Reader: James Mapes deserves an apology after arrest for taking gun into theater

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Yesterday, we updated the story of James Mapes, who was arrested for bringing a gun into a Thornton movie house a week after the Aurora theater shooting. Initial charges have been dismissed against Mapes, but the Adams County district attorney is now looking into the case. One reader thinks that should be followed by an "I'm sorry."

James writes:

Mapes did nothing illegal or wrong. He was in lawful possession of a handgun. The municipal code that he was arrested for violating does not even consider a handgun to be a dangerous weapon. the terms are clearly defined in the code. A handgun is classified in a separate definition as a "handgun", not a "dangerous weapon" which is essentially a catchall for other weapons not specifically defined.

The only way Mapes would have committed a crime was if he was a juvenile in possession of a handgun, if he was a parolee, or if he had drawn and brandished the handgun in a threatening manner.

It was a bad arrest and an overreaction in the wake of Aurora. Mapes deserves an apology at the very least.

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.