My Thoughts on the Colorado Shooting

My Thoughts on the Colorado Shooting
My Thoughts on the Colorado Shooting
My Thoughts on the Colorado Shooting
My Thoughts on the Colorado Shooting

As soon as the Colorado shooting happened my cell phone began to ring. The callers on the other end were my friends who were Democrats who launched into the gun control tirade. I let them go on their tirade as I’m used to it and didn’t respond back because it’s pointless.

What I’ve learned over the years as a firearms instructor is that the only time an anti-gun person will change their mind is when something bad happens to them and they realize a gun would have prevented it. Case in point: The female students who attend my training and tell me they used to hate guns but they were raped and now realize they need a gun.

I’ve never claimed to be the smartest guy in the world, but I am thankful I was blessed with common sense to know guns keep the honest people safe and that the criminals will cause harm one way or another.

With that being said, here are the major thoughts I have on the Colorado shooting.

Obviously, it’s a horrible tragedy and it breaks your heart, especially to hear the stories of the young victims, such as the 6-year-old girl. All you can really say is that there are some evil monsters in this world and unfortunately we as society often don’t realize they’re evil until it’s too late.

I also thought to myself that it’s a shame that nobody in the theater was carrying concealed (or maybe they were and just didn’t draw.) They might not have been able to save very many lives because of the quickness of the shooter, but even if they had saved one it would have been worth it.

However, the big thought I had is that sometimes you can be as vigilant as possible and there is nothing you can do about stopping an attack. You and I are not the President of the United States and aren’t surrounded 24/7 by dozens of secret service, therefore we are much easier targets for a criminal and none of us can be on high alert all of the time.

But even though that’s the case…

It’s still important to not go down without a fight. The loser attitude is to be a victim, to lay down and assume you can’t control it and think they’re going to get you anyway, whereas, the winners in life will do everything they can to keep themselves safer.

And that’s why every time I leave my house I have my gun with me because if it happens to be the day that I’m supposed to meet my maker, at least I’ll go down firing and not helpless.

So if you happen to be like me and your friends and family members are on their high horse about the evils of guns, I hope you’ll just ignore them and not let them get to you. Because one day you may end up saving their lives thanks to your gun.

Perhaps most ironic of all, is that thanks to the Second Amendment and gun owners like you and I, our anti-gun friends have the freedom to talk bad about us and complain there’s not enough gun control, because without the guns, we’d long have been invaded by another country (or been fully locked down by our own gov’t) and who knows what America would be like now.

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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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Good article. I would like to add that the theater did not allow any carry, so they created the environment. The answer is so simple: 1) The world has evil people 2) Evil people will always find/make guns
3) All adults should carry 4) Shootings end quicker, saving lives and
tax payers $$. And if I am killed trying to save my family, strangers or myself, then I would have been killed without a gun.


Indeed. In fact, in the town of Aurora, CO, it’s illegal to carry a concealed weapon.


No…That is incorrrect. I live here and have one.


I would like to suggest that you research statements like that before posting.


That false “fact” has been repeated in several news articles and by many posters commenting on various articles, so I understand why people are re-posting it. Apparently years ago Aurora and some other Colorado municipalities did ban carry, but in 2003 the Colorado legislature nullified all those laws to have uniform practice throughout the state. Concealed carry with a permit is legal everywhere in Colorado (except courthouses, etc.), even Denver. The only local law that differs is that Denver allows open carry only for CCW permit holders.


Well hopefully the families bring on a lawsuit to the theater since they are the ones that didnt do their job to protect the customers. IMO they created this mess! Just like back in the 80’s when someone shot and killed people in a Luby’s cafeteria in Tx. Thats how Tx. started their chl program. I would definitley be holding that theater accountable and any other business that kept law abiding people with a conceal license from protecting themselves. Law enforcement isnt always around thats why businesses should be open to all chl holders. I myself wouldve been armed because I would rather be judged by 12 instead of carried out by 6.

