Why did no one fight back?


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Why did no one fight back? Questions linger over James Holmes Batman movie theater shooting

Learn more: Why did no one fight back? Questions linger over James Holmes Batman movie theater shooting

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?

UPDATE: This question has been partially answered by news that has come out since the authoring of this article. See the bottom of this article for explanation.

"There were bullet [casings] just falling on my head. They were burning my forehead," Jennifer Seeger told reporters in an LA Times article (Link Removed...). "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.

It would have taken at least two full minutes to carry out the attack
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.

Something doesn't add up
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?

Shattering myths: Guys with guns can be physically assaulted, even if you're unarmed
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.

A culture of passive victims
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.

Is American culture now one of total surrender?
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 (Breaking news: Multi-agency armed raid hits Rawesome Foods, Healthy Family Farms for selling raw milk and cheese) and government hit squads trying to kill farmers' ranch pigs in Michigan? (NaturalNews exclusive: Michigan government unleashes armed raids on small pig farmers, forces farmer to shoot all his own pigs) 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.

The police cannot protect you
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.

Learn more: Why did no one fight back? Questions linger over James Holmes Batman movie theater shooting


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I think most of the people were in profound shock and disbelief, and wondering how could this be happening. A vast majority of the population would react this way, and in my opinion, very few would have, or even could have found it in themselves to take any decisive action. Too many feel that violence is a distant phantom, it can't really touch them, it's something to be seen on the television news, or sadly in this case,the movie theater. More people need to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their loved ones, the police can't be everywhere, and according to NY court decisions, they have no reponsibility to protect the "individual." The police do the best they can, and they deserve credit for the job they do, but you have to protect your family.


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I'm guessing Mike Adams has never been tear gassed, much less tear gassed in a dark room with 70 panicking people stampeeding over each other. Most people probably couldn't even see him, much less get close enough to mount an attack. Anyone who moved got shot, limiting the possible attack pool to only those in his immediate vicinity. Out of those people, most of them were shot first. Those left over got the highest amounts of tear gas and had the highest amounts of bodies around them as obstacles. I really hate kneejerk, armchair quarterbacks who just assume nobody was affected by the gas, they were behind the killer even though he came in an exit door that was to his back, the killer couldn't see them coming, and they had a wide open lane of approach with no obstacles. Mr. Adams needs to take a serious dose of reality and realize he's an ignorant fool.

Rich M

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What gets me, is the number of people defending 'lay down and die'.

By the somments, its easy to tell who would simply let their family die. They talk a big talk on a gun forum, safe in their living rooms. Grow a pair!

Bill Cavalieri

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Aurora is a no-carry city and the movie theater doesn't allow weapons regardless which explains why no one was armed but Mr. Holmes. As to why no one tackled him I'm not sure but I'd bet the tear gas, chaos, darkness and the scarcity of 74-year-old retired Lieutenants Colonel had something to do with it. One report I read said he went out the exit door, came back in armed, tossed tear gas grenades, pretty much stood there and shot anyone who moved or tried to escape then went back outside to his car after two or three minutes.


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Aurora is a no-carry city and the movie theater doesn't allow weapons regardless which explains why no one was armed but Mr. Holmes. As to why no one tackled him I'm not sure but I'd bet the tear gas, chaos, darkness and the scarcity of 74-year-old retired Lieutenants Colonel had something to do with it. One report I read said he went out the exit door, came back in armed, tossed tear gas grenades, pretty much stood there and shot anyone who moved or tried to escape then went back outside to his car after two or three minutes.

You can conceal carry in all cities in Colorado, the movie had a sign posted that does not make it law.
There was NO tear gas, it was smoke.
He walked up and down the steps on the right side some were shot at point plank range. This says a lot of the mindset of the people there, it may not have been the mindset of many that post here.
AURORA SHOOTING Diagram Link Removed


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I've heard conflicting stories on smoke and tear gas. Unfortunately civilian witnesses can be very unreliable. Have the authorities confirmed it either way? Adams is still an ignorant Monday morning quarterback in my book either way.


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thanks for posting this,ive been thinking the same thing since this happened,are we just turning into mindless sheep?


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It's easy for "arm chair quarterbacks" to be critical. There's no way we'll know why no one fought back till you interview those that were there. You guys who think you can just point and fire away with a pistol or revolver up against an assualt rifle in a dark, crowded, smoky, panicky place don't see the reality of the situation. You'd probably accidently hit and/or kill your fair share too. I salute and mourne those men who protected their loved ones and friends by giving their own lives. Now there's some real men of true character.

sig p6

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Today, people are like sheep and have no clue as to
what's 'going on! I mean really they think this stuff happens in the movies, and are just in SHOCK when this happens!
Gun free joins are a joke!

the dark

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Today, people are like sheep and have no clue as to
what's 'going on! I mean really they think this stuff happens in the movies, and are just in SHOCK when this happens!
Gun free joins are a joke!

And English is your second language...closet commandos criticizing others are tools. Easy to pretend what you would do. Acting like you think dealing with this would have been easy proves you are a joke.
Any person... thinking they could just jump into action and drop the shooter might just be as dangerous to society as the actual shooter.

Let's recap what we know:
1. Smoke or tear gas: This is affecting EVERY person in the theater EXCEPT the shooter. This will add dramatically to the fear and chaos!
2. Dark theater: Lit up only by the very distracting movie on the screen and non-stop gunfire.
3. Noise: Loud movie, dozens of people screaming in terror, and VERY loud firearm reports (battering your eardrums non-stop) in a small theater.
4. Shooter is dressed in dark clothing: All flat black and non-reflective.
5. Shooter is moving: Your target is moving horizontally and slightly vertical.
6. Shooter is armored: Your target is protected nearly everywhere but his face.
7. Shooter is in a target-rich environment: He can shoot in any direction and hit a target. Your target is his face, which is about the size of a six-inch cereal bowl (please read one through six again. Now read them again!).

