Why We Need to Be Armed Against Terrorists

Paris shooting (courtesy businessinsider.com)

The argument against “allowing” civilians to be armed against terrorists: they would be completely ineffective. Worse, they might shoot the wrong person. Or be shot by responding police. And there is a “danger” that “untrained” civilians would accidentally shoot someone in the normal course of carrying a firearm. The possibility that an armed civilian would shoot the wrong person or the cops would shoot an innocent armed civilian during an active shooter event is what it is. But the rest of the objections are just plain wrong. Fatal negligent discharges in public are as rare as hen’s teeth. As for the effectiveness of armed defense against terrorists, I’ll let TTAG commentator JR in NC explain . . .

The point of returning fire, of have the ‘ability’ to return fire, is not to magically have one armed citizen kill five terrorists armed with full auto AK’s.

The point of returning fire, any fire at all is … RETURNING FIRE. It is “disruptive,” and it takes total operational control away from the terrorists.

There are many ways this could be beneficial.

** You could hit one the terrorists and wound/kill him. That changes the good guy : bad guy ratio.

** You could provide sufficient diversion for at least some of innocents to escape.

** You could provide sufficient diversion for some innocents to fight back somehow, even without firearms.

** At the very least, you provide a psychological thorn in the minds of people expecting total operational control. You get inside their OODA Loop and wreak a little havoc. It may be temporary, but it is something.

Bottom line: something – a gun – is better than nothing. Millions of Americans understand this. Those who don’t, the ones who seek to degrade and destroy their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, are condemning members of the public – both armed and disarmed – to certain death.


  1. avatar Joe R. says:

    Who’s “Allowing”, if anyone’s allowing anything, the citizenry is inappropriately allowing their a-hole neighbors needing jobs (their government) demand that the cotizenry ask permission.

  2. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    As inferred, doing something is better than “doing something”. I’d rather have a chance, no matter how slim, than no chance at all.

    1. avatar Tile floor says:

      Yup. Even if I got one shot off, missed, and got torn apart by 7.62×39 I would prefer that to cowering and getting slaughtered.

      Just a chance is all I want.

  3. avatar mike oregon says:

    It’s also called a” fighting chance”.

    1. avatar Jack says:

      It’s all fun and games until someone starts shouting “durka durka durka!”

      (Don’t be that guy.)

  4. avatar Hi Power Toter says:

    To quote La Mareillaise: “Aux armes, citoyens!”

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Funny, I looked it up and you are correct, but that isn’t the way I was taught it in French class in school. It was instead “Allons, nos citoyens.” (Let’s go, citizens) and so on. Some of the other lyrics were different too. Strange.

      1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        The French revolution shook off the chains of tyranny once, it appears they have managed to vote them selves back into subjects from citizens.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          The French Revolution shook off one tyranny and replaced it with another…Department of Public Safety; brutal.

      2. avatar Juanito ''Johnnie'' Ibañez says:

        Never forget unarmed Todd Beamer and his “Are you ready? Okay. Let’s roll!” exhortation to his fellow passengers as they “took down” the terrorists in United Airlines Flight 93, thereby saving the White House or the Capitol Building: either of which was their suspected target.

        If BHO2 had a single ounce of patriotic integrity, he would posthumously award Todd Beamer the “Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

        1. avatar Jimmy says:

          My neighbor, Jeremy Glick, a national Judo champion from NJ, was a part of the passenger revolt…they should ALL get the PMoF.

        2. avatar JF says:

          “If BHO2 had a single ounce of patriotic integrity, ”

          Why would you even suggest that? Obama HATES AMERICA.

          Read his books. WATCH THE EFFECT HIS PRESIDENCY has had on America.

          He’s not stupid. it’s not coincident. WTF did anyone think he mean t about “transforming America”?

          He’s trying to destroy us cause his stupid islamo-marxist bigamist daddy wasn’t there for him, and cause he gets laughed at in the bath house.

          Ovomit will NEVER have an “ounce of patriotic integrity.”

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      That is an EXCELLENT read. Thanks for posting the link.

  5. avatar OHgunner says:

    This is verbatim the conversation that I had with a friend (oddly enough a fellow CCWer) this morning.

    JR in NC, do you happen to work for the NSA?

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Would I tell you if I did?

  6. avatar Paul says:

    Thank you JR. You wrote exactly what I was thinking.

    Problem of course is that the venues that the terrorists have targeted in France are the ones that would be off limits to most CC permit holders in the US, even in shall issue states e.g. restaurants that serve alcohol, sporting events, certain faux organic grocery stores that post the signs, and of course, all too many college campuses and God forbid, schools.

  7. avatar Bud Harton says:

    I agree with JR in NC

    I used to carry a Sig P938 all the time and then all of this started, I saw the video of the Mall in Kenya,

    read about the attack on Beslan school in Russia:


    and read Robert Forschten’s “day of Wrath”:


    and all the while, watched and read the mainstream media reporting on the slaughter of thousands of Christians, the enslavement and crucifixion of thousands of other innocents and savagery and barbarity that has equaled and may even pass the cruelty of Nazi Germany.

    Now I carry a long gun and a go bag in my car or truck and I have every intention of fighting back to save as many as I can if that situation ever occurs when i am close enough to respond.

    The leadership of our government is obviously willing to sacrifice all of us for political correctness or maybe some even more nefarious reason.

    It is time to arm ourselves, all of us and to be ready for what may very well be coming.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        And a plus 2.

    1. avatar delta2actual says:

      The LC9 I carry may allow me to fight my way back to the long gun in my vehicle

      1. avatar lasttoknow says:

        Curious. What led you to determine the LC9 was the better tool?

        1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

          well, LC9s go bang, and if he can get to his long gun, lots more bangs with more precision. That is my take away at least.

        2. avatar lasttoknow says:

          My 938 goes bang, no matter the ammo. 800 rounds without cleaning. Didn’t like the ergos of the LC9, and the recoil was worse for me. Wanted to compare notes on what led to the first choice, then the second.

    2. avatar Dave says:

      Actually, as you well know, we have no problem with law abiding responsible citizens having guns. I have guns. What we don’t like is crazy people with guns! Wife beaters, Alcoholics, Criminals, people on the FBI list of terrorists, the insane and the violent. We’d all like proper B/G checks and training in the safe use and storage of firearms too. But I know that is very unreasonable to you and the NRA and other gun owners associations. But it makes sense to me if not to you. Just saying.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        We already do have proper background checks. The fatal flaw with BG checks is that they don’t predict the future (you don’t have a violent background until you’ve actually been caught doing something violent).

        The NRA and other gun-owner organizations, as well as TTAG and practically everyone who comments here, support and promote firearms training, safety, and responsibility. Check out the NRA’s safety and training courses sometime (I haven’t taken any, and I’m not a member, preferring to learn on my own, but I know they’re out there).

        What we don’t support is the idea of government mandating all these things; no matter how good the intentions might be in the beginning, they’d end up becoming onerous restrictions and barriers that keep a fundamental right out of reach for the people who need it the most.

        By the way, welcome to TTAG.

      2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        Actually, what we find most unreasonable are anti-2a individuals in power that, out of general ignorance, try to push for standards that either already exist or are otherwise superficial and counterproductive.

      3. avatar Scoutino says:

        You probably mean FBI list of people SUSPECTED of being terrorist or in contact with them. You know, the secret list noone can check to see if their name is in it…
        … and for which there is no way to get your name off of in case the Feebs made a mistake.
        And if sombody is so violent, crazy or both, that you can’t trust him with one particular kind of weapon (firearm), why is it OK to let such dangerous person roam free in society? What stops such untrustworthy violent crazy person from hurting people using other weapons like knives, sticks or rocks? Or even bare hands? Is only “gun violence” bad? You can’t get killed unless you are shot?
        Than what stops our dangerous villain from getting gun illegally, by stealing it or buying it from other criminal? Law surely doesn’t, otherwise Chicago would be much safer place. Law can only punish if the criminal is caught after he committed his bad deed.