Travis Augustine

Great comments and explanation of why someone should always carry. My neighbor started telling me that we should have gun control immediately after this shooting and he would not listen to my opinion because I am “pro-gun”.


Very well said Jason. As you suggest, It is counter-productive to launch into tirades against the anti-gun crowd, as they so often do against us. We are better than that (well most of us). They are fellow Americans just as we are except they are mistaken in their beliefs on this issue. In time, more of them will come to realize the truth, just as you are discovering in your classes.

Demonizing them (as some ignorant people constantly do) serves no real purpose. We are the ones on the right side of the gun issue and in time more will be make the journey over to our side. Now is a time to honor those lost in this tragedy. Via calm education and training of others (as you are doing) is the way to strengthening our second amendment rights and eventually our nation.


Norway has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world, yet a nut job was still able to get his hand on the weapons with which he killed 77 people. Guns AND bombs.

Thomas Paine wrote, “…ARMS LIKE LAWS DISCOURAGE AND KEEP THE INVADER AND THE PLUNDERER IN AWE, AND PRESERVE ORDER IN THE WORLD AS AS WELL AS PROPERTY. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike [added observation — I find Paine’s point here highly debatable; history clearly demonstrates that, were all the world destitute of arms, someone would still develop weapons as a means of imposing their will on others]; BUT SINCE SOME WILL NOT, OTHERS DARE NOT LAY THEM ASIDE. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. HORRID MISCHIEF WOULD ENSUE WERE ONE HALF THE WORLD DEPRIVED OF THE USE OF THEM; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become prey to the strong. The history of every age and nation establishes these truths, and facts need but little arguments when they prove themselves (emphasis added).” Paine understood that there will always be those who resort to weapons as the means of obtaining their ends, whether in international or interpersonal relations.


Good article. I would like to add that the theater did not allow any carry, so they created the environment
I wonder if the shooter chose this place as a target because he knew no one would shoot back.


Good article, but I don’t quite agree with the idea that concealed carry would not have stopped some of the carnage. Take a different view: if there was the possibility that a number of adults in the audience were carrying because the theater was open to it, would he even have tried? I had to laugh at one of the more liberal TV personalities saying that if the shooter only had 10 round mags that the audience would have rushed him and stopped the killing while he was changing mags. I guess the personality did not want to count the shotgun and Glock 40(s) or the audience’s desire to get out of the theater.

tim uscg retired

very good article, i never leave home without my weapon by my side.


Given that the coward took extensive measures to be sure that the cops wouldn’t take him down and that he had all kinds of protection, even though he knew no one was allowed to have guns in the theater, I have to bet that if some gunfire started hitting him he would have been more worried about his own skin. If one guy returned fire could there be more? As much protection as he had, I bet he was worried about someone getting around the face shield. That’s what I would have been aiming for.


“The female students who attend my training and tell me they used to hate guns but they were raped and now realize they need a gun.” Don’t you hate that? Most criminals are young men and most victims are female because they’re easier prey. I really wish the girls would dump the obsession with shoes which prevent them from running away, put the phone down and get a clue about their sheep status.


What frustrates me is how folks make the most unsupported and, to me, illogical conclusions are the CAUSE of the incident. One woman tweeted about how ‘easy it is’ to get that 6,000 rds of ammo, as though that was in any way a factor (causal or otherwise). It is very much like the magazine capacity thing, which of course has already come up many times–to many it’s as thought the sound of the number SIX THOUSAND just takes over their mental capacity, and as though they somehow feel better if it had been just 600. In fact, had the number been 600, they response would be exactly the same. “He had six HUNDRED rounds of ammo that he bought online”. Now, my issue isn’t a matter of quantity–it’s a matter of sanity. Few folks seem to ask: if a person had crafted a plan, over a several week period, to murder as many people as possible, is that person guided by any rules as we know them?

