Two days prior to a violent madman with a vengeance being killed by an armed citizen with a concealed carry permit, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill that would allow any locality in the state to ban concealed carry. To be exact, the bill allows for counties, municipalities, special districts, and college campuses to ban what the terrified demanding moms kept referring to as “hidden guns” during the hours of bill testimony. For reference, Colorado has 64 counties, 217 municipalities, 2800 special districts, and 62 college campuses. The gun control extremists elected to the state legislature, along with the governor, somehow felt THIS was going to make society a safer place. Arvada proved a different story.
On Monday, June 22nd Johnny Hurley was in the Arvada Army Navy Surplus store when he heard 15-20 shots from a rifle or tactical shotgun in the square not even 50 yards away. A deranged individual had ambushed Arvada police officer Gordon Beesley, taking his life in a matter of seconds. According to first hand accounts of what happened next, Hurley exited the store in the direction of the gunfire. The madman briefly went out of view behind the library after firing the initial 10-15 shots. Johnny shouted at onlookers behind him to stay inside and hide because the gunman was coming back. Johnny used this as an opportunity to run towards the library where the shooter was and hide behind a brick wall. Upon the shooter walking again back toward the square, Johnny pulled out his concealed pistol and shot 5-6 rounds toward the suspect, killing him. What happened next remains under investigation, but Arvada PD has released that Hurley was shot by a responding Arvada police officer claiming Hurley was holding the shooters rifle. Arvada police are not equipped with bodycams, so the investigation is ongoing.
Situations like this are chaotic, fast, and fluid. Anyone who runs toward gunfire knows there is a chance they may not make it out alive. But heroes like Johnny are willing to take the risk, and we will never know how many lives Johnny saved that day, because when lives aren’t lost, it’s much harder for the gun grabbers to get a body count to exploit in an effort to push for their next ineffective gun control law.
Yet these are the people, the Johnnys of the world, are who our lawmakers wish to disarm, and laws like SB21-256 which I referenced above are evidence. They never ask themselves how they can stop the madman. They will never ask if their fever pitch, yet hollow, anti-police rhetoric over the past year pushed this evil individual to feel he was justified in his desire to ambush police, innocent bystanders be damned. Hell, maybe this guy even believed he was doing it on their behalf. I say their rhetoric is hollow because it is. If they truly cared about law enforcement reform and decreasing citizen-police interaction, they wouldn’t create a bill that allows 3,143 different localities within the state to create different laws affecting gun owners of every race, gender, creed, and sexual orientation, which SB21-256 did. Their hollow virtue signaling is dangerous.
Johnny Hurley was a friend to many freedom fighters in Colorado. I met him briefly in 2019 when I spoke regularly about Colorado’s Red Flag law. He was a supporter and protector of all our rights. He spoke frequently about his desire to protect others, if need be.
“He always had the gun with him, and we were always like, ‘What are you going to do with that?’ And he was like, ‘Well one day, you never know.’ And of course, that one day came, and he was prepared.”
Patrons who were in nearby restaurants when shots rang out continue to leave comments on a GoFundMe set up for Johnny by a friend, thanking him for his heroic acts.
“My parents and I were in the Schoolhouse restaurant when shots rang out. I have two small kids at home and I thought I would never see them again. John is a true hero and I am forever in debt to him. My heart breaks for the loss of his life. Prayers to his family and friends.” – Brittany M.
“John saved my and my girlfriends life. We were in the direct line of fire, in the So Radish restaurant. Bullets came through the window and we took cover under the table as the shooting continued. Knowing we were trapped and easy targets if the gunman came in, we ran to the back of the restaurant. I have no doubt whatsoever that if John had not taken an active role in stopping the gunman, many more innocent people would have died. I wish I could thank him in person and I wish I could give much more. I won’t forget him for as long as I live. Thank you John for your bravery!!!” – Tory F.
It’s also worth noting the store Johnny was in was not a gun free zone. Had it been, he may have left his firearm in the car, like gun rights supporter Denny Stong, who was killed unarmed during the March massacre inside a nearby Boulder King Soopers. Twenty year old Stong had just returned from shooting when he was killed. He had told friends and family he couldn’t wait to turn 21 so he could get his concealed carry permit. In Kroger stores like King Soopers though, even if he had been 21, that would have been against their “gun free” policy – a policy that does nothing to stop those wishing to do harm but certainly does stop many who don’t want to break the rules.
I’ll end with a powerful statement a friend and fellow supporter of the right to self defense, Greg Powers, wrote:
When the gun control extremists start with the narrative that citizens should not carry weapons or intervene in dangerous situations, our verbal response should be logical and directly to the point of motivation behind responding to these situations.
In Florida, Officer Scot Peterson was getting paid while he stood outside Marjory Stoneman high school for 48 minutes listening to rifle fire while a shooter walked through the school unimpeded. In Arvada, armed citizen Johnny Hurley voluntarily RAN toward the gunfire in less than a minute to save lives. He shot the suspect and ended the attack. If shit hits the fan near your loved ones, who would you rather have nearby?
Chances are unless someone is running errands alone, they will be out with friends or family. Eating Dinner, shopping, etc. They will be the first responder not only for themselves, but for their friends/family. Asking them to wait for police to respond and then interpret the situation (who/where are the bad guys etc.) is going to be too late. If an armed parent had been outside Marjory Stoneman when the shooting began, I guarantee they would have done the same thing Johnny Hurley did in Arvada and run toward the sound of gunfire. They would NOT be sitting outside for 48 minutes thinking “gee, I hope my kid is ok”
Rest in Peace Mr. Hurley.
Here is a link to Johnny’s GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/good-samaritan-john-hurley
Here is a link to an event to honor Johnny on Saturday, June 26th at 1pm in Longmont, CO: https://www.facebook.com/events/541045126925632