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Dealing With An Active Shooter

by Handguns Online Staff   |  July 30th, 2012 89

Many have asked the question if an armed citizen could have ended the Aurora tragedy sooner. Here’s a look at the correct tactical approach to take in a setting in which an active shooter is on the loose and you’ve made the decision to take action.


  • Bilco

    I'd never considered showing my (empty) hands the way it was done in this video, upon completion of neutralizing the target. Probably a good idea. Just keep the gun handy in case another bad guy appears.

  • Frederick

    There is just one MAJOR problem when you consider all this in light of the reality of the Colorado theater shooting: The bad guy had head to toe armor and shot anybody he saw trying to escape. If you failed to take him out with an "eye ball hit" he would have immediately targeted YOU with a lot more firepower than you had in your holster. Armed or not, your best action would be to get up close and personal with the floor – and if you have to be a hero, cover somebody else with your body like at least one real hero actually did … and died.

    • Jeepers Creepers

      I agree with you 100 percent. This guy came in ready to take some hits. Only a fool would have tried to stop him. It seems from the other items on this web site. There are a lot of would be hero's that would try to take on the movie theater nut (shooter). There is a box waiting for those types of heros. From what I seen in the clip the training is lacking for crawling shooting. Thank you Fred for being real and not a dreamer.

      • Trained CWP carrier

        Only a fool would have not tried to stop him. If you want to crawl around on the floor go ahead. I was trained to ID the threat and use every means possible to neutralize the target. Don't just assume that everyone out there shares your views on what is and is not foolish. I think that person who covered another person and gave their life is, indeed, a hero. Also, the shooter was not covered "head to toe" he had a vest and bullet resistant pants. He had several priority zones open. Ongoing training with your carry weapon would give the skill to hit that target zone in limited light. Worst case 40 Cal round slamming into his vest would have knocked his sorry ass down.

    • http://www.facebook.com/DoctorJenks Chris Jenkins

      I'm sorry guys, but i must disagree with you both. You are both analyzing this with perfect 20/20 hindsight. First, You would not likely have been able to tell that he had body armor on. It was dark,and the theatre was filled with tear gas. Second, while in this case, people who pretended to be dead were ignored by the shooter and survived,, but this is certainly not always the case.

      Lastly, do you truly believe that the guy who- in your hypothetical scenario where somebody was armed in the theatre,-had his own firearm but instead of firing back when he had the chance, laid on the ground hiding and shielding someone else with his body would qualify as the true hero? Forget the fact that this man- who took great pains to ensure his own survival- may well have soiled himself like every coward does when faced with opposition.

      The truth is, we'll never know. However, that doesn't mean that I'm not sick of people who like to pretend they know exactly what would have happened.

      • Don

        I agree with you all the way.In all the confusion,people screaming,running,smoke and teargas you could very easily shoot thr wrong person.Without combat training thr average guy is at a loss here.

        • http://www.facebook.com/DoctorJenks Chris Jenkins

          Umm… That wasn't actually my point. This is the nightmare scenario. Nobody is EVER prepared for this, not even the average millitary Joe…

          • Paul Az.

            Don't speak for me Chris. I am an "average" retired military Joe. Some run from the fire some run to the fire and some even video it, most trained will quickly asses and react to the threat although I have seen those that "freeze up" I would say less then 5% of military vets would have any trouble making there fight or flight decision. I have my CCW, practice regularly and don't give my hard earned money to businesses that disarm me when I go into there establishments. We are not sheep and should not be asked, told or forced to act as such.

          • Dusty

            I'm with YOU, Paul!

          • unqualified

            To be honest, you sound like an "above average" retired military Joe.

      • Alan_T

        Chris , tha was an excellent assesment , Kudos !

    • Dale

      Just what kind of bullet does a gas mask stop?If youcan't hit him hit his. weapon.Distract him,he will react to being hit. Even with armor ,bullets hurt ! Shoot at the groin area where the joints are,a solid hit onthe groin cup will drop him.
      NEVER,NEVER,NEVER,NEVER, GIVE UP!…..Winston Churhill.

      • Fred

        Excellent point. My personal weapon's bullet would provide 330 ft./lbs. of kinetic energy to the groin – kevlar vest, cup, etc. or not, he's going down. Then, as a Chief Petty Officer in SEAL training told me: "Prosecute with extreme prejudice."

