Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What If Colorado Theater Patrons Were Armed? It would have been worse. It could have been much worse.

There's been a chorus of claims from idiots like Louie Ghomert and various NRA types that if only there had been someone packing in the theater, many lives could have been saved. This is such an intensely stupid claim that it's hard to believe it requires refutation. However, never underestimate the stupidity of the denizens of Lower Wingnuttia.

First off, we'll start with the obvious...

* Pitch black theatre with the only light coming in flashes from the screen (strobe effect)
*Loud noises, including gunshots, from screen, loud gunshots in theater
*Clouds of tear gas
*Hundreds of screaming people literally falling all over each other in a total panic

Plus this guy...

...who, in addition to wearing head to toe bullet stopping tac gear, is packing a 12 gauge shotgun, an AR-15 assault rifle with a 100 round clip and a Glock .40, methodically pumping out 4 rounds per second or so.

Under these conditions even an expert pistol marksman is highly unlikely to get of a hit in the tiny area of vulnerability in the shooter's tac gear. Not to mention, odds are you could put 12 rounds center mass into this guy with a compact 9, the most common handgun used for concealed carry, and not leave anything more than a bruise.

But it gets worse...

Imagine if there had been multiple people packing. Now you have a bunch of people firing from a bunch of different places. Crossfire vectors everywhere. Two more theaters at full capacity are on either side, separated only by paper thin walls.

What you have now is a recipe for total disaster. But it gets worse....

Imagine you're a cop who happens to be in a position to respond almost instantly. You walk in to this darkened theater completely blind; It'll take 90 seconds or so for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Shots are coming from every direction from a number of shooters. Who do you shoot?

From any of these scenarios the probability of a better outcome is virtually nil while the odds of an even worse outcome are astronomical.

If you have any remaining doubts about what happens when a guy with a handgun tries to take on a guy with an AR-15 in full tac gear, take a look at the following videos, courtesy of weapons testing company BrassFetcher...

Here's a super high speed video that shows the damage from a 9mm high velocity round using ballistic gelatin that mimics human flesh. This type of round is the most common for concealed carry and is easily stopped by the type of gear the shooter was wearing.

Here's a high speed video of a Remington .223, the round used in the Colorado shooting, into ballistic gelatin. Notice the massive trauma caused by the "spall" effect as the bullet tumbles into the gel.

Now, ask yourself, what kind of idiot would take on a guy with a .223 AR-15 and a 100 round clip with his compact 9 and 12 shots at most? I'll tell you what kind of idiot. A dead idiot.

Caveat: I am a gun owner. In fact, in addition to a 9mm and a .40 cal, I have high power weaponry that's actually superior to what the Colorado shooter had. But I didn't have to trade in my brains to get my guns. Like the vast majority of gun owners, I support common sense regulation of firearms.


  1. Yup. I'm a life member of the NRA and think they're nuts. The leadership of the NRA is dramatically out of step with the membership. It's become a Glenn Beck-type cult. There is no reasoning with these people and it is futile to try. Our primary mission must be to electorally eliminate these bottom-feeders for good--and soon.

    1. So why are you still a member?

  2. As an ex-cop from a very violent CA city, thanks.

    This is an excellent summation.

    It's factual and rational, so it likely won't take with most of the rabid NRATea people, but wonderful work nonetheless.

  3. Thank YOU! Each and every time this recurs, we're stuck something less than paranoid with the question of who benefits? Obviously: gun, ammo and accessory vendors, NRA and various sociopaths who've made a career from fear, hate, racism and so on, to market race (now class and religious) war to cowed, inebriate hysterical churls. Now and then, a cluster of police or other first responders die; or co-workers, school kids, dieting ladies, church congregation... whatever. Most of the time, we never hear of the 2-3 family members, racially-mixed, presumed gay or simply very unlucky folks walking down the street from the convenience store. It strikes me how few people noticed the racially-mixed audience (for the stereotypically white shooter) and how the NRA's own Race WAR comic book, is almost laughable in it's crude attempt to get scared desperate white trash folks to fetch-up their SHTF/BOB, a-fixin' t'commence popping-away at anybody darker that Megyn Kelly according to God's plan? http://wonkette.com/223889/nras-secret-graphic-novel-revealed Kinda reminiscent, less of Weimar Germany, than of the cattlemen associations and the Gilded Age company thugs? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Railroad_Strike_of_1877#The_Strike

