Patterico's Pontifications

12/8/2007

An Eye-Witness to the Omaha Mall Shooting

Filed under: Second Amendment — DRJ @ 7:39 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

JoeMerchant24 at Joe’s Crabby Shack posted a blog entry from a person he identifies as an eye-witness to the Westroads Mall shooting in Omaha, Nebraska. The eye-witness makes a good argument that public places like malls, where these kinds of incidents are becoming more common, should rethink whether to prohibit guns.

However, the main reason to read this account is that it is a compelling and dramatic story. Here’s the conclusion:

“I do want to say that when I talk about that I could of stopped the killer, I am not trying to make a political statement. I am simply saying if I were allowed to carry a gun, I would have and I would have used it.

That is a hard fact. I am not trying to be a hero and say that I would have tried to save lives. I am saying that I was trying to save my life, and if my family was there, their lives as well. There is nothing “hero” about what I am saying, it’s about survival.

I feel that I am alive today because of luck. I chose to run, but it was not a choice. I was forced to run. Many will say that is the right choice. I say it is the choice that requires luck. ALOT of luck with the position I was in.

Use of deadly force at times may also require luck. But, it also depends upon skill, awareness, and practice. These are things I can control, and these are things I trust far more than luck.”

Now go read the rest.

— DRJ

97 Responses to “An Eye-Witness to the Omaha Mall Shooting”

  1. Firearms are not permitted in the indoor Jerusalem Mall. There are armed guards, metal detectors at the entrance, and there are depots where soldiers (for example) can check their weapons.

    I’m left skeptical, considering this, whether American shopping malls would be safer with lots of armed civilians in them. Everyone always fantasizes about the clear shot they’ll have at the bad guy. No one ever fantasizes about, say, panicking and picking off the wrong guy (say, someone else who’s just drawn his weapon to find the rampage shooter).

    Andrew J. Lazarus (3ba21d)

  2. Everyone always fantasizes about the clear shot they’ll have at the bad guy. No one ever fantasizes about, say, panicking and picking off the wrong guy (say, someone else who’s just drawn his weapon to find the rampage shooter).

    Yeah, the same way everybody fantasizes about his airbag deploying in a head-on collision. But you’re perfectly free to fantasize about someone you love getting her brains splattered all over you while you stand armed in your progressive virtue.

    nk (c4bc11)

  3. Most of the fantasies I see discussed about civilian concealed carry involve the fantasies its opponents have. In my experience, those actually so licensed are far more sober in outlook.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  4. I can picture Andrew in the mall, thinking to himself, “Boy, I’m sure glad the psycho killer is the only one here with a gun”. (Stolen from Glenn Reynolds.)

    nk (c4bc11)

  5. Thanks, DRJ, this is one of the best posts ever. I agree very much with the witness. I’m glad he survived due to luck and would prefer, in his country and mine, if free citizens with no serious criminal record of say a felony conviction were allowed to keep and bear arms. I’d also prefer they never have to use them, something which strikes me as unlikely.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  6. i own guns and support gun rights, in oregon just about anyone can get a carry permit, but i don’t pack in public, where i live is pretty safe and i’ve never felt the need. if i get to the point where i feel the need to be armed when i go to the mall, i just won’t go to the mall anymore, i’ve figured out how to get the ups guy to bring me neat stuff i’ve seen on the internet.

    assistant devil's advocate (bf0640)

  7. They will blame the guns and the NRA as liberal jerks always have the tendency to do

    krazy kagu (fbcc60)

  8. Would a bent-on-suicide shooter at NRA headquarters have been stopped before he wasted a half-dozen or so staffers?

    I doubt it.

    steve (2e3907)

  9. Well, nk, I’m impressed that you think an armed civilian (better, several armed civilians who don’t know each other) can find a suicide-shooter before he kills nine people (how long does that take, if you aren’t picky? One minute??) will save people with the reliability of airbags.

    I kinda doubt it. Even if it worked out that way on your role-playing Internet quest.

    Do you guys understand that those 007 movies are make-believe and use trained stunt actors?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (3ba21d)

  10. Andrew,

    Did you even read the post? This guy COULD have gotten the killer if he were armed. He’s also an experienced trained shooter. I dont know about where you live but here in Texas to get a CHL you dont just go down and put your name on the clipboard. After taking a class you have to demonstrate profiency w/ a weapon. Your typical run-of-the-mill concealed licensee has plenty of experience and skill w/a handgun. And I trust the overwhelming majority of them to exercise discretion in when to use it and when not to.

    chas (d7c0b2)

  11. “I’m left skeptical, considering this, whether American shopping malls would be safer with lots of armed civilians in them.”