    • Hambone7777777

      You folks have no idea what you're talking about and I'm trying to be NICE, but you're obviously not shooters and you don't know the first thing about what is involved. One guy says you can't stop him and you should lay down and die, the other says you're a fool to try and that there is a box waiting. There were 12 boxes used for those folks because no one could fight for their lives. If you are that passive/foolish to not want to even try to save your own life, then you truly deserve what you get. But there have always been 'heroes' brave and able enough to defeat the enemy. Otherwise you would be speaking German right now, and the state would have indoctrinated you into what you can watch and what you cannot. You are similar to the people who talk about what they would have done if they were there.But nobody knows until it happens. Hopefully you will have some guts and 'intel' by the time you reach your crisis, whatever that is.

    • S. Morris

      NO ! Fight back ! In each and every circumstance where you can fight back do so. I'm not saying that those who shield aren't hero's I'm saying fight back when you can. body armor doesn't make one Superman, I shoot you with even a 9mm and it's like getting hit with a hammer.playing dead might get you that way. not to mention the lives you could have saved will always haunt you. I for one will always take the ass whooping'
      good chance your going to be beat, might as well go down swinging. who knows you might save a whole room by not being a coward. and it's not bout being a hero. it's about heart. I am prepared to defend not only myself, but you and yours. Fight back people…..

      • Alan_T

        Amen S . !

    • Paul

      When I trained for engagement we did anti armor drills… 2 to the chest and 1 to the face at 10 meters. standard time was 1.6 to 1.8 seconds. I took a 9mm to the armor my reaction time was to say the least delayed. believe me he would not have been able to return fire if the technique was applied correctly…… Of coarse the defender would also need to practice this drill to be proficient at it.. I'm just saying…

    • richard d mueller

      Bullet hits on body armor HURT! He MAY or MAY NOT have been prepared for that. Several central hits may have discouraged him, we don't know.

    • S. Denning

      I'd like to see you back that one up if it was your family in the theater. Even if I didn't put the guy guy down immediately I can draw fire away from my family and give them or anyone else the time to get out. Even in armor he's going to react to the hits he's taking. By all means get "up close and personal" with the perp, take that close in shot or shots to the head that could stop the threat. You might be able to live with "giving up" and letting people die but I won't!

    • Red Fred

      Let's be absolutely clear. The shooter in Aurora was NOT wearing body armor. He was wearing a tactical vest. A tactical vest provides no protection from bullets, just holds gear. Not sure where you folks are getting your info. Just goes to show that if the media reports it wrong intentionally or otherwise, it's accepted as fact. The media are only concerned with one thing, it's a business and every business' sole purpose is to make money. Every single one. Otherwise, it's called a charity or civic service.

      In the end, body armor or not, it doesn't matter. No one took a shot at him. He was the only one doing the shooting. Every single round fired was by Holmes. There was no return fire.

      • Len in Texas

        You know he was in a no-gun zone. But in Texas we are different. That audience would have at least 6-10 concealed guns firing at him. Last one to get his gun out is a coward. We had a shooting in a mall in San Antonio a few months after this shooting. A shopper with CCL took him out with one shot after his killed one and wounded another. We do not have mass shootings in Texas any more. First was at UT Tower in the 1960's. We passed CCW laws and had no problem since.

    • budog

      actually, he wasnt wearing armor, just a tac vest with pockets for ammo etc and elbow and knee pads. so yeah good center mass hits or arm leg hits could have stopped him.also remember, historically untrained non carreer criminal punks like him often run when shot at.

  • Gary32801

    Just ask the LAPD how easy it is to take down somebody in full ballistic armor and semi-auto rifles. Anyone still remember the N. Hollywood shootout?? Two bank robbers that took a SWAT team to bring them down and even then, one committed suicide. Nobody with a handgun, in a dark theater with OC in the air would have taken this guy down.

    • http://www.facebook.com/DoctorJenks Chris Jenkins

      As i recall, the bank robbers you are referring to were actually even better equipped than the Colorado shooter, but that's hardly the point. Once somebody chooses you and your family for target practice, you may not have the chance to opt out of a gun fight, whatever your odds.

      • Alan_T

        Kudos again Chris !

    • S. Denning

      You're also talking distances that exceeded the accurate range of a pistol and multiple attckers. If you want to be a sheep then stay in your pen.

    • Len in Texas

      Not familiar with particular event, but a 12 ga slug would take out even with the armor up to 150 yards when shooting accurately. Slugs that are are 3" long will leave a hole 4" dia in armor and all. The muzzle velocity is over 2000 fps, force of 2200+ pounds. At 150 yards the power reduces to 90%, just over a ton of force at 1800 fps.

  • Walkerb1972

    If I were in the the theater with my kids and wife, who cares if my shots are not as effective against his body armor, at least I have his attention on me. So what if I take all the hits and die, at least for the 30 seconds I am still alive, my family can escape and I will be continue putting .45 rounds on target constantly until I hit something that hurts him.

