Aurora Massacre Proves How Far We’ve Strayed on Second Amendment

Aurora Massacre Proves How Far We’ve Strayed on Second Amendment


In the wake of the recent mass-shooting in the Aurora, Colorado premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, the debate over gun control has intensified, for better or for worse.

Many pro-gun groups have come out and claimed that perhaps if there was someone else in there with a gun, then the perpetrator could have been stopped, relying on the premise that an armed citizen would have deterred James Holmes or at the very least reduced the death toll.  First, as a practical matter, it should be noted that this argument borders on the absurd.

The suspected murderer, 24-year-old James Holmes, was wearing protective body-armor from head to toe.  Unless the hypothetical armed citizen happened to be carrying armor-piercing rounds, he or she would have been just as much at the murderer’s bidding as any other terrified victim and would not have been able to do much about it.  This is not just my opinion, but is one that is shared by Former Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton.

More importantly, this argument, like many advanced by pro-gun groups continues to barrel down a path that deviates significantly from the spirit of the Second Amendment.

It is true that the Second Amendment of the Constitution states, in part, that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  This language is logically the rallying cry of every pro-gun lobby and people that oppose gun controls.  So, what exactly is the problem with relying on this language? That language does not comprise the whole Second Amendment.  The Second Amendment actually reads, in its entirety:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The historical context of the Revolutionary War should not be forgotten when reading the Second Amendment as a whole.  The Patriots had just fought a war against one of the world’s true military powers and did so, at least in the beginning, through the use of small militias organized at the local level (remember those middle school lessons about the Minutemen?).  The Founding Fathers understandably were wary of a large tyrannical government and wanted to keep their new nation’s citizens protected by allowing for such small scale groups again in the event the new government began to resemble the King’s ruling over the Colonies.

Historical context also reveals the enormous gap between exactly what kind of “Arms” the people can keep and bear.  After firing a musket during the Revolutionary War, the average reload time was between fifteen and twenty seconds a shot.  By contrast, the Aurora murderer, used a semi-automatic AK47 which fires shots off as fast as the gunman cares to pull the trigger.  James Holmes bought this weapon legally.  He then went on to use that legally purchased firearm to kill 12 and injure 58 innocent people in a matter of minutes.

And where are the well regulated militias the Amendment contemplates?  Have you seen any fliers for joining up with any well-regulated militias recently? I know I haven’t.  All I seem to see is yet another mass murder needlessly perpetrated by a madman that purchased each of his guns legally.

I also see an infuriating and truly disturbing solution employed by the pro-gun lobby to these horrific incidents, that more guns would mean less violence.  As time goes on and we stray further and further from the language of the Second Amendment, this farce will be proven wrong time and time again.


  1. And you idiot, it was not an AK, it was an AR, a shotgun and a Glock pistol. And his house was rigged with explosives made from household chemicals bought at any local hardware store.

  2. He was wearing an assault vest, but it was not lined with SAPI plates. The presence of body armor would have only stopped round penetration, but the impact would have put him down, buying more people time to get away.

  3. Absurd?
    As a practical matter, Armed citizens do stop crimes, even killings sprees, the Ocala internet cafe example, or New Life Church. Of course, if the madman bent on destruction is stopped early there is no way to calculate how many lives are saved and the reporing on these incidents is never as extentsive as what we're seeing now, either in breadth or length, and so are more easily forgotten.
    The madman in this instance was not armored head to toe. Gasmasks and the tactical vest he was wearing are not bullet proof nor bullet resistant.
    You are correct that the rifle used is semi automatic, but it is not an AK-47.
    Advancements in technology do not alter fundamental civil liberties.
    Check Section 10 of the US Code. All able bodied male citizens, 18-45, unless exempted are, by law, members of the militia. The states have done away with the annual muster which were held until the early 20th century.
    Also remember that militamen of the colonial period/ early republic were required to provide for themslves 'arms' equal in service to the Regulars of the time.
    The absurd thing here is your line of reasoning.

    • "Advancements in technology do not
      alter fundamental civil liberties."


      The founders probably never foresaw high-speed printing-presses, radio, TV and the internet either. So I suppose to the "progressives" those aren't covered by the 1st Amendment? Perhaps things like the ability to reach millions of people at once are to be reserved to government agencies only, because that kind of power is to dangerous for just anyone to have. I guess the government needs to have "common-sense" "Press-Control" laws in place to make sure "prohibited persons" (felons, people on terror lists…) do not have access to the tools to spread their message right?

  4. What a ballistic vest does is turn a sword thrust into a sledge hammer blow. Had anyone been able to return fire on the Aurora shooter and managed a shot to the body it would at a minimum have distracted him and in all likelihood knocked him down and possibly broken some ribs.

    It is a simple verifiable fact that every mass shooting in this country was ended when the shooters were confronted with force at which point they were killed, captured, or took their own lives. That force can come from law enforcement or private individuals with the means to exert it. The media beats mercilessly over each and every high body count shooting, yet barely notices those that came to a swift halt from the presence of an armed individual.
    Pearl river school, Appalachian School of Law, Colorado Springs church, Salt Lake City mall, all were limited to a few dead because the shooter was met with deadly force by someone armed or who was able to retrieve a gun from nearby.

    Someone bent on violence will always find a way to obtain the means to harm people. If not guns then chemicals, explosives, or for that matter box cutters and airplanes. All gun free zones do is give a false sense of security to the ignorant and uninformed. Remember, both Virginia Tech and Fort Hood were gun free zones as was that movie theater.

  5. The militia question and the technology question were both addressed in the D.C. v. Heller precedent, as well as any and all others, in an exhaustive exegesis by one of the most brilliant legal minds alive today – Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

    Perhaps you’ve not heard of it?

    He even red-penned Justice Stevens’s pitiful dissent like a third-grade essay.

    You people keep resurrecting a “debate” that is O-V-E-R.

  6. You do know the theater was dark right and adding in tear gas i highly dought that a normal person could see anything and james took a crap load of pain killers(the goooood stuff) so he wouldnt feel a thing i should know i was in vikadin after my knee surgery but adding all this in the death toll would have been hight with the guy shooting the other guy next to him because of all the havoc goin on soooo yeah think before you go waving you " gun" around

  7. Really you gun haters even the best in the world can barely maintain there focus when recieving incoming rounds. I know for sure those rounds would still leave some go bruises. The armor he was wearing could stop small rounds but the bruises would still hurt. There aer Navy seals out there much tougher then that dirt bag holmes. They take fire all tghe time. Yes you could distract or at least run off the the shithead.