Our last entry here touched on “gun-free zones,” and whether the theater where the latest mass-murder atrocity took place guaranteed its premises to be a safe hunting preserve for the mad dog killer who wrought horror there. In blog commentary, I was asked if I could provide a link to confirm that the establishment where it happened, and its parent chain Cinemark, forbade law-abiding armed citizens to legally carry firearms there.
Try these:




Debate over whether a court would determine that the “guns forbidden” policy carried power of law seems moot: we’re talking practical reality here. Most of us go by the common sense precept, “Do not go where you are not wanted.” Armed citizens who could have stopped the killer were clearly notified by the company policy that “they were not welcome there.”
When you make potential rescuers unwelcome, do not blame those potential rescuers for not being there when the disaster happens, and the death toll mounts because what could have stopped the killing has been banned from your establishment.


  1. Gun Free Zones are among the most dangerous places you can be. Gun Free Zones are a killers dream. All defenseless victims all in a row.

  2. O’Reilly from Fox News owes all of “Ameican Gun Owners”, scratch that, “all Americans” an apology.

  3. Thanks for the link Bruce. I did not hear about that other Aurora shooting. I saw some mention of the other shooting here but incorrectly thought it was about the church shooting in CO a few years ago.

  4. I don’t know about the laws in other states but here in Florida, I am prohibited from carrying onto private property or any business where they have posted no firearms. I support their right to prohibit me, its their property. However as Mas says, don’t discuss how permit holders didn’t come forward when they are not permitted.

    Sadly, I think our country will become like what I’ve observed in South American cities…a security guard at every business.

  5. Several of you have wondered about the tactics if a CCW had been in the audience. Mentioned are the gas cloud, pistol (revolver) vs AR15, etc. This is why one practices with the weapon they carry. Training overcomes many things. First, learn to shoot without your sights. It’s very possible to hit the target where you want to, in low light. My .40 cal glock against his AR15, I’d say I’d have a better chance at winning then he would. Shooting with a gas mask on is very difficult. I highly doubt that he “aimed” the AR15 and, more likely, was just spraying the crowd. Learn to aim “high”. It was reported he wore a “bullet proof vest”. Gas masks are not bullet proof. He wasn’t expecting any return fire, so squat down, make yourself smaller and take an extra second to squeeze off the round. If you learn to shoot and shoot straight, one shot is all you’ll need, but when deadly force is needed, it’s ok to use 2 or more shots. Practice and train. Semper Fi.

  6. Boycott businesses that ban CCW. The current – and foreseeable – economy makes losing even one customer unaffordable for any business.

  7. Greg, that’s the best advice I’ve heard and right along with what Mas would probably recommend: train. fight. keep fighting.

    I don’t have faith in organized boycotts. I advocate simply a general policy of not going where my kind (those of us who carry firearms) aren’t wanted. These “boycott any who do X” is just silly. It’s likely to generate a backlash or not get much participation and the operator won’t feel much of a pinch.

    Just encourage people to go where they aren’t forbidden and avoid the places where they are. THEN the anti-gun businesses will feel the pinch and those who aren’t committed anti-gunners will take down the sign.

    We’ve seen this happen in AZ, where business after business who had a knee-jerk reaction to constitutional carry are taking the signs down quietly w.o fanfare as they realize that by doing so they’re discrimminating against some of their best customers when they don’t really have any beef for or against firearms ownership or carry. And b/c they don’t want to play the political game, they just took the sign down.

    The ones still posting the sign either have an economic incentive to forbid firearms (like bars… who WANT you to drink, so they don’t want to allow you to be equipped such that you are legally forbidden to drink… and thus you’re just taking up space in their establishment…. makes sense to me actually) or a political incentive (like the good bigots who run Chipotle restaurants).

  8. Matt Says: “Boycott businesses that ban CCW.”


    Matt, did you know that many gun shops ban CCW also? I recently asked why, after seeing all the sales associates openly packing big 45’s and was told that they were concerned about robberies.

    So should we boycott our favorite gun shop?

  9. @minerran- Talk to the shop owner. My favorite gunstore allows CCW but other firearms have to be unloaded (IE: bringing a gun in for consignment). Honestly, if my favorite gun store told me no CCW, I’d first talk to the manager, and if it was still no, then they’re not getting my business unfortunately.