  8. avatar TheOtherDavid says:

    And along these lines, out here in the Seattle area, the King County Sheriff has sent out an internal (not for long) email imploring his deputies to carry off duty. Apparently a great many men and women of the KCSO can’t be bothered to when not on the clock

  9. avatar BLAMMO says:

    In a concert hall of 1200 people, what if just one or two armed citizens were able to return fire? As opposed to four guys with rifles able to fire into the trapped crowd and reload repeatedly for 10-15 minutes, unchallenged. How many lives would have been saved with only a minimal armed response? Of course, we’ll never know but it’s virtually certain that dozens would be with their loved ones today who are not.

    1. avatar Paul says:

      Same at that theater in Aurora CO and at VA Tech, to say nothing of Sandy Hook. I really do believe that it might have turned the table on the terrorists (see his 3rd point), and would certainly have turned the table on the local psychos.

    2. avatar fiun dagner says:

      Forget 1 armed responder magically killy 5 armed terroists. The point is to have multiple armed responders outnumber the terrorists. Even without team training there is (to quote stalin (of all people) out od context) quantity has a quality all its own. If only 5 % of people (losely the normal statisical deveation, or the end of the bell curve) are armed in a group of 100 people then you are at parity with the enemy. Do the math from there. Yes. Civilians will get caught in the crossfire, but they are already targets for terrorists. They gain nothing from everyone but the baad guys being disarmed, and gain at least a chance, however small, from having armed responders immediately available. To quote the antigunners “If it can save at least one life, isnt it worth the cost?”

      1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        “The point is to have multiple armed responders outnumber the terrorists.”

        It”s only a matter of time before the demographic lines cross and something like this happens. When the two jihadis came to Arlington (and were promptly dispatched by a straight shooting traffic cop) to attack Pam Geller’s Mohammad cartoon event, a substantial portion of her audience was armed and she’d also put together security made up of local off-duty cops. She was waiting for those guys.

    3. avatar Sian says:

      Moot point, probably.

      Mass killers don’t attack places where people are afforded any chance to fight back, by design.

      1. avatar Stuki Moi says:

        CCW as vaccine against mass murder. Next thing you know, the dimbulbs will claim guns cause autism…..

  10. avatar Defens says:

    And, in the case of a non-Jihadi mass killer, the prototypical spurned youth or high school misfit, as soon as any sort of armed resistance is seen, they usually give up or shoot themselves. Problem solved almost immediately.

  11. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    Because dying attempting to stop/deter/kill the bad guy is better than begging-“please don’t kill me” to someone intent on doing just that.

    F*ck up the bad guys’ plans……..at ANY cost, or don’t, and die anyway.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      “Better to die on your feet, than on your knees.”

      1. avatar Stuki Moi says:

        as well as live on your knees…… 🙂

  12. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I just showed this to my wife. She responded with “well duh”…why is this up for debate?

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Because in an earlier article on this very site, a few folks were basically saying that an armed citizen can’t “win” against multiple terrorists armed with fully automatic (or not) rifles.

      My reaction was that that is the wrong calculation…it’s not about that simplistic understanding of “winning” the gunfight. It’s much broader than that.

      Very glad to hear your wife gets it. I’ll take “duh” as high praise.

      1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

        High praise indeed-my chocolate bunny is one in a billion LOL…she rarely comments on my internet life. Part of being with me for 28 years…

      2. avatar Former Water Walker says:

        Forgot to add-better to die with a gun in your hand(and take azzwoles to pardise)than get slaughtered like a dog…SEE: The Holocaust…

  13. avatar James in Florida says:

    Head bowed in prayer for the fallen, gear check.
    Good to go.
    Tomorrow is a new day.

  14. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    I am doing my best to get fellow gun owners I know to start carrying if they don’t carry already. Not having much success. The answer is always ‘maybe mañana’ – ‘my wife’ or ‘the handguns I have are to big’, ‘too busy to get the permit’, yada yada. Most people, it seems, have to be more scared to make a little effort.

  15. avatar RickA says:

    Even one good guy finding cover and carefully throwing rounds at an asshat with an AK is a major distraction away from the killing of innocents. Imagine four or five armed good guys (or more) in a crowd of 1000 versus two or three inbred mohammed AK firing crazies. There would be a lot more people alive in Paris if this were the case….

  16. avatar the ruester says:

    Europe is the original “safe space.” Just look at the PEACE rallies they hold whenever they are attacked. Some firecrackers went off and there was a stampede from the memorial… straight into another PEACE rally… if only we could get them to treat the terrorists like our whiny unemployable SJWs treat college admins…

  17. avatar Fuque says:

    Believe it or not, there really are people who would rather die than have to confront the idea of fighting for their very lives…. I believe Most of the liberals fall in this category.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “Believe it or not, there really are people who would rather die than have to confront the idea of fighting for their very lives”I

      Well, you know what? More power to them…to decide that for them.

      It becomes morally reprehensible for them to seek to decide that for others in the form of trying to pass laws that prohibit the choice.

      Further, it is morally reprehensible that they think they have the right to make such decisions for others.

      1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

        Of course there are those that would argue that one who refuses to defend themselves, their family, their community is shirking their duty as a citizen of that community.
        Didn’t I read once that some societies considered a victim of a crime who did not fight his attacker partly responsible for the losses suffered by the assailant’s next victim?

        1. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story(if I remember correctly) said that it was incumbent upon a person being victimized to fight back and even kill the criminal violating their person or property so that criminal would not go to the neighbor and commit the same crime or worse. Makes sense to me….

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      You may very well be correct in this statement, however…I seriously doubt any of them would pull your shooting arm down or place themselves between your muzzle and the bad guys to try to stop your armed response. They speak only for themselves, not everybody in the room, so “If they would rather die, let them do it, and decrease the surplus population.” – Ebeneezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol.

  18. avatar Sam I Am says:

    I wish you all clear skies, unobstructed firing lanes, perfect identification of threats, unerring reflexes under unexpected and uncommon excitement, the the superhuman ability to never miss at any distance, bullets that will not over-penetrate, inexhaustible supply of ammunition, and a swiftly arriving opportunity to display your combat skills.

    I will be the guy running for my life to get away, while prepared to eliminate any threat that gets directly in front of me.

    Bon Appetite

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “I wish you all clear skies, unobstructed firing lanes, perfect identification of threats, unerring reflexes under unexpected and uncommon excitement, the the superhuman ability to never miss at any distance, bullets that will not over-penetrate, inexhaustible supply of ammunition, and a swiftly arriving opportunity to display your combat skills.”

      So, you don’t understand the argument at all then, right?

      No one is saying any of that. What we are saying is the fight, the struggle, itself has value.

      From what I read on the other comment section, I don’t really expect you to get it. That’s fine.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Oh yes, I get it. Many people here happily believe that a random bunch of gun carriers can somehow make an effective fighting force in the face of a numerous, trained and effective terrorist squad. I concede that if corralled and under control of the terrorists, it just may be possible to surprise at the moment the terrorists start separating victims and begin to kill them individually. But a dis-coordinated group attempting to engage terrorists from a distance, in the dark, amidst the noise of shooting is hopelessly naive. (Ever tried to endure a session at the range without ear protection? It is worth even a few seconds to get even a small idea of what gunfire in a closed structure does to you when you are trying to make a precision shot) I conclude that trying to identify a target and separate it/them from the panicked crowd, while trying to seek cover yourself is in itself a massacre in progress.

        But find an infantry veteran and ask them to detail what it is like to be caught in a firefight for your life, when you are trained, coordinated, and surprised.

