Thoughts about Aurora...
This is a discussion on Thoughts about Aurora... within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; After the tragic events in Aurora there were some predictable outcomes. The left is already talking about stricted gun control laws, magazine capacity restrictions, etc. ...
July 21st, 2012 03:27 AM
Thoughts about Aurora...
After the tragic events in Aurora there were some predictable outcomes. The left is already talking about stricted gun control laws, magazine capacity restrictions, etc. The gun forums are buzzing with the "if I'd have been there it all would have been avoided" talk. And most of America is shaking their head wondering what's going on in our society.
The people claiming they'd have stopped the shooting are what I want to address. News reports (and this early they may still change) are telling us that that shooter was wearing a ballistic helmet, shin guards, neck protector, groin protector, and vest. That leaves us with few options when it comes to fighting back... particularly when we don't know how well protected the shooter is as this unfolds in front of us.
I'm just curious how man here have trained to the extent that they're confident they could make the face shot. Keep in mind there was smoke in the air from the grenade, it was dark, innocents were running everywhere which means between you and the shooter, and of course the shooting range was 2-way.
I'll be honest, I don't know that I could have stopped the shooter with any of the weapons I carry regularly (Sig 228, Glock 23, 1911). Now I'm not exactly typical in my training background. I've had quite a bit of training as a Marine and then as a SWAT guy. I have not had the opportunity to take a couple of civilian classes that I believe really would help in this situation. But here's how I see it.
* None of the weapons I am likely to have on me will defeat the armor without repeated hits to the same location.
* I've been in OC and CS. The way my eyes water would make sight alignment and sight picture very difficult.
* The CT grips on the 1911 would be useless due to the smoke in the air from the grenade.
* Ensuring you don't hit an innocent while engaging the BG would be nearly impossible without closing the distance and drawing fire.
All of that said, I'd have done everything in my power to bring the fight to an end. But despite pretty high levels of training by the government and civilian instructors I don't know that my skill set measures up. I have a feeling that we're going to see more of this kind of thing. That is pushing me to look into getting specific training for these events and thinking about equipment changes that may make a difference. What are you doing in light of this event to prepare yourself for when you face something of this magnitude?
"The only people I like besides my wife and children are Marines."
- Lt. Col. Oliver North
July 21st, 2012 05:19 AM
I carry a modified xdsubcompact in .357sig, with a 200 lumen flashlight and spare mag, 21 rounds total. I would have aimed at center mass or where I saw the flashes coming from, if I didn't stop him in 3 shots, I would immediately go for head shots. even if I only hit his helmet it would be enough to daze him, just keep shooting at the head.
One more thing, I would have been on high alert when he left through the exit and came back in. Gas doesnt fill the room immediately, I would have used this initial time to deploy my weapon. He won't be only focused on me, chances are you could unload an entire mag before he figured it out...
July 21st, 2012 05:40 AM
From what we have gathered, the best way (maybe the only way) to have taken him down quickly was to have seen him come in through the back entrance and follow him through that entrance and approach him from behind. This does nothing for those already in theater. From all the armor he was wearing, trying to get a face shot from the front, in a dark CS gas filled theater, would have been very difficult. Someone would have needed to have the jump on him outside the theater, follow him in and shoot him in the back of the neck which may have been the only vital area that may have been unprotected. Very unlikely scenario.
July 21st, 2012 05:45 AM
About all I am going to say on this is there are plenty of people who could have probably successfully or at least effectively ended the situation if they would have intervened.
It is mostly a matter of circumstances and the playing field coming together with the right person there at the right time.
In any given situation there are almost always an opportunity and things come together to bring a desired conclusion. But the situation dictates how things are going to be presented and whether that task can be accomplished.
For example, there could have been a off duty FBI hostage rescue team member present and never get afforded the opportunity to intervene at all.
However, historically as soon as someone intervenes, it ends the carnage. The shooter either gives up and surrenders, kills himself, or is shot by another person and either dies or is apprehended.
Whether he had body armor or not, receiving a hale of gunfire to the torso and head would have most likely stopped the carnage then and there. There's never been any evidence or examples of people who have continued to randomly kill people once someone... anyone, intervened.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
July 21st, 2012 06:22 AM
well said bark'n... I wouldn't have even slowed down firing until it was time to switch mags... Even with body armor, getting hit with 10 rounds in the head area is going to screw you up...
July 21st, 2012 06:51 AM
Bark'n is right...some form of active intervention is required to end the event. Draw and fire, throw a chair, yell a name, attempt a tackle, sing a song or dance a jig - anything to interrup the shooter's thought process. But it has to be done NOW! No time to think about it, only time to react. And that can only happen after you comprehend the situation. Gotta be ready to rock 'n roll at a moment's notice. And there are no guarantees you will survive but that is the nature of life.
May the Lord give strength and solice to those who are affected by this tragic event.
[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people. ---Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
July 21st, 2012 06:56 AM
Originally Posted by Bark'n
You make some good points. You said theres never been any evidence of people that have continued to randomly kill once someone has intervened. Not saying I disagree, but have you considered the famous "North Hollywood shootout?" 2 criminals wearing body armor that continued to shoot at Police (not exactly "random" since they picked their targets, but random isn't the main point anyway) And we know of other examples when someone with nothing to lose has continued in a shootout and didn't just roll over and give up, right?