    When I leave a gunstore with a new gun in the box, I sure like having a loaded one on my hip. Might just be me, but an unarmed customer with a gunbox or two seems like a tempting target.

  10. Friends:

    Oddly enough I am writing a series of academic papers on this subject for a Terrorism class. In my research I have found some core principals; these pricipals hold whether the shooting is merely a criminal act or an act of terrorism. These princials are not rocket science and most of the folks here have likely figured out as well:

    Several folks have commented on how difficult it would be to fight back under similar circumstances- let me say unequivocally that fighting back, even under difficult conditions will screw up the bad guys timing and mission effectiveness.

    The bad guy DOES NOT expect return fire. Even 3 or 4 rounds from a Smith J frame, is a distraction and an immediate threat. The active shooter ceases to be in total control of the situation and must begin to think about self-preservaton, and dealing with the unexpected threat. He cannot blithely murder people until he deals with this unforseen complication. Some active shooters, when rounds start to come there way, simply commit suicide .

    Do you think that if Dr. Suzanna Hupp had had her J- frame Smith & Wesson in the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas that Kinnard would have been able to just casually wander around shooting cowering people in the head? She is a skilled shooter, she might have killed him outright, or she might just have hit him – even if only wounded he would have been a less effective predator. Rounds coming BACK at him would have materially changed the outcome. If the brave Holocaust survivor professor at Va Tech had had a gun – would that have impeded Choi? The terrorists who carried out the Mumbai massacre – they are on video just casually walking around the train station, finishing off people as they are encounteed – the received NO return fire ( I realize it was in India and the response of the Indian police on scene was cowardly , but the principal holds ).

    Return fire, even from a .22 derringer, is better than nothing, and it may even win the day.

    In a case like this, the armed citizen , YOU … are the First Responder. Just like in dealing with a heart attack, just because you are not an expert at CPR or using an emergency defibrillator, even an imperfect or only partly skilled response is better than none.

    Are there fratricide risks? Can innocent persons be hit in an exchange of gunfire ? Yes – but they are potential murder victims, and YOU fighting back gives them a chance of survival that the bad guy wont give them.

    Since you might be the First Responder in a similar situation , might I suggest that you get some additional training, and carry a real gun and some spare ammo? Maybe practice hitting a moving target under poor lighting while smoke is in your eyes?

    You are a private citizen, not a cop. When there is an active shooter at your church, or at the theatre, there probably wont be a cop there, either – it will be up to you.

    A real gentleman rides to the sound of the guns.

    As for the “gun-free zone” ? I dont do business with people who are frightened of me and my sidearm.



  11. In any mass shooting situation, tactics is what gets the job done. Skill with firearms is important too, but knowing when and where to shoot from is just as, if not more vital if you want to neutralize the threat and stay alive.

    Take the Aurora theater massacre. The killer is armed with a semi-automatic rifle with high capacity magazine and other guns, wearing body armor and a gas mask, and using smoke to cover his actions and cause more confusion. Depending on your location at the time it would be unwise to draw your weapon and start blasting at him immediately. There are people running around and one of them may think you are a threat and attempt to tackle you or shoot you. Stay low and move closer to the target before engaging. Use concealment and cover if available until you can get a clear shot, because as you move closer to the shooter, there will be fewer innocents who may impede you. Then aim and fire several rounds high in the target’s chest area and move immediately. If the killer doesn’t go down, you can assume he’s wearing armor and/or high on drugs. Aim for the head or groin area then and don’t spare the ammo, if you have a pistol with a decent capacity and reloads available (always carry at least two reloads, magazines or speedloaders). Move again as rounds may be coming your way as the shooter reacts. If that fails, aim for his hands and feet, and possibly disable his weapon that way.

    As another respondent wrote, these killers are often cowards and any hits on their body may cause them to stop shooting and save themselves or if wounded, they may commit suicide rather than be captured. Some nuts want attention after their crimes and others want to go out in a blaze of violence. It should be every good gun carrying citizens’ goal to see that these monsters are terminated at the scenes of their crimes if possible before they can surrender.

