This article was first published by on Tuesday, March 23, 2021:  

By the time first responders arrived at the scene, shooting suspect Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa had had plenty of time to murder 10 people. Police received the first call at just after 2:30pm on Monday afternoon and the first responder, Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley, arrived at 2:40pm.

Alissa, a resident of Arvada about 25 miles away, entered the King Soopers grocery store in the Table Mesa neighborhood of Boulder, Colorado, and began, according to eyewitnesses, picking off customers at random with his AR15 semi-automatic rifle.

When Talley arrived, a firefight ensued, and the suspect was able to hold off officers until 3:21 p.m. when, wounded, he was finally taken into custody.

The mainstream media focused on two things: 1) his motive; and 2) the opportunity to press for more gun laws.

As of 9:04 a.m. Tuesday morning, Boulder's Daily Camera couldn't report a motive, only that the shooter had been charged with 10 counts of murder.

But rabid anti-gun Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) saw the moment of opportunity, and he took it, tweeting:

This is the moment to make our stand. NOW. Today our movement is stronger than the gun lobby. They are weak. We are potent.


Finally, [we have] a President and a Congress that supports gun reform.


No more Newtowns. No more Parklands. No more Boulders. Now — we make our stand.

Also seizing the opportunity was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

For the second time in a week our nation is being confronted by the epidemic of gun . Too many families in too many places are being forced to endure this unfathomable pain and anguish.


Action is needed now to prevent this scourge from continuing to ravage our communities.

The irony is that, up until just days before the shooting, Boulder had banned possession of “AR-15-style” semi-automatic rifles. Federal Judge Andrew Hartman ruled last week that “only Colorado state law can prohibit the possession, sale, and transfer of assault and large capacity magazines.” But that law, just declared unconstitutional by Hartman, didn't deter the shooter.

For the record, Colorado is a “shall issue” state, allowing qualifying applicants to carry a concealed firearm “in all areas of the state” with some minor exceptions.

So, where were they on Monday afternoon at the King Soopers store in the Table Mesa neighborhood?

Here's the math: The average King Soopers grocery store is 124,000 square feet. Under COVID the chain permits just one customer for every 120 square feet. That means that, under COVID, the maximum capacity is about 1,000 customers.

But let's be and consider that the grocery store was only half full, or had 500 customers in the store on Monday afternoon.

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, nearly 20 million people have a concealed-carry permit in the United States. That, according to Luke McCoy, writing for, boils down to “the probability that any one person has a concealed handgun permit is 5.4%.”

He explained:

In a room with 10 people the probability that at least one person will have a permitted concealed handgun is 43%. In a room with 20 people, that probability goes up to 67%. With 40, that probability rises to 89%.

In a store with 500 customers, there were likely a minimum of 25 individuals carrying concealed while doing their grocery shopping.

Where were they?

Granted, Boulder is easily the most city in Colorado. With approximately 350,000 residents there are, if the math holds, more than 17,000 Boulder residents with a CCW (concealed carry weapon) permit. Let's assume that the anti-gun culture there reduces that number to, say, 10,000. Surely at least one of them was shopping at that King Soopers store on Monday afternoon.

Where was he?

If he (or she) had stepped to the plate and confronted the shooter, it's more than likely that the death toll (including the first law officer who confronted the shooter at 2:40pm and who was killed in the firefight) would have been vastly reduced.

And thus, the incident would not have provided another opportunity for anti-gunners to wax eloquent over the need for more gun laws that wouldn't have affected the shooter anyway.

Forget about asking about his motive. Ask the right questions instead.

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