Finally, I guess I’d like to argue that the weapons he chose are not the problem. Make every piece of gear he brought with him 100% illegal, guns, helmets, armor, gloves, etc. Was he not smart enough and motivated enough to come in that same door with 4 beer bottles full of gasoline? Would he not have easily killed as many if not more had he firebombed the doorways? Was he not smart enough to build a silent CO generator he could have left in the theatre to potentially kill or permanently injure many dozens of people with carbon monoxide?

Instead, we want to treat the most mundane of symptoms–such as the wear of costumes–rather than make any attempt to address how sick our society has become.

Randy Taylor

Odds are, few. if any could have taken a kill shot on this guy due to his body armor. However, shooting at a target vs shooting at something that can shoot back is very different. I always say that hunting is not a true sport unless the animals can shoot back. When I got my Utah Concealed Permit, the instructor reminded us that when it comes to gun free zones, there is a difference between breaking a law and breaking a rule.


So true, unless the clown was at point blank range those 9 rounds in your pea shooter would hit someone running for their lives or bounce off the perp and just piss him off.


Humm, So when you hear gunshots you stand tall and run for the exit?
Humm, “Bounce off the perp and piss him off!!”

Anddd he’ll do what?
Call you names?

Sir, You have a ‘Receivers Mentality’..

Empty your life saving clip, even with eyes close you may save you sorry self.



What “body armor” was he wearing? was it anything more than paintball protection? the news media doesn’t have a clue as to what an assault weapon is, who knows what they consider as body armor, I have not seen anything official stating the type/level of armor he was actually wearing. He may have just been wearing an LBE/plate carrier for his “clips” with no armor or plates.


I dont find the Colorado incident to truly be a gun issue. This is mentally tortured soul whom would found another means. As much or more our questions should flow towards how the school of the accused did not a have security plan to immediately turn over packages from an ex student for quick and safe evaluation. This was preventable if the guy had a dozen more guns. This would have been in motion had he owned absolutely none. He asked to be stopped in writing with paper.
Strange to hear that Aurora has some city wide restriction against a State Carry Law. Seems a possible violation of state law by a municipality, and it saved no lives if true. Can you confirm that city law Jason?


I live about 20 minutes from this theater and was talking with a friend about it. He states that there are signs on the doors stating no weapons allowed. Of course I stated that a theater wasn’t one of the places that restrict us from carrying, but in Colorado I guess each place of business can choose to say you can or can’t bring your weapon in. Is this correct ?


Arizona has the same option for businesses. The decison to allow or not allow a firearm into an establishment is entirely up to the Owner or Corporation of the business, and it is to be posted in an obvious location. It’s very unfortunate, but they have that right. Believe it or not there is a “Dick’s Sporting Goods” that SELLS firearms while the Shopping Center it is in has a sign stating that firearms are not allowed in the entire center. A Store sells firearms in a center that doesn’t allow them? Now THAT really makes sense, doesn’t it?


What shopping center?


Nortero at Happy Valley and Interstate 17. That being said, you REALLY have to look in the exact right place to read the policy of no firearms on the centers property. I blindly came across it quite by accident.

Ray Marotta

Yes, this is correct. Theaters are private property and the owner of said property as the right to decide this issue any way they choose to.

Tom Knorr

I question the whole signage. You are carrying a concealed weapon! Displaying it would be brandishing a firearm, unless you are under imminent thread of life or bodily harm. If I find myself in that situation and stop the thread with my unwanted firearm, I think dealing with an irate property owner is that smaller problem. Alternative to that: Don’t do business there, very simple choice.


Not to get technical, but if your shirt would lift inadvertenly would’t that just change from concealled to an open carry?
I totally agree to not support a buisness that doesn’t allow weapons. On the other hand many gun shows in the area make you clear your weapons and put a lock on them to enter, but I find myself still going to those. Just a thought.


