“Another Moviegoer With A Gun” could NOT have stopped the shooter.
The thought that “another person in the theater with a gun could have stopped the Colorado gunman” is, in a word, ludicrous.
Let’s break down what we know about the shooting.
1. The shooter was wearing kevlar body armor. Another person in the theater with a gun would not have been able to pull off a disabling shot because a center mass hit would’ve been stopped by the armor, and his legs were obscured by either the chairs or the crowd.
2. The shooter gassed the theater with either smoke bomb or tear gas, which reduced visibility. Another person in the theater would not have been able to see well enough to pull off a shot they’d be sure got the gunman himself.
3. Because the gas caused mass panic, there were people running around. Unless one is as compassionless as the gunman to consider other American citizens, other human beings, as “collateral damage” or “acceptable losses”, there was no way for another person with a gun to have taken a shot at the gunman without risking hitting innocent movie viewers just trying to get to safety.
4. Holmes, again, had on body armor and a mask. He had gassed the theater and set the crowd to panic stampeding. He was himself a moving target in a theater full of moving targets. The only way to stop him for sure would’ve been a head shot, which is — contrary to what one sees in the movies — difficult at best if you’re not a sniper, but the next best thing to impossible in a dark, crowded, gas-filled theater full of moving targets.
5. The only way another person in the theater with a gun could’ve stopped him was if they had been next to him — right next to him, at point blank range — before he threw the gas canisters.
So PLEASE STOP SAYING that another moviegoer with a gun could’ve stopped him.
All logic dictates otherwise.
And really, arguing about what could’ve stopped him is nothing more than a mental exercise at this point. “What if” will not undo what has done. It will neither un-injure the living victims, nor will it bring back the dead.
The shooter is in custody, will go to trial, and given the body of evidence that seems to be piling up rapidly, will go to jail for multiple life sentences.
The only thing that matters now is helping the victims of Aurora cope with the tragedy. Healing the wounded. Easing their suffering. And support for those grieving their dead.