I’ve taken ace gun snapper Oleg Volk to task for publishing photos that lacked tactical awareness. You know; pictures of people doing stupid things with guns (in that seamlessly glamorous Oleg Volk kinda way). But the Russian immigrant’s take-no-prisoners approach to armed self-defense occasionally wanders into right-on-the-money territory. Such as his response to gun grabbers who claim that an armed citizen would have been ill-advised to respond with firepower when James Holmes opened fire at Cinema 16 in Aurora, Colorado. “People say that any hypothetical defender at the Aurora theater would have run the risk of hitting innocent bystanders,” Volk blogs. Not so much, Mr. Volk reckons . . .
The risk existed but consider how typical theater seats rise rise towards the back. It’s the classic “second rank fires over the heads of the first” musketeer arrangement. A perp near the screen would have been on the receiving end of all armed theater patrons simultaneously…had any armed people besides the attacker been present.
If Cinemark hadn’t made their business a “gun free” zone, if James Holmes knew he might face that kind of tactical disadvantage during his attack, maybe he would have chosen a different target. Or used explosives instead. Or . . . who knows. But sometimes the best offense is a good defense.
Volk isn’t done. He doesn’t accept the idea that the cinema’s lighting (or lack thereof) presented an insurmountable problem for a properly equipped armed defender.
As for the aiming in the dark: gun lights exist for a reason. Moreover, in a smoky atmosphere, laser beams would have become visible and pointed to the attacker most prominently. Green lasers in particular provide enough scatter to light up the target fairly well. Worst case, the combination of screen light and muzzle flashes would have provided some idea of where to shoot — and the viewers eyes had time to adapt to the darkness.
Finally, Mr. Volk shares my and the rabbi’s opinion that the Midnight Movie Massacre was not as “bad” an event as it could have been. Especially when compared to one of the worst terrorist attacks in living memory.
So it would have been a tough fight but far from impossible — certainly not on the level of Beslan school takeover.
Again, we should take a lesson from the Aurora spree killing and prepare—at least mentally—for an even worse life-or-death self-defense situation.