  4. As an ex cop, and an Ex Military Police Investigator, thank you! We rational gun owners/operators have to stand up en masse against the legions of wannabe Rambos and Red Dawn lunatics who have far too many Hollywood fantasies about guns.

    As I said elsewhere, if you're burning up thousands of rounds every time you got to the range, you're not training, you're masturbating. Add to that the disturbing trend of fancy custom paint jobs and we have ample proof that people don't treat guns with the seriousness they deserve. They're just very expensive toys nowadays. Remember the little kid who managed to blow his brains out with a full auto Uzi not that long ago at a gun show?

    I'm sick to death of these posers claiming that one person, with their cheap ass KelTec or their high priced Kimber would ahve been able to stop this guy, despite not having trained extensively with their weapon since they got their carry permit.

    Here's what I would do if I had the connections and funds.

    Rent out a movie theater for a day. Load it up with volunteers wearing eye and chest protection, and seed the crowd with 6 or 8 shooters (Not trained marksmen) armed with training pistols loaded with Simunition rounds. Add one cop, armed and armored like the Aurora shooter. The recreate the shooting, complete with darkness, flashing lights, and real tear gas. (don't tell the volunteers about the gas, btw, to keep their reactions real) Then let the scenario play out. Let the shooters react normally, and then do an after action repost and see how many of the defenders rounds would have inflicted an incapacitating or lethal wound on the shooter. Video the entire thing and put this Rambo nonsense to bed once and for all.

    1. Addendum: These pictures show clearly what I mean about people losing their respect for guns and are playing with them.




    2. I think a recreation with simunition is a great idea. I'd love to see that video. I'd also like to thank all of the current/ex LEO/military guys for the support. Thanks, guys. I'm just trying to inject a little reality into the conversation.

  5. In addition to the shooter wearing armor don't forget theaters are dark. Anyone who did night firing in the military knows how much more difficult firing in the dark is. The people who claim armed civilians at a mass shooting could have stopped the shooter assume an ideal situation.

    It is one thing to shoot at a fixed target at a firing range. As any of us who were in the military know nothing is ever ideal in the real world. Paper targets do not shoot back. A mass murders in a theater will not stand there while you take your shot.

  6. Your post is pure conjecture. Although you bring up good points about the confusion that would occur in a dark theater while there was a shooter spraying bullets, to assume that the violence could not have been stopped under any circumstances strains credibility.
    Yes, he was wearing tactical gear. A movie goer packing, let's say a Springfield XD .45 caliber semi auto pistol may not have killed James Holmes even with a center mass shot, protected as he was with kevlar. But the impact of the shot against his chest could have given him enough incentive to stop shooting and flee the theater knowing that there was someone shooting back. That is also conjecture, but I'm assuming that Holmes had no real world combat experience, in case you're thinking of responding that he would have simply stood his ground, absorbed the bullet's impact and shot his counter attacker.
    Plus, I have a problem with the continuing narrative from the press that Holmes had an AR-15 that "could" hold 100 rounds of .223 caliber bullets. I have included a link to the picture of the the carbine that Holmes left behind at the theater's rear exit door.
    The magazine that is still locked into the rifle's receiver holds 30 rounds, not 100. The ONLY kind of magazine that can hold 100 rounds and fit the AR-15's receiver is a round barrel type magazine similar to the barrel magazines that were available for the Thompson .45 caliber machine gun. Anyone who has seen an old Prohibition era gangster movie knows what I'm talking about. These barrel magazines are available for the AR-15, but I have not seen a picture of the "100 round" magazine that Holmes apparently had that night. It's possible that Holmes started his attack with a 100 round barrel magazine and then discarded it in the theater, when it clicked empty, replacing the spent magazine with the 30 round magazine that is pictured. Again, conjecture. But at this point, I will assume that the press and/or police are lying about the phantom 100 round magazine.
    Also, the fact that Markos Moulitsas linked to your blog, and your obvious visceral hatred of conservatives leads me to believe that you're probably a regular poster to the Daily Kos, and are partners in propaganda.
    Again, who cares? But I don't believe for one minute that you own any guns. And this blog probably belongs to Moulitsas who is writing under a pseudonym.
    I wouldn't be surprised if you wrote your own responses.
    But thanks for letting me share.
    Have a nice day, ladies.

