Was the Aurora theater shooting “foreseeable” by owners?

posted at 2:31 pm on August 23, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

The Denver Post is reporting that a lawsuit being brought by survivors and family members in the wake of the 2012 Aurora theater shooting against the theater may move forward.

The owner of the Aurora movie theater that was the site of a deadly 2012 attack could have reasonably enough foreseen the danger of such an attack to be held liable for it, a federal judge ruled Friday.

Noting “the grim history of mass shootings and mass killings that have occurred in more recent times,” U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson ruled that Cinemark — owner of the Century Aurora 16 theater — could have predicted that movie patrons might be targeted for an attack. Jackson’s ruling allows 20 lawsuits filed by survivors of the attack or relatives of those killed to proceed toward trial.

[See update below]

While I would think that such a lawsuit is simply absurd, even in our overly litigious society, it’s worth noting that the judge has not ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, but simply allowed the case to be heard. Still, the idea that simply because the theater owner should be aware that mass shootings had taken place in other (non-theater) crowded buildings they should be liable for the actions of madmen boggles the mind. Dr. James Joyner sees it the same way.

It’s easy to sympathize with the families of those murdered in the Aurora theater shooting or any of the other horrific mass shooting incidents in recent years. But it’s just bizarre to put the blame on the theater owner, school principal, or others holding perfectly normal events.

For one thing, while they’re all over the news, mass shootings are nonetheless exceedingly rare and unpredictable. It’s a near certainty that another one will happen. But we have no way of knowing at which of millions of potential venues it might occur. It’s simply unreasonable to harden all of them against an exceedingly unlikely event.

I particularly agreed with an article from Lenore Skenazy – which Joyner links – which seems to put the sensible cap on this discussion.

While the ruling does not decide any of the lawsuits, it does establish that they can proceed. In doing so, it 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.

When you go to see a movie at the theater, you – as a patron – have a few reasonable expectations. You should be able to expect that the movie will be shown with clear video and audio. The snacks should not prove to be toxic. The building – under normal weather conditions – should not fall down on your head. If any of those conditions fall though, you’d probably have a right to demand compensation from the owners. But if your loss comes from the actions of a madman (”Perhaps the defining feature of crazy people is that they’re unpredictable”) then you are placing the blame on the owners for something as far out of their control as if a tornado hit the theater out of a clear sky.

As Joyner also notes, don’t we all take a certain amount of personal responsibility when we leave our homes? We all know that subways have been gassed, building have been imploded and workplaces have been the scenes of gunfire. Yes, we hope that those in control of these locations take all the reasonable precautions possible, but not every municipal swimming pool can reasonably be hardened to the same level as the Green Zone in Baghdad. This lawsuit doesn’t appear to have any merit, at least as I see it.

UPDATE: (Jazz) As has been noted in both the comments and various places, the Denver Post substantially misread the judge’s decision in one regard. Popehat has an excellent summary here. The judge wasn’t actually saying the shooting was foreseeable, but rather that a jury might think it was. But either way, the result is the same, as I wrote above, in that he is allowing the case to move forward.


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All victims of past school shootings should immediately sue the Department of Education and for the same reason.

HotAirian on August 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM

When you are running a public facility for the public and post that you do not allow weapons to be carried by citizens, then you are taking the responsibility for their security in your own hands and had better have armed personnel available.

That PC, feel-good ‘oh there are no weapons carried here so we are SAFE’ meme is getting people killed.

If a theater posts such signage then, yes, they are taking responsibility for the security of their patrons.

ajacksonian on August 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM

You have to be kidding? Right? Is this judge an idiot or what? Yeah, an idiot!

they lie on August 23, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Judge is an idiot.

they lie on August 23, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Did I say, the judge is an idiot?

they lie on August 23, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Letting this type of case go forward is close to deciding that plaintiffs will prevail. It is a long, difficult, and expensive gamble to defend a case like this in front of a jury, or a liberal judge.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 23, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Theaters are making sure law abiding citizens can’t defend themselves against people who ignore law. That said, the lawsuit should be a wake up call to asinine businesses to allow legal gun owners the right to defend themselves against these random, rare attacks. I only hope this trial lasts long enough to wake them up. Then I hope the trail fails at holding the theater owner(s) responsible.

