Ever since the mass murder in the Colorado
theater last week, I have been getting email asking for my
opinion on the matter. Many comments were along the lines of “If
someone only had a gun………….” .
In many situations, that would have made a
big difference, but in this case, I am not so sure. The evil
punk who committed this heinous crime will not be named here. He
stated that he did this to be famous, and he will get no help
Those who would like to see us lose our
Constitutional rights are already screaming for stricter gun
regulation. In their silly little world, they think that someone
intent upon mass murder would be deterred by the threat of a
weapons violation on his record. They will use this recent evil
to help to perpetuate their own agenda. The theater was a “gun
free zone”, so no one could legally be armed while inside.
Colorado has a concealed carry permit system, but as in most
states, the theater owner had the right to post notices banning
legal concealed carry on his property. I do not advise anyone to
break the law, but there is no need to let other people know
that you are carrying. Some amateurs like for the world to know
that they are going heeled, which is both foolish and childish.
No one should know that you are packing until the weapon is put
into use. However, if there had been a citizen carrying his
weapon in violation of those “no weapons” postings, I am
still not sure that it would have made a difference, and here is
why: most shooters could not have effectively made the shot
needed to put down the assailant.
The criminal in this case was wearing full
body armor. It is reported that he had armor over almost his
entire torso, legs, and neck, in addition to a Kevlar helmet.
The news reported that he was veering a “bullet proof vest”,
but there is no such thing, as no body armor is "bullet
proof”. It all depends upon the bullet. However, against the
types of handguns that most of us carry for protection, he was
as bullet proof as one can get. A shot to the body, legs, or
neck from a typical concealable handgun would have been
ineffective against the punk.
With the majority of the attacker protected,
the only shot left that would be effective in shutting him down
would have been a shot to the brain through the eye and nose
area of the face. We discussed
and trained for this situation a couple of months ago at
Tactical Response in Camden, Tennessee. The instructor
displayed a mannequin head, showing the area which must be hit
to be effective in shutting down the brain. This is a target
which is only about two inches high and four inches wide. Most
of us can make such a shot easily while shooting at a stationary
paper target on a well-lighted range. However, making that same
shot, under fire and in the dark, I don’t think so.
Every time I write a review or post a video promoting
the use of a good laser sight on a fighting handgun, I
receive a lot of feedback from those who state that
point-shooting is just as good, and that the laser is just a
crutch or a gimmick. That is both short-sighted and foolish. I
associate with some of the best shooters on Earth, and I know of
none who could with certainty make the shot needed to put down
an assailant under those same condition just by point-shooting.
Still I get the comments from those who are fooling themselves
into thinking that they could make that shot without the use of
night sights or a laser. In a fight, I want every advantage that
I can get, and in a situation in which the target is small and
in poor light, I want both night sights and a Crimson Trace
In such a situation as in that dark theater,
the target that must be hit to effectively handle the crisis at
hand is so small that a precise shot is mandatory to do the job.
In such a situation, the chances of survival are slim already.
It is not a fair fight. The opponent has had time to plan,
prepare, and execute the crime. Any action to counter his deed
will only be a reaction, and it must be both swift and precise
to stop the violence. Keep in mind that the police are not going
to help. Even if they could arrive within seconds, they are not
going in as long as shots are being fired. It is up to you to
protect you, and if you cannot make the shot, you are a victim.
Having a gun is not enough. You need to know
how to effectively use that weapon, under stress and in the
dark. If your training consists of punching paper at the local
range, that is not enough. You should practice in the dark, and
shooting from awkward positions, such as on your back and
shooting from around cover and concealment.. Most times in a
fight, you will not be standing squarely facing a stationary
opponent. Statistics show that your fight will likely take place
in very poor lighting. It will happen quickly and without
warning. Like in the situation of the theater shooter, you might
have a miniscule target, as a shot to the body would be
ineffective. It is a shame that such evil exists in this world
to the extent that someone would shoot people just for sport,
but that is the world in which we live. The shooter in Colorado
was able to murder a dozen people and wound many others, because
no one was there with the will and the means to stop him. A
reasonable person does not go around looking for a fight, but
sometimes the fight comes to us. If you find yourself in such a
situation, you might only get one chance to put that bullet
precisely where it needs to go. Can you make the shot?