Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Lawsuit that Needs to Go Forward

I heard about this yesterday morning on the way to work, listening to Carmen and K.C. on the Morning Rush here in Raleigh, NC. Fox News has the report, written by John Lott and titled Did Colorado Shooter Single Out Cinemark Theater? The answer to the title question is "yes," for those who can't wait. But go read his reasoning.

I want to make another point however. In the article, Lott says that some are suing Cinemark for not providing armed security. Lott points out that having metal detectors and armed security at the entrance would not have done any good, since the bad guy entered from the rear. Fair enough as far as it goes. But once patrons were inside, armed security could have roamed about, and might well have been in the theater when the shooting erupted. I think the suit is much deserved.

Colorado law allows people with permits to carry into a theater, if the theater doesn't have signs saying "No Concealed Guns." Unfortunately, Cinemark does indeed have such signs. Whenever a property owner disarms citizens who otherwise would be armed, they have a moral obligation, even if there is no legal one, to provide security for their patrons and customers. Frankly, government too has a similar duty to its citizens but they hide behind Sovereign Immunity to claim no such responsibility.

I think bringing a lawsuit in this situation is entirely justified. If the plaintiffs win their case, then proprietors of business will no longer have a cost free way of keeping guns out of their establishments As it stands now, a proprietor can place a sign on his door, and put the risk entirely on his patrons' heads. If the plaintiffs win, however he will then have to calculate the risk of doing so, versus the cost of armed security to protect his patrons. But woe to the proprietor how calculates wrongly.

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