  • neflresident

    You all missed a very important point. The theater was a "gun free zone", set by the theater owner. That is why he selected that location. Colorado is a CWP State but the theater had a no firearms policy. When will people learn that a "gun free zone" is what a criminal is looking for.

    • Gimmie

      Thanks for that info. I was unaware of that.
      I try and avoid "gun free zones" whenever possible.
      There is usually someone else who is happy to have my money.

    • Paul Az.

      GUN FREE = easy targets in the criminal mind

    • Alan_T

      Too true neflresident !

    • Philip

      I don't believe it is legal for a business to create a 'gun free zone", anymore than a business that puts up an uninforcible sign that reads " You break it – You buy it". They cannot legally do that!
      Therefore, I personally will carry in a "gun free zone" established by a businessman, if it does not break State law. Listening to wounded survivors, the gas dissipated rather quickly through the ventilation system. I was paramilitary and have exchanged fire, and unless one has been under that particular situation, where you actually feel the bullets as they are in that close, they cannot answer for certainty how they would respond.

      • Philip

        Also: If I could see, I would have engaged the shooter. My laser is zeroed at 25 ft, and I've researched all 9 Ammo, and what I carry is 743 muzzle energy. I'm pretty sure a gas mask has little stopping power and that's where I would start. Even if I hit him in the chest, [or helmet] that amount of force, it will temp. incapacitate him long enough to close, and empty a few from my magazine into the facemask, point blank! [I believe his legs were also exposed]. Worse case… I've given many people time to escape, and no more taxes to pay.

      • Alan_T

        Philip …… you'd be real wrong on that , it's perfectly legal for business owners to ban firearms from inside the place of of business . His right to conduct business as he sees fit on / in his property trumps your right to carry . Don't believe me ? Find one that has it posted and walk in and announce you're carrying , then let us know what your lawyer tells you as he's trying to keep you out of the slammer .

        As an aside though …… if you are in a state that allows carry and the business owner bans your right to carry AND something happens to you that could have been averted by you being armed …… THEN , you can come back and sue the proprietor for damages that you incurred ( you HAVE to be able to PROVE damages ) because by banning Carry in the property , the said banner is in de facto guaranteeing your safety . Of course that doesn't do you much good if you're dead ….. but THAT'S THE LAW .

        You were " paramiliatry " huh ? Could you define that for us ?
        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
        You're just another " arm chair commando " that doesn't know sh*t from shinola .

        • Philip

          It's YOU who needs to research law. First off, a "gun free zone" is a sad attempt at extending the "gun free 'school' zone" law, and it refers to states that have no CCW laws! They try to force gun owners to register. This lame ass attempt has been swatted down by the Supreme court in trials like "Chicago vs McDonald, and DC vs Heller. I live in a state that permits CCW, and would do exactly as I said, if I lived in Colorado. You're obviously a "boy" who, being an idiot will brag and shout out you are carrying… otherwise, no one would know I was, unless….
          Where were you in 71, hot shot? You'd be the first to piss his pants watching the shadows, sitting in the rain at 0200, after a couple weeks humpin… and you'd sure bust out in tears when the first condum full of piss hit you as you got off your flight, coming home from duty!!
          Yea… Im just a nobody.

          • Alan_T

            So , Philip ……….. you didn't define " paramilitary " for us …….. remind me …… what branch of the service was that ? ? ? Do you even know what the term means ? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

            A better question would be , where were YOU in ' 71 ? Tell us the truth now Philip , don't be modest ! I know ……. you were in the green " BARRETTES " weren't you ? More likely you were playing with your G . I . Joes in your mom's basement . HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

            Your ignorance is showing Philip , Heller Vs . D . C . and McDonald Vs . Chicago ( those arethe CORRECT titles ) have nothing at all to do with it and it has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with so – called " school free zones " . Evidently Reading Comprehension isn't your strong suit . I'll say this in an other way , ( I know you won't get it ) , but I'll try for the sake of others who may be reading this .

          • Alan_T

            A business is THE SAME as a PRIVATE RESIDENCE , the owner of the business has the absolute right to tell you that you cannot carry in his establishment . If you get caught , since there is a firearm involved , you CAN and probably WILL be charged with a felony .
            ( Please , please , please , any one reading this , if you doubt it , PLEASE , contact your state's , State Attorney's Office before doing it . Stay out of jail , just because Philip is an idiot that doesn't mean that you have to be one ! )

            But hey Mr . PARAMILITARY , who is now claiming to have been in Nam , you do what you want and commit a felony …… I'm sure you'll make some nice " Lifer " a very lovely wife . HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          • Alan_T

            Yeah …. you're right Philip , you're just a nobody . NO ! I take that back you are a moron , a liar , a disgrace and an insult to EVERY person that served in ANY of our nation's conflicts . You disgust me MR . PARAMILITARY !

