On the Aurora, CO Shooting

I took KatyBeth and her little brother to a movie matinee on Wednesday. As she often does, she asked me, "Why are you carrying your gun to the movies, Daddy? Nobody's going to hurt us in there."

This is why.

12 families lost loved ones. 59 more lie in wait.

Out of respect for the dead, I will say no more. Unlike some, who would dance in the blood of the victims, politicizing the issue to further their own agendas, I will not.

Most of you know where I stand anyway.

We have no way of knowing whether an armed citizen would have limited or escalated the carnage. We simply do not. All I know is that events like this are why *I* carry a weapon, and always will. Follow your own conscience in that regard.

For the next few days, please, let's refrain from speculating and using this tragedy to support our particular political beliefs. Let's just say a prayer for the victims, and another for their families.

We have plenty of time to be assholes to each other in the coming weeks.


  • Renee Roberts

    Well said, Kelly.

  • Rocky D the Jersey EMT

    I am an unarmed citizen and always will be. I can’t fully support the second amendment any more than I already do. Just because I don’t choose to be armed does NOT give me the right to dictate the same for my fellow citizens. I ride the mean streets… I see far too many GSW’s. I cant think of ONE INSTANCE of what is now unfortunately far too many, where the gun in question was legally obtained or in legal possession. Guns need to be legal for all. it’s my choice not to carry one but the bad guys don’t follow laws- so more laws are not the answer. My heart goes out to those families who lost loved ones and those who are on the precipice of same …. take your gun to the movies Kelly. Some of us, even though we don’t carry one ourselves, may someday be glad you did.

    • Firehousezen

      I am like you; I don’t carry, but I support the right to do so.  And I think Moose’s comments are especially appropriate too.  We continue to add laws in this nation that don’t help matters.  But we can charge this man in retrospect for illegally carrying a gun.  Laws and the subsequent punishments don’t necessarily deter a motivated individual; even the death penalty doesn’t necessarily deter these crimes as the criminals are suicidal often to begin with. There must be some dialogue instead about the roots of the problem, particularly in mental health, as well as our responsibilities as fellow human beings to inquire when behavior seems illogical (like buying huge amounts of ammo over the internet).  Alarms should have been going off somewhere, to someone, and instead, we chose to ignore the symptoms.  If you see something, say something.

  • mpatk

    Good points. I’m sure you’re right that we’ll have plenty of time for name-calling later; but one thing we can all agree upon is that this was a senseless tragedy and that the victims, their families, and the responders will need plenty of support in the next few days.

  • http://twitter.com/1U801TheWebcast 1-U-801 The Webcast

    Just freaking HOOAH, my friend

  • Slingshot0001

    My kids never have to ask anymore. They are almost old enough to carry their own.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Brown/1525756291 Scott Brown

    It’s illegal here in Texas…where we have legal concealed carry…to take it in a movie theater…or a school…or a bar or restaurant, or pretty much any public gathering place where it MIGHT do some good. I see this guy ignored the “Gun Free Zone” signs. 

    • Ambulance_Driver

      I won’t say whether I ignore signage.

      I will say that concealed means concealed, and leave it at that.

      Kelly Grayson

    • Mpeters560

      You need to read up on your Texas laws! Schools(School related events), Law Enforcement facilities & Court facilities, and Bars that 51% or more of their business is Alcohol sales! And then if a business or employer post a sign banning weapons! And like you said at the end of your statement, bad guys can’t or don’t read signs. or just don’t care. I work as an armed college officer and volunteer as an EMT . . . have been doing both since 1993! I have seen far to much death and destruction, however, I don’t blame the weapons used, I blame to person controlling that weapon (whatever it be, gun, knife, car, or explosive)!

  • Moose Finklestein

     I and some of my friends have made posts in various places imploring people to not use this horrific tragedy as a place point for their anti-gun agenda.  The gun was just the tool of this event. 

    What I *am* doing, however, is saying that this might show how poorly we treat people with mental illnesses.  Whether this person has an illness that was detectable ahead of time, only rose colored glasses with 20/20 hindsight will tell.  But even if he doesn’t, a lot of other so-called gun tragedies (as well as violence caused by knives, fists, and other “weapons”) are.  If we can stop looking at mental illness as something to be ashamed of and start screening for it and treating it, the same way we treat other life-long diseases, maybe we’ll have a lot less of these senseless deaths.

    • BH

      By all accounts, the shooting was the first sign of mental illness in this young man. All the shrinks and social workers in the world can’t help someone who never comes into contact with the medical or law enforcement communities because they aren’t displaying symptoms.  

      You can’t write gun laws for them either.  

