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"Gun-free zones are a bad idea" : After cinema shooting, Rick Perry wants guns in cinemas

The presidential candidate is a consistent advocate of gun rights.

Source: CNN/YouTube

IN THE WAKE of the gun attack on a Louisiana cinema that killed two people, US presidential candidate Rick Perry has said that patrons should be allowed to carry guns in a movie theatre.

Last Friday, John Houser entered a theatre in Lafayette and shot 13 rounds from a legally bought handgun, killing two women aged 21 and 33 and injuring nine others. He then killed himself.

It follows the recent attack in Charleston in which nine black parishioners at a church in South Carolina were killed by white supremacist Dylann Roof.

Speaking yesterday about the murders and gun control, gun advocate and Republican candidate Perry says that he is opposed to ‘gun-free zones’.

“I would suggest that these concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea,” he told CNN.

I think that you allow the citizens of this country who have been appropriately trained, who know how to handle and use firearms, to carry them.

Asked directly whether patrons in the movie theatre in should have been allowed bring guns with them, he replied that he believes so.

I think that it makes a lot of sense to send a message across this country that, if we believe in the second amendment and we believe in people’s right to protect themselves and to defend themselves and their families, that to tell them that they cannot carry a weapon that they are legally obliged to carry. That they have been through the training for, makes sense to me.

Movie Theater Shooting Flowers left at a shop in Lafayette owned by one of the women killed on Friday. Source: AP Images

Perry says that laws to prevent mentally unstable people from owning guns is equally important, but he suggested that no new laws are needed.

He said in the cases of John Houser and Dylann Roof, someone failed in their responsibility to stop them getting access to guns. Both shooters, he said, were “obviously mentally impacted”.

“These were individuals who I think someone at some point didn’t do their job in enforcing the laws that are already on the book.”

Democratic candidate Senator Bernie Sanders also spoke about the shooting over the weekend. He said that urban and rural dwellers have different needs when it comes to guns.

“Coming from from a rural state, I think I can communicate with folks coming from urban states where guns mean different things than they do in Vermont where it’s used for hunting,” Sanders said.

“That’s where we’ve got to go. We don’t have to argue with each other and yell at each other. We need a common sense solution.”

- With reporting from Associate Press

Watch: Officers high-five as the US’s most wanted man is calmly arrested by small-town cops >

Read: Hundreds gather for first funerals of Charleston shooting victims >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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