The recent theater massacre in Lafayette, Louisiana, during a showing of Trainwreck spurred a variety of public reactions in its wake. Police identified the shooter as John Russell “Rusty” Houser, who “methodically” shot 11 people. He fired off 20 rounds, shooting some people more than once, with one victim suffering four separate wounds. Authorities say Houser legally purchased his gun from a pawn shop.
This tragic incident adds fire to the already hot gun-control debate. Former Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry spoke with Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union to discuss his opposition to gun-free zones:
“I think we have the laws in place. The enforcement of these laws is what seems to be lacking, both in Charleston and here in Lafayette, Louisiana. We see individuals who are obviously mentally impacted. There were individuals that I think, somewhere, somebody didn’t do their job in the standpoint of enforcing the laws that are on the books.
“I would suggest that the concept of gun-free zones are a bad idea. I think that you allow the citizens of this country who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to use firearms they carry…”
Perry’s solution to the Lafayette shootings? Let people carry their guns into theaters.
“I think that it makes a lot of sense to send a message across this country. If we believe in the Second Amendment, and we believe in people’s right to protect themselves and defend themselves, and their families. To tell them they cannot carry a weapon that they are legally obliged to carry, that they have been through the training for, makes sense to me.
“I believe that, with all my heart, that if you have the citizens who are well trained, and particularly in these places that are considered to be gun-free zones, that we can stop that type of activity, or stop it before there’s as many people that are impacted as what we saw in Lafayette.”
Perry’s stance on gun control appears to have changed. In February, Perry told The Texas Tribune he was “not necessarily all that fond of this open carry concept.” He said, “I don’t want the bad guys to know if I’m carrying. I don’t want to be the first person shot if something’s going down.” Now, Perry seems to believe everyone should be free to legally carry their guns into movie theaters. Perhaps Perry has tweaked his stance in an effort to appeal to voters on a hot-button issue.