    1. I love how, even after a well reasoned explaining of what most of us with military training already knew, someone has to respond with a nonsensical rant that includes several logical fallacies, including my favorite, the ad hominum attack. I don't care if the post was linked by Kos or by Glenn Beck, the analysis is spot on.

      Fat Elvis is a troll and I've seen him on other posts spewing the same tea party crap.

    2. In response to fat boi...

      Er, no, the post was not linked from KOS, nor do I have any relationship with KOS. And yes, I do have a SR9c, a Sig .40, a Mossberg 590 and a M-4 (modified to be legal). But hey, since when has reality mattered to wingnut loonytoonian NRA gun nut Rambo Walter Mitty loons like you?

      50 frog pelts sez this jeenyuss actually believes he could have stopped the shooter. Any takers?

    3. Okay, I take it back, Elvis. Markos did tweet about this story and it is generating lots of hits. Thanks, @markos !

      I hope you guys take a look around while you're here. I don't post very often, but you may still find things here relevant and, hopefully, entertaining, too.

      Welcome to Reality. Enjoy your visit. Slow thinkers keep right...

  7. Ah, that damned 1st Amendment. I suppose the left will go after that next.

    1. Wow, great point, Elvis! 'Cause everyone knows there's no REGULATION of our right to free speech, right, Dip Thunker?

      Well, except for libel and slander, incitation, fighting words, copyright and about eleventy-eleven other REGULATIONS specifically prohibiting specific types of SPEECH...

      Mere ignorance isn't enough. One has to be a truly gifted imbecile to make the "ma raghts" argument, as EVERY right delineated in the Constitution and BoR is SUBJECT TO REGULATION.

      Every... Single... One.

      Now, Elvis, yooz a reel jeenyus, aincha? Yesiree, dat dere shore izza sun brillyent strategery ya gots.

      The scary part is even someone THIS intensely stupid can buy a gun.

    2. Hey, I understand your irrational anger. Liberals don't like to be questioned or criticized. You're childish pussies in this regard. Also, you're beginning to come to the realization that Barack Obama is going to get his butt kicked in November. He will be defeated by Mitt Romney. The Republicans and the Tea Party will retain control of the House, and they will also take control of the Senate. Democrats and liberals like yourself are losers. You manage to bullshit the American people every few years and elect a loser like Obama, but people come to their senses and set things Right.
      So do another bong hit and relax.
      And don't forget to Vote Romney in 2012. I know Bill Clinton will.
      Doubt we'll communicate again.
      I have standards.

    3. Notice how cleverly and concisely Elvis answers every point, and with such impeccable logic and keen wit!

      Oh, and those devastating flight of lyrical ad hominem prose! What style! Such panache!

      Yes, we're witnessing the work of a true master here. What we have here is the new poster boy for the Dunning-Kruger Effect: In short, some people are so stupid they're too stupid to know they're too stupid. You can Wiki or Google it. Well, not you, Elvis, but those with thumbs...

      But do come back, Elvis, should you suddenly be seized by the unfamiliar desire to actually address actual facts in any way with anything other than boob.babble. You'll be providing the rest of us with a valuable service: Early warning of the impending apocalypse.