    • Juan_Der_Meant

      “  I and some of my friends have made posts in various places imploring
      people to not use this horrific tragedy as a place point for their
      anti-gun agenda. ”

      Yes, just use it to further your pro-gun agenda. That’s fair.

  • http://profiles.google.com/fuzzysdad01 Rickey Street

    Very well said.

  • Fredmc4

    How would I know where you stand, I don’t even know who the hell you are or think you are.

    • Ambulance_Driver

      Congratulations, Fred, you earned the ban hammer with your very first comment.

      That’s quite an accomplishment!

  • http://www.facebook.com/DickCarlson Dick Carlson

    Yup.  Just one or two armed movie goers would have made a huge difference. And until they find a way to protect us, their little signs don’t mean much.

  • Starjack

    Thanks for not politicizing a tragedy.  It really bothers me when people do that.  I mean, what if you’re the mother or husband or child of someone who was killed?  It would just hurt more to see a politician using your relative’s death to earn some points in the polls.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6227653 Raymond Forte

    I fully support second amendment points, and I understand the point you’re making about carrying. At Virginia Tech, at Ft Hood, a CCW would have a difference. This scenario, though, was a tactical nightmare. Picture for a moment. You’re likely near the middle of the theater. It’s darkened. There’s loud, distracting noises coming from the movie soundtrack, gas or smoke clouding your sight picture, and between you and the armed assailant are scores of frightened people who are acting out of sheer terror and chaos. The odds of you getting a useful shot off are slim to none in that scenario, and a “second gunman”, even one on the side of the angels, is just going to increase that chaos.

    So like I said, in theory yes, but I think this one would not have changed much.

    • Ambulance_Driver

       Changed much?  Probably not.

      But if death is a certainty, I’m going to go out with my body lying between my kid and the gunman, and an empty weapon in my hand.

    • BH

      You’re forgetting- at the start of the shooting, everyone in that theater, save the first row, had an elevation advantage over the shooter.  The people running between me and the shooter are below me.  

  • Larry Card


  • Josh

    youre an asshole for speculating already anyways

    • Ambulance_Driver

      1. No one is speculating.

      2. No one calls me an asshole on my own blog. If you can’t behave like an adult, go sit at the little kid’s table with Fred, where immature little boys are seen and not heard.

  • Old_NFO

    Well said.

  • skidmark

    KatyBeth and Little Lizzy.  There are no better reasons.  http://www.handgunrepairshop.com/Why_do_you_carry_a_gun.html 

    Rocky D and others – Thank you for your understanding of how that whole “rights” thing works.  And thank you for staying here and doing what you do in spite of what you see and who you deal with.

    stay safe.

  • MEEIC396

    I am a Medic on the east coast (Philadelphia) and like you I always carry when I am not working.  My heart and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.

  • Sewmouse

    Your insightful and sane discussions of your firearm use have changed my outlook on guns to a measureable extent already.  You’re the first person I’ve come across who has voiced the possibility of better or worse outcome had there been armed citizens at the scene without “picking a side”.

    I applaud you for not second-guessing, and the compassion of not pouring “you could have done more” salt into the psychic wounds of people who, physically wounded or not, are suffering from having been in THAT place on THAT night.

  • Juan_Der_Meant

    Thank you, Kelly, for using this tragedy to support your particular political belief (guns), while admonishing us to “refrain from…using this tragedy to support our particular political beliefs. ”

    • Ambulance_Driver

      You’re welcome.

      You’re free, of course, to take your readership and sanctimony elsewhere. As a matter of fact, please do.

    • http://www.ambulancedriverfiles.com Ambulance Driver

      Thank you for your comment.

      I made no pro-gun statement. I merely stated that is why *I* carry a gun. Advocating others carry a weapon, or suggesting that the tragedy could have been avoided by an armed citizen on scene, I did not say. Any inference you draw in that regard is purely your own.

      But by all means, feel free to take your readership and your sanctimony elsewhere. In fact, I’d prefer it if you did.


  • Ambodave

    From the world outside the U S of A, the pro-gun stance just seems amazingly absurd. Can you explain why there seems to be more of these mass killings in the USA compared to elsewhere other “civilised” countries? Is there something I’m missing that makes all the death involved worth it?

    • Ambulance_Driver

      Mass murders don’t happen as often in other “civilized” countries, you say?
      Wikipedia’s article on the subject lists 99 in Europe versus 116 in the Americas and 121 in Asia.
      There were 9 mass murders involving 6 or more dead and at least a dozen victims in Europe since 1987, and that’s an incomplete list.
      It’s hard to understand our gun culture from the outside.

      My guess is that when you’ve had your rights denied for generations, it’s hard to even remember what they were.
      Our Constitution recognized the right if the citizenry to keep and bear arms, in large part to guarantee that our government could never oppress its citizens…
      … unlike the country we broke away from.

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