    You say the “Iraelis have armed guards, metal detectors at the entrance,..”

    The local mall has?

    I would suggest that the Israelis guards are trained to shoot, not call the local police (I recall once incident where the guard pushed the suicide bomber down, muffling the blast, ensuring he got killed,saving others.

    The problem with armed security guards in the US is, I believe, that they are trained to avoid conflict (as are the police, when what is needed is clear decisive action).

    I do think there might be a problem with friendly fire incidents (unless you see the actual shooter when he is shooting people, how do you know the the other guy with a gun is the shooter and not another friendly).

    davod (5bdbd3)

  12. Well, davod, you idiot. He’s the guy pointing the gun at unarmed people and shooting them. You exhibit typical liberal moonbattery.
    (See the above statement about liberal self-righteousness.)

    MarineCorpsVet (21721c)

  13. “The problem with armed security guards in the US is, I believe, that they are trained to avoid conflict (as are the police, when what is needed is clear decisive action).”

    Like Columbine, trained to run away! let anyone die that is not law enforcement! That is the mantra of LE. Sad but all too true.

    This guy had nothing to offer sans a target, he ran, I don’t blame him in the least. As for his wanderings about if he had had a gun and yadayada, it don’t matter. Fantasies are fun for all.

    The possibility does exist that had he had a weapon and used it, some lives could have been saved. I’ve no doubt. The perps are no doubt basically cowards and any advance upon them would hassen their self demise. Cuz they desire personal death as an assurance, when confronted they will shoot first,.. only the correct target, themselves. The one they should have started with, not ended with.

    But the poster is in reality living is some fantasy world of what ifs. Reality is he was not in a position to do anything other then he did. No amount of desire can ever change that for him. Or those that died as the result of a very phuked up kid either.

    A mall’s policies can’t supersede state law! EVER!

    Another reality is that, IIRC, not a single crime has been perpetrated by a CCW carrier in the nation, attributable to a weapons violation, since those laws have been on the books. I could be wrong, but don’t think I am.

    TC (1cf350)

  14. ada,

    i own guns and support gun rights, in oregon just about anyone can get a carry permit, but i don’t pack in public, where i live is pretty safe and i’ve never felt the need.

    How safe is a mall in Omaha, Nebraska? How safe are classrooms at Virginia Tech? How safe is Columbine High School? How safe is a Luby’s restaurant in Texas? How safe is a McDonald’s in San Ysidro?

    The point is that you never know when you’ll wish you’d been armed until to have the chance to regret not having been armed. You don’t have to be walking the mean streets of a big city to suddenly find yourself in lethal danger.

    Pablo (99243e)

  15. Hear, hear, Pablo.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  16. What about all us unarmed civilians? You know, those weird freaky people who don’t own guns and don’t want to. The ones who expect their tax money is going to go to a professional well-armed police force.

    Guess we’re just roadkill, right?

    All you armed Republicans think you’re such hot shit, don’t you. Frankly I’m as terrifed of y’all as I am of bi-polar druggies like the Omaha mall assassin.

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  17. Since you refer to others as “hot shit” I’m interpreting that as a personal attack and will live on the wild side and will respond in kind.

    I saw your name, David Ehrenstein, in the Recent Comments sidebar. I expected your comment to be stupid:

    “What about all us unarmed civilians? You know, those weird freaky people who don’t own guns and don’t want to. The ones who expect their tax money is going to go to a professional well-armed police force.

    “Guess we’re just roadkill, right?”

    I was not disappointed.

    Our of curiosity, if you were out in public in the same general location as I and a person started indiscriminately shooting others and we were both in fear for our lives… how would myself as an armed and trained former soldier drawing my weapon and killing the gunman leave you as “roadkill”?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  18. Christoph, this is a mesage board therefore you’re asking me to take your word for your competence. Who are you anyway. That’s a man’s name but you could very well be a woman, a 13 year-old boy or any number of other entities — inckuding a gun-crazed mall killer

    My name and personal history are traceable.

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  19. Quiz: You are in the mall and shots are fired. You see half a dozen men with guns drawn. Which must you shoot to kill? Why? Do you just pick the teenagers?

    If you remember Men in Black (instead of all the 007 films), Will Smith stood out as the only law enforcement officer who could get the simulations right.