        1. avatar Cliff H says:

          Identifying the target in a panicked crowd is the easy part – they’re the ones holding AKs and NOT running for the exits.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          When you can only see two heads in front of you, and are being pushed/shoved/spun-around, target ID is problematic. Some may discount collateral damage (they were gonna get shot by the terrorists, anyway), but I want no part of it, and do not want to in somebody else’s part of it. I don’t want to take-out one, two or a bunch of terrorists from 20-70 feet away. I want to not be in their pie slice. Too many seem to envision the situation being one where there is plenty of light, no oppressive sound, no limited vision, and the ability to take a proper Weaver stance. Not me. If, on the other hand, there is no escape, then I will delay the inevitable as long as possible, and wait until there is a “can’t miss” opportunity. Probably be doing good to get one full magazine expended (how many extra mags would be reasonable to bring along to wherever?). But I fully understand and recognize the power of hope for one more second, one more minute of life where things might change for the better if I yield, surrender, comply. Discounting that power, and facing it for the first time, unprepared, will likely be a most confusing moment.

        3. avatar Stuki Moi says:

          You don’t need an “effective fighting force.” You might ideally want one, but one is not necessary. You do need __somebody__ shooting back. Allowing 300-1 outnumbered attackers to just calmly mope around and plink at people for hours on end without any risk nor pushback at all, is far worse than someone, anyone not legally blind, shooting back. 5% of 1200 would be 60 armed guys.They may not all be Rambo, but I bet at least some of them are capable of hitting something, at least sometimes.

          Besides, given the level of “under fire” training most police, and even many military personnel, get; either they are not an “effective fighting force” either, or it is not THAT hard for a civilian to reach that level of proficiency. I’d side with the former. Yet, despite their seeming incompetence wrt round count/bad guys down ratios, I’m pretty certain things would look even worse for them if they were engaging without shooting back.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          You raise the interesting point. Why are there so many examples of large numbers of victims faced with a small percentage of oppressors, yet the victims do not rise-up and overwhelm the oppressors?

          Of course, the death camps of WW2 come to mind (and I read an interview with a former German concentration camp guard who said they were all actually terrified the hundreds of prisoners would overrun the camp).

          Even the “Great Escape” involved only 75 (?) actual escapees, who went to the trouble of building a tunnel, rather than the entire camp break in all directions.

          And there are more examples.

          It seems that the power of staying alive was stupendous, driving people to avoid a mass rush, where not everyone could be killed.

          So, in this latest episode, why did not 1200 try to overwhelm 4? The terrorists couldn’t kill them all. Were the ones who got out smarter, or just more determined to live another minute?

          Don’t know.

        5. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          “But a dis-coordinated group attempting to engage terrorists from a distance, in the dark, amidst the noise of shooting is hopelessly naive.”

          It’s about having a fighting chance. Granted it’s an idea rooted more in philosophy than practicality but even at that it’s hard to deny that fighting back—even if you loose—is better than sitting quietly in that theater waiting for a terrorist to kill you. But then, who knows? You might get lucky? Or maybe there might just be someone in a crowd of 1000 who’s as good a pistol shot as Hickok45? With someone like that in a crowd, things can change dramatically in only a few seconds. What’s important is having a chance versus having no chance.

        6. avatar 2Asux says:

          We actually agree.

          I want a pistol handy everywhere I go. To be used when there are no other options. Given the option to disappear, I take it. Given no option but to stand and fight, I take it. My comments are to bring some reality into the scenario where shooting distances, under stress, beyond about 20ft are expected. Attempting to stand against the tide of panicked patrons, under perfect conditions and popping rounds on target with no unintended people being shot is not the real world. The image too many people have of a gunfight is not based on deconstructing real situations with an eye toward the huge difficulty of being effective (even simply to disrupt). Most are not seeing the mass shooting event as having at least two parts: initial shots and crowd response; contained and detained by the bad guys. In Paris, there was the panic phase, then the hostage phase. Requires two different tactics. Requires really understanding the dynamic of the timeline between the two phases. Requires more analytic thought than most recognize.

        7. avatar Juanito ''Johnnie'' Ibañez says:

          ‘Sam I Am’ wrote on November 17, 2015 at 21:27 hours:

          “Ever tried to endure a session at the range without ear protection?”

          Look up “Auditory Exclusion” as a result of an “adrenaline rush”-induced stress response to such a crisis as discussed here.

        8. avatar Sam I Am says:

          I am aware of the phenom. Boy, am I aware. However, there is no way to simulate on a closed range facility. If people think they will be able, without proper combat training and experience, to stand up and begin blasting away unaffected by auditory exclusion, they are preparing for failure.

          BTW, “auditory exclusion” is a brain trick, the physical elements of the ears do not escape damage (not a big concern when defending your life). The exclusion also greatly reduces the ability to pick up sound signals indicating an expanding threat, or one unobserved, but in close proximity.

          The whole point is that non-combat veterans really do not know what they are talking about when projecting their heroism into an imaginary scenario. If one is not experienced, it pays to read and heed, and adjust accordingly.

        9. avatar Stuki Moi says:

          The proliferation of cultures that conditions their subjects to rely on a warrior caste for their protection, is likely to blame for the “complacent victim” mentality. It’s one area where people in The West can learn A LOT from the “other side” in the supposed “war on terror.”

          Regarding no hearing protection, I do make a point of firing all guns I may have to use unanticipated, at least a few times “naked.” Out of concern for my hearing, not inside, but I try to go to the woods where some of the sound waves echo back. It’s my main reason for preferring the .45 GAP ( I have most practice with Glocks, but their .45 ACPs, even in their latest guise, are too blocky). Standard pressure 9 is runner up. It’s also the reason I consider those intending to use an AR, or any weapon firing a bottlenecked cartridge, for defense inside, flat out insane. If I was more comfortable with a carbine than a handgun, I’d get a pistol caliber one. The corollary, of course, is that it may very well be that a large part of the street reputation of the .357 125 grain load, is that it is simply so obnoxiously loud that people at the receiving end fall down way out of proportion to what simple penetration-expansion measurements would predict……

          I once took part in a demonstration where we had to run around in mud and try to fire at popup targets while being assaulted with CS gas, and shockwaves from simulated “artillery” (In my, and anyone else lacking experience, case; 1 lb of TNT at I believe 10 meters. Some hardened badasses have supposedly volunteered for up to 10lbs….) I have to admit after the first blast, I had no idea what was up or down, which direction the targets were, nor anything else. All I remember, was just burning eyes, a bleeding nose, ringing everything, and just waiting for the whole thing to be over without having to endure another blast…. No wonder the Iraqi soldiers couldn’t wait to surrender after a night, or many, of airstrikes that I have no doubt is 100 times the intensity of a measly 1lb charge from time to time.

        10. avatar Sam I Am says:

          I hope more people read your comment. You describe a direct experience with the “fog of war” in what was a controlled training exercise. My hope was that with so many here convinced they could just rise up and be as effective as they are with paper/metal targets, a general review of difficulties would start some thinking about their presumptions. Your description is much more vivid, and hopefully more meaningful.

          Great comments.

    2. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

      Answer the question I asked you on the last thread. Would you want a firearm in a concert situation or not?
      My guess is that your one of the “only ones” that think you are John Rambo because you took a self defense course. Or maybe your a member of a local swat team that is sure that everyone SH^%$ himself when they hear a gun shot.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        No, Rambos are generally quick to die in combat. I am the guy you will find running you down as I escape and evade, heading for the exits. I carry a gun to defend myself and mine when faces with an inescapable deadly threat. I will first seek to disappear, then fight my way through any aggressor/terrorist blocking my escape route.

        Do I think carrying a gun is smart? Absolutely. Do I want no restrictions where I carry? Absolutely. Do I understand my responsibility to defend myself and family? Of course. Do I believe I am responsible, ever, for the defense of your and your family? Never; that’s on you (whomever ‘you’ might be). Would I carry a gun into a crowded venue? Make no mistake about it. Would I presume to be effective in suppressing a murderous gang by firing in whatever direction, while people run in and out of my lane? Of course not. My first rule of a gun fight is: don’t be there. And if the time comes I am surrounded by the bad guys, and the only option is to become seriously dead, I intend to sell my life dearly.

        1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

          Thank God there was not to many people like you at D-day or at valley forge. Those that only look after themselves (while running others down who happened to be in their way) generally hang out in a cantina down in the Mos Eisley spaceport.

