Aurora Theater Shooting “Foreseeable,” Federal Judge Rules

Image: Ari Armstrong
Image: Ari Armstrong

U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson declined to toss lawsuits against Cinemark regarding the 2012 mass murder at the Century Aurora 16 theater on the grounds that such an attack was “foreseeable,” John Ingold reports for the Denver Post. Jackson wrote, “Although theaters had theretofore been spared a mass shooting incident, the patrons of a movie theater are, perhaps even more than students in a school or shoppers in a mall, ‘sitting ducks.'”

I tend to agree with Lenore Skenazy’s views on the matter, as expressed for Reason:

The judge seems to be saying that because we do not live in a perfect world, free of all violence, all businesses open to the public should be constantly on guard against psychopathic killers. . . . [T]he ruling . . . endorses what I call ‘worst-first thinking’—dreaming up the worst case scenario first (‘What if someone comes in and shoots up our book club?’) and proceeding as if it’s likely to happen. Worst-first thinking promotes constant panic. The word for that isn’t prudence. It’s paranoia.

That said, Cinemark’s no-guns policy did render the movie patrons “sitting ducks” and almost certainly made the theater more enticing for the psychopath against whom the no-guns policy obviously did nothing.