Travis Haley: Think on this

As you might have expected, we’re going to touch on the recent tragic events in Aurora, CO. There’s not much we can offer beyond prayers and condolences; anything else would be platitudes or (even worse) might smack of exploitation. That said, the victims deserve our regard and our remembrance. I’m fairly certain most of the readership here would agree that we have a duty to try and prevent such events in the future as well.

Though frankly I don’t see any way to prevent them…just to end them before too much tragedy is done.

There is a lot of heated commentary and debate going on out there and it won’t go away anytime soon. Most of it has to do with gun control. We need more of it, we need less of it, high capacity magazines spell doom to the common man, etc. etc. Some of it is intelligent commentary (just having a concealed weapon is insufficient; proper training and preparation is vital) to the conspiracy/ridiculous (the shooter was trained and funded by a secret UN-backed or BATF-administered cabal needing a convenient massacre) to the inane (Sen. Feinstein, D-California, assures us that 1 in 5 police officers is killed by an assault weapon).

We’re interested in commentary and discussion, not hyperbole and ridiculosity. Please post intelligently and keep it pertinent.

We’ll start with this piece written by Travis Haley of Haley Strategic.

The original title: Thoughts for tonight

Travis Haley, Haley Strategic Partners

If a criminal is willing to commit a crime, then they are willing to commit a crime to acquire a weapon to act that crime out. So if the Gov’t takes away the responsible armed citizen rights to carry and or own a firearm then the Gov’t is only stripping us from our protective rights and allowing the criminal to continue to act as usual.

The majority of concealed carry and open carry armed citizens are a liability. Just because you go through a 1 day course doesn’t not mean that you can problem solve an armored active shooter in a never expected, dark, tear gassed disruptive environment with screaming people while stepping over dead bodies. You must understand advanced applications under stress. Just like a pilot graduating flight school doesn’t mean he’s ready to jump into air to air combat.

The second amendment was created to facilitate the right to life. NO man, law, or opinion should ever infringe on the natural right to defends one’s self, family, or someone in society who’s life is being threatened.

If you stand for the the Far Left or Far Rights opinion on gun control, then yes… you have an opinion too.

When politicians take an anti-Second Amendment stance, we seriously need to wonder about their motives.

When American citizens take an anti-Second Amendment stance, we seriously need to wonder about their status of “American”

The Second Amendment does not grant us this right. This right already existed. The Second Amendment merely prevents the government from infringing on it.

Fact: There is a Scumbag criminal out there right now about to break into someones home in the middle of the night and hurt or kill someone. If you take away the Second Amendment then… the scumbag is still going to break into someones home in the middle of the night and hurt or kill someone.

I can have my neighbors call 911 and tell dispatch: “A man just shot and killed everyone in my neighbors house and ran out the front door” or I can call 911 and tell dispatch: “A man just broke into my house and presented a lethal threat to my family and I killed him as he came through my front door.”

When a gun is sitting on a table it is only a gun sitting on a table… When a killer picks it up, it’s only a tool that the killer picks up. When the killer shoots an innocent with the tool everyone forgets about the killer and blames the tool.

Switzerland virtually has no crime… hmmm

The spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists.


72 Comments on "Travis Haley: Think on this"

  1. Pete Sheppard | July 23, 2012 at 4:18 am | Reply

    Good points, except for this "…Fact:
    The majority of concealed carry and open carry armed citizens are a liability."
    Feinstein couldn't have said it better–so why not pass laws requiring a CCP holder to be trained to SEAL Team 6 levels? The fact is, most CC-ers are indeed proficient to deal with the threats they will face.
    Besides this 'blooper', I fully agree and endorse Mr Haley's comments.

  2. I disagree. Having trained law enforcement officers in firearms tactics for the past 15 years, to include annual quals as well as separate practical courses of fire including low light, active shooter, and during movement, training that most civilians will never engage in due to availability and cost, even law enforcement officers suck at shooting under stress. I would venture to guess hat a very small percentage of CCW holders seek any formal training. They may shoot at he range, but no formal stress inoculation training. No one ever really knows what hey will do, until called on to do it.

  3. "Fact:
    When American citizens take an anti-Second Amendment stance, we seriously need to wonder about their status of “American”"
    I just want to point out that there are many people who don't get exposed to firearms in childhood. Ask many in the shooting community and I think a lot will have been lifelong shooters. I try to give some slack to people (not politicians) who have an anti-gun opinion but have no experience with firearms; if I come across as a calm and collected gun-owner, I feel I do more for the community. It's easy to fear dogs if you've never spent time around dogs, but have been exposed to images of scary dogs your whole life.
    I'd change the above quote to read "…their status (as) "Critical Thinker". Just my .02

  4. I am immediately suspicious of any writer who structures an argument by stating opinions as "fact." That approach dissuades rebuttal with it's implied "how do you argue with me, those are facts." Travis makes some excellent points – his observation that motivated criminals will acquire the means for carrying out their plans is irrefutable. Nevertheless, the Second Amendment is a starting point, not a trump card. A mature, thoughtful discussion about how to keep weapons out of the hands of men like Holmes is past due. For example, what made the shooting center reject his application? If a common sense assessment by experienced gun handlers led to that conclusion, maybe all arms purchases should include a face to face encounter. I don't believe the Founders would suggest that as intrusive.

