likely accomplish nothing.
Let me conclude by saying my heart goes out to the patrons of that theater and their families. We live in a messed up world where boogeymen do exist. They’re, thankfully, rare but almost always come out of nowhere when you least expect it.
11 thoughts on “Why I Ignore “No Guns Allowed” Signs at Movie Theaters”
Yeah I am not convinced that a person carrying in that environment could have helped. But I am convinced that it couldn’t be any worse. Given that many shooters do practice a Mozambique drill, at least if you are in a place that you can get a clean shot off 2 to the chest and 1 to the head would probably stop him (assuming the riot helmet doesn’t deflect it). But getting to be able to get a clean safe shot off seems unlikely in the scenario so it is sort of one of those no win situations that happen on occasion.
“Nothing gives a gun control advocate a hard-on like dead people,” huh? Why do you suppose they are advocating for the limiting of guns, then? If your heart really does “go out to the victims,” etc., perhaps you could have just not posted out of respect for them, knowing full well what a painful time this must be for them. Well, politics is politics, I guess. Too bad all you badasses weren’t there.
Because they are under the mistaken belief that they can prevent death as long as they’re given sufficient control over the lives of others. The only justification they have for the attempts to running the lives of others are tragedies like this. Gun rights activists have demonstrated the falsity of the gun control advocates’ claims so they are left with nothing but emotional appeal and stories of people being shot stir emotions.
I fail to see how saying nothing is any more respectful than saying something? On top of that point, this is a gun blog and my readers expect me to comment about news relating to guns. Although this shooting has very little to do with guns (the shooter could have used any weapon, he did have access to explosives after all and they could have caused far more damage) the gun control advocates use it to beat their war drum and those of us that oppose them need to, well, oppose them. Remaining mostly silent cost us gun owners greatly in the early ’90’s so we’re not going to make the same mistake again.
Yes, obviously I’m a total badass:
Yup, I’m obviously stating that I’d have saved everybody’s life had I been there. No semblance of doubt in my statement, no possible belief that the situation was a shitty scenarior. Classical Liberal who posted before you is obviously another total badass:
We’re all a bunch of total badasses who run around being badass at all times.
Seeing how this is a gun blog, I’m going to make the assumption that you, Mr. Burg, know how to use a gun. You probably even know how to use a gun well.
I’m going to assume too that many of your readers also know how to use a gun. This comment is directed towards those who don’t.
DO NOT FOLLOW THIS MR. BURG’S ADVICE AND BRING A GUN TO A THEATER OR BUY A GUN BECAUSE OF THIS BLOG POST. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE WHOLE GUN CONTROL OR NOT ISSUE. IT’S JUST A WARNING.
Because of the Aurora shooting, gun sales have gone up. Because people suddenly realize how dangerous the world can be. How frail lives are. They suddenly realize they need defense.
So picture this. You buy a gun for self-defense. You take it to the movie theaters because theaters aren’t safe anymore. Perhaps you realize that many others are in similar situations. People with children and family they want to protect. People who again, haven’t had much practice with a gun.
A fire alarm goes off in the middle of the movie. I’m sure even then, even after the Aurora shooting, most people will be rational about a silly fire alarm. It’s probably nothing. However, just in case, everyone puts a hand to where their guns are just to be safe. Everyone starts to pile out. Suddenly,someone (again perhaps a small chance, but still a chance that’s greatly increased now everyone suddenly has self-defense guns) pulls out a gun out of their bag or purse because they want to have it ready. They hide it of course because guns aren’t allowed in theaters, but someone sees it because everyone’s more alert to each other in this kind of situation, especially after the aurora shooting.
That person takes out his/her own gun, and now people begin panicking when they see two people with guns, because that’s the rational emotion to feel when you see people with guns. And panic is infectious.
When you buy a gun in the future, in this situation, it’s for self-defense. When you bring it to the theaters, it’s for self-defense. But you have to remember you are not the only one who’s thinking this. You have to assume that everyone is thinking this.
So now in this hypothetical situation, nearly everyone takes out a gun in the movie theater because of a silly fire alarm. Perhaps even then nothing will happen. People will realize nothing is wrong and put away their weapons sheepishly. However people are panicking and perhaps you know that things tend to go out of control when people are panicking. Someone snaps and accidentally lets loose a bullet. It doesn’t hit anything. Everyone’s fine. But no. Everything’s not fine because a gun was just fired, and a gun is loud.
So now everyone’s panicking, and EVERYONE HAS A GUN. Because they wanted to defend themselves. There is nothing wrong with defending themselves, but in that crowd of everyone, there will be at least a few who don’t know a thing about how to use guns properly. There will be at least a few who at the least, haven’t practiced enough with a gun. People can be too busy to take time out of their lives to practice.