    David Ehrenstein is validly worried about getting wasted in the crossfire as the great virtual heroes vector into fantasy mode.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (3ba21d)

  20. Your statement still begs the question, David. I thought it was sarcasm at first and you were making a point in favor of individual self-defense.

    You might as well have said: “What about those of us who don’t cook? You know, who don’t own kitchen utensils and don’t want to. Do we starve to death?” (Substitute legal activity of your choice.)

    nk (c4bc11)

  21. David, Just like anyone can claim to be anything on this blog, anyone can write a phony bio and post it on the web. Reading the bio you posted compared to your comments on this blog, I believe your bio to be correct–you are just another liberal who expects the nanny state to take care of you.

    tmac (5408eb)

  22. Quiz: You are in the mall and shots are fired. You see half a dozen men with guns drawn.

    All you could do in that instance Andrew is play possum and rely on the kindness of stangers. If that’s how you want to live your life that’s your business, but it’s not how other men want to live theirs.

    A lot of people don’t like to walk around with a three-pound hunk of iron dragging down their pants, even though they have a right to. But it’s their personal choice and not because they never got over their daycare days when their nanny took care of all their needs and gave them spankings and timeouts when they were unruly.

    nk (c4bc11)

  23. “you are just another liberal who expects the nanny state to take care of you.”

    Yes. Because you sure as hell won’t!!!!!

    Interest in one’s fellow man is an alien concept to you.

    “A lot of people don’t like to walk around with a three-pound hunk of iron dragging down their pants, even though they have a right to.”

    Correct. I’ve never been a Size Queen.

    “But it’s their personal choice and not because they never got over their daycare days when their nanny took care of all their needs and gave them spankings and timeouts when they were unruly.”

    And right on time — It’s The Nanny Meme !

    Conervative misogny is inextricably linked to castration anxiety. IOW “If I can’t do it all by myself, THEN I’M A GUUURRRRLLL!!!!!”

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  24. If you remember Men in Black (instead of all the 007 films), Will Smith stood out as the only law enforcement officer who could get the simulations right.

    007 = propaganda

    MiB = research

    But answer me this: if Will Smith is busy taking out the lone gunman wackos, who’s going to keep the aliens from blowing up the Earth?

    Pablo (99243e)

  25. Yes. Because you sure as hell won’t!!!!!

    In such a situation, I’d be tempted to tell you to get behind me, David. But frankly, I don’t trust you back there.

    Pablo (99243e)

  26. What about all us unarmed civilians? You know, those weird freaky people who don’t own guns and don’t want to. The ones who expect their tax money is going to go to a professional well-armed police force.

    I think there was a Supreme Court ruling which essentially said that the police are not obliged to protect any individual, nor are they obliged to stop any particular crime. So, think of that when you consider where your tax dollars go.

    Quiz: You are in the mall and shots are fired. You see half a dozen men with guns drawn. Which must you shoot to kill? Why? Do you just pick the teenagers?

    How about: you hold your fire until you see one of them attempt a hostile act. Is that so hard?

    But the larger question is this: when has your scenario ever happened? A second question: with what frequency do lawfully armed citizens shoot the wrong guy? You might be surprised at the answer.

    If you remember Men in Black (instead of all the 007 films), Will Smith stood out as the only law enforcement officer who could get the simulations right.

    Right, cuz Men in Black was so much more realistic than James Bond. (BTW, if I’m remembering the scene correctly, Will Smith was the only law enforcement officer there; the rest were military.)

    Steverino (af57bc)

  27. I know lots of tough, resourceful, self-sufficient “gurrls”. Self-sufficient babies, no.

    nk (c4bc11)

  28. I choose to publish somewhat anonymously for business reasons (I serve liberals and conservatives and don’t especially want to piss them off at least not in my business life — talking with friends, this blog commenting thing, plus voting, plus volunteering during the odd election thing is the sum total of my political life. In the future, I expect that to change a bit, but not yet) and I don’t want to piss customers off unnecessarily. At the same time, I don’t want to unduly restrain my opining here.

    Anyway. If you REALLY get motivated you could probably figure out who I am anyway. Just check your server logs and you can find my IP address, etc. I just visited your site. I’d still appreciate it if you didn’t publish it.

    Were I to publish all the websites I visit or maintain, what purpose would that serve regarding your question? It doesn’t tell you anything about my firearm handling or other armed and unarmed combat training. It’s not like I can send you a link to my military marksmanship record from the last decade because I don’t have such a thing.