  5. Pete Sheppard | July 23, 2012 at 5:03 am | Reply

    To JPate: As a private citizen, I see an 'elitist' mindset at work. The more highly trained one is, the easier it is to look at 'less trained/skilled' people with disdain. The fact is, though, that 'barely-trained' CCL holders have defended themselves very well, and there have been tragedies where 'highly-trained' professionals have totally screwed up.
    This has been an argument against CCW; "…can you imagine the carnage if someone had a concealed weapon in there!?"
    I am NOT against training/practice, but there are extremes. Just as there are people who buy a gun and think its a magic wand or a hunting license, there are some whose obsessive training has messed with their heads. For those whose professions require them to seek out the bad guys, yes train their boots off! Just don't offer the anti's a blank check to prevent private citizens of limited means like myself from having the means to protect myself.

  6. Pete Sheppard | July 23, 2012 at 5:37 am | Reply

    I too will strive to avoid rancor; we are all on the same side and we'd sure better stick together! In that, there is room for an honest (and courteous) difference in perspective.
    Our differing backgrounds will inevitably affect those perspective. I freely admit I couldn't run the streets of Fallujah with you guys, but when you see YOUR training as barely adequate for your missions, it's hard NOT to see anything else as totally unsatisfactory, even though the vast majority of us swim in far less dangerous waters.
    One unescapable fact is that most of us do not have the time or resources to train at your level; we do the best we can with what we have available. The vast majority of the time, good situational awareness (Cond. Yellow) combined with the ability and mindset to USE an available weapon will allow us to prevail should the need arise.

  7. I've had plenty of friends that grew up in the city and had no experience with firearms. Lacking any experience they were generally left with a negative view of them due to the media coverage of anything dealing with firearms.
    I try to take as many as I can out too shoot and get some hands on experience, 99% of the time they're left with a positive view and are interested in purchasing something themselves.

  8. Travis, you need to check your facts before you assert them. You also need to go back to school and learn the difference between an opinion and a fact. You are entltled to your opinion, but it is dishonest to claim your opinions are fact.

    Just because someone disagrees with you does not make them a suspect. You dishonor the very freedoms that others have fought for by asserting otherwise. You obviously have been provided with a privileged position by being permitted to initiate this discussion. Please do not abuse that position or disrespect the rest of us by engaging in sophistry and jingoism. It is unbecoming of your privileged position and does not advance either the debate or the capacity of others to come to terms with this horrendous event.

    And before you accuse me of being a lefty, pinko, commie or pacifist, note two things. I have worn both a military uniform and a police uniform and have served my community and my country over four decades. I come from a mixed military and police family that have serves for four generations and my son continues to serve in uniform. I have earned my right to voice a different opinion and to expect that right to be respected, whether you agree with it or not.

  9. Fact: Most firearms training schools teach beyond basic firearm safety and concealed carry. The Firearms Training Associates ( is run by police officers.

  10. Switzerland is not the same as the US. Comparing them to the US is discounting a thousand other reasons they have lower crime. Guns might have something to do with it, but they are not the only reason. They have differant income levels, differant employment rates, they make livings off of differant industries, they have differant levels of military service, they have a differant culture, they consume less energy, they have less babies, they have less of a class divide, they live longer, and the cost of living is much higher for the swiss. Saying guns are the only reason they dont have crime is down right foolish. Using that argument makes gun owners look like unedumacated fools who are incapable of basic level research. You cannot compare 2 population groups unless you statistically address the differances. Now if wanted to compare a thousand Swiss and a thousand Americans who met equal critera and made sure they accuratly represented the accurate ratio of gun owners in each county then compared them. Then he can start talking about theories, but the only fact in research is that there are no true facts.

  11. You do not know that to be a fact. As someone who has helped out time to time with a CC course, I would argue that very few people who get them are truely ready to use lethal force to defend themselves, and even fewer of them would have been able to do anything in a situation like we had in CO.

  12. Is there an original source for where Travis Haley posted this article originally? Or did he email it to David Reeder to post here?