            OH …… and in case you haven't figured it out by now ( which you probably haven't ) there is not now nor has there ever been a United States Paramilitary …… look the word up you lying dunce !

          • Corin

            According to CO law it is not illegal to carry into a private business that has a "no guns allowed" policy. If they see that you have a concealed gun they can ask you to leave or have you arrested for trespass if you don't leave but it's not a gun charge (and you did a poor job of concealing). The only places in CO where it is illegal to carry are k-12 schools even with a CCW (now called a CHP for Concealed Handgun Permit – no concealed knives), and government buildings like a courthouse where there will be signs on the windows with the specific country, state or federal statue listed. If you see numbers and statutes listed with the "can't carry" sign then you'll be arrested on the spot, if not they can only kick you out. If you're curious all the statutes are listed on all the Colorado sheriff's webpages.

          • Alan_T

            Corin …. no offense intended but , you are contradicting yourself . Quoting you , you say ,

            " it is not illegal to carry into a private business that has a "no guns allowed" policy. "

            but then you go on to say ,

            " they can ask you to leave or HAVE YOU ARRESTED ( emphasis mine ) for trespass "

            close quote .
            If it's NOT illegal , you're NOT going to be arrested . The term for it is : CRIMINAL TRESPASS and since a firearm is involved , that automatically elevates the charges to : FELONY CRIMINAL TRESPASS , regardless of the state .

            And of course for the ban to be in effect , it does have to be POSTED conspicuously in plain view

            I hope this clarifies things for you Corin .

          • Corin

            Alan,
            I'm not contradicting myself. You are not breaking the law by entering a business that has a sign that says, "no concealed handguns." The law is broken if they ask you to leave and you do not. I said very clearly above that, "they can have you arrested for trespass IF YOU DON'T LEAVE" That's true of trespass at any business that asks you to leave, it's the idea that they have the right to refuse service to anyone and can ask you to leave and if you don't, then THAT is trespass.

            I have several friends who are cops and also know the DA of a local county and have specifically asked about this. If you do "accidentally" get arrested for a "gun offense" you will not be charged since it's not illegal (trespassing is still illegal so if you're asked to leave you should do so immediately or the DA will press charges if they feel inclined and you have a crap lawyer and they want to score brownie points). It is possible that the cop you encounter won't know all the nuances of the law. Here is a good write up about this as excepted from: http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/colorado.pdf
            I hope this clarifies things for you Alan.

            Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?
            “NO”
            C.R.S. 18-4-201 As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires: (1) "Premises" means any real estate and all improvements erected thereon. (2) "Separate building" means each unit of a building consisting of two or more units separately secured or occupied. http://www.handgunlaw.us 5
            (3) A person "enters unlawfully" or "remains unlawfully" in or upon premises when the person is not licensed, invited, or otherwise privileged to do so. A person who, regardless of his or her intent, enters or remains in or upon premises that are at the time open to the public does so with license and privilege unless the person defies a lawful order not to enter or remain, personally communicated to him or her by the owner of the premises or some other authorized person. A license or privilege to enter or remain in a building that is only partly open to the public is not a license or privilege to enter or remain in that part of the building that is not open to the public. Except as is otherwise provided in section 33-6-116 (1), C.R.S., a person who enters or remains upon unimproved and apparently unused land that is neither fenced nor otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders does so with license and privilege unless notice against trespass is personally communicated to the person by the owner of the land or some other authorized person or unless notice forbidding entry is given by posting with signs at intervals of not more than four hundred forty yards or, if there is a readily identifiable entrance to the land, by posting with signs at such entrance to the private land or the forbidden part of the land. In the case of a designated access road not otherwise posted, said notice shall be posted at the entrance to private land and shall be substantially as follows: "ENTERING PRIVATE PROPERTYREMAIN ON ROADS". HISTORY: Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 426, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 40-4-201.L. 75: (3) amended, p. 634, § 1, effective July 1.L. 84: (3) amended, p. 922, § 9, effective January 1, 1985.L. 99: (3) amended, p. 326, § 1, effective July 1. ANNOTATION "Open to the public" defined. "Open to the public" means premises which by their physical nature, function, custom, usage, notice or lack thereof, or other circumstances at the time would cause a reasonable person to believe no permission to enter or remain is required. People v. Bozeman, 624 P.2d 916 (Colo. App. 1980).
            ________________________________
            “Handgunlaw.us highly recommends that you not enter a place that is posted "No Firearms" no matter what the state laws read/mean on signage. We recommend you print out the No Guns = No Money Cards and give one to the owner of the establishment that has the signage." As responsible gun owners and upholders of the 2nd Amendment we should also honor the rights of property owners to control their own property even if we disagree with them.”
            “No Firearm” signs in Colorado have no force of law unless they are posted on property that is specifically mentioned in State Law as being off limits to those with a Permit/License to Carry. If you are in a place not specifically mentioned in the law that is posted and they ask you to leave, you must leave. If you refuse to leave then you are breaking the law and can be charged. Even if the property is not posted and you are asked to leave you must leave. Always be aware of the possibility that responding Police Officers who may have been called without your knowledge and may not know the laws on trespass etc. could arrest you even if you are within the law.

