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Exclusive: Westlake moviegoer with gun speaks out

12:13 AM, Feb 16, 2013   |    comments
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WESTLAKE -- For the first time, we are hearing from the local man who brought a gun and weapons into a Westlake movie theater, just days after the deadly shooting inside a Colorado movie theater.

Scott Smith regrets his decision to take a loaded gun into the Regal theaters in Westlake.

He says the community has nothing to fear from him, that he was protecting himself.

"I was being stubborn and I wasn't about to let James Holmes and people like him dictate my behavior," Smith said.

Instead, Scott Smith, 38, fell right into the same trap he was trying to avoid. His life has changed forever, now facing a possible prison sentence.

"It's in a shambles, Smith said.

Last August, Smith packed a loaded gun, ammo and a knife into a duffle bag and headed to Regal Cinema in Westlake for the new Batman film "Dark Knight Rises."

"I didn't think it was this big of a deal," Smith said.

Smith wanted to see the film but not take chances. Three movie house shootings nationwide, including the Colorado ambush that killed 12 people, left him on the defensive.

"I made a snap decision. A poor decision. I didn't think it through," Smith said.

He was charged with 20 felony gun violations, including posession under disability because he took a sleeping aid and pain medication.

"There were implications for the entire country and everyone who owns guns and takes medications, so I felt like I had to fight it out," Smith said.

He fought it and won. The judge dropped the charge Friday. He pleaded guilty to two counts of carrying concealed weapons. While he regrets his decision, Smith can't help but feel there is another agenda at work here.

"This became about politics and gun control," Smith said.

Smith says having to do it all again, he simply would have stayed home.

When asked why he didn't get a conceal carry permit, Smith says he had no time to do it, that he thought this was the one and only time he needed to carry a gun.

WKYC-TV

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