Louisiana Shooting: Movie Theater Is A Gun Free Zone

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jul 24, 2015 7:10 AM
Louisiana Shooting: Movie Theater Is A Gun Free Zone

It’s awful. As Dan wrote last night, a shooting occurred at the Grand Theater on Johnston Street in Lafayette, Louisiana. The gunman, a 59-year-old white man, opened fired about 20 minutes into the 7pm showing of Amy Schumer’s newest movie “Trainwreck.” Dan wrote that Gov. Bobby Jindal held a press conference saying, it was “an awful night for Lafayette, an awful night for Louisiana, and an awful life for the United States.”

Via AP:

The shooting happened about 20 minutes into a 7 p.m. showing of the movie "Trainwreck," The Louisiana Advertiser quoted theatergoer Katie Domingue as saying.

"We heard a loud pop we thought was a firecracker," Domingue told the newspaper. Domingue said she saw "an older white man" standing up and shooting down into the theater, but not in her direction.

"He wasn't saying anything. I didn't hear anybody screaming either," Domingue said.

Domingue told the newspaper she heard about six shots before she and her fiance ran to the nearest exit, leaving behind her shoes and purse.

[…]

"What we can do now is we can pray," Jindal said. "We can hug these families. We can shower them with love, thoughts and prayers."

Jindal said he would meet with the families of the victims.

Yet, just like the other horrific shootings that occurred in Chattanooga last week at a U.S. Navy Reserve center and military recruitment center, the Grand Theater is a gun free zone, according to its code of conduct. 

It’s just another example of how gun control policy leaves law-abiding citizenry vulnerable to attack, and this isn’t anything new. In 2014, the Crime Prevention Center's John Lott spoke with WMAL’s Larry O’Connor and Brian Wilson, where he said that all but two multiple shootings since the 1950s have occurred in areas where guns were prohibited:

I mean, I hope people would just reevaluate these gun-free zones, in general. I mean, at some point, I just wish the media once in a while would go and say -- when they go through all the other things, like where the person may have obtained a gun; whether they had mental illness. Often the easiest thing for a reporter to check is: were guns banned from the place where the attack occurred?

At some time, people have to recognize that, with just two exceptions, at least since 1950, all the multiple victim public shootings in the United States have taken place where guns are banned. And you see these individuals, they surely act as if they're trying their best to find areas where victims can't defend themselves.

You look at the Aurora movie theater shooting in 2012. There you had seven movie theaters within a twenty-minute drive of the killer's apartment; only one of them banned permit to conceal handguns with posted signs. The killer [James Holmes] didn't go to the movie theater that was closest to his home. He didn't go to the movie theater that advertised itself as having the largest auditoriums in the state of Colorado. He went to the single place where permit to conceal handgun holders weren't able to go and defend themselves.

Nevertheless, Everytown for Gun Safety took to Twitter, noting that Louisiana’s lax gun laws have led to it leading the nation in gun deaths. Of course, no links were provided, and going by the modus operandi of other gun control groups; whatever study Everytown used probably included suicides* to inflate the numbers. Moreover, Vermont is a liberal, constitutional carry state, where there is no permit process is required for concealed or open carry. Seventy to seventy-five percent of its residents own firearms. By Everytown’s logic, Vermont should be flowing with blood, not maple syrup.

Couldn't agree more with the tweet below.

There’s been a 39 percent drop in gun homicides since 1993 (49 percent according to Pew Research), and the drop in violent crime is a continuing trend. We’re living in safer times­–and there is no gun violence epidemic, not matter how aggressive Everytown tries to convince us otherwise.

As John Fund wrote in National Review in December of 2012, the chances of being killed in a mass shooting are equal to that of being struck by lightning:

A few things you won’t hear about from the saturation coverage of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre: Mass shootings are no more common than they have been in past decades, despite the impression given by the media. In fact, the high point for mass killings in the U.S. was 1929, according to criminologist Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Incidents of mass murder in the U.S. declined from 42 in the 1990s to 26 in the first decade of this century. The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning. Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany. Almost all of the public-policy discussion about Newtown has focused on a debate over the need for more gun control. In reality, gun control in a country that already has 200 million privately owned firearms is likely to do little to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals.

In the most recent mass shootings, we’ve seen mental illness play a factor regarding the perpetrator. Heck, in the last 62 mass shootings, 80 percent of the perpetrators exhibited signs of mental illness, such as delusions, acute paranoia, and depression, according to the left-leaning Mother Jones. The publication described these symptoms as rampant among the shooters analyzed. Mental health reform and keeping firearms away from the mentally ill is something to debate, but not right now.

For starters, we know nothing about the mental state of the shooter. What we do know is that the shooting occurred in a theater that was a gun free zone, two people (three if you count the shooter) have been killed in this senseless act, and nine  people have been injured.

Updates will certainly follow.

(H/T Ben Walters)

Last note: Check out Bob Owens's post on this incident at our sister site Bearing Arms.  

UPDATE: According to the Guardian's live blog on this incident, Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft say the shooter had a criminal history. Hence, this wasn't a law-abiding citizen, and he should never have been in possession of a firearm.  It just proves again that law-abiding gun owners aren't the problem. Everytown, you can stop embarrassing yourselves now.


UPDATE: As Dan wrote this morning, the shooter was 59-year-old John Russel Houser of Alabama.


*Suicides are awful, but it's not gun violence.