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Sat Jul 28, 2012, 10:45 PM

The one thing that would have foiled the Aurora Massacre

My four newspapers are starting to carry letters with one theme: guns in the hands of the audience at the Aurora theatre would have made the massacre less deadly...because, you know, taking out a shooter in the dark when tear gas is in the air is so easy-peasy they don't even teach it at Infantry School. (Actually, it's something they teach Green Berets and Navy SEALs, but that's beside the point.)

Many years ago, when it cost a quarter to get into the movies, every theatre had ushers on staff. Their main job was to make sure no one blocked the fire doors open to let people in. As we all remember, James Holmes had his weapons outside the theatre. He blocked open the fire door, went outside, donned his equipment, went back in through the fire door and shot the place to shit.

If there were ushers on duty at the Aurora theatre, James Holmes would have gone out through a fire door, an usher would have closed it behind him, and the story in the paper the next morning would have been about the awesomeness of the new Batman movie.

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Arrow 53 replies Author Time Post
Reply The one thing that would have foiled the Aurora Massacre (Original post)
jmowreader Jul 2012 OP
LAGC Jul 2012 #1
SoutherDem Jul 2012 #3
Logical Jul 2012 #2
Initech Jul 2012 #8
onehandle Jul 2012 #4
Control-Z Jul 2012 #7
RedCappedBandit Jul 2012 #5
coalition_unwilling Jul 2012 #19
jmowreader Jul 2012 #37
gopiscrap Jul 2012 #6
Logical Jul 2012 #12
gopiscrap Jul 2012 #22
Logical Jul 2012 #49
spin Jul 2012 #33
Rincewind Jul 2012 #35
kestrel91316 Jul 2012 #51
rocktivity Jul 2012 #9
LAGC Jul 2012 #11
rocktivity Jul 2012 #23
Lizzie Poppet Jul 2012 #43
Historic NY Jul 2012 #10
Orrex Jul 2012 #13
Aviation Pro Jul 2012 #17
Orrex Jul 2012 #24
Aviation Pro Jul 2012 #26
NickB79 Jul 2012 #18
Orrex Jul 2012 #21
coalition_unwilling Jul 2012 #20
Orrex Jul 2012 #25
lunatica Jul 2012 #44
catchnrelease Jul 2012 #32
NYC_SKP Jul 2012 #14
Chipper Chat Jul 2012 #27
smirkymonkey Jul 2012 #39
Chipper Chat Jul 2012 #53
treestar Jul 2012 #15
LAGC Jul 2012 #16
Politicalboi Jul 2012 #30
DallasNE Jul 2012 #31
MindPilot Jul 2012 #47
treestar Jul 2012 #52
Politicalboi Jul 2012 #28
DallasNE Jul 2012 #29
moondust Jul 2012 #34
jmowreader Jul 2012 #38
spin Jul 2012 #36
Why Syzygy Jul 2012 #40
Orrex Jul 2012 #42
TriplD Jul 2012 #41
sofa king Jul 2012 #45
slackmaster Jul 2012 #46
MindPilot Jul 2012 #48
ThomThom Jul 2012 #50

Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 10:50 PM

1. What would have stopped him from just waiting until the movie was over and people poured out?

Or just shot them all while they stood in line to buy tickets?

I don't think posting an unarmed guard at the door would have changed the outcome much.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 11:00 PM

3. Don't tell the hundreds of businesses who hire unarmed security.

Yes, the shooter could have done it other ways or chose another place to do it.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 10:59 PM

2. No way he would have went home. Just come in the front door and kill different people. n-t

 

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Response to Logical (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 11:07 PM

8. Yup - like they said in the show Burn Notice - no matter what the situation - a guy with a gun is a guy with a gun.

If Holmes had a will and a motive - he would've gone through with it nine times out of ten.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 11:02 PM

4. Anyone with a gun is automatically Dirty Harry.

At least in their jack-off fantasies.

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Response to onehandle (Reply #4)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 11:07 PM

7. +10000 n/t

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 11:05 PM

5. He would have just walked in the front door.

I shudder to think about what would have happened if many in the crowd were armed. Probably a lot more dead, injured.

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Response to RedCappedBandit (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:50 AM

19. Watch the firefight scene in "Platoon" for a good idea of what such a

 

situation might have turned into, i.e., an all-around Grade-A clusterfuck. Instead of 12 dead, think 25-50. Espeically if three or more were there with semi-auto weapons and full magazines.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #19)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 03:46 AM

37. Is there a Grade-AA clusterfuck?

I figure if anyone WAS armed there, legislatures around the country would be discussing getting rid of concealed carry.