In any other locations, I might not care enough to make this post. But this is a movie theater. There can be a large crowd in a movie theater with children, which means more things can go wrong when bullets are suddenly fired everywhere out of panic, ill good-intentions, and plain paranoia. There is no sociopathic killer in this crowd, just people.
People who want nothing else but to protect themselves and their family. That’s all they have in their heads until an accidental bullet from their gun punches through a bystander’s chest or (if he/she’s more unlucky) lodges into his/her lungs. They weren’t even aiming. Or maybe they were at someone else with a gun and another person shoved them because people are pushing now.
So here’s you in a dark, crowded theater with people suddenly shoving and panicking. Some bullets went off, and a person screams because he/she has been shot. Are you still going to think that nothing is probably wrong? Maybe you are. Maybe you aren’t panicking yet and saw enough to know what’s going on. Don’t assume others aren’t panicking. Those others will also have guns, and congratulations, now guys and ladies with guns are running around panicking with crowded people pushing against them.
So in short, in the name of all that’s holy PLEASE DO NOT BRING A GUN INTO THE THEATERS. I don’t care if you have a gun. Just don’t bring it in the theaters, for consideration of your and other people’s safety.
And if you do know how to use a gun well and decided to read everything above anyways, also read this: don’t be a hero, because you’re probably going to become the villain. Can you imagine how much WORSE it would have been for YOU if there WERE other people with guns in the aurora theater who are now trying to protect themselves with panicking crowds AND SMOKE all around them?
You scenario is as likely as seeing Odin riding a unicorn cross your street. People who carry guns in self-defense aren’t going to just pull it out to have it ready, in fact such behavior is usually made illegal under various brandishing laws.
On top of that you’re telling people not to buy guns because somebody else may do something stupid. By that logic nobody should own an automobile because somebody else on the road may do something stupid and cause a pileup. The reason those of us who carry guns do so is because we want to be prepared when somebody else decides to do something stupid and threaten our lives or the lives of our loved ones. Most people hold insurance because somebody else may do something stupid that costs you property or causes you physical harm. Not preparing yourself because somebody else may do something stupid or malicious is nonsensical.
I’m sorry. Maybe I haven’t communicated my point precisely. What my extremely long and perhaps unnecessarily detailed post was trying to get at isn’t “don’t buy guns because somebody else may do something stupid.” It’s that the “somebody else” is you. (not necessarily ‘you’ as in YOU Christopher Burg but ‘you’ as in whoever reads the comments.)
You have every right to protect yourself. You never know what might happen. But it’s not in the best interests of yourself of anyone else in a CROWDED THEATER. That’s the key here. If a “somebody else” pulls out a gun out of genuine fear that something horrible is going to happen, I would not call that doing “something stupid”. Not after the aurora shooting. Maybe before, but not after. Context is everything. I want people to realize that they are “that somebody”. Everyone becomes that somebody. Those scared people in my scenario hopefully reflect your own fears, because they are you. You have every potential of becoming the object causing fear. It’s not somebody else you should be worried about! Stop separating yourself from “somebody else”. You’re just as connected to them. I’m not the one telling people not to do something because of “someone else” here.
There needs to be a balance between protecting yourself when someone makes a mistake, and putting other people in danger out of your own fear. Suddenly bringing a gun in a theater is tipping that balance.
Perhaps my warning isn’t fair. I don’t care if you do go and buy a gun. I just assumed that people without enough practice (and I mean a lot of practice) buying guns all of a sudden are buying in order to bring them in theaters, which to be fair might be a bad assumption.
I just don’t want them to bring them in the theaters. No one’s going to suddenly take out a gun in the middle of the streets in daylight if they feel mildly threatened. If they do then that IS a stupid act. But I’m talking about the movie theaters. After the Aurora shooting.
Mr. Burg you might underestimate the power of fear. Irrational fear has a bad way rearing its ugly head in a dark contained and crowded place. Like a theater. Especially when a horrible shooting has already occurred so recently. I’m not talking about overarching reasons to not arm and protect yourself in the dead of night out in the streets. I’m talking specifically about the theater. Fear doesn’t haunt stupid people. It plagues everyone.
So you know what’s best for me better than me? You know that it’s in my best interest to not carry a gun into a theater? That’s quite a bold statement.
All people aren’t “that somebody” and there hasn’t been a single case of a person legally carrying a gun being “that somebody” as far as I know. Your hypothetical scenario is historically unprecedented. You don’t know everybody, only an individual can make a decision for themselves because they are the only person who actually has all the knowledge relating to themselves. I cannot tell you what is best for you, I can only make such decisions for myself.
Unless you can show an example of somebody drawing a gun out of irrational fear causing other people to pull out their guns in response and the scenario ended in a shootout you have no real ground to stand on.