Your scenario: You have only one target. It is moving, armored, and returning heavy fire. You will also have to shoot through unfathomable distractions which include, but are not limited too: a darkened theater with a flickering movie screen, smoke or tear gas burning your eyes (forcing them closed and making them water), gunfire blasts (that could hit you any second!), and horrific screaming. You will be surrounded by dozens of other people moving, bumping into you, or trying to crawl over you, many of them soaked in blood, most of them screaming uncontrollably. As you move to better your position, you will probably trip over the wounded or dead. Hopefully, you won't drop your weapon... if you do, you'll probably never find it.

If you're lucky enough to get off a couple of shots with your hands shaking out of control, in all likelihood, you will probably kill additional civilians netting yourself a life sentence for your efforts.

If you're really, really lucky, you may actually hit your target but you likely won''t do any real damage. This course of action will give the shooter a new target to focus on: YOU! Because you're the only threat to him, he will not stop shooting at you until you're dead. At which point, the morning newspapers will be filled with stories about how concealed carry doesn't work and that YOU were also a danger to everyone in the theater. You'll be dead, your family disgraced, and the liberals with be fighting to repeal concealed carry. They'll probably win... congratulations, now you've become a danger to us all!

It's easy to thump your chest and tell everyone how you would waste the guy with a single, well-placed shot through the eye... or jump into action with the latest karate move during the brief two seconds it takes the shooter to reload; however, the reality is that this was a no-win tactical scenario (except for the best-of-the-best trained professionals).

I pray that none of us ever find ourselves in this type of scenario. My prayers also go out to the victims and their families, the survivors, and the first-responders.


New member
Even here in a gun forum, every time somebody talks about shooting back there's always somebody who pounces on him pointing out the legal ramifications of hitting an innocent bystander and such. We have become so afraid of legal issues we dare not act at all. I am saying that as a general statement, no offense to individuals.


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Welcome to evidence of the "Wussification" of America! No I wasn't there. Maybe it starts with a mindset first in being ready in certain circumstances to be be able to fight back. My personal mindset it that if it appears that I am going to get shot I am not going to make it easier by having my back to the shooter trying to get out of an exit basically waiting in line behind a bunch of other people running for their lives and waiting my turn. Nor am I going to cover up laying down with the gunman standing over me and hoping I might be spared his intentions. My mindset is that I am convinced that getting shot coming at the BG looking to take him down still gives me more of a chance at survival then hoping that with the BG standing over me he might not shoot me. Everyone can speculate how I would react in such a situation but the only way to make such a statement about trying to take the gunman down and actually try to do something other then just surrender and hope, is to start with such a mindset. If anyone else with such a mindset is there with you under such horrible circumstances then just maybe you won't be the only one trying to do something!
Carolyn McCarthy gun grabber from LI NY whose husband was killed and her son paralyzed on the LIRR by Colin Ferguson...
He started at one end of the car and walked down the isle shooting those seated. Shooting those on each side of the isle.
What would you have done? Oh one other piece of information.... he was walking backward, BACKWARD! That means if he started at one end of the car he had his back to everyone in the rest of the car. It still took time for a brave few react, he was reloading his third magazine.
At VT shooting where there were plenty of healthy male 18-22 yr olds the only one that tried to stop the shooter was a concentration camp survivor. He was the janitor, old but he tried and was killed.
Welcome to the "Wussification" of America. Think I'll go and get in touch with my feminine side.


New member
Even here in a gun forum, every time somebody talks about shooting back there's always somebody who pounces on him pointing out the legal ramifications of hitting an innocent bystander and such. We have become so afraid of legal issues we dare not act at all. I am saying that as a general statement, no offense to individuals.

I am for the bum rush sort of attack and hopefully not without the help of other terrified people facing the same possibility of death. Especially as the shooter reloads or his gun has malfunction. If not me then hopefully some others that are too scared to do nothing!


Done told her once...
Said this in another thread already. Nobody knows what they would do in a situation like that. If tear gas was used, anyone near that was pretty much neutralized. Having been exposed to it, I can honestly say that with certainty. Doesn't take much either.

Rich M

New member
The simple fact was... someone needed to do something, and no one did. Some of us have had training and have sucked in CS gas. So while some people will just lay down and come up with reasons and excusses, others will act.

Why do some of you even bother carrying a gun? You wont use it, you keep telling us you wont. What if this, what if that... please.

It all starts with your mentality. Stop talking yourself and others out of it and try defending them instead..


Keep reading post of what if you hit an innocent bystander, what would I do, don't know was not there, but I am not going to worry about secondary legal issues if being fired on. I carry for the protection of myself and family.


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Personally, I am glad that none of you wannabee Captain America types were there. 'Cause there would be one more victim, one more orphan, one more widow, and one more person this freak could add to his body count. It is one thing for a platoon of armed soldiers wearing protective masks, with supporting fire, indirect fire, and grenades to assault a positiion, a totally different thing for some unprotected goober without a clue charging across a dark theater full of obstacles, "sun" in your eyes, against the flow of a fleeing crowd, with snot and saliva streaming from your mouth like a calf slobbering, eyes burning like someone just threw lye in them, and every breath feels like breathing in fire. You'd have no force field, no mighty shield, no superpowers, no x-ray vision, no spider web flying from your wrist, nor would you turn green, large, and invincible.

Just a puny little man with .223 rounds cutting through you like hot butter. And they say that most soldiers ask for their mama in their dying breath.

Would have made a good movie though. And you might even be considered a hero....if you made it more than 10 feet towards the shooter.

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