          • Alan_T

            I appreciate what you're saying Corin but I don't think you are understanding . Let's look at what you posted as your own source under " ( 3 ) " , quote ,

            " (3) A person "enters unlawfully" or "remains unlawfully" in or upon premises when the person is not licensed, invited, or otherwise privileged to do so. A person who, regardless of his or her intent, enters or remains in or upon premises that are at the time open to the public does so with license and privilege UNLESS THE PERSON DEFIES A LAWFUL ORDER NOT TO ENTER or remain, personally COMMUNICATED TO HIM OR HER BY THE OWNER OF THE PREMISES or some other authorized person. " ( emphasis added by me ) close quote .

            The operative word here is COMMUNICATED , as i said , the owner of the establishment by posting conspicuously in plain view a sign barring firearms from the establishment HAS COMMUNICcommunication . In essence , the source that you are using corroborates exactly what I said .

          • Alan_T

            A sign posted by the owner banning firearms from his place of business is communicating to the CCW holder that he is not allowed on the premises with the possession of a firearm , the CCW holder by entering the establishment with a gun without permission is LEGALLY committing trespass , it says so right there in the source you are using . Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand since the trespass involves a firearm the charge ( if brought ) is elevated to felony trespass

          • Corin

            Alan, you're parsing your legalese incorrectly. If this is really that big a deal to you and you need official proof that you're wrong hire a Colorado attorney. You must not live in Colorado and you're speaking based on incorrect information. The DA agrees, police officers agree and POST certified shooting instructors who teach CCW classes all agree that it IS legal to bring into a business that has posted no guns signs. If the owner personally and verbally asks you to leave and you do not then you are trespassing. At that point the degree of trespass will not be aggravated by having a gun unless you draw it, in which case it'll probably be felony trespass plus felony aggravated menacing. There are links to all the relevant statues at the CBI website. If you have access to LexisNexis you can look up specific case law that support exactly what I'm saying in Colorado courts.

          • Corin

            There's a ton of postings about this right now and while I don't know the specific laws for other states the way I do for Colorado, people on other threads assert that you can ignore the signs in Indiana, Florida and Georgia for sure and probably Missouri (though in MO if you do it a second time that is illegal).

          • Alan_T

            Corin …… it's not that big of a deal to me , you believe what you want to believe since you obviously aren't willing to listen to reason .

            My primary concern is keeping Innocent people from listening to nonsense and getting themselves cross – ways with the law , which they WILL do if they listen to you .

            I've told you what the law is , I've pointed out where your own sources collaborate what I have told you ,so there is no point in me wasting any more time on you . Good luck ……

          • Corin

            Alan,
            It's not a case of listening to reason, you're making what you THINK is a logical argument but you're WRONG about the LAWS of my state. This is not "my belief" or "my interpretation" of the LAW, this is the actual real LAW of Colorado.

            You're passing yourself off as an authority about something that you're not actually an expert on, this weakens your credibility and makes you look foolish.

            My biggest concern is that misinformation like what you are spreading is the reason no one had a gun in that theater except for James Holmes. The local papers here have run stories about one man who has a CHP and took his gun back to his car when he saw their signs. The LAW says he didn't have to take his gun to his car, how different might things have been if he, and any others, who were persuaded by people like you, knew that the sign does NOT carry the weight of LAW in Colorado.

          • Webber

            @ Corin – I read what you wrote and you are stupid or mental. It says what alan_t says. I also think what you wrote sounds like phillip, I think phillip=corin!

          • Corin

            @ Webber, did you actually read what I posted or follow the link? Here's what it says:
            Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?
            “NO”

            That's not actually that hard to understand. I'd suggest you learn how to read because you look like a dip shit when you say things like that. I'm guessing that you probably don't live in Colorado, haven't talked to any lawyers or cops here and are pretty much just ignorant… The write up that I posted does not advocate that you carry onto premises that have posted "no gun" signs but it's definitely legal.

