One of the most shocking realization emerging from the James Holmes Batman movie shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado is the fact that nobody apparently tried to stop the shooter. This is absolutely baffling. Out of at least 70 moviegoers (and maybe more, as numbers remain sketchy at the moment), it appears that nobody tried to tackle him to the ground, shoot back with their own gun, or even fight back in any way whatsoever. The accounts of witnesses are those of people fleeing, ducking and screaming… but not fighting for their lives.
This story is in no way intended to blame those present at the theater for what was obviously a horrifying, shocking and probably very confusing event, but at the same time we must ask the question: Why did no one fight back?
See my previous story, by the way, which asks other questions about this shooting, such as where did Holmes get the training and the funds to build a complex maze of flammable booby-traps? That story is available at:
“There were bullet [casings] just falling on my head. They were burning my forehead,” Jennifer Seeger told reporters in an LA Times article (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/07/colorado-shooting-suspe…). “Every few seconds it was just: Boom, boom, boom,” she said. “He would reload and shoot and anyone who would try to leave would just get killed.”
Another bizarre quote appears in the Daily Mail: (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2176450/The-Dark-Knight-Rises…)
A baby was shot at point blank range, the family were gathered around screaming.
If the baby was shot at point blank range, that means the shooter was right there beside them. Instead of gathering around and screaming, why didn’t the family tackle the shooter?
This is not any sort of insensitive attempt at satire or blaming anyone, by the way. This is purely an effort to ask a deeply disturbing question that has been bothering me ever since this whole thing went down:
How can a lone gunman fire off at least 100 rounds in a crowded theater full of people and have NOBODY fight back, shoot back or attempt to tackle him?
The guy literally walked in, tossed a couple of smoke bombs, started shooting everybody in sight, and for some reason that remains entire unexplained, they let him do it. When he finished, he walked out the door and calmly surrendered to police, mission accomplished. He was never shot at, stabbed, kicked, punched, tripped or attacked in any way whatsoever, apparently.
Importantly, this shooting had to have taken several minutes to carry out. To fire 100+ rounds of ammunition from any weapon requires multiple reloads, each of which takes several seconds to carry out. There would have been long pauses in the shooting. There has even been a report that the AR-15 rifle used by the shooter jammed, which would have created an even longer pause.
These pauses are opportunities to bum rush the guy, or shoot back, or throw something at him, or just punch him right in the jaw with everything you’ve got. Holding a gun does not make you invincible. If anything, it makes you very, very vulnerable to all sorts of attacks. As I learned in my own defensive training, often alongside peace officers:
• Nobody has eyes in the back of their head. Attacks from behind are very, very effective.
• A gun only points in one direction at a time. It cannot shoot backwards, behind the person holding it.
• A gas mask SEVERELY limits angle of perception of vision. Someone wearing a gas mask, as is reported in this incident, is ridiculously vulnerable to attacks from behind, from above, from the sides and from below.
• No man can ignore a deliberate knee to the groin (from the front), or a “kickball” kick to the groin from behind. Such moves are taught in martial arts such as Krav Maga, and they are very, very effective at bringing any man to his knees, either screaming or even vomiting in pain.
• At close range, guns are LESS dangerous than knives. A knife can cut along an entire geometric plane, but a gun can only fire at a single point in space. Guns jam, guns run out of ammo, guns need to be reloaded. A knife, on the other hand, has none of these limitations. Disarming someone with a gun is MUCH easier than disarming someone with a knife.
It is bewildering that during the several minutes it would have taken for Holmes to fire 100+ rounds into the crowd, nobody fought back.
Again, I’m not blaming the people there, I’m just bewildered that nobody fought back. It doesn’t make sense. Unless, of course, the very fabric of American culture is now so passive and afraid that people have forgotten how to take action in the face of fear.
I think I speak for a great many concealed carry permit holders when I say that if I had been in that theater, I would have been emptying magazines in the direction of the threat (i.e. putting sights on target and repeatedly pulling the trigger). Like many concealed carry weapon holders, I would have turned that scene into what we sometimes jokingly call a “two-way range.”
Like all other concealed carry holders, I am reluctant to ever draw a weapon on anyone, but I’m absolutely willing to do so in order to try to stop a massacre from taking place.
What I can’t understand is how apparently NOBODY in the entire theater had the training or the presence of mind to fight back. This is truly astonishing at every level. In America today, do people just lay down to die when there’s a gunman in the room? I’m not asking this to be insulting in any way, I’m simply bewildered by the lack of action. This is an honest question: WHY did no one act?
Here’s a news flash for those who have never trained in these scenarios: Guys wielding guns are very, very easy to disarm during reloads — far easier than trying to disarm someone with a knife, as mentioned earlier. “Weapon takeaways” are routinely taught in Krav Maga, for example, and they are fast and effect, usually breaking the bad guy’s trigger finger in the process.
Taking away a weapon from a gunman is surprisingly easy. Forcing him to the ground takes almost no effort at all. This shooter could have been easily disarmed and pummeled to the ground by a single person, not to mention two or three working together.
Instead, the only reports we get from this incident are those of people screaming and hiding, or sometimes fleeing. To my knowledge, there are no eyewitness accounts of anyone rushing the gunman, shooting back, or trying to even trip him to fall on the floor. And yet empty shell casings were literally falling right onto people within arms’ reach of the guy.
