Some notes on Colorado Shooting

Several important points
4 months of planning make it very difficult to stop this type of attack.
Gun-free zone yet again.
10 minutes between when attack starts and when police are able to arrive at the crime scene. Attack was already over when police arrived.
60 explosive devices in his apartment (30 homemade grenades) -- what would this guy have been able to do without any guns.
Side points
Large magazines like that in this shooting often jam -- large magazines require very strong springs, but over time the pressure from the bullets being held in the magazine cause the metal in the spring to suffer fatigue. When the spring loses its ability to push bullets into the chamber properly you get jams.
As occurred in the Aurora, Colorado attack, the gun used in the Tucson, Arizona shooting also jammed.
I have seen several concerns that if citizens had been allowed to carry permitted concealed handguns into the theater, there would be more casualties from the crossfire. There is one problem with this claim. Despite all the defensive gun uses that have stopped multiple victim public shootings, this possible scenario has never occurred.
Slightly longer discussion
As I have already noted, this horrible tragedy occurred in yet another gun-free zone. Don Kates notes: "it turns out that Century 16 Theaters no-gun policy also applies to its own security personnel, including the off-duty policy officer on the premises."
On Fox News at 5:34 PM EDT, the Aurora police chief said that the killer had been receiving "a high volume of deliveries at work and home over the past four months".
CBS notes that the attack erupted at 12:30 AM. Reuters has this timeline:
* Local police began receiving emergency calls at 12:39 a.m. Within a minute, hundreds of 911 calls had been placed. * Police arrived at the scene at 12:40 a.m. (0640 GMT) The suspect, Holmes, was taken into custody in the parking lot near the back door of the theater.
Police arrived very quickly once they called, but it appears that nine minutes elapsed between when the attack started and they were notified.
From a June 2010 piece entitled: Think Tough Gun Laws Keep Europeans Safe? Think Again...
It wasn't supposed to happen in England, with all its very strict gun control laws. And yet last week Derrick Bird shot and killed 12 people and wounded 11 others. A headline in The Times of London read: "Toughest laws in the world could not stop Cumbria tragedy." . . .
Take a simple example. Suppose your family is being stalked by a criminal who intends on harming them. Would you feel safer putting up a sign in front of your home with the message: "This Home is a Gun-Free Zone"? Probably not. The sign would only tell criminals that they would meet little resistance if they attacked. But in effect, we have put these signs on everything from schools to a couple of cities.

I meant to bring up Edinboro, PA as an example of a school shooting that had been stopped by a citizen with a gun.
Immediate calls went out for gun control.
The Hill Newspaper: "Gun control calls follow Colorado theater shootings, but few expect major changes"
Fox News: "Mass shooting prompts calls from Capitol Hill and beyond for tighter gun laws"
"We don't want sympathy. We want action," Dan Gross, president of the Brady campaign said Friday as Obama and Romney mourned the dead. "Everyone is scared of the NRA," [Ed Rendell] said on MSNBC. "Number one, there are some things worth losing for in politics and to be able to prevent carnage like this is worth losing for." . . .
The Guardian Newspaper in the UK -- Guns in America: beyond control: America has had more than its share of deadly shootings, but there is scant hope of a change to gun laws Of course, this claim is patently false.
As noted earlier, there are all sorts of calls for more gun control on twitter.
Editorials and op-eds are already calling for bans and registration. The Economist Magazine has this piece.

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Blogger Chas said...

"CBS notes that the attack erupted at 12:30 AM."

Obviously, it wouldn't take ten minutes for the police to be notified in this cell phone era. A minute's delay would be a very long time these days.
I would take anything CBS says with a rather large grain of salt. Why do they even still exist?

7/21/2012 9:09 PM  
Blogger Rail Claimore said...

Doesn't Colorado's state pre-emption law (what's left of it after a bit of it was struck down by the state supreme court a few years ago) cover concealed carry? I know that Ohio's did before that state passed full pre-emption.

7/21/2012 11:42 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Very helpful posting, especially the reality of the European situation. Also, I read a related article on FrontPage regarding the immediate attack on firearms rights, which might help further inform readers. One reply to that article (if I remember, it was on page 3 or 4 of the replies) noted the odd coincidence of mass public shootings occurring when key, Left-Agenda anti-gun legislation was being proposed. While it touched slightly on Consiracy Theory in terms of manipulation of psychotics for political purposes without the notorious historical examples (e.g., Stalin's assasination of a popular Leningrad party boss by an intelligence agency-trained lunatic in the 1930s), the co-incidence of mass murder events and proposals to limit the rights of what Sen. Feinstein arrogantly refers to as "average individuals" may shed light on mass psychology and the statical models related to what actuaries have termed "the clustering of ordinary disaster." Violent political theater (terrorism) and violent crimes with "terrorist trappings," such as the "tactical costume" worn by Holmes may speak to a desire to address mass audience as does sensationalist, "world-changing" legislation framed by idealistic, "peaceful" reformers, seeking to "trade Freedom for security," despite the historically confirmed likely hood of obtaining "neither." Interestingly, the extensive use of tear-gas and trip-wired explosives has not been addressed by anti-gun advocates, despite the greater potential for chemicals and explosives for massurders. As our society becomes more technologically dependent and densly populated, these risks will increase and calls for ever higher social control and intrusion will increase as well. For example, even the anti-gun science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke (a brilliant man in my view, except for his typically British anti-self defense ideology), noted in The Fountains of Paradise (1978), "a deranged engineer could assasinate a city." More recently, the cosmologist, Sir Martin Reese expands "risk of mega-terror" by highly educated individuals withaccess "to ever more advanced technology" in his ominous book, Our Final Hour (2002). Here, cherished inidivual INTELLECTUAL freedoms are called into question in the name of security. Thus, the "slippery slope" is no fallacy in practice: we face the risk of mass murders on one side and tyrants on the other, even to the level of our personal thoughts. Fortunately, we gave a forum for debate to hopefully restore sober reflection out of the immediate calls for ever more draconian restrictions diven my the emotionism of these heart-wrenching tragedies...

7/22/2012 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would the one 1 attack where 3 or more people were killed in a zone that allows guns be the Giffords shooting?

7/22/2012 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would the one 1 attack where 3 or more people were killed in a zone that allows guns be the Giffords shooting?

7/22/2012 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would the one 1 attack where 3 or more people were killed in a zone that allows guns be the Giffords shooting?

7/22/2012 2:12 PM  
Blogger Motor-T said...

Colorado seems to have a preemption law that would overrule Aurora's concealed carry ban. It is legal to carry in Aurora. However, concealed carry was prohibited in the theater by the theater's policy.

7/23/2012 1:54 AM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Failure to chamber due to a weak magazine spring is not due to long term storage of rounds in the magazine.

The repeated cycling of the spring itself causes said spring to lose its potential to store energy.

Many folks, due to financial reasons simply purchase 'cheap' magazines that are poorly made, and malfunction far more often than a high quality magazine which not only has a much better spring, it also is better engineered to smoothly strip the round from the magazine for insertion into the chamber. Please note that factory supplied magazines are usually not of the large capacity type, hence cheap imported high capacity mags.

Other than the above, once again you've provided an excellent article Dr. Lott.

7/23/2012 1:44 PM  
Blogger Ron Tiller said...

Interestingly, there are more deaths caused by drunk drivers every single day of the year. Where is the outcry. This lunatic, if he had to resort to his home made grenades because he couldn't get guns, would likely have caused even more carnage. However, I do understand the anti-gun nuts zeal in jumping all over this isolated incident. I don't approve but I understand. It is just politics as usual.

7/23/2012 9:44 PM  

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