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          There is a huge and definable difference between how trained, equipped and prepared soldiers act in combat (BTW, the actual number of gun operators who actually fired weapons in WW2 was 25-30%), and how untrained, unequipped (mentally and materielly) act under gunfire. Not a valid comparison.

          And yes, I would have left those 129 people to die. If I had attempted to engage the terrorists as the outset, I likely would have been killed by the terrorists, or by armed civilians who couldn’t control their fields of fire. Suppressive fire in all directions, simultaneously, is not a recipe for success.

          But if, on the way out, I was faced with someone attempting to stop me…different story; defense of me and mine, no one else. Uniformed, I defend the attacked. Un-uniformed, my scope of responsibility collapses considerably.

        3. avatar actionphysicalman says:

          Joseph Quixote, JR – It is hard to say for sure who will do what, regardless of what they say now. Maybe he could end up like David Manning in When Trumpets Fade. Not saying he will, but rather you just never know until the time comes.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:


          If you are one who has never been actual combat, and understand what you quoted, you are wise beyond your experience. If you are one who has endured actual combat, that quote probably sums up your experience.

          Here’s to you !!

        5. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          “I am the guy you will find running you down as I escape and evade, heading for the exits.”

          Somehow I don’t think you’re Scots-Irish . . .

        6. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? My ancestors are from Wales, so I don’t know.

      2. avatar Ing says:

        I’ll answer that: Yes, I would. I have taken my gun to concerts before, and I’ll be armed when I take my kids to see their favorite metal band (okay, mine too) a couple weeks from now.

        And I also generally agree with Sam I Am. And with JR in NC.

        I’m not the kind of hero who sacrifices himself to save a bunch of people I don’t know. Besides which, my first responsibility is to my family.

        If something crazy goes down at the show, I’m getting out with my kids as fast as I can. If I’m by myself, then I’m getting myself out. If I can’t get out, then by damn, I plan to shoot back; I’m not going to just sit there and die like a sheep if I can help it.

        Truly I don’t know how I’d react under fire, having never been under fire. But I do know that when my kids are in danger, a fighting instinct kicks in (that’s a situation I have been in before; I’ve fought and won). Really, the last thing I want is to fire shots in a crowded place like that. If it comes down to it, I’ll return fire — and draw fire — or maybe even initiate fire if that seems like the best course — so that my kids can escape.

        That’s the plan, anyway. Maybe other people survive because of it, which would be good. Maybe I just fail. Maybe there’s no point in any of it…I dunno. Heck, the odds are that my gun will never be anything other than a concealed weight on my hip and a presence in my mind.

        But I’m going to be armed, because I’ve thought through the risks, rewards, and tactics. And because I simply have the right to make that choice.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Looks like you said it better.

  19. avatar AL L says:

    No, I do not fancy myself as a “Rambo” type, who can defeat multiple assailants singlehandedly. However, given the choice, I will die fighting, that is if I am to die at all. Carrying gives me that choice.

    1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

      Not according to Sam I Am. You would be better to wait patiently to get shot by ISIS scum. Try not to bleed to much so he doesn’t slip while he shoots the rest of the sheeple.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Prudence is not avoidance. Be smart, not heroic.

        1. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

          So your going to tell your kids about the time you ran over your countrymen (and women) to get to the exits. Good luck with that. I would rather be shot by an Isis creep than join them based on my actions. Look up the word “honor.”

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Yes, my family is quite familiar with flee first, fight as a last resort. We/they have no “honorable” obligation to uselessly/needlessly forfeit their lives for others. They are not first responders, they are not military, they are private citizens. Dying for honor makes no sense if the alternative is living honorably and caring for your loved ones. Have not met a single widow who was comforted by the fact that honor is the reason she and her children must now face a life absent of the husband/father who died honorably. Dead is dead. There are no “next week’s episode….” Dying pointlessly is pointless. If you are not military assigned to provide security at a venue, if you are not a fire or medical responder, I do not expect you, or anyone else, to die for me. I do not want to face your family and tell them how grateful I am that you were honorable enough to leave then behind so that I could drink beer next weekend. I don’t want you facing that situation, either. Trapped in a mall, theater, airport lobby, concert hall by terrorists, I want you to get out, get away and not be lying dead at the feet of the terrorists. I definitely do not want you providing covering fire.

        3. avatar Cliff H says:

          Far too many people surrounding us are imprudent, and unarmed. To be prudent in a dangerous world is to be armed. Should we deny those imprudent people the heroics of the first responders?

          Not everyone is as totally self-centered as you, sir. Many of us understand that at some point it makes more sense to try to stand for a moral cause, even at personal risk, than to run like a scared rabbit.

          As I commented to a post yesterday, and have said in the past, I do not know how I could face myself or my loved ones if I exited such an event with live rounds still in my pistol while innocents behind me were still being slaughtered. YMMV, obviously. DO me a favor, if you are running past me in such a scenario – leave me your extra 9mm ammo, okay?

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          You, sir, would be in a better position to explain yourself if you were alive, not dead on the floor. Your first responsibility is to you and your family. Dead, you are of no value to anyone, anywhere. It might be revealing to tell your family members that you are likely to leave them to fend for themselves in a deadly situation. That a vain attempt to “do all you can” and die for strangers is a better value for your family.

          First responders (as generally thought of) volunteered to take on the risks (hopefully they had that talk with family). They are trained, committed, paid, tools of society. The average citizen/resident is not a draftee. Does not have a mission. Does not put on a uniform. Has a superior calling to be present to care for their families. When serving the nation, I told my wife that I filled my responsibility to her and the children by providing a steady paycheck and a hefty life insurance policy. But, my country has superior call on my life and skills. Nation/service first, God and family next. When I left national service, I left it to others to set their families aside and protect me. No one else on this entire flippin’ continent now has a superior calling to my family.

        5. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          So, Sam, I’m calling you out as an “anti.” Maybe you are an outright anti posting here “under cover.” Or, you might own a couple of guns, which would make you a Fudd.

          Either way, you STILL don’t get the points being made. You have such a closed mind and your fingers are stuck so far into your ears with “la la la, I’m right, everyone else is wrong” coming out of your mouth that you can’t even hear the points being made.

          Just like an anti/Progressive does.

          You have the anti-carry talking points down.

          ** Armed citizens are as big a threat to themselves as the bad guy (“You can’t win, you’ll only get yourself killed”).

          ** Armed citizens are a greater danger to bystanders.

          ** Name calling and additional insults of armed citizens. Really? “Rambo” just because some of us don’t want to die begging for our lives during a mass murder event?

          ** You are far better to “run away” than to stand and fight. Granted, sometimes that is true. But, what if there is no running away?

          ** You speak in ideal absolutes…”if this happens, I’ll just…” then denigrate any and all counterpoints without even considering their merits.

          ** Selfishness to solipsist degree. What you think is by definition “right” because no one else even exists to you. There’s actually a word for people that don’t feel empathy for others. I’ll leave that one as an exercise.

          ** Makes assumptions about the background, ability and motivations of others. All we are are “Rambo’s” to you, and you can’t even get past the notion that no one is even talking about that sort of thing.

          ** Defeatist, victim mentality.

          ** Only “trained” and “organized” and presumably “government” agencies/groups are capable of ANY defense at all…all others are hopeless. Overall, a Statist worldview.

          I could go on, but I’m convinced. You hit many of the anti-gun / Progressive talking points square on the head, and I’m sick of your deflections and bullsh1t.

          So, how about you stop calling people “Rambo” and stop insulting people you don’t know anything about and just answer the general tactical question:

          Do you think it is better to break the back of an ambush or try to run from it?

          Which gives the highest “odds” of survival for the greatest number of people ambushed?

          I’m not asking what YOU would “do.” We already know the answer to that. I’m asking from a military doctrine sense, which approach is more likely to produce the best result for those ambushed?

          Not “perfect,” not ideal, but best outcome of a list of bad outcomes…

          Which is it? TRY to break the ambush or run away?

        6. avatar Sam I Am says:

          First, I did not call anyone a Rambo. I noted that in actual combat, Rambo types tend to get killed early.