  13. I have to agree with Travis that most concealed carry and open carry citizens are a liability. I fully acknowledge that I am in no way capable of performing in such dire circumstances, being a mediocre shot myself and having little formal training, but compared with some of the shooting I've seen during weapon permit renewals I might as well be a pistol champion.

    In all fairness however, there are more than a few police officers who are liabilities as well. Qualifying with your weapon once or twice a year and never firing it otherwise is unlikely to keep your readiness high enough to act appropriately in this sort of situation.

  14. I take exception to 2 of Travis' points. First of all just because I don't have your training and skill doesn't make me a liability. That being said, I think most of us would agree that there should be a standard of training that should be required of all CC personnel. (Just how much training is certainly a matter for debate. Some would say there is never enough, and some would argue otherwise.) Second, coming from California I know a lot of "Americans" who question the 2A. I find that these misguided individuals love this country, love their fellow Americans, and want to protect themselves and their families from harm. No good comes from questioning their motives or status as an American. These people need to be educated and enlightened. In short, they need training in citizenship and not disdain for their brainwashing.

  15. To Jim Greer. Thank you sir. Your kind thought are much appreciated. God bless you and yours.

  16. You misread his comment. Most CC-ers would collapse in the situation he mentioned; the Colorado shooting. But most CC-rs plan and train for the most common self defense situation; the 3,3,3, confrontation. No one can effectively train to be prepared for all situations. If we could we would not need so many differing military and/or police units. So although i agree with Mr. Haley, if i find myself in a dark smoke filled gaseous theater with an armed mad man, i hope to be one of dozens of CC-ers in attendance.

  17. I have to firmly agree on one fact; if a politician takes a position on anything; you need to question his/her motives.

  18. Some common sense ideas. Fact is your job has nothing to do with firearms skills. I know cops and LE who can barely hit the target in front of him 5ft away. Overall no law will stop acts of evil.

  19. I think the term "liability" may be the problem with the statement in question.
    The CC-r may not be my perfect world ideal of a backup, but as long as he/she knows i am there and i am not the perp, i can use that as an advantage to the mission.

  20. Pete Sheppard | July 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Reply

    As far as the 'qualifications' of private citizens to arm themselves (and carry concealed); the last time I read, the number of times citizens successfully defended themselves with firearms was figured between 500,000 and close to 1,000,000 time a year. The number of actual cases I've read about in over 20 years of following 2A issues is just a handful.
    A lot of *unqualified* somebodies are getting something right! Read "The Armed Citizen" in NRA publications and similar accounts elsewhere, and there are numerous accounts of citizens prevailing in situations as difficult as the theater in Aurora.
    As stated by others, I agree a private citizen (LEOs are civilians, too; call them–with respect–public citizens) should get as much training as practical. In over 20 years of CC, I read a lot (hey, I'm here!), taken a couple of PD-sponsored training classes, but look forward to when I can make it to something like Mas Ayoob's training.
    Last shot–here in AL, LEOs *like* people to be armed!

  21. crackedlenses | July 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply

    An interesting read for this discussion is "Shooting Back" by Charl Van Wyke. Basically, it is about a South African vet who found himself in a massacre conducted by terrorists using assault rifles and handgrenades. Not quite the same as the Aurora shooting, but still pretty incredible odds for a CCW carrier…..

  22. Unmentioned here is the revelation that the gun club in this area refused membership to the shooter after hearing his voice mail message.

    Meanwhile, over at the "University Of Diversity" where our PHD candidate was in attendance, no one…NO ONE took any exception to his behavior at all!

    So that means the "Gun nuts" and the "NRA types" did a better job of judging the mental state of this lunatic than did the highly educated academics at the University Of Diversity. In light of the fact this makes three individuals from "higher education"(…whatever that means)that have initiated mass murder, perhaps someone needs to ask about the environment at these places.

    But no, it is better to beat the drum for a renewal of the liberal's cherished Assault Weapons Ban.

  23. Jimney Cricket | July 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply

    Amazing, just simply amazing. Some of these comments I have read are pathetic. Did any of you think about what you were writing prior to typing away? People who conceal carry are liabilities? Noted! The day you high speed low drag super ninja combat super stars are laying on your back being beaten, me and my CCW will go the other way. Comments like the ones many of you have written to include Mr. Haley's, are exactly what the gun grabbers say. Only cops and military should have guns because they're so well trained and they're super heroes! I'm not sure about you guys, I shoot more in a month then a cop shoots in a year. I get the best training money will buy, not too mention the real world background of actually deploying weapons. Am I a high speed über super ninja like Mr. Haley, no. Of course it doesn't take a genius to pull a trigger and make the pointy thing hit the target. It's too bad, Haley Startegic lost a customer. I may be one but it's better to support those who support us.

  24. This. Sorry I am not a professional. SOME of us have JOBS that don't involve being professional ********.

  25. baadazzes

  26. FormerSFMedic | July 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply

    I think you are missing the message. He said most, not everyone. He also never said that you have to be a professional LEO or SOCOM member. Travis is a good friend of mine and I will tell you that he believes that ANYONE can be and should be highly proficient in personal protection and armed defense regardless of profession and disposition. Another belief we both share is that the trained civilian is MUCH MORE proficient in weapons manipulation and marksmanship than the trained LEO or Military personnel. This is something I have said before RIGHT HERE on kitup. Travis also recently said that the civilian shooting community is far ahead of the military community when it comes to shooting. He mentioned that there were 14 year old civilians that can OUTSHOOT the very best Tier 1 operators in the military. I agree with him wholeheartedly.

    I can find that interview for you if you really need proof of Whee his beliefs are at. I don't think it's necessary though. You should do some research before condemning a man for a single comment. If you knew more, you would know that your ideology is not shared by Travis. He believes that YOU (the civilian) has the opertunity to be a more proficient practitioner than any professional out there.

  27. William Crosby Prent | July 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply

    First of all, it is and has always been, obvious to most that there is a negative relationship between gun control and crime.

    Secondly, even IF there was some possibility that gun control would have prevented something like the Aurora tragedy, my natural right to self defense is not trumped by your vague desire for incremental safety.

    It is ALWAYS better to be free than safe.

  28. I never had to fire a round to get my CCW in Virginia. I love the relaxed gun laws here, but wow, this is one I would definitely change. However, I do think that a CCW would help any situation like CO almost every time.

  29. I live in California, so I will never get a CCW, unfortunately. That is a shame, in my opinion; I'm a level-headed, serious, sober guy, the kind of person who I think could be trusted with a CCW. The fact is, I don't want one…but I resent the fact that my state makes it almost impossible to GET one. That means that if I am out and I meet with an armed person, it's either a cop or a criminal, no middle ground.
    I would really like to see the process to get a CCW made so daunting that only the most motivated, law-abiding citizen would go though it. If the training cost a grand or more, if it took a few weeks over a year's time (and a refresher to requalify every year or so) and if it required that I show proficiency in a practicum…well, that's what I have to do with my Wilderness First Aid certification every couple of years. If part of the equation is that I can move or run a certain distance or carry another person up a flight of stairs, so be it, and if I can't, maybe I shouldn't be carrying. (And there should be waivers for people with special needs and who use wheelchairs or other tools)
    We don't let old people drive if they are a danger to others in traffic and I think the same idea applies here. On the other hand, I don't like my state just saying 'nope, sorry, NOBODY gets to drive because someone could get hurt.' That's just absurd.

  30. Well put. I wish I could argue you with you about it, but I can't. The level of inanity in our government is surpassed only by its fiscal inefficiency.

  31. That's not what's being said, at least in the comments I'm reading. No one is saying all CCW carriers are liabilities. What some of us are saying is the level of training and preparation is woefully inadequate in many cases. If you shoot more in a month than a cop does in the year, then you are to be applauded. I wish all of CCW carriers would put half that much effort into it. The fact of the matter is, however, you're in the minority. There are plenty of CCW carriers who shoot just enough to get their permit and then never do anything else to maintain (much less improve) their skills. Surely you are not taking the stance that you'd want such a shooter to be the one intervening in a chaotic environment if there was a more capable shooter present? Don't blow this out of proportion; you're not really reading what's being said. Also, you are obviously free to disagree with everyone here, but I wouldn't start questioning Haley's motives or philosophy. He'd be about the last person to claim to be a high speed über super ninja, and to say Haley Strategic lost a customer based on your interpretation of the article (as I read it) shows that you're apparently misinterpreting the point and definitely being unrealistic. Of course we should have CCW rights and support those who support us, but we also need to take an honest look at what's really going on. Concealed carry folks aren't any more competent and accurate across the board than all soldiers or all cops or all anything else (I think the article might have been better received if he'd said "MANY concealed carriers are liabilities" instead of making a general statement. That said, with regards to the commentary in this thread, I'd respectfully ask that you go back and reread much of what's being said.

  32. CCW in Idaho | July 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Reply

    I think we are overlooking an important fact. That fact is this was a complex attack. Not only did the shooter choose a dark environment where the noise level is very high already, he used a less than lethal gas to confuse and cause even more panic than just the psychological effect of gunfire and people getting wounded or killed.

    This would of been a daunting task even for the best trained LEO or SWAT personnel let alone a highly trained citizen who has a CCW. Imagine your a CCW holder, off duty LEO or home on leave soldier in the theater engrossed in the movie when all **** breaks loose.

    Personally in this situation, the best one could hope for is to buy people time to get out of the exits. No heroism here just do what you can do to get people out and if you get a clear shot amidst the tear gas and chaos, then take it. How many people have tried to shoot a target that is or could move in the dark under the influence of tear gas. Very difficult and not something even law enforcement train for on a regular basis.

    To summarize, if you dont' have a plan then you have planned to fail. I have to believe anything in this case would be better than doing nothing. I personally believe I will be sitting much closer to a exit next time I am at the movies. Just saying.

  33. Its nice to have somebody like Travis Haley on the side of sensible, law-abiding armed citizens.

    I personally think his Facts are spot on.

  34. Wasn't safety one of the points behind the right to bear arms? Safety from the use of force by external oppressors. If one loses the very right that one is seeking to protect, where does that leave society?

  35. I don't have a problem with Haley's view that those who want to carry should be trained. Just as the right to free speech doesn't entitle you to yell fire in a crowd, so too the right to keep and bear arms must have reason attached to it. For example, should there be an age limit? Should there be a limit on ones honesty, ie no convicted felons. Should there be a limit around whether you can suffer a mental illness and still be permitted to keep and bear arms? If your answer is that there should be no limitations then you may need to accept he possibilit of 12year old drug dealer with fetal alcohol syndrome legally carrying a MAC10! What about a reality-altering-drug user who is studying a PhD in neuroscience?

    Who do we trust to set such limits and to assess who is a fit and proper person to keep and bear arms? Anyone care to offer an answer? Should there be a psych test to weed out wack jobs? What about other tests, such as a knowledge of the law relating to the use of deadly force?

    No, I am happy to see reasonable limits, such as training in both the use of the firearm and the law surrounding its use. No pass training, then no get CCW permit! I'm feeling safe just thinking about reasonable limits.

  36. David Solano | July 24, 2012 at 2:29 am | Reply

    Right on, Travis Haley. Your fellow 0321s in Afghanistan are with you on this one.

  37. Point of view from somebody that live in a nation that have CCW only theoreticaly.
    I am Italian, I am a shooter, I own a glock 21 and an HK MR223 (Italian version of the MR556). but I cannot carry them for defense pourpose.. in Italy, the CCW is issued to very few citizen (some report say .5% of population, some report say 1%) and wanna know what it is funny? the Organized Crime (call it Mafia if you prefer or Camorra, 'ndrangheta, Sacra Corona Unita or whatever you prefer) has loads of weapon, automatic assault rifle, bazooka, C4 and whatever they want. Does ours draconian weapon laws prevent criminal being armed? No. Does this make the Italian Crime ratio better then those of some gun friendly state? Nope.
    Guns are tools and, as tools, you need proper training to take advantage of them, what level of training should depend on various factor, including how much you can invest on that but also what you think it is the most common use you will be making of that given tool.
    Hope my poor english doesn't offend anybody, take care you all


  38. I would like to see more publicly taught safety and legal responsibility courses in are schools. Why does it seem like parents are failling the youth of this great nation today? Are we just going to sit by and let this nation down? Besides Boy Scouts, what organization can anyone name off the top of their head that teaches youth how to shoot responsibly? By the way they have taught values that are really needed today when so many people have lost their compass. In this world today it seems people don't know right from wrong. I was living in FL back in the 80's when it was stated that we lived in an open carry state and for a while crime dropped dramatically till they rushed a law thru, than back to business as usual. Back when I went to school I would have loved a gun club after school. We had rocket club which taught us not to point them at people but we had a misfire on a multi-engine Saturn that only cleared the launch pad then went horizontal chasing the crowd around. In shop class they made cannons, gun racks, worked on gun stocks, and maybe some things that should probably not been brought into school. They could trust us to respect others because most of us knew right from wrong because we had examples in our leaders. What happened to America?

  39. The training required or available is a joke but nobody cares about that. It kills 45000 people per year. I am talking automobile related deaths. Nobody is screaming for better drivers-ed.
    The CCW training required is not a whole lot better but expecting everyone to support better education which might make a dent in the less than 200 death per decade from mass-shootings……as much as I support education over prohibition, i don't see that happening.

  40. david marshall | July 24, 2012 at 6:02 am | Reply

    as a 71 year old veteran of 14 1/2 years in the Navy i guarante i am proficient with my weapon and would love a chance to put an end to a tragedy like the one that just occured. being unarmed at any time is not an acceptable option.

  41. I haven't yet formulated a useful contribution to this discussion, but I am mildly surprised and quite pleased with the relatively civil and well constructed arguments and points presented. While I can't say it is without exception, I'm glad to see a thoughtful, constructive discussion on this. It is truly refreshing.

  42. If several CCW persons or even one had fired on the CO killer he would have ran. These type of killers do not expect any resistance. At the first sign of gun fire in his direction he would have left. CCW holders may not be Navy Seal qualified but, their being in a situation where they have to take action is ALWAYS better then being one of the sheep at a slaughter.

  43. Generalizations and stereotypes aside, the fact is that, regardless of training, you never know how one will react in a "first time and rare" crisis situation. I observed this in Vietnam. Training and proficiency with a weapon is important. Understanding the law and consequences of using deadly force is paramount. Going amongst the public while packing a firearm incurs (or should incur) a heavy responsibility. Maybe this is why many, if not most, CCW holders do NOT pack on a regular basis. (According to a recent radio program it's a very small percentage who do.) I'm not interested in playing cop, cowboy or hero. It is, however, nice to have the option to legally carry when needed. Interestingly, apparently there were CCW holders present during the Gabriel Gifford shooting. For whatever reason, no one intervened. In the Arroyo Colorado incident given the heavily armored and armed shooter, it would have been suicide for the average CCW holder to intervene. It aint like the movies or the OK corral.

  44. I think what is missing in a lot of these debates is that in these situations we are not suffering from a lack of training. We are literally dying from inaction. We like to argue about the potential collateral or taking a shot when this guy from all accounts spent 1-2 min shooting then walked out and sat at his car without impediment. I truly believe that any action, even untrained would have vastly improved the situations outcome. Look at the in flight reaction of passengers to odd behavior in flight after 9/11. People immediately began taking personal action that averted situations and likely would have ended 9/11 before it could happen if we didn’t have a passive wait for help culture. What our society needs to foster is the mentality of the right and "necessity" of self defense of ourselves and those around us. I believe this is what most sets the CC'er apart not just the level of training (which we can all agree should be sought to the best of everyone's ability). They have already decided that faced with a situation they will be prepared and will ACT.

  45. Gentlemen,we are discussing an issue that is symptomatic of the philosophical schism that is reflective of the opposing and splintered ideas of not only being a sheepdog in a crowd of sheep,but the direction that different people would like to see the country go…I know I am a newby,but I see a lot of thought going into this……discussion. I am old and fat and out of the game,but I still would rather be able to make my own decisions and face the consequences than to be forced into the victim role. I am almost certain that the theater was a "gunfree zone." Can anyone verify that for me?

  46. Would the theater shooter have picked this place had a fair percentage of the occupants been armed, with or without training. He was foremost a coward, choosing the location knowing that there was very little chance that anyone but he would be armed. And just in case, he wore "Tactical" body armor. Gunfree zones invite mass murder. That is the biggest lesson to take away from this.

  47. -Switzerland virtually has no crime… hmmm

    Culturally and ethnically monolithic societies have little to no crime so that factoid is irrelevant.

    England outlawed guns so knifings increased to the point you have to be over 21 to buy steak knives.

  48. What a ****!

  49. Heroics is a nice word, Carl; but, one is only a hero if he or she saves the day, even risking their life. Otherwise they are just dead. With twenty years in the army, including Vietnam plus another twenty plus years in the criminal justice business, we are taught to size up the situation and decide which battles are worth fighting. The biggest lesson here is that "stuff happens." Everything else is pure speculation by the politicians and Monday Morning quarterbacks. Two recent radio talk show hosts, one former sheriff and the other a former peace officer, advised against the armed citizen taking action in this situation. Of course, this is all hindsight. In a dark theater in the midst of chaos, who would know that the shooter was heavily armed and armored? Sure, if I happened to be there and packing my 9mm, I'd take a shot. Knowing what we know now, no doubt I'd be one of the dead. No hero, just dead.

  50. Fact: I probably have more training with a weapon than most.
    Fact: I am in a war zone where the possibility of me using my training is very HIGH.
    Fact: Even with all of my training, I would have a hard time with this CO deal.

    Why? My first duty is to protect. I know everyone wants to be the big HERO like in the movies, but lets be honest. Unless you are like the select few Gentlemen in my field. MOST of you would lock up under such stress. I will engage my enemy when the opportunity presents itself. Until such time, escort others to safety. Being armed doesn't make you the expert. We can all stop at least one bullet.

  51. A State approved CCW class in California can cost less than $200. It's as important to understand the laws as to be proficient with a firearm. Most people don't realize that if you take a life or injure someone, even though justified, you are likely to be arrested on the spot. There will be an investigation. You may have to hire an attorney; and, could even be sued by the culprits family. Packing a weapon is not the same as riding a bike, driving a car or working in a kitchen. The results can be costly and deadly.

  52. touch a nerve

  53. Good points Jim. It's all theory until it happens for real. It is great to have a plan, but as Prussian General Herman Von Moltke once observed, "battle plans rarely survive first contact with the enemy.". We may never know what was going through Holmes mind as he is unlikely to give a full and completely honest recounting.

  54. I think you had better do some more research! Switzerland is not monolithic, either culturally or ethnically. Three major languages are spoken – French, German and Italian – depending on which canton (think province) a person lives in. Most Swiss also learn English because it it the language of world trade and diplomacy. It is a culturally diverse nation because of its geographic location and it's history.

    Australia also removed general gun ownership in the 1990s after a number of ASI incidents. Yes, there has been an increase in knife crimes, but there have been no mass knifings on the scale of the previous mass shootings.

    Funny thing is, while you have to be 21 to purchase alcohol in America, in Australia, the age is 18. Maybe that earlier start makes them more mellow 'downunder'.

  55. It seems that irony is lost on you Carl. The point of my comment was to provide contrast. The courts have placed reasonable limits on free speech and the same needs to occur for gun ownership. Without some reasonable limits we ultimately run the risk that children will have the right to own and carry MAC 10s and PhD students will be able to equip hems elves with assault rifles and body armor.

    What I have read from some here and elsewhere sound a bit like advocacy for a free for all under the guide of the right to keep and bear arms. Clearly you do not want that to happen, and neither do I. There need to be reasonable limits placed around how the Constitution is interpreted. Calling people names and accusing them of wild eyed crazy rhetoric is unhelpful to the debate.

  56. Agreed.

  57. So much for free speech.

  58. Carl, your posts leave me a bit concerned. You sound like you are more worried about the govt taking your guns off you than you are about getting involved in a fire fight with someone. The way you write leads me to conclude that you are not an LEO. It also leads me to wonder just how much training you have had. Have you ever attended training in the law related to the use of deadly force? Do you keep yourself current in both the law and tactics? Do you practice regularly under circumstances that reasonably replicate an armed confrontation? If you answer no to any of these questions, then you are a danger to yourself and to the public and you should not be allowed to carry a weapon in public.

    If you were trained and experienced in such situations, the last thing you would be talking about is the chance to take the bad guy with you, of only because you would recognise that he might not be the only bad guy there is.

    Consequently, I am led to the inference that you are basically full of **** and are only worried that you might lose the right to strut around in your camos with your concealed carry weapon showing for all the rest of us to see.

    You could do us all a big favor and avoid deadly confrontation of any kind. That way the police will not have to investigate your unnecessary death and those of the innocent bystanders you accidentally hit while trying to go out in a blaze of glory. Investigating the violent death of an idiot is just as traumatic to us as investigating the violent death of anyone else, and more traumatic if the particular idiot also causes the deaths of innocent bystanders.

    BTW, those people who do see your weapon are way more likely to view you as some kind of red necked moron than as their prospective savior. Time to wake up and smell the stuff you are standing in.

  59. The man in the photo has the muzzle of his rifle in THE DIRT!!! What the f**k??

  60. crackedlenses | July 25, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply

    That is precisely why gunfire, even gunfire that did not kill or even hit him, could have worked. Risky? Definitely. But the mere presence of pushback probably would have saved lives.

  61. To STUG: If you read the whole report from Tuzson, you will see that a civilian ,who was carrying that day ,left a nearby store and went to the scene upon hearing the gunfire.He secured the shooter's weapon ,which had been taken by an un-armed spectator as he was trying to re-load. The civilian turned the weapon over to the first arriving LEO afer re-holstering his weapon. The LEO asked him to stand by for further questions.

  62. This comment puts the hammer on the head of the nail…

  63. From my lane:
    First, my respects to all here. You are here for a reason and there are other places on the errornet you can be turning your brain to mush at but you are here. Thank you.

    My CCW application experience here in the ************* state was pretty short and sweet. No matter how valid my "good guy card" is and no matter how objective the statistical information provided was, I was basically informed that I should come back after I have been shot or stabbed, survive and file a police report…Then maybe they will consider it. Or I can just dump 4000.00 into the deputy sheriff donation fund or on some local political ****** and have an even better chance.
    Personally, I dont need a CCW to be a service to my fellow citizens in a time like that which we are drooling over now. As much as having a gun on the hip makes my chest feel a bit more swollen, I can be just as dangerous but naked with no labor saving accoutrements attached. I was not born dangerous, I wasnt trained that way, its a selfless choice I made as it is the citizens duty to protect and preserve their fellow citizens. Rarely this must be done with violence but just becuase those moments are rare, that does not mean that daily mental, physical and spiritual preparation is not on tap. Whats missing in many people that spend much of their day sitting and much of their free time in front of the idiot box is the will and intent to use violence as a tool…most use use some sort of magical ignorance to avoid the beast or they resort to social means of solving a completely a-social problem. Our society has buried our violent past under a bed of fake roses. Our nation of riflemen is but a relic. Most Americans couldnt fight their way out of a paper bag let alone face the madness contained within demons such as the above named. I dont want guns in the hands of most of the idiots I have to share my space with but that doesnt mean they are all civvys…some are military and law enforcement too….imagine that.
    A gun does not give you, me or anyone magical powers so I cannot put so much emphasis on the "if more good people were packin"…wether it be Joe ************* or Gi joe himself. As far as I am concerned there could have been 20 people in that theatre with CCW's but thats not going to indicate in any way that the situation would have turned out different. So what you have a gun, so what you have some training, so what you are a rangemaster,ispc wiz, certified NRA instructor, took a shot to the face in fallujah or what have you….can you, at a moments notice,access the tool of violence and drive those intentions right through the target. Any one, baptized in blood or still in pearly white linens must constantly question themselves internally. Hence is the daily bread of those that call themselves warriors, silently or out loud. I look to situations like this , not to question others but to question myself. Lets all use this as a tool to take a journey inward and fortify that which we hold dear…whatever your creed or ethos is.
    Forgive the rant and any spelling or grammatical errors that may be contained within it.
    Again, my respects to all here and my condolences for those who are at a loss becuase of this tragedy.

  64. i was referring to the young man that took a bullet for his girl friend and her brother.
    In their eyes as well as mine; he was heroic.

  65. As someone from the UK with no knowledge of the US gun owner community this thread was very interesting to read, so thanks all.

    My only gun experience was firing l85s at a range while an air force cadet. I enjoyed it, but have no desire to own a weapon and am glad it is illegal here in the UK.

    Just to clarify something – a lot of US people I have spoken to recently seem to think the UK has been swept by knifings. This just isn't true! I am a Londoner, and Yes as a younger stupid boy looking for trouble, once or twice I have had knives pulled on me, but was always able to resolve the situation by talking the idiot down. Glad I didn't have a CCW to escalate and cause the kind of complications referred to.

    Noone seems to have discussed issue of a child finding that "gun on the table" scenario.

    Anyway, thanks all and stay safe, CCW or no.

  66. This is a very good point.
    There are those who choose to carry that understand it is our duty to protect each other…not becuase we are armed or consider ourselves sheepdogs and what have you but becuase its our duty as citizens of this country. You dont need a CCW to be obliged to protect those in your perimeter…wether they are your own kin or complete strangers. Our society has domesticated violence to the point that people are afraid to do what is righteous and just.

  67. funnily enough, parts of those gun laws read word-for-word the same as the ones that were put into place in Germany in the late 30's….

  68. USMC/LAPD/Grunt | August 2, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply

    Bump to 18-D, Pete and David. Well stated!

  69. Just as "a .22LR in your hand is better than the .45 in your gun-safe", I think that having one or more CCW holders in the audience might have helped. They certainly couldn't have made it much worse, anyway. I also believe that ANY shots that Holmes couldn't account for would likely have sent him running.

    We have a right to defend ourselves and others. We all agree to this. We all also seem to agree that more training is better than less training, or no training. I do not agree with the concept of "complete the training or you don't get your CCW", because that's prone to abuse by the system. They'll just make getting your CCW training and any other requirements prohibitively expensive. But we all want more training, right? How about this: I'm not a Secret Squirrel Death Dealing Super Ninja (SSDDDSN for short), but if anyone wants to come shooting with me, I'll take them shooting and teach them basic firearm safety. I'll let them use my pistols/rifles/shotguns, and I'll even provide the ammo. NOTE: depending on my finances in that moment, the time at the range may be shorter or longer, but I'll absolutely share what I have set aside for training with anyone that wants to shoot. Should any SSDDSN types want to join us, come on down. I fully acknowledge that people are entitled to making a living and would gladly give it to a SSDDSN for some of his/her hard-earned knowledge, but I can also improve my skills quite a bit by simply practicing more often with what I already know. I bet if we all reached out to some non-gunnies and invited/coerced them into coming shooting, we'd start turning the opinions of the masses.

  70. I would absolutely agree that:

    1. very few people who get CC permits are truely ready to use lethal force to defend themselves…

    2. and even fewer of them would have been able to do much productive in a situation such as in Aurora, CO…

    I get all that, and like the guy at the Portland Mall, I would hope that anyone not comfortable with the situation would not take the shoot and just do their best to survive. However I would rather I had a CC weapon in that situation and if I did not, I would wish for someone else to have one regardless of how much training or proficiency we had. The remaining option is to let the deranged person shooting into the crowd continue unchallenged until the police arrive. Would he have stopped if challenged? Would he have shot and killed a CC weapons holder who challenged him? We will never know. We do know that he continued shooting into the audience until police arrived.

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