Conservative4Ever on August 23, 2014 at 2:42 PM

But… but, how could this be? There was a “No Firearms” sign on the door.

Does this mean the cinema owners knew firearms had previously been in the building, or did they think that meant no firearms would ever come into the building once the sign went up?

This ruling basically means firearms could be everywhere, and thus everywhere is liable. Huh, no wonder so many people carry concealed… or should.

PermanentWaves on August 23, 2014 at 2:43 PM

According to Ken at Popehat, the Denver Post article misreported the ruling.

In other words, the court did not find that the shooting was foreseeable. The court found that if a jury believed the plaintiffs’ experts and evidence, the jury could conceivably find that the shooting was foreseeable.

aunursa on August 23, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Bah! Trial, not trail! Sigh

Conservative4Ever on August 23, 2014 at 2:44 PM

If I get hit by a drunk on a public highway, can I sue the state? Surely they could foreseen it.

S. D. on August 23, 2014 at 2:45 PM

If Cinemark doesn’t settle and loses the suit then every business and venue needs to shut down or have some ironclad document of no responsibility that everyone must sign to enter.

docflash on August 23, 2014 at 2:45 PM

In short, the Denver Post got the story badly wrong, substantially changing the meaning of the judge’s ruling. The gulf between “I find this was foreseeable” and “I’m not saying it’s foreseeable; I’m saying a jury might possibly think so” is vast. As you would expect, this incorrect interpretation then propagated, causing predictable outrage in some quarters. How can a judge find this is foreseeable? Why doesn’t a jury get to decide?

aunursa on August 23, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Was the Aurora theater shooting “foreseeable” by owners?

If there’s some lawyerin’ money to be made, then Hell yes!!!!

BigWyo on August 23, 2014 at 2:45 PM

If they mean that the theater owners should have been able to foresee that making the theater a gun-free zone could invite a mass shooting……

… then I guess they might have a point.

By refusing to allow patrons to have their own protection, they effectively took full responsibility for defending them.

Gun-free zones are hazardous to your health.

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 23, 2014 at 2:49 PM

I disagree strongly with the author and his referenced colleagues. While as a matter of law he may be proven correct, it is important to recall that this theatre was a posted gun free zone. As a direct result of this, I believe they owed a greater obligation to the security of their customers. By disallowing others to provide for their own defense by carrying firearms, they have inserted the theatre into this breach. In addition, advertising yourself as a gun free establishment broadcasts to crazies that; “here you are safe to do your evil”. I personally hope they lose a billion dollars in this suit.

1_more_opai on August 23, 2014 at 2:49 PM

U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson

This Democrat Activist Judge was nominated by O’bama. Gee, what a shock!

He also went to Harvard Law School.

‘Nuff said.

Del Dolemonte on August 23, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Can we sue them for showing crappy movies or is that Hollywood we have to sue.

RickB on August 23, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Reason number 595,548,996,445 to take up reform.


LOSER PAYS.

This is nothing more than extortion…Either way, the $)cking lawyers get paid….

The choice: Settle for a gob of $$ and avoid huge legal fees or pay the legal fees and:

A. Win and get stuck with the bill for a bull$hit law suit. or
B. Lose, get stuck with the bill AND pay the judgement.

Kiss my a$$.

BigWyo on August 23, 2014 at 2:53 PM

ajacksonion,

You are correct. If a movie theater removed fire extinguishers and a fire broke out, the owners would be held liable—at least partially depending upon how likely it is that a fire extinguisher would have made a difference.

Would allowing armed people in the theater have prevented or minimized the damage (loss of life)? We know that he lived closer to a few theaters. Some of these were smaller and some were bigger. So why did he drive the extra distance to this theater? The other theaters allowed guns—this one did not.

quill67 on August 23, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Two years ago seven geologists in Italy were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 6 years in jail for *not* predicting an earthquake in advance and not providing sufficient warnings.