            BTW, no idea who Phillip is in real life, I'm Corin, I live in Colorado, I have a CHP, I know people who are cops and have a friend who is a local DA… You are just spouting off and clearly don't know anything about the laws in MY state.

          • Paul Az.

            So phillip… You seem to think you know alot. what is a "DD 214"? If you can answer that i got just one more question for ya let me see it? Cause you are full of BS!

  • Ryan

    Many are forgetting the most important factor in all of this. How many people have ever fired a gun when they were in fear for their life? How many people have ever been in a situation where they feared for their life? All this talk about what we would or wouldn't do goes right out the window. Most people have never fired a gun under mild stress, let alone the stress of an active shooter situation like this. There are reports of professional soldiers, who have trained for years, freeze up when the shooting stars in combat. And this situation was as much a combat situation as anything in Afghanistan or Iraq.

    When the shooting starts are you fathers going to leave your kids side to pursue a shooter? Will you husbands and boyfriends leave your lady's side? Do you have the training that will enable you to overcome your natural reaction, which is to hide and protect yourself? Most of the "here is what I would have done" people have no training to back up their ideals. While I find their ideals to be noble, I also find them to be out in dreamland because they have not factored in the most important aspects of what happens to your body when the shooting starts.

    • Gimmie

      Hundreds of thousands of people do exactly that every day.
      They are called " Military Personnel".

    • http://www.facebook.com/DoctorJenks Chris Jenkins

      You are right,. We are all helpless as sheep, and should plan to just lie down and die because there is no way to fight back effectively if you haven't had military training….

      Actually, I think that YOU are missing a very important point. People react differently to stress. Some freeze, some don't . Nobody is debating the fact that a situation like this is completely unpredictable, and that success against a shooter as well armed as the self styled "Joker" would be uncertain, at best. Yet, this is how we prepare, by thinking about these kinds of things beforehand. Try to prepare yourself so that you can react to the situation instead of staring dumbfounded at the man who is going to shoot you.

      Lets not forget that this was presumably the shooters first time in an armed engagement as well. Why do people always insist that the criminal is somehow better prepared mentally than anybody else?

      • Alan_T

        Amen Chris !

    • Mike M.

      It is all about heart not training, but if you have any training plus heart you will raise up and do what right. Some people run from fire other run to it.
      Read "On Sheeps, Wolf, and Sheepdog"
      As a CHL instructor most of my past student are able ot outshot most policemen.

      • https://www.facebook.com/right.way.5458 Right Way

        I disagree to your initial statement. We can have all the heart in the world but if we don't train sufficiently, we will not be successful in an active shooter encounter, no matter the size of our heart. I understand what your point is, and agree that "heart" plays a roll. But the reason your students are successful is because they:

        1) Are Defending family, friends and themselves.
        2) Spend a whole lot more Time, Money and Effort Training for the situations that they may face than the average police officer does.
        3) They make a conscious choice and decision NOT to become a victim.

        Every instructor I've ever had says the same thing. You will respond to the level of your training. If you do not train with your firearm, you will NOT know how to respond in a live fire situation.

    • https://www.facebook.com/right.way.5458 Right Way

      @Ryan, you are right, when faced with that situation, our bodies go into a "fight or flight" mode and many things happen. Tunnel vision, loss of hearing, rapid heart rate, ect. BUT, constant training in stressful situations will help you to react anyway. There are literally thousands of people who react to situations exactly like this daily in this country. You can and must Inoculate yourself to these effects through constant training under stress. Anyone who, like one of the gentlemen who has already replied, do this by competing in IDPA matches. These shooting contests are intentionally based on real life "active shooter" scenario's on purpose and they are very stressful. They are not actual situations obviously because no one is shooting back at you, but, they train you just the same. With very few exceptions, police and soldiers don't have people shooting at them when they train and they get the job done. Training for a CCW holder is not an option. If you carry a gun, you need to be know how to use it in a life or death situation. Most police officers shoot their service weapons a couple times a year and may never encounter an active shooter during their whole career. I shoot approximately 700-1000 a MONTH. None of us are perfect, but we will react to the level of our training. Fact.

    • S. Denning

      Ryan, Yes I will and yes I do. Not saying that it wouldn't be difficult to leave them but I do know how I would react and that it would be better for me to engage the threat and give my family the time to get out than not. I would rather take the chance of dying but saving my family than doing nothing. This whole "shield" idea that people keep throwing out there in not very smart. Rifle and pistol rounds have the uncomfortable ability to over penitrate bodies.

  • Walkerb1972

    Thousands of CCW holders like myself do competitive shooting at IDPA meets every week. I know for a fact that have more tactical training as a civilian than 99% of the police in this country. Yet, lightly trained police are expected to stand-up to active shooters. Maybe some of us will fail to act, but most of will fight if the lives of our loved ones are on the line.