          As to breaking an ambush, it is important to understand that it generally takes a trained, equipped and disciplined squad (or more) to do so.

          No, I don’t think undisciplined, untrained (in small unit tactics), inexperienced gun carriers are likely to be an effective fighting force in a crowded theater/concert hall. No amount of fierce bravado will convince me otherwise. I think people completely and foolishly underestimate what really happens in a large shooting event (in Paris, some of the shooters were in the balcony, shooting into the floor seating; return fire from a distance in that space would have been highly ineffective).

          Do I believe that police and military are the only ones who should have guns and can be trusted to do the job properly ? Depends on the job (police, probably not). I would not depend on police, military or any other state agent to defend me from a mugging, car-jacking, home invasion, or parking lot contest. To borrow an already shop-worn phrase, I am my own first responder, my own protector (immediate family included, but not your family).

          In a mass panic situation, having a notable number of gun carriers try to engage an active shooter will most likely result in collateral damage, maybe lots of it. I don’t subscribe to the notion the panicked crowd would be killed by the terrorists anyway, so a few felled by good guys with a gun is not something to worth considering.

          Yes, I have prepared, imagined, practiced, drilled on escape and evade in an active shooter situation. My wife and family have been forced to endure that with me. In public, we scenario-set and ask each other, “what would you do?”. Any guess as to how many other gun carriers drill themselves like that?

          I have as much compassion for others as the next guy…until the shooting starts (if it starts), then it is me or them; me always wins that contest. No one (outside military) who dies for honor, glory, altruism, making the world safe for democracy, or a host of other ephemeral notions does anyone any good after being dead. Dead for a good cause is simply Dead. Staying alive for your family has untold value in their lives. I find no moral imperative that says my family is obligated to accept the sacrifice of my life for another family/person.

          Now, what would I do/have done in Paris?

          Initially, once the shooting started, gather me and mine and break for the exits, while un-holstering (presuming the concert hall would have allowed concealed carry). During the retreat, I would be looking for cover, alternate escape routes and possible sudden appearance of more armed bad guys. If I/we could get out clean, so much the better. If me and/or mine had indeed been rounded-up by the terrorists, with no further possibility of escape, then I/we would look for that moment we could succeed at neutralizing one or more of the terrorists (which I wrote about in a different response). At the point of being captured, the only course left would be to make the bad guys pay as heavy a price as possible trying to kill me and mine. First rule of a gunfight, don’t be there. Second rule of a gunfight…there are no rules; fight to win, fight to retaliate, fight to try to get away even then.

          You misunderstood my entire theme….a real gunfight is worse, more complex and unlikely to be anything you are prepared for. Think it through. Then think it through again. If you are still convinced you are something special, that you will not be distracted, knocked down, fail to get a clear lane of fire, have time and presence of mind to assume the classic Weaver stance and take cool measured shots, think it all over again.

          That’s all it is about; think it through, think it through.

        7. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “First, I did not call anyone a Rambo. I noted that in actual combat, Rambo types tend to get killed early.”

          But again, no one is talking about being a “Rambo Type” at all. That’s a straw man you injected into the discussion.

          What is being said is “returning fire is generally good.” It’s a HUGE leap to get from someone returning fire to characterizing that person as a “Rambo.”

          Actually, it’s more about having the option to return fire. If I carry and an attack breaks out, I may have the opportunity choose to return fire or not. In a GFZ (venue wide or nation wide), that choice is taken from me (so long as I wish to obey the law).

          “As to breaking an ambush, it is important to understand that it generally takes a trained, equipped and disciplined squad (or more) to do so.”

          Ah, I figured this nugget would get thrown in. Gotta have “training.”

          It’s a fair enough point as far as it goes. But there are a LOT of variables here.

          The thing is, the ambush you say ‘requires training and a disciplined squad’ for is against a similarly trained and disciplined group, it is a known battlefield, there are limited bystanders around, and…here’s an important concept…

          The goals are generally different and far more broad.

          “No, I don’t think undisciplined, untrained (in small unit tactics), inexperienced gun carriers are likely to be an effective fighting force in a crowded theater/concert hall.”

          Okay. That’s your opinion.

          Real world data shows that untrained and undisciplined people CAN function effectively in chaotic situations like mall shootings, school shootings and terrorist attacks.

          “No amount of fierce bravado will convince me otherwise.”

          You have no data to support the assumption that those discussing this with you are coming from a position of “fierce bravado.” All people have said is that they would rather fight back, and more importantly, have the option to choose fight back in that situation than be disarmed because….reasons.

          It’s about personal and individual sovereignty. You are making the argument that because they can’t win, they might hurt others, they are not trained enough, etc, that they should not even have the choice. It smacks of you unilaterally deciding that because you have a personal opinion on the subject that others should not have the right to choose their own fate.

          You might not be saying “I favor Gun Free Zones” or Gun Control directly, but giving people a laundry list of why they should not dare even think about fighting back is, in practical terms, the same thing. YOU are trying to determine the outcome for OTHERS.

          ” I think people completely and foolishly underestimate what really happens in a large shooting event (in Paris, some of the shooters were in the balcony, shooting into the floor seating; return fire from a distance in that space would have been highly ineffective).”

          Some certainly do. Some don’t.

          It doesn’t really matter, though. If in that situation, those that are wrong will figure out pretty quick they were wrong.

          That does not change the facts:

          (a) It is their choice and their choice alone to fight back or not, and by extension of that, to have SOME kind of tool to try to do that. This is true whether they were right or wrong in their preconceived notions of the situation.

          (b) Some that were wrong in their preconceptions will fail miserably at adapting to the new data; others will adapt just fine. Not everyone ‘freezes’ or ‘falls apart’ in the face of dangerous situations, even the first time, and gun carriers as a group tend to be ones that put in at least some “mindset training” if not also physical training.

          To assume that all people are useless blobs of jelly when SHTF is to ignore a few tens of thousands of years of human history. To take a sub-group of people that have already taken steps to improve their situation and make that assumption en masse is irrational.

          “I am my own first responder, my own protector (immediate family included, but not your family).”

          Gee, thanks. So much for any claims of “we’re on the same side.” That’s good to know.

          So…hypothetical: ISIS comes across the Atlantic in large blocks, attempts an out-and-out invasion of the US. We have a common enemy. You’re diddy-boppin’ down the street one day, turn the corner and see me and my family under fire from a small group of ISIS infiltrators.

          Do you help or not?

          “In a mass panic situation, having a notable number of gun carriers try to engage an active shooter will most likely result in collateral damage, maybe lots of it.”

          Citation Needed. Lots of weasel words there.

          I get that is your opinion of how things would go, but AGAIN, we are not talking about a group of gun carriers engaging in a direct firefight with the attackers. You seem to be under the impressions that I, and others, are claiming that all us CCW holders will rise up and counter-attack as a unified force and overwhelm the bad guys with our superior tactics, marksmanship and firepower.

          That is wrong. That’s not the claim.

          The claim is that any returning fire changes the calculus for the attackers. They have to adapt…take cover, return counter fire, whatever.

          Shoot, man, even if one fires purposefully into the wall where no one even is, the SOUND of gunfire will distract them for a brief period of time. How long? Anyone’s guess. No way to predict it.

          “I don’t subscribe to the notion the panicked crowd would be killed by the terrorists anyway, so a few felled by good guys with a gun is not something to worth considering.”

          I get this point, and again, fair enough.

          But…if dead is dead. The armed citizen fighting back is not generally going to make matters worse. I know you think they will, but you have no real-world data to back that up.

          In real world situations, armed citizens (police and non-police) at the scene at the time of the attack have been proven to alter the outcome in a positive way.

          The notion has even been pressure tested with multiple attackers. Armed response, no matter by who, stops, or at least disrupts, armed attacks. How anyone can dispute this is simply beyond me.

          “Yes, I have prepared, imagined, practiced, drilled on escape and evade in an active shooter situation. My wife and family have been forced to endure that with me. In public, we scenario-set and ask each other, “what would you do?”. Any guess as to how many other gun carriers drill themselves like that?”

