@brique -- I'm not saying legitimate citizens with concealed carry permits don't do crazy things from time to time. The whole reason you go to the range is to practice for those life threatening situations, right? I've never had to use my weapon to defend myself, but I can imagine it is nerve racking. If a criminal is unarmed though, often times the mere presence of a weapon scares them away. I've heard stories of burglars in a house clearing out once they heard the homeowner cock his shotgun. In my concealed carry class, we practiced drawing from a holster and shooting twice at a target 15 feet away. A bad guy with a knife can cover 15 feet in two seconds, which means if someone is coming at you there needs to be a quick draw/aim/fire response. I'm not sure what kind of shooting you do, but that is what I've been trained for. I also have night sights on my Glock, which is kind of a novelty but if I need to aim in the dark I can.
Well, I'd rather have you beside me in the theatre scenario such as I described ; but alas, I wont know that until it happens, nor will I know if you are you, or some-one who bought the gun last week and has had a few hours on the range. Same way, you wont know if I know what I'm doing when I pull my gun. Actually, neither of us will know if we are defending ourselves or an accomplice to the attacker, not until we see which way we point it. Get my drift? On the range, we know what is happening, we know the situation, we know the drill. We follow procedure and safety rules and, barring a serious malfunction, we know it is safe. We are prepared, we adopt correct stance, we wear safety-glasses, we wear ear protectors. In the movie theatre scenario, none of that applies : we dont even know the attacker is an attacker and not a publicity stunt : as was the case in the Batman screening, many thought it was a stunt.. 'Oh god, you shot the star of the movie! It was a gag, couldnt you see that?'.... unlikely? No, recent case a kid decided to scare his family by dressing up and 'breaking in'... he got shot dead. okay, not very clever of him but still, a somewhat extreme case of grounding.
the prime problem is lack of information ; we do not know whats happening, who is doing it, how many of them, where they are ; we are not prepared for it, we are relaxed and watching the movie, one hand in the popcorn, the other round our date (we hope) and it hits us in a micro-second. If everyone was trained, competent, then yep, let them carry, but reality is, they aint, never will be and in that situation, we'll be in as much danger from them as from the attacker, cos now we got fire coming from more than one direction, nobody knows who is the good guy and who the bad and rationally, the worst thing to do then is join in, no matter how well-trained and competent we may be. That also applies in a Columbine-type situation : is that Jack Good-guy stalking the bad guys in the corridor with his birthday present Glock, or Jack Nutzo, their pal, looking to payback the lunch-money stealing bullies who oppressed him? Does Daisy Dogood know as she points her pink-handled .38 Special at him?
A heck of a lot of special forces training is about not
shooting, about making sure you only fire in your allocated arc where you know there are no friendlies, its about making sure you maintain seperation and do not move into anothers arc. its about who is covering who and therefore does not fire unless its absolutely necessary. its about communication, who is where, who is down, how much threat remains as a sector is cleared. They dont want to go in unless and until they know where the bad guys are, and how many. And still they mess up, the SAS ended up 'rescuing' a terrorist during the Iranian Embassy seige in London, it took the other hostages to point him out before he got arrested. He had just sat down amongst the other hostages and bowed his head when the assault went in. Actually, during that entire siege, one of the hostages, PC Locke, a trained fire-arms officer attached to the Diplomatic Protection Squad, was carrying a concealed fire-arm, but could do nothing without endangering himself or the others. General expert opinion was that he did exactly the right thing that way. And with all that training, and the SAS and SEALS are without a doubt the best trained, motivated, competent and expert around ; they still hit each other, they still hit hostages because, on the ground, nothing turns out the way it did in training and rehearsals. But they do come close to perfection and all respect to them for that.
And, as I mentioned before, these attackers (terrorists excepted) turn out so often to be the kind of person that nobody suspected could do such a thing, their weapons are usually legally acquired and held, if not always by them then by family members. Your right to bear arms is their right too, until they go nutzo by which time, its a little too late and thats something we cannot, on an individual basis, legislate against, nor adequately predict nor effectively prevent. Its a sad reflection that its easier to spot and pre-empt the crazed terrorist than the lethally and more legally armed citizen with a grudge next door.