I was right-along with you until that last paragraph and then i LOL’d…who in our nations’ history had their eyes set on us to take over and were either thwarted or deterred by our continually increasing stockpile of small arms? like, EVER? please cite an example, because up until the first world war we were actually pretty vulnerable to any large-scale attack by a foreign aggressor (civil war, moderate economy before the industrial revolution, etc) and i don’t see how Joe Remington Schmoe could’ve put up much of a fight

Blogen Geezer

WWII. Japan realized it would be an unbearably long, drawn out and deadly process to even attempt to invade the USA, where nearly Every Traditional Family household was armed, under the Bill of Rights 2nd Amendment. The educated leaders of Japan made this decision, even if they did manage to decimate our (limited at the time) western military defenses.

Japan did invade and hold Adak in the western Aleutians, while ‘firing for effect’ on the coastline of Oregon. The decisive battle of Midway was an outright miracle, nothing else describes it. Fortunately the ‘Miracle’ ended in our favor. The Freedom loving USA has existed as a ‘Blessed’ nation. As we are now turning ‘against’ the Creator of the Blessings, the USA will in turn learn the consequences that History has taught to so many before us.

Ray Marotta

A small example for you, thurgood. At the start of WWII, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto refused to consider invading the United States because, as he put it, There is a gun behind every blade of grass. And, as for “Joe Remington Schmoe” putting up a fight,
The Viet Cong put up a pretty good fight against the most powerful military in the history of the world using improvised and captured weapons. I am a three tour veteran of that conflict and even though the VC were destroyed as an effective fighting force during the Tet offensive, they will always be remembered as
“MR. Charles” ’nuff said


I have given alot of thought to the “what if” questions concerning whether or not a concealed carry permitted citizen could have saved any lives. For instance, how long would it have taken for a legally armed citizen to realize that it wasn’t a theater prank but rather a real active shooter incident. The news reported that the assailant had used a smoke grenade thus making the possibility of getting a clear shot difficult at best.

And, the thing that I have spent alot of time wondering about is whether the theater had a posted “no firearms” policy. The gun control advocates have a tendency to forget that people bent on doing harm seldom follow the law.

tragic to be sure.


Colorado law does not prohibit carry in theaters, only in entertainment venues that seat more than 2,500. In Colorado, a private enterprise open to the public must install metal detectors to screen for weapons if it wants to keep firearms out. Therefore, the theater’s policy is irrelevant, whether they posted signs or not.


As a retired LEO and current holder of a LEOSA permit, you are incorrect. That is a privately owned establishment therefore if they post a sign prohibiting weapons, you are not allowed to enter armed with a state of federally issued permit.

Tommy P

Awesome article
There is a lot of “what If’s “: being tossed out. I live in Indiana where if a business don’t want firearms brought into the business they have to post a picture of a gun with a line through it. sort of like a no smoking sign. I practice looking at the doors and glass windows of business while entering. If they have a sign then my money is green and it can be spent elsewhere.

Ray Marotta

A good article, Jason. I live in Colorado and I also have a concealed weapon license. The theater this aberration occurred in is posted as are many Colorado theaters with a “NO WEAPONS ALLOWED” sign outside the door. Being private property, the owners have every right to post such signs. If you are caught with a weapon, you could well be arrested. However, it will be a trespassing charge; Not a weapons violation. Of course, criminals and crazies couldn’t care less about such signage or laws.
This shooting occurred in a dark, smoke or teargas filled space full of screaming panicked people. My concern about a CCW holder drawing and firing a weapon is that most likely they would just add to the carnage. Most permit holders don’t practice that often, either. As you well know, marksmanship is a highly perishable skill. I carry a 1911-A2 and usually fire at least 50 rounds per week. I train for the head shot because some of the bad guys wear body armor (as did this clown). I was initially trained to fire two rounds center mass and watch for a second or two. If the target is not going down, body armor is involved so you shift your sights to the bridge of the nose and fire a third time. I learned I could save about 3 seconds by going directly for the “terminal T”. I shoot at ranges from 25 yards down to 2 feet. In most cases, your defensive shots had better be 2 yards or less in range or you could have an extremely difficult time explaining yourself to the responding officers or a liberal leaning District Attorney.
BTW…I carry with a round in the chamber and the hammer back, safety on. The 1911 was designed to be safely carried that way. I alternate and practice with 3 different holsters; An “Uncle Mikes” ballistic nylon vertical carry shoulder rig, and, 2 different GALCO leather holsters. One inside the waistband and one outside. Practicing the draw is almost as important as shooting practice. It occurs to me that I’m preaching to the choir so I’ll stop now.
Best regards