HakerA on August 23, 2014 at 2:59 PM

The liberal Harvard judge may be doing responsible citizens a favor by allowing the suit. This is a whole new spin on “anti” gun control. If plaintiffs win then perhaps others will realize the importance of self protection and private businesses will stop their ignorant gun-free zones. It’s their right to have them, but at what cost? In lives we see the cost, I hope the money rewards are humongous.

1_more_opai on August 23, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Obviously, the Aurora theater shooting was “foreseeable” by the suicidal victims and their families – THEY should be held responsible.

Pork-Chop on August 23, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Didn’t the theater management post the venue as a “gun free zone”?

If so, then management assumed liability. Just posting a sign doesn’t do anything to protect those entering. Where were the metal detectors? Where was security?

Recall Virginia Tech? They had one shooting incident prior to the Cho massacre. The school VP stated after that 1st incident; ‘We now have systems in place to preclude such an occurrence again….’

Evidently no one communicated that to Cho.

GarandFan on August 23, 2014 at 3:02 PM

What are the qualifications for becoming a Federal judge? The ability to think rationally is clearly not required.

Jaibones on August 23, 2014 at 3:02 PM

If they established a gun free zone, then they are responsible for the outcome when one man comes armed into a theater filled with disarmed citizens.

unclesmrgol on August 23, 2014 at 3:03 PM

I agree with you Jazz. It will be surprising if this lawsuit goes anywhere.

cat_owner on August 23, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Damn this stupid lawsuit just guaranteed I have to go through metal detectors and searches now before I see a movie.

melle1228 on August 23, 2014 at 3:15 PM

There really ought to be a bounty placed on ambulance chasers and idiot judges.

mcgilvra on August 23, 2014 at 3:19 PM

I forsee … more lawsuits!

RedPepper on August 23, 2014 at 3:20 PM

So, mass shootings are an incredible anomaly. We should mock plaintiffs who say different.

Yet, we are supposed to “militarize” our police to deal with this nearly non-existent threat. And, mock people who complain about this militarization.

mockmook on August 23, 2014 at 3:21 PM

This is a Hail Mary lawsuit.

Not everyone who was shot, died. Many have very expensive medical bills and reoccurring expenses related to the shooting. Most of those intended beneficiaries of the lawsuit didn’t have the prescience to obtain medical insurance for any medical emergency, yet they expect clairvoyance on the part of Cinemark to have a fully functioning Minority Report apparatus at their disposal.

Though I want to believe that owners of buildings who prohibit gun owners from bringing their own security would bear the costs of an incident such as what happened in Aurora, it just isn’t practical.

Lets say that you brought your own firearm into the theater and blazed away from the rear seats at the assailant up front with your belly gun with a 1½” barrel. Seriously? At best that is suppression fire and that assumes that the crazy guy up front is not suicidal. Most likely the muzzle flash will add to the panic, and make you the next target either by the Offender or by other CHLs in the room thinking you are part of the shooter team.

The problem here is too many hypotheticals to be able to score that seven or eight figure payout.

Like a client told me w/r/t their firearm policies. If you don’t like our house rules, feel free to leave.

Reuben Hick on August 23, 2014 at 3:26 PM

The fact that this was a known “no guns allowed” facility and was posted that way might have something to do with it. the “madman” was smart enough to pass up a few theaters that were closer to his home that were not labeled as such. Might give peoplean idea that maybe gun free zones are easy targets, yu think??????

retiredeagle on August 23, 2014 at 3:26 PM

quill67 on August 23, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I am all for private concerns being able to make rules for their property.

When those rules infringe on constitutionally protected rights, especially a basic one for keeping and bearing arms, then the property owner takes the responsibility for the security of those on their property upon themselves.

No one forced them to make that decision and put up those signs.

That should be a civil rights case, not a civil lawsuit.

ajacksonian on August 23, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Quick, somebody send this judge a copy of Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co., 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E. 99 (N.Y. 1928).

Even wikipedia gets it:

“Palsgraf is standard reading for first-year tort students in many, if not most American law schools.

“The Palsgraf case established foreseeability as the test for proximate cause.”

ugottabekiddingme on August 23, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Nothing less than legal terrorism. Look for supermarkets, banks, office buildings, schools, amusement parks,court houses (ironically) and anywhere else that people congregate to close immediately or face crippling liability.

