Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

What if… Aurora edition

Written By: Bob - Jul• 30•12

I’ve been writing a series of articles for PJ Media, So You Want To Own A Gun, geared towards prospective new firearms owners. Part 5 takes a darker turn, as we take a look at the Aurora Colorado theater shooting, the firearms involved, and what a (hypothetical) armed concealed carrier inside the theater might have faced in such a situation.

I’d appreciate your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Joe Doakes says:

    Good article. I concede it’d take an awful lot of luck to make the shot and might endanger other innocents. But what’s my alternative – sit there patiently waiting to die?

    Some liberals are suggesting patrons should have attacked him bare-handed but who rushes an armored shooter with an assault rifle? The iron sights on my snub-nose .38 wouldn’t be much use beyond the end of my row; but if the shooter got that far and swung his weapon my way, I’m sorry to say I’d hope for the best, pull the trigger, and face the lawyers later.

    I don’t object to criticism that under these facts, it was a lousy time to be shooting; what I object to is management deciding in advance that under all possible facts, there would Never be a good time for shooting. This was the nightmare scenario, the far extreme of the bell curve for mass shooting events. In many lesser situations, who can say what I can hit when it’s all on the line?

    Gun free zones don’t stop bad guys from killing good people. Gun free zones stop good people from killing bad guys. That’s why they matter. That’s why they’re wrong.

  2. styrgwillidar says:

    Well, considering that the police have shifted tactics, at least in some jurisdictions, in the event of an ‘active’ or ‘spree’ shooter from waiting for SWAT to having the first officer on scene attempt to aggressively engage the shooter-

    I would say a CCW holder on-scene would be preferable to awaiting that first officer arriving. Not only the delay in tranist, but the delay in assessing the situation, deciding on a course of action, and carrying it out. Imagine if an officer had been on premises at Aurora and walked into the theater immediately. He would have walked from light into dark, been confronted with chaos, and have to try and sort out the victims from the perp or perps. Almost impossible and certainly harder than an individual on-scene from the initial actions of the perp.

    I know the muzzle flashes and noise, crowd motion etc. would be confusing and distracting. But I think a CCW holder sitting there as it started would still be far ahead in situational awareness over a policeman walking into it.

  3. styrgwillidar says:

    Additional thoughts, the policeman entering the scene would have a flashlight, and it would have advantages and disadvantages.
    – Compensate for loss of vision due to delay in dark adaptation.
    – Overcome the muzzle flash (similar to pilots turning the instruments to full bright near a thunderstorm with lightning)
    – Possible blinding of the perp
    – But it draws the perps attention.

  4. J. Morris says:

    Regarding the Aurora Tragedy…

    The part I don’t understand is why six or nineteen able bodied persons didn’t stand up and return fire. Maybe there should be a law… Or, maybe said segment of society isn’t that much into Batman. I know I haven’t been in a public movie theatre in twenty years or so,(cellphones.)

  5. Arthur says:

    > Some liberals are suggesting patrons should have attacked him bare-handed but who rushes an armored shooter with an assault rifle?

    1. he wasn’t armored.
    2. anti-bullet armor isn’t a big deal against a bare-hand attack.

  6. Arthur says:

    Ref the difficulty of a CCWer dealing with the situation. Sure, it’s hard. But the anti-gun guys make it seem super-human. I recall a tv news show (abc?) that showed CCWers responding to a gunman invading a college class.
    1. The CCWers were given their gun FOR THE FIRST TIME that day.
    2. They didn’t have the option of selecting their holster or what clothes to wear.
    3. There was a SECOND SHOOTER hiding amongst the students waiting for the CCWer to do something.
    4. Both shooters knew there was a CCWer in the class – they probably knew the location after the first run through.
    (the CCWers had blanks in their guns and knew they had blanks – maybe they used those fancy paintball training rounds)

    The scenario was taped a few times. They showed one hapless CCWer who was unable to get his gun out of his holster before being shot. The conclusion was that CCW was ineffective against a classroom shooter. The show did NOT show another run through were a woman DID get her gun out and was judged to have gotten off a wounding shot.

  7. louielouie says:

    i’ve read the comments and bob’s article. i’m sure it’s just me, but i don’t think anyone has considered, the shooter’s psychology upon hearing a report from a weapon he didn’t fire.
    and yes i did read the shooter, in this case, arsenal. and a ccw will have limited rounds to expend.
    i.e., he now knows someone else is armed.
    i.e., the hunter is now the hunted.
    what does the shooter think, respond, upon hearing another weapon fire, regardless of caliber.
    does he begin firing at will, he’s already doing that?
    does he fire more rapidly, attempting to do as much harm as possible?
    does he begin to look for the “new” shooter? thereby distracting hisself from other innocents.
    does he retreat?
    i was just thinking, after no fear, comes, oh shit.

  8. Cole says:

    It’s another good article in the series. The only quibble is about prevention. These crazed gunmen are never crazy enough to attack places conceal carry is allowed. Allowing armed citizens is proven prevention. Barring that, good article.

    As for the talk about whether to attack unarmed? Always. Any able bodied male should have rushed the guy. It’s hard to gun down a crowd if the crowd is lying on top of you. Obviously be smart and try to approach from good angles and unseen. But even if you are seen better he’s firing at you than your Mother, Wife or Daughter. Isn’t that the real point of a conceal carry permit? Not the gun, but the opportunity to make everyone around you safer.

    The fact that no one attacked the shooter shows how necessary conceal carry is. Such an extreme advantage in level of force kept many from attempting to stop the criminal. A pistol or two would probably have changed that. What we should all take away is that every crowd of less armed people need an instigator. Someone to lead the way. To make them take the hill. To shout “let’s roll” before going after the bad guys. Someone taking the initiative at the proper moment can cause others to join in. You just need the spark to set off the powder keg. Be that spark. Train to ignore the urge to shut down or flee when the fear hits. Train to rush the gunman. Just my two cents.

  9. Joe Doakes says:

    I agree rushing the shooter was the best option left. I resent theatre management preemptively stripping my other options.

    Gun free zones don’t stop bad guys from killing good people
    Gun free zones stop good people from killing bad guys

    I should print up T-shirts.

  10. styrgwillidar says:

    Concealed Carry. Becuase sometimes monsters are real.