  • S. Morris

    Fight back ! In each and every circumstance where you can fight back do so. I'm not saying that those who shield aren't hero's I'm saying fight back when you can. body armor doesn't make one Superman, I shoot you with even a 9mm and it's like getting hit with a hammer.playing dead might get you that way. not to mention the lives you could have saved will always haunt you. I for one will always take the ass whooping'
    good chance your going to be beat, might as well go down swinging. who knows you might save a whole room by not being a coward. and it's not bout being a hero. it's about heart. I am prepared to defend not only myself, but you and yours. Fight back people…..

    Read more: http://www.handgunsmag.com/2012/07/30/dealing-wit…

    • https://www.facebook.com/right.way.5458 Right Way

      The other thing we have to keep in mind is that just because you are shot, doesn't mean you are incapacitated and unable to fight. Not only that, but in almost EVERY case where a "victim" has become a violent aggressor, they win the fight. In a situation like this, be the aggressor. Get others to come with you. Why in the hell am i going to let someone else make ME a victim. BS, not going to happen. We train our minds to think this way by the way we train. Again, train to become a violent aggressor when attacked. DO not give up or give in. Flee if you can, avoid if you can, fight and kill the sob if you can't.

  • W.Hensley

    when I started carrying a gun for self defense I had to ask myself a lot of hard questions.
    one of those was what I would do if confronted with something like what happened in Aurora.
    My answer now is the same as then protect myself , my family and friends if that means I become a target at least I know the bad guy's attention is on me not my family or friends body armor or not unless all Im carrying is a something less than a 9mm then chances are hits and yes misses will keep his attention on me and not others. If nothing else it will give the police a chance to respond to the situation
    What bothers me the most about things like this is that as soon as it happens we get a bunch of idiots who should know by now more laws is not the answer. They don't care why you own a gun they want to take them away from everyone if they could even the military would be without weapons . Gun laws we have them do they work sometimes but you notice there are few laws about knives bows and other ways of killing someone. I suppose if more people carried and used rocks to kill with there would a ton of laws against that. Do I think a law abiding ccw person might have made a difference in a situation like this yes I do.

  • glenn

    I think that it' s worth taking the chance that armed resistance will stop the shooter. He may or may not be trained, dedicated, and capable. In this case – the shooter surrendered to police. Definitely not a trained terrorist. A round to his body armor may have at least put him on the ground and caused him some pain. More time for the victims to get out.

  • https://www.facebook.com/right.way.5458 Right Way

    Restrictive gun laws have NEVER, EVER, ANYWHERE reduced violent crime. Period. They ALWAYS INCREASE violent crime, Period.

    • Alan_T

      You're right …….. guess that's why your handle is Right Way !

  • jhslaw

    No one can honestly predict what he would have done if he were there. However, I do know that I would rather had a gun than not if I had been in that situation. I would have had a choice, and if the opportunity presented itself as the killer walked by, I could have shot him, even in the leg while hiding among the seats as he walked the aisles.

    Who knows, he might have been stunned or knocked down long enough by 1 or 2 shots in the chest, even with body armor, for others to pile on him and hold him or worse.

    • Alan_T

      Amen jhslaw !

  • Alan_T

    The only thing that I might take exception to with the video / training is …… I WOULDN'T holster my pistol before checking and knowing for certain the the shooter is incapacitated ( dead ) and disarmed .

    • Wally

      Great point Alan!

    • Tony Martin

      You didn't watch the video closely enough. Both guys in the video checked the shooter before they holstered. Everything in this video is good information, especially if you pay attention and absorb all of it. Don't forget to get involved in an organization like the IDPA and practice these principles at a match. Watching a video is one thing. Going somewhere and making it as real as possible in a controlled environment gives hands on experience, the best kind of preparation.

      • Alan_T

        Tony , I went back and re – watched the video 5 more times all the way through just in case I missed something and I didn't .

        On John's SECOND run through on the open air range he says , quote " … and I check my bad guy here " close quote , which can mean anything since at neither time does he actually walk foreword to where the shooter would supposedly be , he just stands there .

        George , once he runs his drill in the live shoot house , at the end he says , quote " I've engaged the shooter and he is down " close quote . He says absolutely nothing about checking the condition of the shooter nor does he move foreword to physically check the imaginary shooter .

        Tony , I didn't say that everything in this video wasn't good information , so please don't put words into my mouth .

        Further more I respectfully submit that since YOU are seeing and hearing things that just aren't there , that YOU should be the one trying to " pay attention and absorb all of it " instead of trying to self – aggrandize yourself at my expense and resulting in you looking foolish .