Mason on August 23, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Quick, somebody send this judge a copy of Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co., 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E. 99 (N.Y. 1928).

Even wikipedia gets it:

“Palsgraf is standard reading for first-year tort students in many, if not most American law schools.

ugottabekiddingme on August 23, 2014 at 3:29 PM

We are talking about a Harvard grad. Ivy league degrees only mean that you are politically connected. For well over a generation now an Ivy degree screams “Incompetent!”.

Whenever I see a Harvard or Yale grad attached to someone, I automatically assume “less than community college” as far as skills, reputation and ability are concerned.

Reuben Hick on August 23, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Nothing less than legal terrorism. Look for supermarkets, banks, office buildings, schools, amusement parks,court houses (ironically) and anywhere else that people congregate to close immediately or face crippling liability.

Mason on August 23, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Yep. 35,000 businesses closed in the Denver area this last week since this article appeared. And Denver expects 18,000 more to be closed by the end of this coming week.

They are way ahead of you already.

Walter L. Newton on August 23, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Put on your flack jackets, helmets, and Michelin suits people it is going to be a bumpy ride. /

A life without any risk is not going to be fun.

Screw the judge and the money grubbers pushing this stupidity.

At least this is not some small mom and pop theater they are trying to crush. I hope Cinemark destroys them in court. Those suing are p*ssing on their loved ones pulling this crap.

CW on August 23, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Yes Michelin

http://www.knightwriter.org/AA/DemonB7/SevenCyc/b7/michelin.jpeg

Safety first.

CW on August 23, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Judge Brooke, another deranged, lawless fascist traitor with delusions of godhood lawlessly violating his oath of office for which he would be impeached and convicted in a civilized county run by adults under the rule of law vs men; no danger of that here.

russedav on August 23, 2014 at 3:49 PM

It was only foreseeable in that the theater has “No Guns Allowed” signed posted all over the place. It’s one thing to have a no firearms allowed policy. It’s another to announce it to all the world including the nutters. These theaters haven’t learned either. After the shooting a number of theaters decided they also wanted their business to become target rich environments by posting their anti-guns signs of their own.

jawkneemusic on August 23, 2014 at 3:50 PM

I keep trying to get people to enter establishments with NoGuns signs, order or prepare to purchase their goods/services and then pretend to suddenly notice the signs and say “Oh, sorry, I can’t stay since I disagree with your no guns requirement” all apologetic like, see, and leave. Preferably in a large group.

It’s not catching on, because those signs are 99% in Seattle where 99% of the patrons agree with it, and I refuse to step foot in Seattle anymore.

But other folks should make it ‘a thing’, huh?
The only store that tried that in a more rural part of WWA went out of business six months after posting the signs. It was literally a wasteland. YES WE CAN.

Tard on August 23, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Anything for a buck.

rickv404 on August 23, 2014 at 3:52 PM

The shooter Holmes in this case able to enter the theater normally with all the other customers. Then he left through one of the side exits and propped the door ajar with some kind of object. He went to his vehicle, armed up and re-entered.

The case may hang on the theater constructing exits to allow this, and not having someone watching for people coming in the exit.

I’m not suggesting that the suit should be successful by posting this.

slickwillie2001 on August 23, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Maybe the owner should counter-sue all the plaintiffs because they should have reasonably foreseen the danger of such an attack by going into a crowded movie theater. They came in anyway and should be held negligent.
After all, if the owner was supposed to have figured it out, why aren’t the patrons required to do the same figuring?

OccamsRazor on August 23, 2014 at 4:07 PM

The case may hang on the theater constructing exits to allow this, and not having someone watching for people coming in the exit.

I’m not suggesting that the suit should be successful by posting this.

slickwillie2001 on August 23, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Still not really forseeable.

CW on August 23, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Evil is real and unpredictable, pack heat

E9RET on August 23, 2014 at 4:10 PM

The old comic books said it best

???????????

formwiz on August 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM

A number of people have referenced Popehat’s article on how the Denver Post poorly worded their interpretation of the judgment and it’s a very good analysis. However, it doesn’t change the substance of what I wrote here, which was to say that the judge allowed the case to move forward, not that he endorsed the plaintiffs’ complaints. (Which is still true.) As to how valid the complaints are regarding whether or not the theater is accountable, that’s just opinion and yours may vary.