  8. BTW, as it's only fair to share the fun, you can find Elvis', er, insightful thoughts on his blog at...



  9. The video is impressive but the charts tell the story.

    The 9mm round delivers it's maximum of 145 ft. lbs of kinetic energy at the depth of 1.8"

    The .223 round delivers 430 ft. lbs. at a depth of 4.1"

    That's almost 2.5 times more energy delivered with almost 2.5 times the penetration.

    A guy with 9 would just get the shooter's attention. Uh-oh...

  10. Oh wonderful, now I have a troll. Thanks for popping by.
    You are such an angry guy, John, what with all the name calling and assumptions that I'm a toothless bumpkin from the south. Your responses are typical of an intolerant bigot. By the way, did you know the Ku Klux Klan was founded by southern democrats?
    As for your DMCA lawyers crawling up my ass--bring it on. I'm sure they'll get a good laugh from your childish tantrum. I make no money from my blog. Check out Perez Hilton when you get a chance. Think he takes all those pictures himself? Think he spends all day on the phone getting permission from the people and publications who actually took the pictures? And Hilton has ads all over his site. And he's never been sued.
    You're a child--an angry petulant juvenile who feels nothing but hatred. I posted a very reasonable response to your take on the Aurora theater shooting and you went ballistic.
    You should turn in your guns(if you really do own any) before you completely lose it and shoot up a school yard.

    July 31, 2012 10:41 AM

  11. Jaybus, Elvis, I'm amazed you managed to plug a computer into the A/C outlet, much less manipulate the keys. Must be tough without thumbs.

    Where, moran, does your desiccated rat turd of a brain imagine it sees anything at all about MY attorneys? Can you not effing READ, moran? Well, maybe you can find some helpful 10 yo to read this, from my previous comment, for you and explain it to you using only very short words you might have some slight chance of actually comprehending...

    "Huge newspaper/major media conglomerate with hundreds of lawyers who work on nothing but intellectual property don't care about copyrights. As far as you know..."

    Now, moran, are you so bleeping damn stupid you think I'm some huge newspaper/media conglomerate with hundreds of lawyers? ? Put on yer thunkin' cap, Dip Thunker and thunk rilly, rilly hard. I know, but it'll only hurt for a minute...

    Do you, um, think that maybe, just maybe the conglomerate might be, oh, say McClatchy and/or MediaNews Group Corp, from whom you stole the image and to whom it's clearly credited, which shreds any fig leaf of an excuse you might try? HELLO? Earth to imbecile, come in imbecile...

    I could give a skinny rat's ass about some nobody from the back ass of nowhere pimple on the ass of the Internet like you. McCaltchy and NMG, however, tend to take a somewhat different view of such matters.

    That, you see, jeenyuss, is why I got PERMISSION. You, OTOH...

    BTW, you stupid fothermucker, OF COURSE Perez Hilton gets permission! They BUY those picture, you incredible dullard! Google "paparazzi" and give your fat, stupid ass 40 whacks with a clue-by-four. Jaybus Feaking Crisco...

    "If it was anybody else, I'd say what's going to happen to you would be a lesson to you. Only you're going to need more than one lesson. And you're going to get more than one lesson."

    Enjoy, moran...

  12. Your whole thought exercise is based on several false assumptions:

    1) He was wearing nylon, not Kevlar. He was wearing a glorified fishing vest, not a ballistic vest. Later reports correct this mistake.

    2) He got off about 10 shots from his AR when it jammed. He spent several seconds trying to unjam it including switching from his drum to a 30 round mag. He didn't know how to clear a stoppage in an AR. Switching the magazine did nothing and he then abandoned the rifle and switched to his shotgun and pistol. These two weapons produced the bulk of casualties.

    3) He likely spent at least ten seconds switching magazines as he was untrained and wearing a gas mask, not tom mention countless other seconds trying to unfuck the stoppage unsucessfully.

    4) Admittitedly, I am not the average shooter, I could hve drawn my sidearm and accurately emptied the entire 15 round mag in 10 seconds but even an average shooter could have exploted a window of opportunity that gigantic.


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