That would be impossible because I’m not “somebody else.” Each human being is an individual with different views, beliefs, hopes, dreams, etc. No two human beings are the same and each one of us is incapable of knowing what is best for another.
Notice a different with my post and your comment. In my post I said that I carry a gun, I didn’t say everybody needs to carry a gun. Whether another wants to carry a gun or not isn’t a decision for me to make, I can only state that I carry a gun and give my reasons. You are assuming to know what is best for everybody, which is an impossible thing.
My carrying a gun puts nobody else in danger unless they are threatening my life or the life of somebody I care about. I, like a vast majority of people who carry a gun, realize that a gun is a deadly weapon and that it is to be used only in response to a deadly situation. I don’t pull out a gun because I feel mildly threatened, nor do most people carrying firearms. Unless you can point to an example of this happening you’re basically acting the part of Chicken Little. You’re claiming the sky is falling even though you have no evidence or reason to believe so. If we wanted to create hypothetical scenarios I could state that nobody should be allowed to drive an automobile on school grounds because somebody dropping off or picking up a kid may feel mildly threatened by a person walking but, speed forward, and hit a child standing nearby.
To Mr. Burg:
I think I misrepresented what I’m trying to communicate again. If I came across as an a-hole who doesn’t care about individuality then I’m extremely sorry. I’m not great with concise words (in case you haven’t noticed)
“So you know what’s best for me better than me? You know that it’s in my best interest to not carry a gun into a theater? That’s quite a bold statement.”
No. Of course I know it’s not. I’m sorry. I definitely mis-wrote my sentiments there.
“Notice a different with my post and your comment. In my post I said that I carry a gun, I didn’t say everybody needs to carry a gun. Whether another wants to carry a gun or not isn’t a decision for me to make, I can only state that I carry a gun and give my reasons. You are assuming to know what is best for everybody, which is an impossible thing.”
“I, like a vast majority of people who carry a gun, realize that a gun is a deadly weapon and that it is to be used only in response to a deadly situation. I don’t pull out a gun because I feel mildly threatened, nor do most people carrying firearms.”
That’s all I want. You carry a gun not specifically because of the aurora shootings. You already had one at that time.
“Still, I’d rather be armed in a situation like that than unarmed. The scenario that played out at that theater sucked but it would suck a whole lot more if one was unarmed.”
This is what I’m addressing. My main focus isn’t to address people who already own guns. I’m addressing the off chance people who don’t have guns read your blog post and suddenly think they’d rather be armed in a situation like that too. “It would suck a whole lot more if one was unarmed.” That statement is a huge “If you want to be safe, you should arm yourself in theaters.” I don’t know if that’s your intention. If it isn’t then too bad because that’s what that statement means. This is not just a subjective interpretation of that sentence. That is literally what it says. Even if you replace ‘one’ with ‘I’ it would be better. I’m sorry for being one of those people who talks about semantics but words have meaning. Those words are going to have consequences. If you’re going to be as bold as that, then please add what you wrote to me. Please add the parts
“In my post I said that I carry a gun, I didn’t say everybody needs to carry a gun. Whether another wants to carry a gun or not isn’t a decision for me to make, I can only state that I carry a gun and give my reasons.” and “I, like a vast majority of people who carry a gun, realize that a gun is a deadly weapon and that it is to be used only in response to a deadly situation.” to your above blog post.
If they have training I don’t care. But you think the sudden rise in sales are all people who already know how to use guns? As an individual, I still have responsibility to other people. I’m not saying there is no individual. I’m trying to say that everyone is an individual. Everyone is “you” isn’t I know what’s best for you and it’s not having a gun. Everyone is “you” because they have obligations to protect themselves just like you do. For yourself. They won’t act in ways revolving you. They’re going to act to protect themselves. Because they’re individuals. I’ll stop using ‘you’ now because it’s too confrontational.
Look if I’m like living in Utah or Texas or something then if everyone has guns and brings them to theaters I wouldn’t care. This isn’t towards people who were born in an environment that’s friendly to the idea of having guns. It’s towards people who never owned a gun before and now has one without good training. All I want to get across is that as an individual, I have to realize everyone else are individuals as well. They won’t act according to me. So I, according to my own morals, have no right to bring a gun into a theater because if I saw another person armed in a theater whether they’ve taken the weapon out or not I’d be scared and avoid them because I DON’T know that they might only have it for protection.
I know I don’t want anyone else to feel scared because of me either. That’s how individuality works. Not just thinking in terms of other people and me, but in terms of “other people are individuals like me too.”
to the car analogy, the difference between a car and a gun is that a car is a tool of transportation. A gun is also a tool, but even in self-defense its one purpose is to hurt people. That is an important difference. When I see a gun the automatic response is its purpose. The same is for a car. When I see a car I don’t automatically think it’s going to run someone over, because its purpose is to transport things, not hitting people. Unfortunately that IS what a gun is for. This gets into other political gun discussions and I’ll be happy to have those if you like just not here.