See my response above. The theater must screen for guns with metal detectors if they want to keep guns out. The policy you describe is correct for many states, but not Colorado.

Dan Ess

It’s clearly understandable that there are those who believe it is against the law to Carry Conceal in Aurora CO. However the Ordinances from 1998 listed below were voided by a 2003 ruling:
By this legislation (SB03-25), all of the ordinances on this list have been declared unenforceable. 1. Concealed Weapons Ordinances
A. Concealed Carry Bans Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Colorado Springs, Denver, Englewood, Lakewood, Littleton, Longmont, Northglenn, Pueblo, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge

Dan Ess

The real problem is too many people. There are not enough jobs for everyone to live the dream in the USA. JEH probably realized he was never going to become famous through his career in neuroscience, so he found another way for his name to go down in history. Fame is all that matters to some people.


Well said and of course many ccw people were thinking same thing. Now the UN & Hilary/Obama are about to try to change our 2nd ammendment today in NY. Write your senator!

Tom Knorr

Great article, and I agree: very unfortunate circumstances.

I find that some of the shooter’s actions don’t quite add up in my book. I’m not trying to second guess a crazy person but was just wondering if someone else thinks that there is something not right here, in addition to the overall event itself.
He buys a ticket for the show, obviously doesn’t walk in through the front entrance all decked out in combat, so (I’m guessing) he exits though an emergency door, rigs it to get back in, then goes to the car and gets dressed up (and I know how long that takes), walks back in to stage a massacre? Anything else would require special access (keys, help opening doors), unless I am not creative enough.
Then he has better body armor than the SWAT team – and he just folds, despite the fact he has just killed or injured 60+ people (should expect the death penalty, agony spending the rest of his life in jail), additionally having his apartment rigged to blow up when someone (assuming LEO) enters it? Why not fight it out with the law enforcement and make a run for it?
This all seems very staged to me. The guy is too smart and shows too much careful planning to just give up. I wonder what the acceptable “collateral damage” assessment is for the Anti-Gun folks to rally the congressional support for e.g. an UN small arms treaty or some other legislation that turns free people into subjects.


There should not have been a tirade from your Republican or Democrat friends on gun control. The facts are the hand guns, shot gun, rifle, ammo and other gear were legal purchases. It was illegal for Holmes to exit and prop open that fire door without there being a fire and then return shooting and murdering those people. I am not sure but, I do believe that most movie theaters are pistol free zones. If that were the case you would be breaking the law.


I think it was more of an exit door rather than and emergency door.


While I agreed completely with your article, there are a two issues that do give me concern and make me wonder why? First it was reported somewhere, don’t recall what network or who, that the “Joker” was using armor piecing ammunition, if true. Which raises the question to me why is armor piecing ammunition available to the civilian market, you can’t use it to hunt, you can’t use it on most firearms ranges. So why? Second the “Joker” was wearing level 3 body armor with all the accessories. Why is level 3 body armor legal for civilian ownership? I can understand armor piecing ammunition being available to L.E. and military, just not to civilians which would make our L.E. safer on the streets. Same for the level 3 body armor should restricted to Military, L.E., and certain other organizations. While I don’t support or condone more gun laws or restrictions I think we must think of giving a little, in this case, so we don’t loose everything. In closing the bottom line is no matter what steps we take to ensure our security and safety. When evil wishes to do harm to the innocent it WILL happen and evil will succeed. I just thank God that the “Joker” only used tear gas in those canisters he threw into the theater. What if they had been a home made hand grenade or home made claymore mine. The death toll would have been very much larger and more tragic than it is.


