Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said last week's movie theater shooting in Lafayette, La., is just the latest example of why gun-free zones are a bad idea, and said the best answer is to allow guns in theaters.
"I think that it makes a lot of sense to send a message across this country," the 2016 Republican presidential hopeful said on CNN when asked if a good way to prevent violence would be to allow moviegoers to take guns inside. He said that's the best course "if we believe in the Second Amendment."
John Russell Houser, who according to authorities had a history of legal and mental problems, opened fire last week at a theater, killing two and wounding nine people before fatally turning the gun on himself. He bought the handgun legally from a pawn shop, authorities have said.
"I will suggest to you that these concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea," Perry said. "I think that you allow the citizens of this country, who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms, to carry them."
According to Perry, gun-free zones, like movie theaters and churches, like last month's shooting in Charleston, S.C., that left nine dead, happen because of a failure to enforce current gun laws. In addition, type of gun laws should have prevent Houser from getting a gun, Perry said.
"I think we have the laws in place. Enforcement of those laws is what seems to be lacking, both in Charleston and here in Lafayette, Louisiana," he added. "We see individuals who are obviously mentally impacted. These are individuals who I think that somewhere, somebody didn't do their job in the standpoint of enforcing the laws" that are already on the books.