Jazz Shaw on August 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM

But… but, how could this be? There was a “No Firearms” sign on the door.

PermanentWaves on August 23, 2014 at 2:43 PM

There’s a sign at my local Bozeman, Montana theater that says, “Please no firearms”. Due to the “please”, I like to think it’s a request and that patrons have the choice of complying with or ignoring it.

jix on August 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM

School systems around the country hardest hit.

BobMbx on August 23, 2014 at 4:12 PM

I know there aren’t many left but does this mean drive in theaters need 20 foot fences and to check every trunk?

CW on August 23, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Pick your poison: Death by fire due to locked doors, or death by shooting due to unlocked doors.

BobMbx on August 23, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Not A fan of lawsuits or lawfare, generally, but this case is not a bad one, for Gun Rights Advocates. I know many of you disagree but see if you like my logic or at least tell me what’s wrong with my logic.
1) This law suit changes the Cost-Benefit Payout Matrix of a business. Currently, when asked about armed patrons the business may assume:
a. Costs: An armed patron may deliberately or inadvertently shoot another patron or patrons; obviously this would lead to business/corporate liability, it is a small but foreseeable risk.
b. Benefits: Benefits are minimal or indeterminate, mass shootings are very rare, so the benefits of PREVENTING or ENDING are a mass shooting are almost nil, but the risks are still very real.
c. Result: It makes more sense to ban fire arms than allow them
2) If the law suit proceeds &/or a settlement is reached that matrix changes.
a. Costs: Well you still have the small, but real risk associated with armed patrons, but NOW you have the potential costs of legal liability for patrons killed by another patron violating your corporate policy. That cost did not exist prior to this law suit.
b. Benefits: Armed patrons or greater security can now be seen as a risk reduction policy, because now there ARE costs associated with banning firearms, but making only token efforts to ensure that policy is enforced.
c. Results: Unknown, but some businesses may conclude that it is cheaper to allow armed patrons, than increase security.
3) The end result may be greater security or greater emphasis on armed response by patrons. Certainly, simply posting a “NO GUNS ALLOWED” sign is now going to be considered inadequate.
So, I see this as using the “system” to “our” benefit. A theatre can’t just post a “NO FIRES” sign & avoid having a sprinkler system or fire extinguishers. Your playground can’t get away with posting a “NO BROKEN BONES” or “NO ‘OWEEES’” sign & claim immunity from liability. So too, a “NO FIREARMS” sign doesn’t prevent Holmes from shooting the place up. All that sign does is make sure armed patrons are disarmed or stay away. It declares, in effect, that THIS business is a potential shooting gallery. For all you people who make these points in other threads, realize this, UNTIL businesses see their bottom-lines affected by firearm decisions they will continue to opt for the easiest, cheapest approach which is NO FIREARMS. Right now, there isn’t that pressure, after this there may be.
Finally, you know having to have sprinklers, & fire extinguishers, & fire exits, & now AED’s drove the cost to businesses up too…..As someone pointed out upthread, thousands of businesses are not going to close because of this liability issue.

JFKY on August 23, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Pick your poison: Death by fire due to locked doors, or death by shooting due to unlocked doors.

BobMbx on August 23, 2014 at 4:14 PM

87!

You nailed it. Great point.

CW on August 23, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Finally, I think some of the reaction to this suit is emotional…” WE HATEZZZZZZ Lawyers/Judges/Obama Appointees/Ivy League Jurors”. If you peel away your distaste for litigation, is there a real objection to trying to convince businesses to allow open or concealed carry?

JFKY on August 23, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Does anyone think the shooter would not have simply found another way to pull this off?

You should see what my wife carries in. Last time it was 5 bottles of water and about 4 small bags of candy.

I suspect the killer could have carried two handguns , a knife, a grenade, and a baseball bat….ok maybe not a bat.

CW on August 23, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Judge is an idiot.

they lie on August 23, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Did I say, the judge is an idiot?

they lie on August 23, 2014 at 2:40 PM

You lie! Boy!