If you read through my writings on the subject of carry I advocate people always carry when possible. My statement that this kind of situation would suck more if you were unarmed is a blanket statement, not meant solely regarding the Aurora shooting. Anytime you’re in a situation involving an armed aggressor your chances of resisting successful goes up if you have a mechanism to increase the force you can wield.
In the case of the Aurora shooter, being unarmed meant you were entirely at the shooter’s mercy. Being armed would mean you’d have an option. While that option isn’t guaranteed to work it’s far more likely to work than rushing him without any form of weapon. On top of that a strategy of avoidance, trying to hide from him, would work equally well if you were armed or unarmed, so there is no negative if that was the chosen strategy.
Do you believe all of those people buying guns will end up getting carry permits and actually carry their firearm? Unless that happens any issue regarding training becomes a moot point. I would also add that it’s likely many of the current buyers are purchasing those firearms not for self-defense but because they are worried an attempt to ban them is coming down the road (which is a common response to shootings).
That’s quite a sweeping generalization to imply that a majority of people form Utah or Texas have proper firearm training while a majority of people from Colorado do not. Do you have any statistics to backup that assertion?
So the intended use of the tool is what you find important? If your automatic response to seeing a firearm is to concern yourself with what the possessor may do then I truly feel sorry for you. I am around people carrying firearms frequently and my first reaction to seeing one isn’t a concern that the possessor may mean me harm. I don’t concern myself with the tool, I concern myself with the user. In fact there are more drivers on the road that concern me than people carrying guns.
I say you have the right to carry if you have a permit and I have a right to deny you access to my property if I want and put a sign(s) to that effect.
And if you step onto my property carrying a weapon in violation to the agreement we have that allows you on my property, I can have you arrested on the spot and that violate your permit and you no longer have a right to make your way among the people who obey the rules.
Mississippi woman struck by bullet shell after man ignores ‘no guns’ sign at church
By David Edwards
Monday, November 25, 2013 14:53 EST
Steal this story … LEGALLY
A Mississippi man with an “enhanced” concealed carry permit was arrested over the weekend for discharging a firearm inside city limits after he accidentally hit a woman with a shell in church when his gun discharged.
Churchgoers at Pinelake Church in Rankin County were preparing for service on Sunday morning when the 9mm handgun in Joseph Edgar Ray’s pocket discharged while he was sitting down, according to the Clarion-Ledger.
Flowood Police Department Lt. Ricky McMillian told the paper that the bullet lodged in the concrete floor and a woman was hit by the shell. WAPT also reported that “[f]ragments from the bullet shell grazed a woman nearby.” WJTV’s report said that the shell “barely broke skin.”
“It did hit a lady in the leg but it didn’t break her skin so the lady wasn’t hurt,” McMillian noted. “Even though it was an accident, we recognize the seriousness of the situation… Worst case scenario, is it goes off and someone dies.”
Pinelake Church Executive Pastor of Operations Rod Cadenhead pointed out in a statement that guns were not allowed on the property. In fact, a sign in front of the church says, “Carrying of a pistol or revolver is prohibited.”
“We are thankful for God’s grace and protection given this unsettling and unprecedented incident,” Cadenhead insisted. “We are committed to providing a safe environment for our church family to worship, and firearms are prohibited on our campuses.”
But McMillian told Raw Story that Ray had an “enhanced” carry permit that allowed him to ignore signs prohibiting guns, except in some places like schools and courtrooms.
“Most people go by the signs, we very seldom have stuff like that crisscross,” he said, adding that Ray was an “upstanding guy” and that’s why he wasn’t releasing his mug shot.
“The whole thing we’re trying to get people to understand, we’re an open carry state and we do have the carry permit for concealed. If you’re going to carry one, you need to be responsible. You know, practice good gun safety. Make sure it’s in a holster and stuff like that,” McMillian remarked. “Because once that bullet leaves that barrel, you can’t bring it back.”
Actually, at least here in Minnesota, you can verbally request that I leave. Only after refusing to leave can you call the police. Upon arrival the police will issue me a petty misdemeanor for trespassing on my first offense. A permit cannot be revoked based solely on this charge. This isn’t the case in every state though.
But I do agree that you have a right to decided who can and cannot go on your property. Of course I also have a right to not expressly inform you of every detail about my being including my religion, sexual orientation, or that I’m carrying a firearm.
As for the people who obey the rules, they don’t exist. At least not in the United States. On average all of us living in the United States commit three felonies a day. So I give no value to the label of obedient and disobedient (well that’s not entirely true, I generally like disobedient people more).
Comments are closed.