The Colorado shootings and the myth of concealed carry

Expect the right to now get into a lather about the theater chain prohibiting patrons from bringing concealed weapons into a movie theatre. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) has already made a bid for the most tasteless response.

“People say … where was God in all of this?” Gohmert said. “We’ve threatened high school graduation participations, if they use God’s name, they’re going to be jailed … I mean that kind of stuff. Where was God? What have we done with God? We don’t want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present.”

Gohmert also said the tragedy could have been lessened if someone else in the movie theater had been carrying a gun and took down the lone shooter. Istook noted that Colorado laws allow people to carry concealed guns.

But what could anyone have done?

Consider this report of the shooting:

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said the gunman wore a gas mask, a ballistic helmet and vest, and leg, groin and throat protectors. He said he had an AR-15 military-style, semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun and two pistols.

The attacker had the element of surprise, was heavily armed and wore a ballistic vest. It was dark and he threw smoke grenades at the start of the spree. Is it really likely that an armed member of the audience might have stopped him, in the dark and under cover of smoke grenades?  Really?

The attacker is always going to have the element of surprise in these situations. And the notin of 300 movie patrons all opening fire at once sends chills.

Claiming that even more guns is a solution to this problem is clutching at straws.

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