    But put a pistol in my hand — and in some circumstances without — at a short distance which is most of these situations and I will engage the enemy. Whether you believe either my capabilities or willingness is irrelevant to me. The point is as a human being I have a right to take steps to protect my life and those of others. That includes using lethal force, which I am not eager to do. It should also include the ability to arm myself provided I can establish basic proficiency with a weapon and show a clean criminal background check, which I do.

    Of course, I can’t prove that here, either, on this blog. That also doesn’t matter. It’s like you would be the regulating authority.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  29. Notice that in Ehrenstein’s and AJL’s world, everyone who disagrees with them is racist, fascist, suffering from castration anxiety and fantasizes about killing people. It is always about characterizing every disagreement as the manifestation of evil motive and mental illness.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  30. *It’s not like…

    Plus that comment was directed to David Ehrenstein in response to his incredibly irrelevant mass of website links which he says, I assume correctly, show his blogging/internet history. Off topic, to say the least, but since you directly challenged me, there’s my reply.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  31. For those who don’t realize this, David Ehrenstein included a huge list of websites in this comment. I see that comment was edited and the links, all several dozen of them, removed.

    [Christoph, I’m not sure what happened but I did not edit any comment David E. left and I doubt Patterico did either without saying why. I did delete several comments that were clearly spam but I left a note saying I did so. — DRJ]

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  32. “Notice that in Ehrenstein’s and AJL’s world, everyone who disagrees with them is racist, fascist, suffering from castration anxiety and fantasizes about killing people”

    Because that’s almost always the case.

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  33. I am simply saying if I were allowed to carry a gun, I would have and I would have used it.

    Nebraska has a CHP law on the books. He admits he had not yet finished all the requirements for said permit.

    My point that Open Carry needs to be easier in Omaha, and places like Westroads need to take down their “no guns” signs.

    In Nebraska, businesses are given the to option to ban civilians from carrying guns on their premises. Should business owners have that option? If you force business owners to allow concealed carry then what else will they be forced to do? Anti-smoking ordinances infringe on the rights of business owners. Is that the proper role of government?

    This seems to be a question of how government does or does not regulate business. A business can bar you from distributing political literature on its premises. Is that a violation of the 1st Amendment?

    Cinderella Ferret (fc0dfc)

  34. But while I’ve been a published writer since 965 I bow to the superior knowledge of this blog’s posters. It wasn’t until this thread began that I became aware of the fact that Men in Black is a documentary.

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  35. David, even though you may well have been a published writer since 965, this hardly makes you an authority on whether a person should be able to arm and defend themselves. The authority in this case would be the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  36. No David, its not the case. It is just your fantasy.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  37. “Interest in one’s fellow man is an alien concept to you.”

    David, you don’t know me so you obviously don’t know what you are talking about. I could post my bio, but as you said, I couldn’t prove it, so I won’t bother.

    I can say with some conviction that when you die, the undertaker can give you an enema and bury you in a matchbox.

    tmac (5408eb)

  38. Because that’s almost always the case.

    Reason #21,768 why David is not to be taken seriously.

    Pablo (99243e)

  39. David Ehrenstein — yup; you’re roadkill, if you’re relying on your professional well-trained police force to be there when you need them to be. Read your newspaper: the police being present to stop a violent crime from happening is such a rarity that it’s, well, news when it happens. You don’t pay enough taxes to change that, and your apparent expectation that that’s what’s going to happen is, well, a fantasy.

    That said, there’s no guarantee whatsoever that if you carry a handgun you’ll be able, in practice, to protect yourself, just as there’s no guarantee that if you routinely fasten your seatbelt you’ll survive a collision. It just improves your odds — and combined with a reasonable level of situational awareness, it improves your odds dramatically. You can get most — but not all — of the benefit by maintaining the reasonable level of situational awareness, and if you want to combine that with self-pitying postings about how awful it is for others to be able to protect themselves while you either can’t or choose not to, that won’t change the odds much.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  40. “and if you want to combine that with self-pitying postings about how awful it is for others to be able to protect themselves while you either can’t or choose not to, that won’t change the odds much”

    I’m sure David would vastly prefer that anyway.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  41. Cinderella Ferret — I think that places of public accommodation, like malls, should be able to ban their customers from carrying handguns for self-protection. I also think that those who do that should assume the liability for the safety of those customers.