          First…good for you. That’s excellent. I don’t mean that sarcastically.

          Second…I suspect it is more than you think. You have an awfully low opinion of gun carriers, and I find this intriguing. SOME (who knows what percentage) have never done what you are describing, but SOME (who knows what percentage) have done so.

          “I have as much compassion for others as the next guy…until the shooting starts (if it starts), then it is me or them;”

          Then it’s not real compassion. Compassion is not a feeling when having that feeling is easy. Real compassion requires sacrifice, or at least the high possibility of sacrifice.

          Do what you need to do…that’s your choice. But what you are describing is not compassionate at all.

          Let’s go to that bastion of knowledge, wikipedia, for a definition:

          “Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help physical, spiritual, or emotional hurts or pains of another. ”

          {emphasis mine}

          Or, Merriam-Webster:

          “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it

          {emphasis mine}

          Not sure where you get “him or me” is “compassion.”

          No one (outside military) who dies for honor, glory, altruism, making the world safe for democracy, or a host of other ephemeral notions does anyone any good after being dead.

          Ah, it’s okay for the “military” to die for these reasons. That sounds mighty Statist.

          The statement is wrong in any case.

          Many who have died for ephemeral notions have changed the world.

          But, this is personal belief and what I think or what you think on this subject should not be the basis of telling others. You think dying for a cause has no meaning; fine. But it’s not up to you tell the man who believes differently he is wrong to believe that.

          And anyway, this is another straw man in the discussion. AGAIN, no one is talking about fighting for “honor” or whatever or accepting dying. We are talking about fighting back as a cold, hard, objective tactic as being the one with the highest chance of success…defined as both “personal survival” and “reduction of innocent victims.”

          What we have been saying is that fighting back is the best of a bad set of options. Maybe not always. There are no absolutes. But, in general, this is true.

          Yes, there’s a high chance of being shot if you shoot back. Very high. But, there’s also a high chance of being shot if you don’t.

          You keep talking about crawling away in such an attack like that’s some sort of absolute. Don’t you think the vast majority of those people in Paris were trying to crawl away?

          How did crawling away / evading / seeking to escape improve their odds of surviving?

          “Dead for a good cause is simply Dead. Staying alive for your family has untold value in their lives.”

          Maybe this gets back to the Scots-Irish question you were asked by someone else in the earlier comment section, but my family would not be any happier with me if I showed cowardice in my last moments than if I went down fighting. My family recognizes the realities of the world we live in.

          In other words, I could do everything you say is “right” and still die at the hands of the terrorist.

          Check out Todd Beamer’s family and see what they think of his legacy. Some folks can see past their own nose.

          “I find no moral imperative that says my family is obligated to accept the sacrifice of my life for another family/person.”

          Indeed, there is no such moral imperative in our present society. Fair enough.

          Some would argue that that is one of many things wrong with our present society.

          “Initially, once the shooting started, gather me and mine and break for the exits,”

          And likely get mowed down in the process. Could happen to anyone there. AGAIN, people running for the exists DO get shot in the back.

          “while un-holstering (presuming the concert hall would have allowed concealed carry). During the retreat, I would be looking for cover, alternate escape routes and possible sudden appearance of more armed bad guys.”

          So, not a whole lot different from what everyone else is saying so far.

          “If I/we could get out clean, so much the better.”

          Well, as you keep pointing out, there is no “clean” in this scenario. Which is it? We are all bumkins that don’t know how bad these situations are or you will have a nice, clear escape path?

          The reality is going to be lots of shooting, lots of screaming people, blood and bits and dead bodies on the floor. It may be dark or lights flashing. They may have had the pre-planning to have the exits covered. There may be explosions (such as the grenades used in the Kenya mall attack).

          Let’s start with your assertion that there is no “clean” escape, and stick with that. Never hurts to pre-game the worse case scenario, right? Kinda like all of us have been doing from the beginning of this little debate…

          “If me and/or mine had indeed been rounded-up by the terrorists, with no further possibility of escape, then I/we would look for that moment we could succeed at neutralizing one or more of the terrorists (which I wrote about in a different response).”

          Wait, so you DO believe that fighting back, and possibly getting yourself killed in the process, is a proper course of action?

          So, the only “quibble” is where you draw the line of fighting back? Man, you are contradicting yourself all over the place.

          If you and your family are rounded up and you are looking for “your moment,” several things could happen:

          (1) Your gun could be discovered and you are shot on the spot.
          (2) You are shot on the spot cuz you just happen to be the one they chose to shoot at that moment.
          (3) You wait for your moment, present and prepare to fire and get shot before you get a round off.
          (4) You “neutralize” one attacker and get drilled by another.
          (5) You fire but miss and hit an innocent bystander.
          (6) You “neutralize” one attacker and another promptly executes 5 others in “retaliation” after telling you to drop your weapon. One or more of those five could be your own family.
          (7) You “neutralize” one (or more) attackers and begin your escape…only to have drawn fire and die anyway.

          So…how is ANY of this any different from the stuff that was said earlier that you said was foolish to even try?

          First rule of a gunfight, don’t be there. Second rule of a gunfight…there are no rules; fight to win, fight to retaliate, fight to try to get away even then.”

          You missed the intermediate rule which is “Have a Gun.”

          Man, I agree with you on both those points. Avoidance is #1…across the board. Whether we are talking parking lot disputes, mass shootings or whatever. The best fight is the one you don’t get in. No argument there.

          And, your second rule is right on as well.

          But, that becomes MUCH harder to do without at least SOME tool to fight back…and the WILL to fight back.

          This whole ‘debate’ sprang from the basic question about disarmament…”Gun Free Zones” and the like. One point people like to say in that argument is that armed citizens won’t, can’t, make a difference.

          THAT is what I was responding to. You even joined the chorus of ‘don’t bother fighting back, you’ll only die and your family will have lost your for nothing,’ yet here you are saying you WOULD fight back and that you WOULD do “anything” to win.

          So, we agree in principle. All we might differ on is ROE and the thresholds therein.

          “You misunderstood my entire theme….a real gunfight is worse, more complex and unlikely to be anything you are prepared for.”

          I have often made that exact same point here…many times. Curious as to why you assume me and others don’t understand this?

          “If you are still convinced you are something special”

          If you aim this at me, what makes you think I DO think that? Where have I ever said anything remotely like that at all? I have no delusions of grandeur regarding my “Mad Gunfighting Skills.” I’ve got some training and I’ve experienced some bad stuff, but all that’s done for me is help me recognize how thin the margins are between “winning” and “losing.” It does not change my will to do what I can to control my own destiny, though.

          If it’s a general comment using the rhetorical “you” then I agree 100%. It’s something we should ALL do, even if we already recognize the truth of what you are saying.

        8. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Are you sure you are responding to the right person?

          My entire theme is that thinking any gun carrier can effectively counter a determined GROUP of armed assailants is a feeling, a hope, a theory, with no evidence. Where are the examples of untrained, undisciplined groups of gun carriers CAN, “… unction effectively in chaotic situations like mall shootings, school shootings and terrorist attacks.”?

          The notion that one can simply stand up and start shooting is one that will get people killed unnecessarily. Carrying a gun at all times is a good thing to protect yourself and family. If you can escape, escape; keep yourself and loved ones out of the battle. If you cannot escape, fight like hell; you might prevail.

          Gun free zones are sometimes known as killing funnels. They are attractive targets, ineffective, and result in society condemning dozens to a useless death.

          My theme is, “If you have never been in a gunfight, if you have never been in a gunfight in a mall or other crowded venue you need to really consider all the aspects in the harsh light of self-examination. No one really knows what they will do if not fully prepared mentally, and even then all plans disintegrate at first contact with the enemy. If people do not understand that, they are just as much a threat as a determined bad guy.

          So, carry everywhere. Avoid gun free zones. Protect yourself and family. Escape and evade. Fight to the death when there are no alternatives. Know your limitations, know yourself.

