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Editorial Note: Please see bottom of the page for clarifications on Aurora’s enforcement of gun laws.   

By Hillary Cherry, Young America’s Foundation Intern
Scholar

Around 12:30 am, a masked gunman opened fire on one of the 3,700
midnight showings of The Dark Knight Rises, leaving 12
dead, 50 injured, and one in custody.

Liberals everywhere are wasting no time to use this massacre in
an effort to push gun control and gut the Second Amendment.
Mayor Bloomberg asks the Obama administration
for stricter gun laws following Colorado shooting. Comedian
DL Hughley tweeted, “Aurora is 13yrs and 13
miles from Columbine! Since the 60s over 500,000 ppl have bn killed
by guns in the US we have no right 2 b shocked!”

How will stricter gun laws bring an end to criminals having
guns, when the laws against murder have not been able to stop them
from killing innocent people?

Currently in Aurora, Colorado, where the shooting took
place, it is considered
unlawful to carry a concealed “dangerous weapon,”* discharge firearms, unless by lawenforcement on duty or on shooting range (Aurora Code Sec. 94-146)**, and have loaded firearm
in a motor vehicle***. Yet these laws were unable to stop James
Holmes.

Crime rates alone of cities such as Chicago and Washington D.C.
prove that gun bans only increase crime. The D.C. police response
rate is eight minutes; most crimes are done in less than one. Gun
bans create a trouble-free world for criminals considering no one
can defend themselves.

If I were ever to face a situation like this, I would want to be
prepared. I cannot help but think, if one person in that
audience was carrying a gun with them, they could have saved
lives.

Unfortunately-despite what some of the Left have said this
morning-this tragedy is an example of the significance of our
Second Amendment Rights.

As I look into the history of mass shootings, one detail stands
out: most of the gunmen are between the ages of 17 and 24. In the
Columbine High School massacre of 1999, students Eric Harris, 18
and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at their school. In 2007, the
worst mass shooting in our nation’s history took place on the
campus of Virginia Tech by
23-yearold Seung-Hui Cho. Currently, police
have 24-year-old James Holmes in custody for the mass shooting that
took place in theater 9.

Why do these young people feel the need to take innocent lives?
That question I do not know, but as a young individual I have a
Constitutional right to protect myself. I should not be scared to
go to the movies, walk around campus, or attend class.

Some people seem to think guns are to blame for these murders.
Not only did Holmes gas his victims but his apartment is completely
rigged with explosives. Now tell me, did his guns set up
explosives and throw tear gas at his victims too or did
he?

Mass shootings can be stopped. People need to arm themselves
with the facts (and with weapons). If one law abiding person in the
theater would have been carrying a gun on them, they could have
saved lives.

Hillary Cherry is a Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar
for Young America’s Foundation.

* This ordinance banning the carrying of “dangerous weapons” was deemed “unenforceable” when Colorado state prohibited cities and counties from enforcing such laws in 2003. After talking to officials the Aurora Police Department, we found that counties can now issue concealed-and-carry permits, BUT in Aurora, it is still against the law to fire the weapon unless at a shooting range (or if you are an officer on duty). Therefore, it would have been illegal for anyone to fire in the theater. Also, the theater banned any and all weapons. Anyone without a conceal-and-carry permit in Aurora must also keep their guns unloaded unless at a range.  

** See Aurora Code Sec. 94-146a: “It shall be unlawful for any person to fire, shoot, or discharge any firearm; crossbow; bow and arrow; slingshot; blowgun; BB gun or pellet gun, whether powered with gunpowder, compressed air, or gas cartridges; gas gun; or any weapon whatsoever within the city limits. However, such discharge, firing, or shooting by any law enforcement officer, federal, state, county, or city, in the course of his or her official duty shall not be deemed a violation of this subsection, and such discharge, firing, or shooting at commercial, private, or public shooting ranges or by authorized classes of schools or universities at all times under proper instruction and supervision as may be authorized or permitted by law shall not be deemed a violation of this subsection.”

*** Without a conceal-and-carry permit from your county. See Aurora Code Sec. 94-144.5.

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