Judge_Dredd on August 23, 2014 at 4:56 PM

So theaters will start anticipating the obvious wist case solutions. And then people will start whining about the “militarization” of movie theaters. Go fish.

Kenosha Kid on August 23, 2014 at 4:57 PM

s/wist/worst

Kenosha Kid on August 23, 2014 at 4:58 PM

And then people will start whining about the “militarization” of movie theaters. Go fish.

Kenosha Kid on August 23, 2014 at 4:57 PM

As long as it is the 21 year old hottie selling tickets giving me the pat down I am all for it.

/

CW on August 23, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Why not just sue the state for not allowing open carry statewide? The state could have just as easily foresaw an attack and allowed citizens to protect themselves.

Oh heck, let’s just take it all the way to the federal government and sue them.

Maybe they’ll put some kind of law in place or something.

I vaguely remember something about bearing arms or something along those lines being written somewhere.

ButterflyDragon on August 23, 2014 at 5:03 PM

When you are running a public facility for the public and post that you do not allow weapons to be carried by citizens, then you are taking the responsibility for their security in your own hands and had better have armed personnel available.

That PC, feel-good ‘oh there are no weapons carried here so we are SAFE’ meme is getting people killed.

If a theater posts such signage then, yes, they are taking responsibility for the security of their patrons.

ajacksonian on August 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM

I agree with AJ and the others who have focused on the “no firearms” policy. Any business that caters to relatively large numbers of people should have reasonable security plans in place for all foreseeable contingencies. The problem they have here is that there is a demonstrable propensity for those who commit mass shootings to choose so-called “gun free” zones to perpetrate their massacres. Posting a “no-gun” policy is arguably increasing the odds a location will be chosen by a shooter. If you’re going to do that, you had better be prepared to defend your patrons, because you are denying them the opportunity to defend themselves.

The judge is right. It’s a question for the jury.

novaculus on August 23, 2014 at 5:06 PM

CW on August 23, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Lookin’ on the brite side :)

Kenosha Kid on August 23, 2014 at 5:09 PM

ButterflyDragon on August 23, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Because open carry is retarded. Get your CCW and pass the popcorn.

Kenosha Kid on August 23, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Was the Aurora theater shooting “foreseeable” by owners?

The shooter passed by several other theaters to go to the one with a “no guns” policy. It was foreseeable.

Happy Nomad on August 23, 2014 at 5:14 PM

So theaters will start anticipating the obvious worst case solutions. And then people will start whining about the “militarization” of movie theaters. Go fish.

Kenosha Kid on August 23, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Hey! What date night at the movies isn’t enhanced by metal detectors and a TSA-like groping on the way into the Cineplex?

Happy Nomad on August 23, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Kenosha Kid…CCW means Yu can carry WHERE IT’S ALLOWED… not wherever. So CCW & pass the popcorn & expect to lose your CCW sometime….
It’s my right, as property owner, to forbid you to carry a weapon….& you are just saying I’m an arrogant scofflaw & your rights/desires don’t count.

IF they say NO FIREARMS, then you:
1) Leave it in the car; or
2) Move onto a different business.

JFKY on August 23, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Hey! What date night at the movies isn’t enhanced by metal detectors and a TSA-like groping on the way into the Cineplex?

Happy Nomad on August 23, 2014 at 5:16 PM

The new foreplay. 21st Century style.

CW on August 23, 2014 at 5:20 PM

What are the qualifications for becoming a Federal judge? The ability to think rationally is clearly not required.

Jaibones on August 23, 2014 at 3:02 PM

3 people I went to high school are judges, 2 of them at the federal level. All 3 of them combined MIGHT be able to figure out how to add numbers with more than 3 digits even using a calculator, so I’d say the bar is pretty low. Of course, they all 3 think that their excrement is non-odoriferous.

Mini-14 on August 23, 2014 at 5:34 PM

The judge wasn’t actually saying the shooting was foreseeable, but rather that a jury might think it was.

I can stack a jury so that any outcome is possible. The right jury could convict or acquit Osama Bin Laden, O.J. Simpson, or Rick Perry. Now an impartial jury is a different story.

