Debate Club

Colorado Shooting Shows the Failure of Gun Control Laws

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Last week's shooting in Colorado shows us, once again, the failure of gun control. The Century 16 theaters in Aurora were "gun free" zones, where citizens are prohibited from carrying weapons for self defense.

If this sad scenario sounds familiar, it should—as almost every large-scale massacre in this country has occurred in an area where guns are outlawed: Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, etc. In all of these shootings, the victims were disarmed by law or regulation—yes, even the one at Fort Hood. They were made mandatory victims by restrictions which never stop the bad guys from getting or using guns.

Contrast these disastrous events—which occurred in "gun free" kill zones—with the Aurora shooting you didn't hear about. That shooting occurred three months ago at a church, which is not a gun free zone. A gunman drove into the New Destiny Church parking lot in Aurora, got out of his car, and started spraying bullets. Thankfully, a congregant with a concealed firearm shot and killed him, saving countless lives.

 [Read the U.S. News debate: Should People Be Allowed to Carry Guns Openly]

Despite this most valuable lesson, there have been calls on Capitol Hill to punish the millions of American citizens who have not—and will not—ever commit crimes. Among other things, gun control advocates want to limit the size of magazines, arguing that "no one needs that many rounds of ammunition."

This is a dangerous argument. If we turn the Bill of Rights into a "Bill of Needs," our liberties will be short-lived for sure. After all, who needs the dozens of newspapers and magazines that line the shelves of supermarkets? Or who needs a car that drives more than 100 mph?

But still, some ask, who really needs a magazine that holds lots of ammunition? Well, how about the displaced citizens who, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, had to fend for themselves against roving gangs? Or how about the Korean merchants who armed themselves with so-called "assault" weapons and large-capacity magazines during the Los Angeles riots? Their stores remained standing, while others around them burned to the ground.

This shows that when one is facing gang or mob violence—and the police are nowhere to be found (as occurred in both examples above)—you need more than just a six-shooter. Don't restrict the rights of decent Americans. Guns in good people's hands save lives.

Erich Pratt

About Erich Pratt Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America

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Colorado
gun control and gun rights

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