Concealed carry started because of the Luby's massacre--Luby's is a chain of cafeterias in Texas, and a madman walked into the one in Killeen and shot up the place...so our friends in the Texas Lege decided that if someone else was packing they would have just put a hole in the madman's head, and made it legal for them to do so.

Concealed carry would end if anyone ever tried to cap one of these assholes and innocent bystanders were capped instead. Which would have happened in Aurora: James Holmes would have fired in the direction of the gunfire and wouldn't have cared who else he hit.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 11:05 PM

6. How about a ban on all guns?

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:17 AM

12. LOL, sure. That sounds easy. n-t

 

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Response to Logical (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:53 AM

22. Of course it won't be easy, but it will never happen

if we don't push for it and make a committment to it!

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #22)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 11:56 AM

49. I would be against you on this one. n-t

 

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 02:01 AM

33. Politically impossible at this time ...

Reality is a bitch.

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 02:31 AM

35. Great idea!

If all guns are banned, I'm sure all the criminals will line up around the block to turn theirs in.

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 01:25 PM

51. I'm not a gun owner, and I believe we have the right and duty to regulate

 

gun ownership to some degree, but I'll be the first to tell you THAT would be blatantly unconstitutional, and even I wouldn't support it.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 11:08 PM

9. Only if EVERYONE had a automatic weapon and fired simutaneoulsy

since he was wearing full body armor.

A camera over the exit door would have worked, too. Hooked up to a computer monitor, someone could have been dispatched to check it out.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002991134


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #9)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 11:48 PM

11. So how does one go about "checking out" that type of situation?

What's an unarmed guard supposed to do? Ask him to kindly stop?

All you would have had is one more dead victim.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:53 AM

23. He wasn't armed when he propped open the door

which he did in order to get his car which contained this weapons and armor, drive it back to door, gear up, and go back inside. With cameras and/or an alarm, he could have easily been spotted and followed -- and the propped door could easily have been closed.


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 10:10 AM

43. Armor like that doesn't do what you may think it does.

 

The sort of body armor Holmes was wearing doesn't allow one to simply shrug off hits (except from very weak calibers). It's designed to stop penetration, not (significantly) absorb kinetic impact. Hits from any "serious" defensive handgun caliber (say, 9mm on up) still kick like a mule. Rifle rounds will still penetrate, although obviously no one in the theater would have been carrying a rifle. That kind of armor is intended to save your life, not necessarily to keep you fighting. Two or three hits could very easily have staggered Holmes, possibly allowing him to be tackled.

That said, is that scenario likely, under the circumstances that prevailed? Not in my opinion. In the chaos and darkness, and with tear gas in the room, to even get an unobstructed shot at Holmes would have been incredibly difficult (unless you happened to be very close to him and unwounded yourself), to say nothing of getting two or three hits in. It would have been a lot like trying to shoot a hijacker in a crowded airplane - and there's a good reason armed Sky Marshals are trained to a vastly higher level than most law enforcement officers. A responsible person carrying in that theater probably wouldn't have drawn their weapon.

There's been a lot of speculation about what might have happened had there been an armed patron in the theater. I suspect there may well have been, actually. Under normal circumstances, I'd even say it would have been probable, given the number of people in the area with CCW permits, save for the fact that the theater prohibited carry. People that go to the trouble of obtaining the legal right to carry tend to obey such regulations. But as said above, it wasn't a situation in which a responsible person woudl have tried to shoot Holmes.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2012, 11:23 PM

10. Usually fire doors have alarms, wonder why there was no mention..

my niece ran a 12 theator metroplex you couldn't open a door without someone showing up. Yes they also had 3 off-duty cops working too in addition to their staff.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:26 AM

13. I have a coworker who insists that his friend could have downed the shooter.

Me: You know he was wearing body armor, right?

He: Doesn't matter. My friend packs armor-piercing rounds.

Me: You now it was a dark, smoke-filled theater under a barrage of gunfire, right?

He: Doesn't matter. When he gets in a dangerous situation, he goes crazy. You can't stop him.



And why does this crazy asshole have access to firearms???

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Response to Orrex (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:45 AM

17. Does your friend's friend claim to be a SEAL?

If so, please get your friend's friend name.