July 21st, 2012 07:15 AM
What you have to remember is the fact that these"random" mass shootings are perpetrated not by hardened criminals but by nut jobs, nor are they entirely random. The "theater"(literal in this case) is chosen because it is a target rich gunfree zone. The deranged shooter may act in a calm calculated manor but they are, most likely not experienced in tactics nor have they ever done anything like this before. They may not react the way you would expect them to to anything. Which means that any distraction could end their concentration and put them off of the carnage. They may just shift their focus but they may completely fall apart.
In in this particular instance I'm not sure how quickly I would have recognized the actual threat. I'm a movie buff and a Batman fan. I may have taken it as an opening night show my self. Though I suppose that it would matter when it all started in the scheme of the movie.
Armchair quarter backing is easy. Was the theater posted? If so then it is a moot point until we can get the general population to accept responsibility for their own safety and get rid of the target rich criminal safe environment mentality
July 21st, 2012 08:34 AM
Theater is just one more place that does'nt take security seriously imho. In news footage, I noticed several kids wearing backpacks. Why were'nt fire doors alarmed or monitored? Camera watching back parking lot??One security guard could possibly have deterred this by making a harder target imo.
"religious faith, speech and of the press; of the trial by jury in civil and criminal cases; of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms. If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny." James Monroe
July 21st, 2012 08:34 AM
I agree with the OP's views. Here in Ga, signs do not have force of law so I would have been armed in a situation like this. However, given the circumstance it would be very difficult to be effective. It is great to think that you could have single handedly stopped the threat and I believe that you should everything in your power to do so. The problem comes in when the theater is dark, explosions, gun-fire, loud movie playing, many innocents running around creating more chaos, smoke, eyes tearing from CS, proximity to attacker and CS canisters, and one thing that most have overlooked is ensuring the safety of those with you. I do believe that had there been multiple people legally carrying, the outcome would have been different.
July 21st, 2012 09:02 AM
^ ^ ^ THIS ^ ^ ^
Originally Posted by Bark'n
Another reason to practice/train more often
Another reason to be armed with something besides a .380/.32/J-frame in the pocket
Another reason for carrying a spare magazine(s)
For those who just 'carry in the car' or 'when they go to the bad area of town', a wake-up call perhaps (nah, probably not). "It'll never happen to me."
Until it does!
A co-worker lamented that 'now we have to carry guns just to go to the movies'. My reply was that "Nothing in my life has changed over the last 24hrs."
July 21st, 2012 09:16 AM
From a tactics standpoint, the smoke, the confusion of the crowd, the fact that the shooter was burdened with body armor that affected his ability to maneuver, a gas mask restricting his vision.... I think its safe to say that an armed citizen or three could have used all of that to their advantage and moved in on this guy for a close kill shot. But its really a moot point, isn't it? That didn't happen. It was made so that it couldn't have happened. These movie-goers were herded into a closed, restricted kill zone voluntarily, and if information is accurate, were prohibited by corporate policy and Colorado law from carrying concealed and thereby being armed themselves.
While the leftist media if foaming at the mouth screaming for more gun control, I look at it from a totally different perspective.
My state suffered a mass-murder as well - Virginia Tech. There was Columbine and a number of other mass-murder events or attempts at malls, a church, and recently at a nightspot where a patron returned to spray bullets into a bar crowded with other patrons. One important connection to all of these is that they occurred in a location that prohibits law abiding citizens from being armed. Being told that you have the right to defend yourself, but at the same time being denied the means to defend yourself is really not having the right to begin with!
Whether its a state, a locality, a corporation, or a small business... if they deny you the ability to protect your life and the lives of your family by denying you the right to carry concealed or otherwise arm yourself... either through laws, policy, or by placing a "No Firearms" sign on their entry door, then they should be held partially liable should an event like what happened in Aurora occurs!
July 21st, 2012 09:31 AM
No. Not every location you listed is a gun-free zone in every state.
One important connection to all of these is that they occurred in a location that prohibits law abiding citizens from being armed.
July 21st, 2012 09:32 AM
It is very interesting to read all the "What I would have done comments".
One post I read in another thread dealing with this situation, talked about being with your family in the movies and this carnage happening. Would you risk your families safety by returning fire and drawing the shooter's attention TOWARD where you and your family are? That made me think long and hard!!
I will continue to carry regardless of any sticker or gun busting sign....if the place is not prohibited by FL law, then I'm carrying!!
July 21st, 2012 09:32 AM
Shooter has huge advantage
In the situation described, the shooter has such a tremendous advantage over any bystander armed with a handgun that it seems very unlikely that he could be stopped. Just consider the list of shooter advantages:
1. The shooter has a plan and the advantage of surprise - the movie audience is relaxed and not expecting this to happen.
2. The shooter is wearing body armor.
3. The shooter discharged tear gas to start, but he is wearing a mask to protect himself.
4. The shooter has a high capacity rifle and backup guns, while the defenders have one or two pistols.
5. Hundreds of people are milling around in panic, and the shooter can achieve his goals by shooting into the crowd and hitting any of them. The defender must avoid hitting innocent people and focus his fire on one individual target.
6. Even if the defender knows there is a shooter active, he may not be able to see him, given the darkness of the theater and the hundreds of people running everywhere.
7. The shooter has nobody with him to protect, and is probably mentally prepared to die, while the defender may be concerned with the safety of people with him, and is also concerned with his own preservation.
It seems to me that the shooter spent a long time planning this and selecting his equipment carefully, such that he was virtually unstoppable.
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington
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