PLANO, Texas (CNN/KTVT) — Some Texas gun owners decided to stage a re-enactment of the Charlie Hebdo office massacre. They wanted to see what might have happened if the victims had their own guns. Two actors playing gunmen enter quietly. They’re on a set designed to look like the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. But unlike the terrorist attack that killed 12 people, in this exercise, volunteers are taking turns in the role of an armed civilian inside.
“He started shooting, and I started shooting,” said gun owner Linda Cruz.
Time and time again, that armed civilian dies — shot by a round that marks him or her with paint. In only two cases, they were able to take out one of two gunmen in the process.
“It’s interesting to see how people react under stress,” said gun owner Nick Leghorn. “It’s not what you’d expect people do.”
A group called The Truth About Guns organized the simulation, hoping to learn how things might have been different in Paris — or any other mass shooting.
“It’s the one people are Monday-morning-quarterbacking at the moment,” said Leghorn.
Parks Matthew is a father of four and was curious to see what instinct would kick in.
“If I’m in a movie theater and someone pulls a gun, what am I going to do?” he said. “I know now I’m not going to just fall on my kids and protect them; I need to advance on the threat.”
He walked away armed with a little more information.
“Still got killed, but did better than I thought I would,” said Matthew.
In the end, only one of the 12 volunteer victims in the exercise survived. And it was because she ran away. No one was able to take out both mock shooters.