Lawsuit against Colorado theater is unnecessary in a free market

Michael Reagan

We live in the United States. Historically, the U.S. has been a bastion of liberty, land of opportunity and champion of socially constructed values. These factors have always been the pillars on which American capitalism has been supported, exercised and defended. Much clamoring about mega-corporations and their business ethics has brought conflict to an American populace and to the government in economic affairs. Pundits exhort both increased government regulation and a more “laissez-faire” form of capitalism in which the market determines itself according to the forces of supply and demand. Lines have been drawn sharply in the sand as to which path our country should take.

Consider this: the mass shooting and tragic events that unfolded in a movie theater located in Aurora, Colo., have brought forth litigation against the theater for lack of security. If the theory behind “laissez-faire” capitalism is to be adhered to, as many Americans have been asking for, then the market should punish the theater. Let the rules of supply and demand run their course and have sales at the theater lose their potency as a result of poor business. Is there a stronger rebuke for such an incident than profit-loss? Civil and criminal suits brought against the theater have their place in our justice system, but can anyone determine a more fitting barometer of public opinion regarding the theater than the amount of business citizens bring to it? If we live in a democracy that depends on enlightened citizens, let them decide where to take their business and affect the market in a manner they see fit.

Modern times have seen an insatiable desire on the part of businesses to acquire and continually expand their profit. In today’s world, success is often determined by the bottom line and its quantifiable contents. How many people will want to attend a movie in a theater that now bears the stigma of being the site of one of the worst domestic shootings in history? Now infamous, Century 16 in Aurora will spend years trying to recoup the losses it has sustained due to the incident. In this particular case, will legal retributions be necessary to punish the theater? For the peace of mind of victims and those touched by tragedy, the matter needs to be heard in court; their pain and loss affords them the right to seek recompense. However, Americans have wed themselves to the idea of economic prosperity without governmental regulation (Wall Street, anyone?). If this is the will of the people, then let the market see to the appropriate punishment for Century 16.



Michael Reagan is a junior studying political science. He can be emailed at [email protected].