News & Politics

Texas Pro-Gun Group Stage Mock Charlie Hebdo Attacks with Armed Civilians—Fails Every Time

So much for the absurd argument for arming teachers...and everyone.

A pro-gun group behind the website pro-gun website The Truth About Guns has found that if the employees of Charlie Hebdo were armed it probably wouldn’t have made a difference in the outcome of the attack.

Dallas television station KTVT-TV reported that the group conducted a "Monday morning quarterback" simulation on Tuesday where they constructed a set mimicking the layout of the Charlie Hebdo offices and then reenacted the attack scenario several times, with two actors playing the terrorist gunmen staging a surprise assault. The only difference was that this time,  the volunteers took turns playing the role of an armed civilian trying to foil the attacks.

The group found that in 11 out of 12 tries, the civilian was “killed” by a shot from the mock attackers, who actually fired paint rounds from their weapons. In only two cases out of many were the armed volunteers able to get off a shot where they “killed” one person playing the role of an armed gunman.

Twelve volunteers played the role of the armed civilian in the exercise. They sat around for a random lengths of time, before the two armed actors attacked. None of the volunteers was able to “kill” both of the shooters. The only volunteer who survived the mock assault did so by running away, but she did not stop the attack. 

Killed or not, some of the volunteers still seem to believe arming themselves is the right thing to do. 

"Still got killed, but I did better than I thought I would do," said Parks Matthew, one volunteer who played the role of an armed civilian to KTVT. "If I was in a movie theater and someone were to pull a gun, what am I going to do? And I know now I'm not just going to fall on my kids and protect them. I need to advance on the threat," Matthew said.

“It’s interesting to see how people react under stress,” said Nick Leghorn, part of the group that staged the reenactment. “It’s not what you’d expect people do.”

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, gun groups, including the National Rifle Association, have insisted that armed civilians inside schools could stop such attacks. They’ve called on lawmakers in several states to allow school staff to be armed.

However, school safety expert have advised against arming teachers and school staff, and say that such duties should be left to trained security officers and the police.

“The vast majority of teachers want to be armed with textbooks and computers, not guns,” says Kenneth S. Trump, President of National School Safety and Security Services, a school safety advocacy group. 

The group came to the conclusion, even though Trump declares himself pro-Second Amendment. 

Watch the video supplied by Dallas, TX CBS television affiliates:


Cliff Weathers is a former senior editor at AlterNet and served as a deputy editor at Consumer Reports. Twitter @cliffweathers.


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