  12. Prayers for all those killed and hurt. I am glad that in TX we don’t have to deal with this it is the business that has to jump through the hoops to install a correct 30-06 sign at their store. 90% has some sort of sign but our AG said if it is not exactly as the statute states it is not valid.

  13. deltaboy :

    Your stated experience is that you have seen 90% of businesses have some sort of “no guns ” sign. I am curious as to where in Texas you hang out ?

    I live in DFW and go to grad school in Bryan/College Station, and do business in Houston/Harris County and Montgomery County…

    I have found that legal and statutorily compliant PC 30.06 signs ( No Trespassing by CHL gun carrier) are almost non-existent in any of these places. In fact, I cannot remember even one in recent years- a few businesses posted in the early days of CHL, but those signs have mostly disappeared. First National Bank in Bryan was one of those.

    Some businesses continue to have a ” No Guns” sign, or the “pistol in a circle with the slash across” sign, but these are of no legal effect, as they do not comply with the very strict requirements of exact wording and format required by PC 30.06. I suspect that many businesses with those kind of signs KNOW that such signs are legally void, but keep them there so that any frightened nanny types will be comforted, knowing full well that they can be absolutely ignored by a CHL holder. In my experience the number with that type of signage is around 10%.

    On the other hand, First State Bank of Chapell Hill has a sign on its door that says they ” support the Second Amendment and CHL holders are welcome”

    As a question for the team – if a business posts with ineffective or legally null signage, do you still do business with them?

    Me personally – I still do business with them – my reason being that the statute in VERY clear and explicit, the correct signage is easy to make, etc. If they are not using the correct PC 30.06 signage, they are either ignorant idiots who dont have a competent company lawyer or risk manager, OR they are placating the “nanny” types. Since most business people are not idiots, the invalid signage can be marked off to ” nanny placating”, and Ill give someone that with no ill will.

    Any thoughts?



  14. I’ve been carrying in gun free zones for more than a year now because of events like the Colorado shooting. Fortunately, in Kansas the first offense is no more than a fifty dollar fine, the second is one hundred, and the third is a class E misdemenor. Kansas has pretty good gun laws. In fact the conservatives in our state have been trying to pass a law that requires businesses with no gun signs to provide security. So far it’s been shot down, but it would be a good law. If they won’t let me carry then they are taking my safety into their gun hating hands.

  15. I do not carry where the state law prohibits but as far as “gun free zones” are concerned if I HAVE to go in I do so concealed and if they discover that I’m armed they can ask me to leave. I’m too old to run or fist fight bit I still can shoot.

  16. “When you make potential rescuers unwelcome, do not blame those potential rescuers for not being there when the disaster happens and the death toll mounts because what could have stopped the killing has been banned from your establishment.”

    The key words are “potential” and “could have”.

    “Would have” is a different matter.

    There is another dynamic developing among armed citizens.

    Just as policemen are not obligated to protect any given individual, armed citizens are not obligated to stop a madman shooting up a theater or a perceived thug from threatening their neighborhood.

    As long as he keeps his deadly weapon pointed in another direction, the legal fallout from daring to shoot him is too great – especially, if you can get away.

    Only if he is shooting in my general direction would I feel it permissible to return fire.

  17. By posting signs saying no guns in a business makes a statment for the business. But also by saying that they assume the responsibility for those people going into the movie. It then puts the burden on the theater to protect the people in the theater. Since they don’t want the people protecting them selfs. All in all if someone get hurt or killed in the theater everyone in the theater can sue the movie theater for not protecting them. Final word Post a Sign put armed security in the business.

  18. A very good friend died in that colorado theater, attempting to shield his loved ones from gun-fire. Now, if the state of Colorado recognized his out of state concealed carry permit, my law abiding friend would’ve been packing his 10mm Smith and could have very well defended himself and the lives of his friends…it sickens me to know that the law failed him that night and he was murdered as a result. Guns don’t kill folks. Gun control laws do. They disarm the folks who abide by the law, not demented or malacious criminals. Criminals will always find ways to obtain firearms. we live in a time where there are people in our communities without moral scruples. These people have the intent to rob, rape and steal and it is the individual’s duty to protect himself/herself. I’ts not the police’s job. I’ts not the government’s job. It’s not the law’s job. It’s our job and our responsibility.