Gun-Free Zone at Lafayette Theater Did Nothing But Enable A Killer [OP-ED]
It’s really heartbreaking to see the stories about the shooting in Lafayette, LA. It’s especially personal for my wife and I; she’s from Lafayette and we travel there often to see her family and enjoy the food and culture of southern Louisiana. Lafayette is beautiful place and the people there have always been welcoming and kind. Our sincerest condolences and prayers go out to the families of Mayci Breaux, 21, and Jillian Johnson, 33 and those injured Thursday night.
According to the various news sources the Grand Theater was a so-called ‘gun-free zone’. I cannot begin to express how such idiotic thinking angers me. This ridiculous policy did not stop a 58 year-old nut case from shooting up the theater and killing two innocent people. The Grand Theater corporate policy forbids the carrying of firearms open or concealed, with or without a state issued permit. The policy also forbids “violence, intimidation, or physically threatening behavior and unlawful conduct.”
As we now know, the gunman did not follow these policies. He didn’t care. Just as the Muslim terrorist infiltrator Nidal Hasan in the 2009 Fort Hood attack did not care about the ‘gun-free zone’ or the other nut case in the 2012 Aurora, CO theater shooting. Evil people with evil intentions will commit evil acts. Laws prohibiting firearms do not affect these kinds of people because they have no regard for the law. Disarming law abiding citizens does not create a safer society; it creates a society of future victims.
Could an armed citizen inside that theater have stopped this senseless killing in Lafayette? Perhaps, but under those conditions-a darkened theater, everyone focused on the film and suddenly the nights entertainment stopped by the sounds of gunfire and screams-it’s difficult to say if someone could have taken out this nut case before he could have killed anyone or at least minimized the damage. The very fact that most everyone else inside that theater, besides the killer of course, was almost certainly obeying the ‘no guns’ policy made them all easy targets.
The idea that prohibiting guns somehow makes us all safer is foolish and idiotic. What companies, schools and retailers need to come to understand is this single, absolute truth: Gun-free = soft target, always. As I said before, evil people with evil intentions will carry out evil acts. All the ‘no gun’ policy at Grand Theater did was let this killer know that, in all likelihood, there would be no one to stop him inside.