I would say that while the body armor would have kept the rounds from penetrating the skin…a few well placed rounds from short distance would have forced him to the ground and ended the ordeal. It is just ashamed that only law abiding citizens are affected by gun control laws…criminals do not care and will not obey regardless of the penalty.


Even though the gun grabbing left have been using this shooting as ammo for their gun control rhetoric, gun sales in Aurora and around CO. are up. So the left may not get the message, but the people do! The government can’t protect you so you better protect you. And like the article said, even if it can’t be prevented, I’d rather go down fighting! Keep carrying America!!

Travis Aslakson

Thanks for the site, i have learned alot since i first found the site. I have my conceal and carry permit from alaska. I have responded to people blaming this on gun laws via facebook and news comment boards and as many of you have already stated that doesn’t solve anything when criminals don’t follow laws. So here are my two examples of gun rights working.

1. The Detroit poilce department shooting, gunman walks in to station and starts shooting cops, cops shoot back, gunman retreats, cops are wounded, gunman dies, no trial money saved case closed. Yes they have the training but shows that guns helped them. Sorry if that seems morbid, but that is how i see things.

2. Kennesaw Georgia passed a law saying that all heads of households must own a gun and have it in the house for self defense, crime went down 89% and has stayed down.

Police are not the state farm agent and magically appear when called. People need to realize this and start defending themselves, if you have the power to do something you do it. Stop being so trusting of your surroundings and seeing the best in people, realize that when a criminal chooses to go after the innocent, their mind is made up and it can happen anytime.


Before becoming a citizen of this
blessed Nation I was in a place where regular/normal citizens are not allowed
to own a gun for his own and his home protection.

Sadly most of the citizens of that
country mentioned above live scared…why? Because the bad guys get the guns
anyway and they use those knowing that a regular citizen will not be able to
defend himself in an equal manner…A bad guy always find a way to harm others
and much likely,they will not recognize any law


If you want to make the point, stop characterizing the anti-gun hysteria as “left”. It is not “left”, it is just a subculture and it’s based on fear, which is based on ignorance. I’m “left” and I’m a gun owner and have a CC permit. Like everyone posting here I think hard about this situation and what, if anything, I could’ve done had I been in that theater and carrying. It’s not a trivial tactical situation. “Empty your clip” is not as smart as it sounds in a dark, smoke filled theater full of panicking people running for exits – you could kill someone else, and then what would that make you? It’s just not trivial, none of it. Don’t polarize this as “left vs right” because if you do so you guarantee that whoever you’re talking to will go into defensive mode, and we all know that when we get defensive we close our minds. I like the calm, education oriented attitude of most posters here. Keep it up. Stay safe.


There would be fewer mass shootings if lunatics knew with certainty that many of the adults would be armed, wherever/whenever they chose to attack. By their 3rd shot they should be taking return fire from five or more people.

democrats “have friends”? Must be the “joke of the day”…oh yea…


I think the cops should have said he was reaching for his weapon and took his ass out of this world. It would have been Justice for the families! Now we are spending money on this monster, its just plain stupid if you ask me.


At a recent training session, a very experienced retired law enforcement officer and heavily credentialed trainer cautioned about the chaos of civilians running away from the shooter and the risk of hitting one of them. Thinking about some of my efforts to photograph people in a crowded setting, and how many strangers’ backs had been the inadvertent subject of my photographs, I figured he had a point. One suggestion he made, cautioning us not to attribute to him in a recognizable way, was to put a couple of rounds into a save direction like the ceiling or high in the theater screen. The shooter was a certified chicken-shit, wearing all kinds of tactical armor into an unarmed crowd and shooting indiscriminately. Perhaps knowing that someone in the theater was armed and might hit him would deter him from shooting any more. This is speculation, as he said, but might have a grain of truth.