Would a gun ban have stopped the Aurora shootings?

Would a gun ban have saved the people who were shot in Aurora? Why do some believe that a room filled with guns is safer than a room where they're banned? Photo: Associated Press

ARKANSAS, July 24, 2012 – Within minutes of hearing the news of the Aurora shooting, political talking heads and politicians began demanding more power to dictate who can keep and bear arms. Many of these same people then instantly turned around and accused pro-gunners of “politicizing” the issue for even responding to their arguments.

In the end, this is a political issue. There’s no way around it. And it should be politicized. When people die by the hands of another man, we need to know why and how we can stop it in the future. Some people believe that passing a new rule will somehow stop men who dress up like clowns from killing people.

This is absolutely absurd, and flies in the face of all known evidence.

Besides the obviously constitutional problems with gun control, we’ll be looking at one important question we should all be asking: Would a gun ban have stopped the Aurora shooting from ever occurring?

The gun-free zone is a deadly myth.

Perhaps the most telling aspect of the murders is the location. It wasn’t at a police station. It wasn’t at a gun range. It was at a place where lots of people go and are disarmed — a theater that banned conceal carry. Just like school shootings, college shootings, and even the Fort Hood shooting.

That’s right, even the Fort Hood shooting occurred in a “gun free” zone in the sense that people weren’t supposed to carry guns; only the police could protect the soldiers. The bizarre contradiction of trusting soldiers to carry the most advanced armaments in the world but not a pistol for defense is fascinatingly hypocritical.

Either way, “gun-free zones” are myths. They don’t exist. A man whose daughter was frightened that a “bad man” would attack them in their house at night told her, “Don’t worry, honey. I put up a sign outside that says, “No bad men allowed.” The girl laughed and said, “Daddy! Bad men don’t obey signs!”

How true. Apparently, if your brain tells you it’s a good idea to go ahead and dress like a clown and spend 10k+ on weapons to murder kids and families, you’re probably going to be alright with violating the instructions on a sign. That some people seem to miss this is really just sad. It’s not even an understandable disagreement.

Gun bans don’t stop guns at all.

It’s hard even to understand the train of thought of banning guns. Do the anti-gunners believe that this even makes guns go away? Did the war on drugs make drugs go away? Am I just dreaming that finding someone willing to sell me some weed can take literally a minute or two?

Prohibitions don’t work when it comes to actual items that are fairly easy to get ahold of. And yes, a gun is easy to get – even “illegal” ones in our current system.

Even then, let’s say there was a gun ban put in place. Are you planning on going door to door to take the guns? If so, I hope you’re willing to lose some people, because there are a heck of a lot of people who have “when they come for my guns” as the “line” in the sand for when they’ll use the guns in the first place. It’s scary, of course, but it’s true. You don’t mess with the guns of a man who knows that they keep him free.

And if the gun banners aren’t going to try to actively confiscate guns, then the guns will all still be there in the system. And there’s no way they’ll go away. That’s not even part of the plan. That means the ban won’t work. The gun ban can’t even work. It’s just silly.

The guy who’s smart enough to be in a graduate program for neuroscience isn’t an idiot. He’ll be able to acquire guns, especially if he is willing – and he was – to spend thousands of dollars and months to acquire them.

Black markets exist.  And they exist for people willing to break the law.

A room of victims isn’t safe.

A room full of people who must instantly do whatever a guy with a gun says isn’t safe at all. That’s just a tragedy waiting to happen. Any psychopath who can acquire a gun in the black market – and this happens in places like the UK, where handguns are banned – can suddenly have his pick of who to kill, because he knows they won’t be able to fight back. It’s ridiculous.

There’s a reason guns are banned in prisons, and they do everything from strip searches to 24-hour surveillance of everything to keep them out. That’s what it takes to get rid of guns in a system. And even then, they still can’t fully stop the creation of weapons and murder. In a prison, there are still weapons and murder. And no, it’s not a good idea to treat the entire United States like one huge prison system to achieve some sort of leftist “gun-free zone.”

The idea that the Aurora shooter – who dressed up like “The Joker” and consciously chose to kill as many people as he could – would be deterred by a new rule saying “you can’t do that” is just silly. All it does is guarantee that his murder spree will be like shooting fish in a barrel. And that’s wrong. It’s just wrong.

Would a gun ban have worked? No.

Columbine was a gun-free zone. Virginia Tech was a gun-free zone. Fort Hood banned conceal carry. The Aurora shooting was in a gun-free theater. In Washington, DC, handguns still existed after they banned them – only the bad guys had them. Gun crime went up after the handgun ban in the UK.

The evidence is overwhelming.

Gun bans don’t stop criminals. Gun bans don’t even make guns go away. All they do is guarantee that the only gun owners and carriers are the people willing to break the law. That turns the good people into sheep and the bad guys into violent masters who can’t be opposed.

It means that in situations where 60 seconds could save 20 people from getting shot, the only good guys with guns will be minutes away. That’s wrong. Would the Aurora shooting have been stopped if there wasn’t a gun ban? I honestly don’t know. It would have given the victims a fighting chance. But one thing is certain: A gun ban just makes the problem worse, and leads to even more deaths, crimes, and tragedy.


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Shaun Connell

Shaun Connell is an investor, writer, and entrepreneur passionate about economics, finance, and politics.

Shaun is the editor of Capitalism Institute, where he writes about economic principles and political theory. He’s also the author of Live Gold Prices, where he reviews important economic and market news.

Passionate about economics and liberty, Shaun was naturally drawn to the Austrian approach to human behavior, and tries to write all of his content from such an angle.

Shaun also enjoys nice cigars, good bourbon, and grilling as often as he can.


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