    In Minnesota, the first draft of the 2003 carry reform bill specified that. It was, alas, negotiated away as the price for some necessary votes to get carry reform through. I think the legislators and lobbyists who made that bargain made the right decision, but I think it was unfortunate that we had to.

    Disclosure: I was very peripherally involved in the negotiations, early on. To avoid a conflict of interest, I withdrew from that participation, and only had access to publicly-available information until the law actually passed; I was working on a book on Minnesota carry permit training, in anticipation of the law passing, and inside information would have given me an unfair advantage over what turned out to have been only hypothetical competitors.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  42. Joel Rosenberg, this is your biography?

    Joel Rosenberg, who has been carrying a handgun pursuant to a Minnesota carry permit for more than a dozen years, is author of Everything You Need to Know About (Legally) Carrying a Handgun in Minnesota, the Twin Cities Carry Course, TCCarry Express, and is coauthor of the Beginner to Carry CourseTM, and the AACFI Permit to Carry Course.

    He is certified as a carry permit instructor for Minnesota, Utah, Florida, Connecticut, Maine, and Virginia. His Minnesota certifications include both the Independent Firerams Instructor Association (IFIA) and the Minnesota Association of Defensive Firearms Instructors.

    He is also certified by the American Association of Certified Firearms instructors as an Instructor and Certifying Instructor, and by the National Rifle Association in Pistol, First Steps, Home Firearms Safety, and Personal Protection. He is an NRA-certified Range Safety Officer.

    That’s a bunch of crap! David Ehrenstein’s esteemed bio of being an art critic or whatever the f— he is makes him far more qualified to opine on this issue you than you. So stick it in your ear, Joel.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  43. Christoph: that is, in fact, part of my biography. I’ve done some other things, as well; I’ve written and published a couple of dozen novels, and done some other stuff.

    I am, however, not now and have never been an art critic. Make of that what you will.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  44. Uh, Joel, you are that Joel Rosenberg? Neat.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. Oh, that Joel Rosenberg. I’ve seen your books around and have just discovered your blog. A quick perusal of two posts, this one and your current one on the recent NIE suggests I agree with your thinking. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  46. There was a mall shooter in downtown Seattle, Westlake Center I believe, who was shot by a concealed carry citizen. An example of your argument in action, and its merit.

    KCK (3eed8d)

  47. BTW, the media tried to indict opinion against the citizen. Hello. Earth to Seattle media.

    KCK (3eed8d)

  48. A published author since 965? Bet you were glad to see ol’ Gutenburg come around, so you didn’t have to copy everything by hand.

    Steverino (af57bc)

  49. “I think that places of public accommodation, like malls, should be able to ban their customers from carrying handguns for self-protection. I also think that those who do that should assume the liability for the safety of those customers.”

    This is an important issue and I suspect some of the families of those killed may test that policy. I would. The ability to protect yourself is a growing concern since it is becoming clear that police will not do it. They will try to find the killer after you are dead but protection is not their job. The Columbine case was a very powerful example as they did not enter the school until long after the shooters had killed themselves.

    I would also stay away from malls for a while as copy-cats will be a concern.

    A word of advice. David is a nice fellow in person but becomes a screaming fishwife on the internet and is best ignored unless he is posting a comment about movies.

    Mike K (693378)

  50. Question: Arguments about concealed carry aside, how effective could a citizen in the mall with a concealed handgun have been against someone armed with an AK-47, who was able to use it well enough to hit more than 8 people in a relatively short period of time.

    JayHub (0a6237)

  51. JayHub, it only takes one well placed shot to neutralize the shooter, no matter what he’s shooting.

    Pablo (99243e)

  52. Christoph — nope; that’s Joel C. Rosenberg. I’m not him; he’s not me. I’m this one.

    SPQR — depends on which one you mean.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  53. JayHub — depends entirely on where that citizen was, and what he (or she!) was able and willing to do.

    During the Luby’s cafeteria massacre, at one point Dr. Hupp was directly behind the killer, a very small number of feet away. If she had broken the law that day and had had her revolver with her, shooting him in the back wouldn’t have required advanced skills or training.

    To paraphrase Dr. Hupp’s comments on that event, while it’s by no means certain that if there had been citizens with concealed weapons there things wouldn’t have gone as badly, but it’s clear that it would have changed the odds. In other situations — Joel Myrick’s heroism in the Pearl MS massacre comes to mind — somebody with the presence of mind to retrieve and even just display a handgun has brought a massacre to a halt.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  54. Christoph at 51 — A mugging with a happy ending. That’s a wonderful story I’d like to see more often. Sometimes the good guys win and the bad guys get what they deserve.

