OK, that’s it. I’m officially fed up. I have no idea whether an armed civilian could have stopped spree killer James Holmes from taking thirteen lives in Aurora Colorado, or at least lessened the carnage. But the operative word is “could.” While I and other legal gun owners freely admit that an armed civilian may have made no difference whatsoever, he or she certainly COULD have. And that’s good enough for me. Because the only alternative response to murderous mayhem (short of locking down America) is, was and will be . . .
dying in a hail of gunfire. Or watching your loved one die in a hail of gunfire. Or being wounded. Or watching someone you love being wounded. Or watching people you don’t even know dying or being wounded and having to live with that gruesome reality for the rest of your life.
That’s the alternative.
Tom Gabor’s commentary in the left-leaning palmbeachpost.com, Guns in theater wouldn’t have stopped Aurora massacre, argues for nothing short of surrender to the forces of evil (as represented by Mr. Holmes and, lest we forget, others).
Yeah, well fuck that. I made the decision NOT to be defenseless by, gasp, carrying a gun. An excellent tool that helps make it possible for me, or others so equipped, to stop an imminent lethal threat. Probable? Who knows. Possible? Ab-so-damn-utely.
Not to put too fine a point on it, what the hell does Tom Gabor or his gun-grabbing ilk know about armed self-defense? To wit:
Many present believed that the shooter was part of the performance. An armed patron would have had to: recognize that the threat was real; make the decision to intervene, not flee; move to a protected position within range of the assailant; draw a weapon; and wait until an opportunity to shoot was present and no one else was in the line of fire.
Wrong. An armed civilian would not have had to move to a protected position. Our own Joe Grine, a man not unfamiliar with the business of shooting people, tells it like it is. “Given the number of people in a crowded space, I would have been tempted to run up to Holmes and shoot him.”
Question: what kind of man (or woman) has the balls to do that? What kind of person would have moved away from cover or concealment towards the spree killer to end the carnage? Me? You? Someone? Anyone?
Again who knows? Maybe an armed civilian could have taken the shot from where they were sitting/standing/hiding. Gabor has no idea what an “ordinary” armed man in an extraordinary situation could have done to save lives.
But one thing is for certain: someone who didn’t have a gun in that hell hole couldn’t have taken that action.
In other words, a cinema full of disarmed people was a cinema full of people where Holmes was free to enact his sick, perverted slaughter without even the prospect of armed (i.e effective) resistance.
No. Call it what it could have been: a counter-attack. Or, if you think about it, a potential mercy killing.
Does anyone think that Holmes didn’t take his targets’ state of readiness into account when choosing his killing field?
TTAG’s Tim Tritt has made this point and it’s worth repeating. As crazy as he was, Holmes was playing the percentages. If he’d believed, make that known, that members of that audience were armed odds are he would have chosen another target.
Is any of that good enough for the gun control apologists? Of course not.
Studies show that the average police officer hits the mark with one out of every six shots during combat situations. Civilians likely would do worse. Given the armor worn by the shooter, greater precision would have been required to hit exposed parts of his body.
While many variables are involved, the odds are quite low that a concealed weapons permit holder could have intervened successfully before many of the casualties were inflicted and before police arrived, about two minutes after the shooting started. In addition, a shootout presents obvious dangers for bystanders, and may produce catastrophic errors by responding officers.
Hey Tom. Facts. Holmes wasn’t wearing armor. And even if he had, a couple of shots to his chest would have hurt like a son of a bitch. Show me someone who can take bullets to a ballistic vest and keep killing without pause and I’ll show you a comic book villain.
The odds were low that an armed civilian could have “intervened” successfully in Aurora? Well Jeez Tom, at the risk of repeating myself, what’s lower than low? ZERO. Which are, as far as we know, the odds of an armed response in the theater on that horrific night.
Catastrophic errors by the police? Like what? Killing thirteen more people? Wounding several dozen more? Can Gabor point to ONE incident where this occurred? And even if it had, who gives a shit? Limiting killing by letting a killer kill unopposed? What the hell kind of world view is that?
Given the long odds of success, encouraging more civilians to arm themselves is questionable public policy. Arming more civilians may result in the escalation of more disputes, enable more suicides, lead to more gun accidents and increase the cases of vigilante violence. Adding more arms to a society already awash in guns and beset by gun violence promises only to perpetuate the violence.
Again, FU. Armed civilians are not criminals. They are law-abiding Americans who are exercising their God-given constitutionally protected right to armed self-defense. The only people perpetuating violence are deeply misguided idiots like you who would see us killed rather than allow us the tools to defend ourselves.
If Gabor really cared about human life he would encourage every man and woman in the United States to own and carry a firearm. Deterrence? Yeah, that too. But here’s the key point: the more you surrender to evil the stronger it grows. Period.