As the Daily Mail reports: (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2176450/The-Dark-Knight-Rises…)
Twenty-five-year-old Jennifer Seeger, of Aurora, says she was in the second row, about four feet from the gunman. She says she ‘was just a deer in headlights’ and ducked to the ground.
Tactically speaking, there is absolutely no way that one person can shoot 70 people unless those 70 people just lay there and let it happen. To shoot 70 people, the guy must have pulled the trigger at least 100 times, probably a lot more, as accuracy in these situations is usually quite poor. Most likely we’re going to find up to 200 rounds expended, once a final forensic count is completed.
News reports say he used as 90-round ammo “drum” for the AR-15. These drums are notoriously bad at feeding ammo, making them useless on the battlefield, which is why soldiers never use them on their personal AR-15s (they use 30-round mags). According to reports, Holmes’ AR-15 drum jammed during the shooting (no surprise) and he had to abandon that weapon and start using something else. All this would have taken time for him to sort out, during which the shooter is completely vulnerable to all sorts of grappling attacks, punches, kicks to the groin, eye gouges, weapon takeaways, etc.
Yet, strangely, nobody rushed the guy. Nobody shot back. Nobody tried to punch him. I honestly don’t understand this.
It occurs to me that maybe I’m different from most Americans today in the fact that I am willing to fight back. For some reason, that seems to be a rarity these days. Too many people have bought into learned helplessness, where they depend on the government to take care of them, keep them safe and solve all their problems.
Once you outsource your personal security to the government — usually by having no defense skills and hoping 911 will respond quickly — you make yourself an easy victim for violent criminals.
The true path to personal safety and security is to learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones. There are many ways to do that, from basic hand-to-hand combat and martial arts skills to learning proficiency in the “American martial art” of hand-gunning. I’ve personally trained with numerous instructors who could have taken Holmes out from 20 – 30 meters away with a single shot to the head, with about 90% accuracy even under pressure. There are lots of proficient firearms owners across America, and a great many of them are carrying those weapons into movie theaters, shopping malls, retail stores and even at the airport. Why was no one carrying a concealed weapon at the Batman movie theater in Aurora? I have no idea.
Again, it’s difficult to second guess what really went down there with all the confusion, the screaming, the smoke and so on. Maybe there were concealed carry weapon holders in the room but they couldn’t get a clear shot. One thing concealed carry holders are always taught is to never shoot at a bad guy if there are innocent civilians behind him. (You’re always trained to know what’s BEHIND your target.) This might have made target acquisition difficult, but given the reality of what was unfolding, it would seem logical to pull the trigger anyway, as allowing the shooter to stand would clearly result in a great number of additional deaths.
Also, there is the distinct possibility that perhaps someone did pull a gun on Holmes, but they got shot by him first. We don’t know the real story on this until more information is released by investigators. So perhaps there was someone who had the courage to fight back and we just haven’t learned about them yet.
What we do know, so far at least, is that no stories of attempted heroism have emerged. Not a single account that I’m aware of, and I’ve been scanning the stories. This is very, very strange. Something doesn’t add up yet again.
What I’m starting to think really happened is that the American culture is becoming one of total surrender to criminals. Why do people line up at the airports and allow the TSA go grope their genitals? Because they’re passive and they’ve surrendered instead of fighting back. Why do stay silent when runaway criminality is happening all around them in the form of armed raids on raw milk farmers (http://www.naturalnews.com/033220_Rawesome_Foods_armed_raids.html) and government hit squads trying to kill farmers’ ranch pigs in Michigan? (http://www.naturalnews.com/035585_Michigan_farms_raids.html) Because people are scared into silence.
Americans, it turns out, are easy to terrorize. They’re easy to freeze into a state of fear-based non-action. That fear can and will be used against them, again and again. Look at the post 9/11 effort to crush freedom and destroy the Bill of Rights. It succeeded because Americans were terrorized and willing to give up all their liberties for the false promise of a little security.
This is concerning for lots of reasons beyond the Batman shooting. It means the population is just cannon fodder for armed gangs of looters when the next collapse comes, and the debt spending of the U.S. government absolutely guarantees a financial collapse is just around the corner. (It’s only a matter of time.)
It’s beginning to look more and more like only those of us who have the natural instinct to fight back — and who are willing to acquire fundamental skills of personal defense — will be left standing in the long run. Even those of us who have such skills will need to be both well practiced and, to some extent, lucky. But luck has a way of bending your way when you’re prepared, I’ve noticed.
I hope YOU, the readers, are among those of us who are survivors. We need more good people to survive and help lead our nation into a future of liberty, abundance and lasting health. We need more good people to survive social unrest, the aftermath of natural disasters, the coming economic collapse, food shortages, roving bands of armed gangs and so on. If anything, right now is a time for more people to go out and get trained on personal defense, whether that’s with martial arts, rape prevention classes, or even quality firearms training.
It should hopefully be obvious at this point that the police cannot protect you. Calling 911 is about as useless as crossing your fingers and hoping you won’t die. And that’s even if 911 answers, because 911 services are easily taken offline even by wind storms (as we saw recently in Washington D.C.). If you cannot protect yourself and your family, you’re not ready for what’s coming, I believe. Get prepared. Get some skills. Practice to the point of proficiency. Decide to survive rather than surrendering to violence.
Much of this, after all, is simply a mental decision. I have no idea why that mental decision did not take place inside the Batman movie theater, but I know that you and I can make that decision right now — the decision to SURVIVE — and we can move forward in life with the strength and power of sticking with that decision.