As the investigation into the July 20, 2012 Colorado movie theatre shooting progresses, there remains a missing piece, and that is the discussion of private property rights.
While the political debate has been framed as more gun control versus less gun control, I see the real debate as private property rights versus no private property rights.
While more government-mandated gun control is palatable to many, an overt limitation of private property rights is less palatable, in the absence of fear-mongering.
The mass media –our self-appointed opinion leaders — frame the debate as more gun control versus the fear of another mass shooting, but for me, the debate is over private property rights versus no private property rights.
It should be evident that more gun control laws can’t stop all mass shootings. The solution, to me, is to protect the private property rights of business owners, and let them be responsible for their own security, and let their patrons assume full personal responsibility for their decision to patronize the business, barring negligence and malice.
If the business is negligent, there is the civil remedy of suing it for negligence, and if there is malice, there is also a possible criminal remedy.
Nearly everyone claims that they don’t want to be enslaved, but government security goons at movie theatres, and government laws barring all guns in private businesses, would serve that purpose.
Instead of enacting laws that grab guns from mostly law-abiding citizens, why not allow private property owners to provide for their own security, as they best see fit?
In a mass market like the United States, and especially in big cities, there would be the opportunity for some cinemas to offer more security, including full pat-downs, which are completely constitutional. I have no problem with private businesses choosing to mandate full pat-downs, since it’s up to individuals whether they choose to patronize that business.
For me, I’d prefer to take the risk, which is comparable to winning a lottery jackpot, of being a potential victim of a mass shooting, and not patronize a movie theatre with full pat-downs, but for others, they may not want to take that minuscule risk. If there was truly enough of a demand for such security, individuals would choose their theatre and other venues appropriately, despite what some cynical power-hungry freedom-grabbers in government may claim they want.