        9. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “My entire theme is that thinking any gun carrier can effectively counter a determined GROUP of armed assailants is a feeling, a hope, a theory, with no evidence. “

          We DO have evidence. Define “group.” Small Groups (more than one attacker) of armed assailants have been stopped, or slowed, many times by armed response. Sometimes that armed response has been by police, sometimes not or not solely police, which proves the point. That you ignore that data demonstrates a “Selection Bias” and renders your point illogical.

          You have set an impossible standard for me to achieve with your “effectively counter” which you then relax (Move the Goalpost Fallacy) when you apply it to yourself in how you would respond after your family is “rounded up.”

          I’m going to cut to the chase here. I was going to go point by point again, but here’s the gist:

          You are an elitist that thinks YOU have the skills and experience, knowledge and understanding to assess a situation and respond to it (escape or fight) that the rest of us mere “gun carriers” lack.

          You cling to a whole range of incorrect assumptions about who you are talking to, yet allow those assumptions to be untrue for you. You say what you “Would Do” while telling us when we say what we “Would Do” is wrong or some sort of fantasy. Further, when you say what you “Would Do” is no different than the rest of us, you go on to say that all WE would do is get ourselves killed unnecessarily or kill innocent bystanders.

          This form of “I know better” is exactly a tactic used by the anti’s, so I renew my earlier assertion. Anti-gun or Fudd, but closed minded controller either way.

          So, I’m done.

        10. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Still not connecting.

          A GROUP of determined attackers, all armed with lotsa guns, explosives, ammunition in a crowded space (Paris), in the dark, amidst incredible noise, and smoke generated by the attack. Where are the examples of uncoordinated, untrained, gun carriers making a difference?

          Read again, gun free zones are terrible, carry everywhere, be prepared to escape and protect yourself and family. When no escape is possible, fight like hell. Understand that lack of experience in these situations might not be an advantage. Understand that when bullets actually start to take-out people around you, you may find all your resolve evaporates. Think it through, have a plan, think it through. Know your limitations. I know mine.

          If you object to having your self-image being challenged, OK, that’s fine for you.

  20. avatar Goodacre says:

    Concealed is concealed, in the Martin Place (Sydney) siege it would have been the easiest thing in the world to draw on his blind side and remove the cervical vertebrae. It’d be harder to get on the blind side of 2 or more who are already shooting, but it would be a fight worth starting under any circumstance.

  21. avatar Rokurota says:

    “Violence isn’t the answer. But when it is, it’s the only answer.”

  22. avatar LJohn says:

    Sam I Am: 1st Cavalry Division Airmobile May 67 to May 68–AnLo Valley, Kontum Province, Bong Son, Hue, Operation Delaware Ashau Valley. In four words, run to the gunfire.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      Vietnam, unable to disclose (for which I will catch hell here, but there were certain documents I signed).

      Run to the guns when it is your job, profession, calling, mission, responsibility. Run to the exits when your defensive perimeter includes only you and your family. Stand and fight when there are no other options. You know better than most, any day when some other guy died, and you didn’t, was a good day to be alive.

      Our best days are behind us, old bean. What was that phrase…? Oh yeah, “We were soldiers once, AND YOUNG ” !

      1. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

        Hell I am young and I completely share your attitude. Self-defense is just that, preservation of yourself, that means YOU first and foremost. Besides, why should I go out of my way to protect anybody who is not an immediate family member, friend, or lover? They are what matters most. I’ll stand by my word 100% when I admit that, armed or not, if shots ring out and they’re not directly on top of me I’m getting the hell away. And if I have loved ones in the area I’m gathering them up quickly and getting out even faster. Just because I carry doesn’t make me your damn guard dog. It’s sad that people here cry “forget your family, friends, and self, you’re obligated to leave them behind, be a hero for 15 minutes on CNN, and die in a hail of bullets ‘for the greater good.” hmmm, now where have we heard that catch phrase before…

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          May you and I never find-out who is fastest getting to the crowded exits.

    2. avatar Juanito ''Johnnie'' Ibañez says:

      “In four words, run to the gunfire.”

      The modern version of “Ride to the sound of the guns.”

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Bravo Zulu !!

  23. avatar J says:

    We’re not talking about a straight out gun duel between a killer with an AK and a citizen with a pistol. Remember that most people were able to escape. There were two shooters in the balconies and two on the lower level. They calmly reloaded because they could. If there were a few people carrying, would there still be deaths? Most likely. Could one or more get a good vantage point to take a shot? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe all they could do is cover people’s escape. Would the outcome have been different? I would venture to say yes.

  24. avatar Mark N. says:

    Why do we have to defend against terrorism in the US?
    1. The only places at risk for a terrorist attack are, in order, Washington, New York, Philadelphia and Boston. Maybe LA, SF or Seattle on the west coast, but that’s about it. Which leaves 99.9% of the country safe, except from the usual crime.
    2. The probability of gunmen armed with automatic weapons is extremely low, simply due to the lack of available automatic weapons, so semi-autos at best.
    3. A bomb attack is the most likely or all methods of attack, for which a personal handgun will be no defense. 4. Unlike most of Europe, all of our police are armed, and all have long arms in their trunks, plus a lot of back up if needed, in all major cities.
    5. ISIS does not want to attack us here, despite their taunts if attacks on Washington. They want us to go there and fight them in their territory. They want to be the David to our Goliath. Any attack here would be nothing but a goad, so it has to be in a big city to gain maximum attention and symbolism.
    6. Our internal security, while not perfect, is superior to that of the rest of the world. The chances of a successful conspiracy are limited.
    For me, the risk of a terrorist attack is infinitely small, and it is for most of us here.

    1. avatar george from fort worth says:

      that fella from aurora colorado was a pretty effective terrorist, eh?

      the paris terrorists, terrorists in general, are stand-ins for active/mass shooters. what do you speculate you would/could do, here, given a similar situation in a setting you are familiar with.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        That fella from Aurora was not a terrorist, nor a trained soldier. Most terrorists act in groups of four or more, and are a far harder target than a lone wolf killer who will likely shoot himself if confronted with force. I saw a photo of a bullet proof shield used by the SWAT team at the Paris theater–it had been hit 27 times, and the depth and size indicated that these were rifle rounds from the AKs. Moreover, lone wolf killers rarely appear on police radar prior to an attack, not unless, that is, someone rats them out (which does happen). Lat but not least, lone wolf killers are pretty random, in the sense they are not seeking to attack a political target of national or world-wide significance. So again, the risk of attack from a terrorist group is much more likely to occur in a federal gun free zone in a major city, and this is a risk I do not need to prepare for, since the risk is soooo small. Lone wolves are a different matter, but even then the attacks are rare and the attackers untrained, and a handgun is probably sufficient to deal with them.

        1. avatar george from fort worth says:


          from what i read, the survivors in aurora were pretty well terrified. vlad lenin tells us that the purpose of terrorism is terror.

          the original comment was a question about why we should be concerned about terrorists in the US, because our mass shooters were not classically defined terrorists. i was noting that the term “terrorist” was an all-purpose term for anyone(s) who shoot into a crowd, for whatever reason.

    2. avatar Binder says:

      Just want to rant, but what is it with all these posts that suggest that a fully automatic rifle is so much more effective than a semi. Yes the giggle switch is nice for suppressive fire, but I really don’t think squad tactics are at the top off the list for these kind of engagements. At least this isn’t as bad as one post that said that a semi AR would be ineffective against a fully auto AK

    3. avatar Stuki Moi says:

      1. You forgot Oklahoma City and………..
      2. Unless the shooters roll in with a few pallets worth of ammo, semiautos are likely to be more effective than autos at killing the max number of people.
      3. You may be right. But 2nd most likely can still be useful to be at least minimally prepared to deal with.
      4. Not sure that a long gun in someone elses the trunk is all that much more useful to me than a handgun in my hand. Especially against bombs….
      5. Never met Mr. ISIS, the guy who makes all decisions, personally; but based on the ISIS dudes I have heard about, I can’t imagine not one single one of them would enjoy nuking Washington if given the chance.
      6. Our internal security gropes underaged girls and lets people on board planes with loaded semi autos. They may be “superior to the rest of the world”, but that’s a bit like taking comfort that our midgets are taller than in other parts.