DAT60A3 on August 23, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Putting up a “Gun Free Zone” sign is, at least, an alert that the rule keepers among the general population might not be able to defend themselves on the premises where such a sign is posted.

Akzed on August 23, 2014 at 5:46 PM

god forbid the person that did the shooting bear all the blame. if that theater was bankrupt they would not sue, but since its not they want to take its money.
this is what gives lawyers a bad name and taints the good ones, and there are many good ones.

dmacleo on August 23, 2014 at 6:32 PM

It’s not like The Dark Knight Rises trailer itself features a mass-casualty attack at a crowded entertainment venue or anything. Good thing no one got to see the trailer in advance.

Of course they could’ve foreseen it, but that doesn’t mean the suit has merit or will succeed. Basically, you pay your money, you take your chances. Life isn’t fair, and sometimes people find themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Call it worst-first thinking, paranoia, or something else. Could the same thing be said of concealed carry? It’s called being prepared, and surviving is probably a higher priority than worrying some nobodies think you’re ‘noid.

Christien on August 23, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Does anyone think the shooter would not have simply found another way to pull this off?

You should see what my wife carries in. Last time it was 5 bottles of water and about 4 small bags of candy.

I suspect the killer could have carried two handguns , a knife, a grenade, and a baseball bat….ok maybe not a bat.

CW on August 23, 2014 at 4:42 PM

One of the logical consequences to this lawsuit, if it’s successful, will be bag searches at a minimum and perhaps demands to empty your pockets, open your jacket, etc… if it appears you’re hiding something.

Wendya on August 23, 2014 at 7:17 PM

JFKY on August 23, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Wasn’t advocating carry where prohibited, but rather a preference for concealed vs. open. Speed, surprise, violence of action. YMMV.

Kenosha Kid on August 23, 2014 at 7:19 PM

IF they say NO FIREARMS, then you:
1) Leave it in the car; or
2) Move onto a different business.

JFKY on August 23, 2014 at 5:16 PM

The rights of private property owners trumps the 2nd amendment. Period. Anyone who cares about constitutional rights would never demand the “right” to force a property owner to comply with their demands.

Wendya on August 23, 2014 at 7:20 PM

If they established a gun free zone, then they are responsible for the outcome when one man comes armed into a theater filled with disarmed citizens.

unclesmrgol

No, they aren’t, lol. And no matter how many folks in this thread make the same silly claim, it still won’t make it any more true.

xblade on August 23, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Wasn’t advocating carry where prohibited, but rather a preference for concealed vs. open. Speed, surprise, violence of action. YMMV.

Kenosha Kid on August 23, 2014 at 7:19 PM

You want the element of surprise? Talk about retarded.

The point of open carry is to deter, not to engage in gun battles.

I live in the Commonwealth of Virginia where we enjoy open carry laws. Trust me, people do act differently when they see someone with a pistol on their hip in their midst.

ButterflyDragon on August 23, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Reason number 595,548,996,445 to take up reform.

LOSER PAYS.

This is nothing more than extortion…Either way, the $)cking lawyers get paid….

I am not in favor of this decision but I have to point out this statement is incorrect. These types of cases are taken on a contingency fee basis… Meaning that if the lawyer loses the case, there is no attorney’s fee. Last year my firm spent $150,000 on a case which we lost. We thought we had a strong case but the jury saw it differently.

Technically, the client is responsible for the expenses even if we lose. But they (like most clients) don’t have that kind of money so we had to eat those costs.

newbyj99 on August 23, 2014 at 8:48 PM

I live in the Commonwealth of Virginia where we enjoy open carry laws. Trust me, people do act differently when they see someone with a pistol on their hip in their midst.

ButterflyDragon on August 23, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Yup… and when the criminal has a concealed weapon, who do you think is going to be the first person he is going to shoot?

I have seen more than one occasion (in the news) where the CCW holder had to wait to gain the element of surprise (one was a Subway in Tampa Florida where two armed gunmen entered the place. He did nothing until they started to herd all the customers and staff into the bathroom). If he had been open carrying he would likely be dead instead of the two criminals.

I think open carry freaks out the anti-gun nuts (unnecessarily) and doesn’t make sense per the reason above. My intent for CCW is to protect myself, not intimidate people. I feel that works best when none knows I am carrying until I decide it is necessary.