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Response to Aviation Pro (Reply #17)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:54 AM

24. I know, right?

A moving target in dark clothes in a darkened theater full of smoke and panicked, fleeing victims? I'm sure that this asshole could have dropped him with one shot.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #24)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 01:06 AM

26. All posers...

...have the same MO and the same bravado. Bunch of assclowns they are.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:50 AM

18. Virtually no handguns fire rounds capable of beating body armor

Does your coworker's friend make it a habit of carrying a rifle with him wherever he goes? Because there's no such thing as armor-piercing .357, 9mm or .45 ammo on the shelves.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #18)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:53 AM

21. If I had to guess, I'd say that he's had a minigun grafted to his shoulder

He's that crazy, man!

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Response to Orrex (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:52 AM

20. It's bad form to LFMAO, but I still couldn't help it (to keep from crying, I think) - n/t

 

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #20)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:55 AM

25. I laughed when my coworker said it, until I realized that he was serious

Not that his friend can do these things, but that his friend believes it.

More's the horror.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #25)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 10:19 AM

44. He sounds like he wins a lot in his video games

At least after he plays them hundreds of times.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 01:59 AM

32. Amazing

These guys all think they are John McClane*!! Good luck with that. And I'm NOT anti-gun---husband and I own many for sporting competition. I'm just a realist about the odds of the average gun owner taking this guy down in that theater.



(*Bruce Willis' character in the Die Hard movies)

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:26 AM

14. Ushers did more, much more, than protect fire exits. The made moviegoing civilized.

 

They'd help you to your seats.

They'd scold people for talking, and would today (I would hope) remind people under thread of ejection to turn OFF their mobile devices.

And more.

I miss them.

I don't even go to the movie theater anymore unless it's an IMAX at a museum or similar, or a very special opening at a small venue.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #14)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 01:19 AM

27. I was an usher for two years.

I used to warn people for POPPING GUM! Moviegoers years ago were more courteous of others and didnt talk loud enough to disturb others. I never ever saw anyone go out the emergency exit down by the screen. And yes, I would have closed it right away. Overall I rarely had any trouble with anybody. Just an occasional perv in the back row exposing himself. Or kids throwing things at the screen. Easily taken care of. Just kicked them out.

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Response to Chipper Chat (Reply #27)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 04:04 AM

39. Now you would be shot for even suggesting someone step out of line,

Every job is dangerous these days. I am glad that you were lucky.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #39)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 10:24 PM

53. Or at least sued by the mother of the kid I kicked out.

Sigh....it was 1956-58. People came to SEE the movie (Rebel Without a Cause; The Proud Ones; The Ten Commandments; THe neat SiFi flicks, Jailhouse Rock; and Giant; etc etc.) Great flicks. And I saw them all free.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:36 AM

15. There's only one thing that would stop these

And that's quit letting people be outside society. We tend to feel good about ourselves for being included and to let those be excluded that are not cool and can't cope. We have to quit luxuriating in our superiority for being cool and being included. Those left out will strike out.

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Response to treestar (Reply #15)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:40 AM

16. +1

I suspect what James Holmes needed more than anything else in his life was a friend -- someone who he could talk to and release his frustrations upon. Someone who could have guided him and helped him when he needed it the most.

These lone-wolf types don't materialize out of thin-air... its a long drawn out process of isolation and no one trying or caring enough to intervene.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 01:32 AM

30. With today's technology

 

It's easier to be a loner but still have so called "friends" online. The more we get taken over with all the new toys that avoid human contact the more loners there will be.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 01:42 AM

31. Actually, Holmes Was In Treatment

Treatment often fails and the reasons are many. When treatment fails there is no fall-back position any more. The level of treatment depends on who pays for it. You can guess what happens when there is no insurance coverage. People care but treatment costs money and that trumps caring.

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Response to treestar (Reply #15)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 11:31 AM

47. "...quit letting people be outside society."

 

Some of us would just as soon NOT be part of this shitstain called "society".

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Response to MindPilot (Reply #47)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 07:08 PM

52. you have to have other people in life

few could pull of a hermit existence today. But people who aren't comfortable with isolation are going to be the ones to act out like this. There's always going to be a social existence.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 01:29 AM

28. If there was an usher

 

He could have lied to him and said he left his inhaler in his car and can he go get it, and have the usher let him back in when he knocks. Equipping the doors to have an alarm that would go off if the door is open would be good.

Make the alarm have a timer that gives the doors 10 minutes after the movie to exit those doors. Green light comes on, the door is not armed. After the 10 minutes, the alarm is set, red light comes on and if the door is opened for any reason while armed, the alarm goes off, and the lights come on in the theater and the movie stops.

