Comment of the Day

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

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.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts