This is something that I just now stumbled on, many months after the fact. But it’s still highly relevant, particularly to my recent post about guns. If you didn’t read it (it’s long, I know) my point was in countering the preposterous NRA claim that having more guns would deter violence.
Anyway, this is a post from a friend of mine relating to the mass shooting in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater in the summer of last year. He is a gun owner, a Marine veteran and a police officer. He addresses a slightly different angle than I do, namely how more guns would (or would not) have helped. I encourage you to read the whole thing, but I’ll post a couple snippets below.
If an officer, or two, had been in the theater when this happened they would have been in no better situation then those there to watch the movie. Someone told me that they would have guns and could have shot back. Really? Once the tear gas and shots rang out PANIC also began. As a police officer, I can tell you that just because I have a gun does not mean I am super man. Hundreds of people began to run, jump, drop to the floor. Even the best trained officer would find this situation a nightmare to find out who is doing the shooting and then to even try to take a shot without hitting one of the hundreds of people running.
The other what if … is one concerning a law abiding citizen carrying concealed in the theater…. Again you still have mass panic, disorientation, darkness, lack of formal training and the big one in my mind how do you shoot at a single person without hitting the hundreds that are trying to flee. My biggest issue with this is what would keep the fleeing people from thinking you were just another gunman in the dark trying to do the same thing the suspect was doing, kill people.
Indeed! If some good Samaritan had been carrying in the theater, he or she may well have been shot (as was such a would-be helper in one of the examples in my Guns post) or have accidentally hit bystanders, as trained police officers did in NYC last year outside the Empire State Building(also an example in my post). And if you do have good & bad guys packing heat, how do you tell them apart in a hyper tense, deadly (not to mention dark) situation?
I’m sharing this because I think it’s an interesting perspective from someone knowledgeable on guns, security and policing. Check it out.