There is a movie theater not far from The Manor that is a bit of a throwback to an earlier era, an era when the first theater multiplexes were built.  So the theaters are smaller than contemporary multiplexes, and the chairs are a bit smaller and a bit threadbare, but the owner made up for it by charging lower prices, enough lower to make it worth the slightly longer drive.  Until, that is—and this happened years ago—the theater became a gun-free zone.

There is, of course, no such thing as a gun-free zone.  One might as well put up signs declaring a given place a crime-free zone.  The honest and law-abiding will tend to obey either sign, but criminals won’t.  Those planning mass murder particularly could care less, except to revel in the knowledge their victims will likely be unarmed, and such people do think about such things.

The literature proving that gun-free zones—here and abroad—only enable killers is voluminous and convincing.  Here’s a good example by Dr. John Lott,  whose research has conclusively proved that more guns do equal less crime.  Convincing, that is, to all but true believers, like the theater owner.

Because I enjoyed the lower admission and concession prices and didn’t mind the less than state of the art ambience, I wrote a letter to the owner.  It was an entirely civil, even kind letter.  I explained my background as a military veteran, police officer, SWAT troop, teacher of police officers and firearm instructor.  I cited facts and figures, and asked the owner if the worst came to pass, if someone entered one of his theaters and began shooting his patrons, would he not want someone like me present, someone not only able to immediately recognize the threat, but willing and capable of immediately neutralizing it?  I put it gently, but asked it he would prefer his patrons to be helpless, unable to protect their lives, or if he would prefer they live.

His return letter was less civil and kind and all but accused me of being the problem because obviously, I was one of those gun nuts who endanger the pubic and whose very existence causes violence.  The only rational and moral stance against such maniacs was the establishment of gun free zones so theater patrons could feel safe.  My presence, you see would actually endanger everyone.

Not long before the Virginia Tech shooting, a school official bragged about keeping Virginia Tech a gun-free zone, so that everyone could thereby feel safe.  One can only hope that after all of those deaths, he understood the difference between feeling safe and taking the affirmative actions necessary to be safe.  One can only hope he would feel haunted by his unthinking brag, but such people tend to be immune from the whisperings of conscience.  They have political orthodoxy and certainty instead.

I answered with another kind and rational letter, thanking him for his time, and expressing the sincere hope he never had to see his faith in a law any killer would gleefully break put to the test.  I explained the difference between feeling safe and actually being safe and encouraged him to consider it.  I informed him that I would, therefore, never again patronize his theater as I considered being able to protect my life and the lives of those I love to take precedence over slightly cheaper popcorn.

Life is like that.  We make choices that we hope will pay off for us.  Sometimes we ignore reason and fact and proof because some beliefs underlie our philosophical foundation.  Most people don’t think that deeply about things; they don’t say to themselves “guns are the cause of all evil, therefore I must do all that I can to avoid, demonize and destroy them and to disarm my fellow citizens who are surely stupid, evil or both.”  Even so, their actions—or inaction–can endanger themselves and others, or at the very least, make it easy for those who want to kill.

For most people, most of the time, such beliefs cause only psychic damage, making those that hold them a little less trusting, a little less happy and a little more angry.  Most holding such beliefs can and will live out their life never having their beliefs put to the test.  On the rare occasions when they hear of an average citizen using a firearm to save lives, they rejoice not, but shake their heads in disgust and marvel at how much more dangerous the presence of that gun could have made things.  Thanks to the Lamestream Media, most of these people never hear of citizens who save others.  For them, there never is a transformative event, a chance to critically examine and perhaps change their beliefs, so they live, smug yet agitated, wrapped in the feel good comfort of a philosophy that can, given the right circumstances, cost their lives and the lives of all that matter to them.

I’ve never returned to that theater, and I avoid any and all businesses that would deprive me of the only human right that truly matters: the right to self-defense.  Besides, there’s always DVD.