BadBrad on August 23, 2014 at 9:15 PM

It’s my right, as property owner, to forbid you to carry a weapon….& you are just saying I’m an arrogant scofflaw & your rights/desires don’t count.

IF they say NO FIREARMS, then you:
1) Leave it in the car; or
2) Move onto a different business.

JFKY on August 23, 2014 at 5:16 PM

I just believe that if you post a “no firearms” sign you are denying me the right to defend myself and my family… now YOU as the business owner have taken on that responsibility.

Also your statement above depends on what state you live in. I know in TX and TN the “No Firearms” signs have the force of law (criminal, permit revocation, etc). In Missouri and Kansas, where I live now, they do not. The worst that can happen is the property owner can tell you to leave (and you have to, otherwise that IS trespassing). Know your state’s laws… http://www.handgunlaw.us is a great resource.

I usually just vote with my $$ and go elsewhere. Problem is MOST movie theaters have “no firearm” signs, which is BS. Lastly, I encourage all of you not to just walk out, go to http://www.handgunlaw.us and print out the “No Gun = No $” business cards. I usually ask the first employee I see to give it to the manager, then I leave.

BadBrad on August 23, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Any harm that occurs, even if the person harmed was negligent, is entitled to compensation.

Any person who is offended by the words or actions of another person is entitled to compensation.

Any person who is not paid a living wage, whether they work or not, is entitled to a living wage.

Anyone who cannot afford adequate medical care, food, clothing, transportation, a cell phone, cable TV, Wi-Fi, and recreational drugs is entitled to have them provided.

Compensation for all obligations cited above will come from the river of free money that flows by Washington, D.C.

pilsener on August 23, 2014 at 9:48 PM

I am trying to see a larger picture emerging from this thread. I would hope that both sides (I support the lawsuit) could understand the position of the other side. Even if we don’t agree with it. However, perhaps this is why conservatives are having such difficulty in elections. It seems that we assume a circular firing squad and insult the other side with our language and tone deafness:

“”Screw the judge and the money grubbers pushing this stupidity.

At least this is not some small mom and pop theater they are trying to crush. I hope Cinemark destroys them in court. Those suing are p*ssing on their loved ones pulling this crap.””

I’m not the judge and as a supporter I suppose I could be seen as “pushing” this but I don’t think it’s crap nor do I think I’m stupid. All your ‘argument’ does is insult and attempt to end debate. I can agree that we are overly litigious, that lawyers can sometimes drive this, and that it can create discomfort. I also agree that a business that loses this lawsuit yet remains gun free might put in metal detectors. So be it. I am a big boy and if I go to a business that bans guns (with my concealed weapon – as I often do), then I have to be willing to accept the consequences. I think A LOT of patrons will avoid these businesses acting like TSA checkpoints when they can just go to the next theatre that doesn’t have them (because they don’t disarm their customers).

We should practice amongst ourselves a little civility so we are better at it when we have the opportunity to convince those outside our little conservative family.

1_more_opai on August 23, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Alice: This is impossible.
The Mad Hatter: Only if you believe it is.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 23, 2014 at 11:09 PM

There’s a reason that virtually all of these mass shootings occur at ‘gun free zones’, including those at military bases, that some numbnuts politicians have required be put into being…

Even the deranged suicidal folks who perp these attrocities have figured out gun free zones are like shooting galleries where no one shoots back…

No, checking bags of honest folks entering thru the front door wouldn’t change these things from happening — numbnuts perps could just as well plan to break in thru a back door as patrons exit a show…

In case you haven’t thought it thru, there’s common sense laws against closing these exits — folks don’t want to be trapped in burning buildings (or buildings under attack) with no exits…

At least in the airports, there’s some folks with arms around — not that there aren’t some flaws in that security system too…

As others have mentioned, if your business requires patrons to surrender their right to protect themselves, your business also assumes the duty AND liability of providing reasonably equivalent protection of your patrons… If you miserably fail in that duty, you can expect to be screwed over by herds of slip and fall attorneys looking for an easy buck…

drfredc on August 24, 2014 at 9:38 PM