But For a Bit of Space and Time…
As I indicated, I am both sickened and angered by this event, but dismayed as well. Colorado is a Concealed Carry state! Why was this guy allowed to continue his rampage until he himself terminated it? Or ran out of ammunition? Nope. He had plenty. Did he run out of targets? Not at all. Were any of those who were killed outright holders of concealed carry permits? Not that I have heard. Were there any concealed carry permit holders even present, and if so, were they carrying at the time? The answer to those questions at least would appear to be a big NO.
It seems that the shooter had the foresight to imagine that there might have been someone in the audience who was armed. He was able to perform his actions entirely at his leisure, but he prepared himself with ballistic clothing, as if anticipating the possibility of return fire. Better to be prepared and not need it, of course, but if there had been any in the theater that night who possessed concealed carry permits, they clearly under-prepared, because nobody took any steps to oppose this madman.
Colorado: a Concealed Carry State
A friend of mine suggested that the lack of anyone capable of returning fire was likely due to the young age of most of the movie-goers (concealed carry permits are usually age-restricted to over-21). I must concede this possibility. But why couldn’t there have been at least one? Someone to distract the shooter with the need to defend himself, rather than allowing him free reign? Alas, no.
Futile and Pathetic Measures Predicted
Here is what will likely happen now. Irrespective of the fact that forbidding the carrying of arms into the theater would not have stopped this senseless event, the movie theater chain, Century 16, will now post signs prominently at entrances, stating uselessly and pathetically, “No firearms allowed!” All this would accomplish, of course, would be to prevent rule-abiding people from bringing firearms into the theater. Mr. Holmes wouldn’t have even seen the signs, had they already been posted, because he came in through the exit. And if he had come in through the entrance, does anyone really expect that he would have stopped short and turned around because of a silly rule? When he planned to break the most sacred of laws? That’s why posting such signs would be pathetic. Just watch, though. I bet they have already posted them!
Effectual Means of Protection
Regardless of ballistic protection, if someone had been returning fire and hitting this guy in his ballistic vest, he would have been forced to remove his attention from his fleeing victims and first find, and then engage, someone returning fire. And while some have pointed out that a movie theater is normally darkened, in order to allow viewers to see the movie, the screen itself would provide enough light to engage a single target. And with only a single target, and collateral targets (the victims) fleeing as quickly as possible, a defender would have pretty much a clear shot. How quick to draw and shoot? Check this out: