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Nugent: Good Guy with Gun Could’ve Stopped Aurora Shooter

Here’s one thing we can all agree on in this polarized political climate: The shooting in Aurora was an unspeakably horrible tragedy. What many Americans disagree on is what can be done to stop such events. The proposed solutions couldn’t be more dissimilar. Anti-gun politicians say the shooting proves the need to restrict gun rights. Meanwhile pro-gun activists argue that a good guy with a gun could’ve stopped the Aurora shooter, if only the movie theater didn’t ban concealed carry.

Ted Nugent weighed in with the following tweet: we pray for all victims&lovedones of demonshooter in CO& we SALUTE the brave warriors who saved lives IF only they would hav had a good gun.

Anti-gun politicians scoff at the idea. They can’t cite any examples, yet they insist that somehow a good guy with a gun would only make the situation worse. Could someone with a concealed-carry permit have stopped the Aurora shooting? I’m as pro-gun as they come, but the truth is I don’t know. However, I also know that if a man intent on evil enters a room and starts shooting, if I have a gun, at least I’ve got a fighting chance.

I argue this not merely based on hypotheticals, but actual events in which armed citizens stopped would-be mass killers.

For instance, in 2002 a disgruntled former student opened fire at the Appalachian School of Law, killing two professors and a student. The incident, though tragic, would have been far worse if not for the actions of two brave students, who ran to their vehicles, obtained personal firearms and immobilized the gunman–all without firing a shot. And in the midst of a 1997 shooting spree at a high school in Pearl, Miss., the assistant principal retrieved a gun from his car and held the shooter for police, preventing further tragedy. More recently, a hero with a concealed-carry permit used his gun to stop a knife-wielding man who had already stabbed two random people and sought further victims.

Lawful, armed citizens have squashed similar attacks in Tyler, Texas, at a church in Colorado Springs, Colo., a mall in Salt Lake City, Utah, and elsewhere. In all aforementioned incidents, good, law-abiding people met force with force, and they saved lives. They exercised their rights to self-defense, a basic human liberty that’s all but neutralized by “gun-free” zones.

So, I won’t argue that an armed good guy would’ve stopped the Aurora shooter. But it’s possible.

26 Responses
  • Michael

    absolute truth. absolute common sense. i think very few ccw carriers know, for sure, what they would do in a situation like aurora. the fact still remains,if a good person with a gun would have there, the trageady could possibly have been less. who knows. hindsight is 20/20

  • Tommy

    Don’t forget the 71 yr. old guy in Fla. who recently took out TWO PERPS BY HIMSELF with a CCW weapon. Of course the MSM, controlled by the antigunners buried that story right quick. Or the 19 yr. old single mom who stopped a home invasion and saved herself AND HER BABY with a gun. Stories like these happen on a daily basis, but they don’t fit the mind control agenda of the leftists, who wish to enslave us all by removing any and all means of self defense….

  • Targetshooter

    One thing is provable. We know what happened when noone was armed except the shooter.

  • Mark in Montana

    I would like to point out one inaccuracy in the article. The author says that an armed citizen in Salt Lake City was responsible for stopping a shooting taking place in a mall. He is referring to the shooting at Trolley Square Mall several years ago. What he fails to point out, or perhaps is ignorant of, is that the ‘armed citizen’ was in fact an off-duty police officer.

    I also do not know if having 1 or more concealed weapons on-site would have made a difference. Part of me says it might, but having some experience with carrying firearms in my work, I also understand that it might have made things worse. Much depends on the person, their training and reaction to the stress of the situation. No one can say with certainty that it would have helped or made it worse.

    • JackTheNipper

      Quite obviously, millions of things “could” have happened. The real point here is that no good guns present equals disaster and helplessness. At least one other gun “could” have made the result less tragic. Whether or not it definitely “would have” is quite another issue, dependent upon many variables.

  • Brain engaged

    I am in complete agreement that gun-free zones are counter-productive and give criminals a green light to terrorize unarmed citizens. HOWEVER, consider the possible scenarios and circumstances for this particular massacre very carefully:

    1. It was pitch-dark in the theater.
    2. The perp threw down two devices that filled the theater with smoke and tear-gas type irritant.
    3. In other words, it was very difficult to see.
    4. That wasn’t a problem for the gunman, since he didn’t have to aim. He shot randomly into the crowd. He was wearing a gas mask.
    5. He was also wearing body armor from head to toe. The only part of him not in armor was his face, which was covered with a gas mask. Taking him down would have required very carefully-placed face shots.
    6. If I, or another CCW holder were to have taken him on, I would have to consider very carefully that, especially with the pandemonium in the theater after he opened fire, it would have been very easy to accidentally shoot an innocent bystander. Consider not only the people around him, but also audiences in adjacent theaters who could have been hit by a stray shot. In fact, several people in adjacent theaters were hit by the gunman’s bullets.
    7. Consider the consequences if an innocent bystander were wounded or killed by one of my stray rounds. Not only would I have hurt or killed an innocent person who might have otherwise escaped, imagine the consequences for me personally and for the concealed-carry movement in general!! That is all the anti-gun zealots need — THEY ARE WAITING FOR THE TIME WHEN A CCW HOLDER ACCIDENTALLY SHOOTS AN INNOCENT BYSTANDER. That is all they need in order to say, “See what happens when you allow citizens to carry guns!”

  • Ron

    I agree, as a CCW holder and ex law enforcement officer, our armed citizens are our friends NOT the enemy. Had an individual in this arena had a gun and legally carrying, the death toll would have been far less. Proper training, lots of time at the range and not afraid to act responsibly add up to saved souls.

    • Chris

      Everyone wants to believe they could be the hero that saved the day (Ted especially) but the truth is most people just are not trained to deal with such a situation. Colorado requires a mere 4 hour safety course to carry a concealed weapon, no where near the training require for a full on encounter with a determined, well-armed and armoured psycho. Claiming that a single armed person in that theatre (unless you’re talking about an off-duty SWAT team officer) could have stopped the bad guy is just living in a very dangerous fantasy world. I would be more realistic to require off-duty police officers to carry, even in weapons free zones. At least then the CCWs would be in the hands of trained individuals.

      • John

        As a veteran police officer, I can squelch your overconfidence in the average officer’s shooting ability. Some of the most careless and dangerous people I’ve been around with firearms are police officers, some of them barely knowing how to operate their own duty sidearm, much less any others.

        The average NRA member is much more informed and well-trained than the average police officer. There are exceptions of course, but that’s the general rule.

  • Hedo59

    As noted above we know what happens when a psychopath chooses to destroy innocent lives and people. We have some evidence what happens when a good guy with a firearm is there to even the playing field. There are many considerations, especially in the Aurora murders besides the normal terror, screaming etc. There was darkness, smoke/irritant in the air, psycho wearing gas mask and body armor. This would make taking the psycho down very difficult, but again we know what is happening if we do not do anything.
    Here is my take. The gas mask may help him breathe easier but it severely limits his view. Moving behind him would take you out of his vision and possibly allow a well aimed shot. Even wearing armor, taking hits from a large caliber weapon will get his attention. I generally have 31 rounds of .45 on me. 10 rounds to torso, hips and head (yes I know some will likely miss depending on how close I could approach as I was firing), then reloading and putting as many more rounds on target would certainly change his focus from killing innocent people to trying to protect his own life. Maybe at that point some other sheepdogs would be able to jump on him and take him to the floor.
    That brings up the other horrible thought. One of those missing shots striking an innocent person. This is a tough issue, however at this point in this, I would have to say “so what?”. This guy would kill everyone he could find if not stopped. If by accidently shooting (and over 90% of people shot by handguns survive) an innocent person it stops the psycho and instead of shooting 70 or more people he shoots 14 then I would accept that, along with the fate that awaited me. I would live with that and all the what if’s for the rest of my life. But maybe, just maybe knowing that 50 other people walked out without bullet holes that would soften those nights full of what ifs.

  • 46rkl

    The argument over wether or not a legal ccw could have made a difference or not will never be answered…. The management made the decision to exclude that possibility. I would not have patronized that establishment for just that reason.
    I don’t think featuring Ted Nugent and his comment lends any credence to this argument. He is a whack job, unethical sportsman who should be ignored by the ethical sportsman.

  • TonyH110

    I’ll guarantee one question or psychiatric test that wont occur with this Holmes guy and that is “would you have been deterred from an attack if you knew this cinema allowed concealed carry – would you have sought somewhere else?”

    • Chris

      Holmes was wearing body armour. He was ready for an opponent carrying a CCW and was determined and prepared to survive the encounter.

  • adam

    It’s always a question of if the situation would have been different or would and armed good citizen would have changed the outcome. But when it comes to saving lives isn’t the smallest percent chance still worth taking. I mean let’s face it I would rather see that 6 year old girl alive today than the accused up on the stands to be judged right now.

  • Jody

    Whether an armed citizen would have mitigated the tragedy or not, Holmes certainly counted on none being there. Guess he was right. As a provider and protector of my family, I have to be vigilant and prepared at all times. Goblins like Holmes only have to be lucky once, and luck favors the prepared. He knew nobody inside that theater would be prepared. Psychopaths like soft targets; they study well, and sometimes they even do their homework. I guess Holmes just wore the body armor for extra credit. I’m glad Colorado has a death penalty, but that won’t bring any of his victims back. The law and courts provide for consequences; the only real-time cure antidote for murderous intent is overwhelming force in immediate response. To have such force ever-presently available, you need either an armed population, or a police state.

  • Chris

    This is a very sad deal. All the innocent lives lost because some creep likes his grape KooKoolaid. I would imagine he would have thought about it twice or more if there was a better than not odds of someone else packing in that theatre. They want to take all guns away from lawful law abiding citizens but here is a newsflash, that isnt going to deter bad people from getting their hands on firearms and we the people will have to fend them off with sticks then….. Brain dead ideas all around to take away our right to bear arms.

  • Sixguns

    I’ld assume in CO where guns laws are a bit more laxed that most states, there was at least one other person in that theater who had a gun. Legal or not..

  • James

    Agree only way to stop that man would be face shots.
    I’m not trained or in law enforcement or military so would be
    difficult but not impossible to take the shots.

    My Crimson Tide laser to the eyes of the shooter could blind him
    for a moment or two while several rounds to his head finish him off
    before he can see me with my laser pointing at his head.

    No doubt he would be shooting back but if my wife and kids
    were at the move no matter what I will fight back while they
    take cover on the floor.

    As far as the theater pitch black, I don’t think so, with the trailers and ads being shown on the screen would be ok to see him,
    I enjoy very good night vision as I work at night 30 years.

    He must have had some tunnel vision while he was firing on the innocent people, that could be an advantage for a citizen to shoot
    back at him.

  • Marc

    My wife, the only non-shooter in the family, asked me what weapon and tactics could have been used against this nut-job. After a little thought, I replied a handgun of at least .40 cal with laser sight. Since he had body armor- and would that have been apparant at the moment? I said that if center of body shots did not work, go for a head shot.
    The sad thing is, no one was able to defend themselves.
    Here in NJ, all I can carry is- Pepperspray.

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