      Agree with your conclusion, though. BUT; the preparation for dealing with a terrorist attack, greatly overlaps that for dealing with any other kind of aggressive assault as well. And if you add all those up,, they are not necessarily so infinitesimal. IOW, prepare to deal with a crack head who wants to cut your finger off to get your wedding ring; and get the terror preparation for free.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        No, Oklahoma City was a bomb attack by a domestic terrorist. No amount of planning or preparation, nor trunk full of weapons, will defend you from a truck or car bomb.
        99.9% of the country lives in neither the first or second most likely target zones.
        Yes, internal security is less than perfect–no one is perfect. But domestic electronic screening or baggage is better than most places in the world, other than Israel. Also, the Secret Service is a protective detail (mostly), and is not the CIA or the FBI or the NSA, DIA, DEA, NCIS etc etc etc.

    4. avatar Mack Bolan says:

      Terror doesn’t give a rip about strategic importance and terrorists are not morons. They’ll attack DC to send a message that we can strike the seat of government if they can.

      Otherwise they will find a suitable place, that will give them enough time and the least amount of resistance to rack up sizeable body counts. Malls, schools, churches in secondary or tertiary cities and college towns.

      Paris shows their attack strategies are evolving. They now understand the west’s LE “swarm” mentality and they will use that to great effect. Think about the Boston bombing, and then imagine it with 4 other attack sites staggered across the city and different timing. The LE response would have been more of a cluster than it was.and the body count would have been in the hundreds.

  25. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    I smell a force on force scenario.

    Big Room, Dark, Stage lighting, music, 50 or more people multiple entry and exist points.

    5 guys with rifles mixed int he crowd since they didn’t just burst in in the club shooting. Something to signal the beginning of the attack since marker rounds are nowhere near as loud as an actual round, and let the crowd react.

    Run it 3 times with a different “audience” each time Different colored markers for attackers and defenders.

    1. Totally unarmed
    2. 1-5% armed
    3. 1-5% armed plus unarmed counter attackers.

    Count the casualties at the end, and who marked them.

    I would be curious if anyone could spot the attackers before they opened fire. What an armed resistance would mean to a body count. What effect unarmed people willing to fight for their survival could and would do.

    Also no one shot stops like previous F on F scenarios.

    1. avatar Stuki Moi says:

      Sounds “fun.” I’d want to run each scenario more than once before drawing meaningful conclusions, though.

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      They did the sims after the Charlie Hebdo attack with interesting results.

      (1) While the (single) armed defender did die in the defense action, they (multiple runs) did also neutralize 50% of the attackers.

      Point: There WAS an effect and it was in the right direction.

      (2) One lady chose not to engage the armed attackers directly, but used her weapon to cover the retreat and escape of not only herself but others as well.

      Point: There WAS and effect and it was in the right direction.

      Real World Data (not simulations): The presence of an armed defender has shown time and time again that armed response at the scene at the time of the attack disrupts the attack at least and stops it outright in many cases.

      See: Pennsylvania doctor, Aurora school, others.

      At this point, there is no uncertainty in saying that armed defenders on-scene when an attack begins most certainly can “help.” To deny (as some do) is just plain pig headed stupidity and demonstrates a mind closed to actual data.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        And, just to be clear, the comment

        ” To deny (as some do) is just plain pig headed stupidity and demonstrates a mind closed to actual data.”

        was not referring to Mack Bolan as pig headedly stupid; it was a general statement against Armed Citizens can Help deniers.

      2. avatar CarlosT says:

        Point 2 is the big one for me. If you have a typical conceal carry pistol and you’re up against multiple rifle wielding attackers, life is bad. But it’s less bad than it could be. Unlike what Sam I Am is thinking, the point isn’t that you and anyone else armed need to become Delta Force on the spot. It could be enough that the guys shooting up the place duck their heads for a few seconds so that people can force a door open. Or like you said, you get lucky and hit one of them someplace vital and they go down. You don’t need to “win”. Even just a little confusion and disruption on the part of the bad guys could go a long way.

  26. avatar Lhshtr says:

    I done some searches on killers/assassins, and since Lincoln to Reagan, they were shot by Democrats and a whole lot of these mass shootings were of the same bread. They were registered Dems. I guess says it all. You have to be twisted to be one of them! p.s. sorry I brought in politics. Be safe out there, be aware.

  27. avatar Paelorian says:

    Thank you for putting “allowing” in scare quotes, Farago. It’s not a matter of allowing, it’s a matter of forbidding. “The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me.”

  28. avatar Ger says:

    Yes and European Commision wants stricter gun control in EU after Paris attacks and wants to ban semiautos of all kinds (rifles, shotguns and even pistols) that have “military look”.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      We’re on it.

  29. avatar Jrcanoe says:

    I had a Navy Seal SCUBA instructor that like to shut off all lights at the pool and then jump in with his flashlight and mow us all down ripping off masks fins and regulators He managed to do this to us a few times till me and a few others got mad and said that the next time that happens we should all rush the light and then we could be doing the mask and regulator ripping. He ended clawed up alittle from us flailing in the dark but most of us survived and He never messed with us that way again!

  30. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

    >Why We Need to Be Armed Against Terrorists

    That is literally what 2A says, Farago.

  31. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    The natural, civil, and in the US, constitutionally codified right to arms is an expression of these things, allowing us to live in the world, responsibly, morally, like grown ups, choosing for ourselves.

    – To be sane is to live in the world as it is … one with guns and bad actors sometimes.

    – To be responsible is to do what you can, and own what you choose to do.

    – To be moral is to grasp the difference between a killer’s knife and a surgeons. Or a terrorist’s gun, and a protector’s.

    – To be grown up is to prepare yourself so you can do what can be done.

    – To choose to protect yourself is to own your own worth, to choose, is to own your own agency.

    Bearing arms, if one chooses, is an expression, meaning, and a means of these things: realism, responsibility, morality, grown-up behavior, self-worth, and choosing. This is precisely why citizens owning guns is so despised and attacked. For most who advocate disarming citizens, “safety” is a pretense. It’s about autonomy and patronage. You can’t have the former, it makes you less useful fodder for the latter.

    Let them have guns and they might get the notion that they can act in the world, and have the right to do so. (The celebrated man who threw himself between the gunners and a friend in Paris the other way chose. He owned his own power. With that kind of empathy, moral center, and courage, I’d rather he had more options.)

    Let them act in the world to their own ends, say staying alive, and they may get the notion that their leaders, betters and wanna-be overlords are really their agents, wielding borrowed authority. They might see these agents similarly as a means, and start taking responsibility for what is done by those powerful, dangerous implements. This, in the end, is the root of the civilian disarmament impulse. All else is distraction.

    “Never forget.” applies to events, and to what events illustrate about the motives of the players: killers for a cause, at any price so long as someone else pays; opportunist would-be overlords, in fact and aspiration; first responders weeping while they clean up the mess, which is both noble and not enough; and the ones who in an instant show what is best in people, by throwing themselves between a killer and would-be victim.

    At least these:



    How dare anyone presume to deny these people the option to care for themselves and others, with a gun, if they choose?

  32. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    This turned out to be one of the more interesting threads on The Truth About Guns. This was my second complete read. As I read the comments, a general assumption emerged that, in a terrorist attack, the possibility of escape would be possible. Much of the subsequent commentary incorporated this into the narrative. In this I think an important point was missed: it seems to me that the fundamental purpose of being armed, being prepared to seize the fighting chance that carrying a gun affords, presents itself most significantly when there is no chance of escape. I hope everyone reading this thread should give some thought to what happens if you’re armed . . . and there’s no way out.

  33. avatar RokShox says:

    Bad guy is not going to stand exposed on the balcony of a theater shooting down into a defenseless crowd if bullets are flying back at him.

  34. avatar Sam I Am says:


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