Make people aware that those doors are unlocked, but there will be an alarm and there will be a fine if it's not an emergency. Like a fire alarm. Otherwise, go through the lobby to exit. Those doors only need to be opened after the movie ends.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 01:31 AM

29. I Have Posted A Number Of Times

About the failure of security when that exit door was opened. At minimum it should have triggered a silent alarm that theatre security then should have been required to checked out. Yes, that person is unarmed so depending on when he arrived he may have been the first victim and the shooter taken off. Or he could have come upon him as he was putting on his body gear and averted everything. Or he could have gotten there seconds too late.

I would think theatre management would want this too because with this movie it could have been somebody that bought a ticket and opened the exit to allow a couple dozen buddies in for free. I am disappointed that few people are even talking about this security breach.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 02:16 AM

34. There is a remote chance

that somebody sitting RIGHT NEXT to the shooter and happens to be a quick draw could miraculously shoot him in a spot where the body armor isn't before being riddled with bullets himself as soon as he moves. Remote.

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Response to moondust (Reply #34)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 03:49 AM

38. This shooter wasn't "sitting" but you got the idea

The biggest problem with "quick draw" in this case: there's nothing quicker than having it already out, which the Aurora shooter did.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 02:40 AM

36. It's highly unlikely that a legally concealed weapon or several ...

would have made any difference in this rather unique situation.

It might be possible that the shooter might have worried about facing armed citizens if concealed carry was legal in the theater and might have chosen to carry out his massacre in another gun free zone. That seems to also be unlikely as the shooter (whose name I refuse to mention) seems to have been fixated on being the "Joker" from the Batman movies.

I have a concealed weapons permit and I have carried in a theater. If it were legal for me to carry in the Century 16 Movie Theaters and I had been there, I might have tried to engage the shooter if I were at extremely close range but only if I was absolutely certain that I could shoot him without endangering others. Even if I had been at arm's length the chances are that I would have been blinded by the tear gas. Since he was wearing body armor my .38 caliber revolver would have been ineffective. I would have been just one one more causality.

Some might say that a head shot might have stopped the shooter but they are very difficult to accomplish in a life and death situation especially in a dark environment filled with tear gas. You may be a great shooter on a target range but your skills would deteriorate significantly in such a situation.





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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 04:07 AM

40. The fire door

The fire door is supposed to set off a FIRE alarm if it is opened. I've actually seen a fire door opened twice. Both times it set off the alarm. If an alarm had sounded, the milieu would have been quite different.

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Response to Why Syzygy (Reply #40)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 09:43 AM

42. Was it a fire door or an exit door?

Most theaters I've ever been in have had auxilliary exits, but these aren't fire doors or at any rate aren't wired to set off an alarm when opened, mostly because a lot of people exit through those doors when the movie is over.

In the Aurora case, I don't know whether the doors were regular exits or emergency fire exits. But the difference is significant.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 09:39 AM

41. In the chaos a conceal-carry hero-wannabe would look like a 2nd gunman

...to another conceal-carry hero-wannabe.

It's a good thing this didn't happen in Texas. There would have been a theater full of people shooting at each other.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 11:08 AM

45. Hey, I got an idea!

Instead of wishing guns were gone or handing them out to children, why don't we train high school kids to work together to subdue people acting violently in public, like other violent cultures have done for thousands of years? Why don't we take better care of each other while we're at it?

I don't pretend to know how to do that, but I know for sure that there are a myriad of historical solutions, some good, most terrible. For example, the Malay culture also suffered from a never-ending series of spree killers and mass murderers. The term "running amok" comes from them. They all carried machetes, and running amok was apparently a daily occurrence at times--so there's one solution we don't need to try.

Many other cultures had their drunken berserkers, their tranced Zulus, their mushroom-laced Moros, some of whom inevitably popped off at the exact wrong time and place. Many of the same cultures had high levels of violence in general. (Jared Diamond relates in his book Collapse a gansta-ass tale of a flurry of retributive murders in Greenland which would be familiar to any city paper-reading American today.)

We are a violent people who pretend we cannot take care of those who need the most help. This is never going to end until that changes.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 11:12 AM

46. Better still would be ushers with guns

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #46)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 11:32 AM

48. or at least tazers. n/t

 

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2012, 12:26 PM

50. the one thing that could have prevented the massacre is better mental health

We have a sick society because we make people crazy with all the hype and selling of wrong notions. We continue to drag people down so they have to blame someone for their fabricated misery. In some ways the media is responsible for our craziness.

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