        • Corin

          BTW Alan, no offense taken on the other thread. I do agree that holstering prematurely could get you killed and just "checking" and calling it clear is a bad idea. It's always much safer to seek cover and find a place to wait where you cannot be attacked by the friend(s) of the person you have shot. There could be a getaway driver or other accomplice that you're not aware of. Certainly holster-up as soon as police officers show up to avoid being shot yourself in the confusion.

  • guest-3

    I see but all the post that a lot of the people posting have never been in a life fire fight or mugged at gun point on the street. But the bottom line is no firearms were allowed in the theater. One poster stated that an 40 caliber would have knocked the shooter down. A 44 mag with Buffilo Bore hunting ammo would generate 3 times the energy of a 40 ACP. Would that have put him into the wall? True you would have gotten only one round off but with training one shot is all you need.

  • JMB

    Your correct the theater was a gunfree zone. I would imagine walking through a dark theater blasting away he was probably in some zone, his adrenalin was such that he wouldn't feel much. Here's a quote
    Added on July 22nd: "He allegedly wore a helmet, a throat guard, a ballistic vest, ballistic leggings and gloves and was dressed in black." (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/explosives-removed-from-james-...) I suppose it's all allegedly until after he's tried.
    I was a victim of armed robbery at a retail store several years ago. While the bg had the gun on us I felt like a bowl of Jello. If it happens again I hope that feeling was a one time deal.

  • bmf

    If you're sitting in row 10 and this happens what do you do with people running all over the place or diving under their seats. You don't know what the situation will actually be.
    You will not just sit in your seat or stand at your seat and engage.
    You will be MOVING. You will move toward the bad guy. Shoot. Move in whatever direction you can. If you have to step on people laying on the floor you do that while you're shooting. Move across rows. Don't stand still.
    One hit to his chest and he'll go down. Ask anyone who's worn a vest and been hit by a 9mm. They go down. .
    Two to the body and one to the head is great at the range and IDPA. In the real deal you will just start shooting-in the dark under extreme stress. Have you ever shot in the dark? How good are you at instinctive shooting and point shooting?
    Get trained at shooting while moving and while the targets are moving and both.
    IDPA can simulate mild stress. How nervous were you the first time you shot a stage with 10 guys looking on?
    And, what do you carry? A 380 with 6+1 or a Glock 19 or 26 or 1911? Do you carry an extra mag? Can you change a mag at slidelock-in the dark, with your weak hand?
    Get training and you'll know "better" what to do in many many situations.
    Train as you Fight and Fight as you Train.

    • JMB

      He may go down and get back up. One can zone out pain. Ask Ronny Lott, he cut his finger off. That red headed psycho still a bastard no matter what his defense is.

  • korry

    shots on body armor hurt,it will not likely have kill him, but it would have maybe had him think about what he was doing. long enough to take him out

  • Kurrian

    All I can conclude for certain is that Aurora illustrates what happens when there is one bad guy with a gun and a bunch of good guys without guns. Maintaining that ratio is a bad idea. Having a gun provides options other than relying on the tender mercies of evil.

    • Alan_T

      Amen Kurrian

    • Paul Az.

      I second that

  • JMB

    The brave patrons were covering their loved ones. Unless your in their shoes cowardice is understandable,

  • FactsDoNotLie

    The one thing I believe everyone has not mentioned is that two active members and one inactive member of the armed services were among the victims. These were individuals that were trained with weapons, yet were unable to save themselves or anyone else due to the "gun free zone" sign. Had they been allowed to carry weapons this entire incident may have had a very different outcome. I say may have because no one can know for sure. I for one though would have preferred the scenario with the public being armed and not being lambs for the slaughter.

  • ProLife

    If you're going into a "gun free" business and you think there is a chance you might need to defend yourself or family. Go somewhere else. Or go in concealed anyway Cus at the end it is your life on the line.

  • Nutnyahoo

    Prepared or not…this was a "guns free zone" and the only thing to consider is ..do you want to be prepared and face twelve jurors or be prepared to be carried away by six friends. I carry regardless and am prepared to defend myself at all cost. How about you?

  • Nutnyahoo

    We hope to never be faced with this situation do we?

  • Mark

    Isn't it agaist the law……even with a CC permit to carry a gun in a theatre or stadium?

  • Rasko

    Actually if attacked, to throw yourself on the back (ground) facing attacker is not that bad idea in some cases , it gives you time enough to draw your weapon and shoot and doesnt give attacker time to hit you with his fists and etc.

  • James Gardner

    If I know a shooter is in the area how do I know when to search and detain/incapacitate or to flee? I would assume that I should flee if I can safely do so, right?

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