    Bradley J. Fikes (1c6fc4)

  55. 53 and 55

    Point taken.

    JayHub (0a6237)

  56. Joel Myrick’s heroism in the Pearl MS massacre comes to mind — somebody with the presence of mind to retrieve and even just display a handgun has brought a massacre to a halt.

    Myrick stopped the shooter attempting to drive away after the killings. He rammed his car into Luke Woodham’s mother’s vehicle and then held him at gunpoint. It was assumed Woodham intended to his continue his massacre elsewhere.

    steve (5cb5f1)

  57. During the Luby’s cafeteria massacre, at one point Dr. Hupp was directly behind the killer, a very small number of feet away. If she had broken the law that day and had had her revolver with her, shooting him in the back wouldn’t have required advanced skills or training.

    IIRC, Dr. Hupp lost both of her parents to the Luby’s cafeteria gunman.

    What a horrible thing… to know you had the ability and opportunity to save so many lives, but because of the political cowardice and mistrust of a few state legislators, there was no CCW. She would have been required to risk her freedom, professional license, and livelihood in order to carry a gun that day… instead, her gun was left in the glove compartment of her car.

    Incredibly strong woman… No wonder she became a pro-gun crusader.

    TheNewGuy (114368)

  58. Just doing a little surfing, but had to stop for this one…
    Christoph #29…
    Don’t you sound a little like Joe Horn here?
    (remove snark filter)
    It sounds like you want to go to the Mall and kill somebody.
    (re-install snark filter)

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  59. In Washington DC, hand guns are banned and violent crime is out of control. In Kennesaw GA, every household is required by law to own a firearm [you can opt out]. Violent crime has declined significantly. Why?

    Criminals are not stupid and, by definition, they do not obey the law. In Washington they know the only one with a gun will be the criminal. In Kennesaw they don’t know. What do the criminals do? They rob, assault, rape and murder in places with laws similar to Washington and steer clear of Kennesaw.

    About the homicide-suicide shooter. Cops haven’t worked out too well. The shooter knows that he will have a few minutes or an hour to kill people before deadly force arrives. Columbine and Virginia Tech had people in the classrooms with the skills to use firearms, but they made a conscious decision to prohibit them. Those two shooting sprees were not deadly because there were too many guns. They were deadly because there were too few.

    No one is asking every citizen to carry a concealed weapon. I do think in light of recent events, we should not prohibit citizens from doing so.

    arch (2fee36)

  60. Chechen islamist terrorists seized an elementary school in Beslan and killed 180 children. We know there are Al Qaeda plans to repeat that massacre here in the US. They want to hit an elementary school or middle school were the boys would be too young to put up physical resistance. Local police cannot garrison every school in the country.

    Who should be the first line of defense? Should require teachers be trained and equipped to use a weapon in defense of their students.

    I suspect some of the families in Beslan would, in retrospect, favor arming the school staff. What if it was you child?

    arch (2fee36)

  61. Joel Rosenberg #42:

    I think that places of public accommodation, like malls, should be able to ban their customers from carrying handguns for self-protection. I also think that those who do that should assume the liability for the safety of those customers.

    I agree and, as I’m sure you know since you’ve drafted legislation on this subject, there are analogies in existing law. For instance, in the past, tort law provided that common carriers like trains and airlines had a higher duty of care to protect passengers (although some jurisdictions have retreated from that standard). Similarly, it makes sense to apply a higher standard to venues like malls and theme parks that are open to the public and restrict their guests’ right to carry.

    Another benefit of handling this under tort law, rather than as a Second Amendment issue, is that owners could decide the best way to handle their particular venue’s security issues. For example, the best way to handle security issues at a mall may be different than the best way to handle them at Disney World. Thus, some locations might decide to ban guns and increase security, while others might decide to let patrons carry guns.

    Of course, there are drawbacks to a tort law approach – primarily because it relies on individuals to bring court cases to be effective. That makes it an inefficient and after-the-fact solution. As a conservative, I generally favor incremental changes in the law but I understand why this may not be palatable to others.

    DRJ (a6fcd2)

  62. “A word of advice. David is a nice fellow in person but becomes a screaming fishwife on the internet and is best ignored unless he is posting a comment about movies.”

    Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd is my new role model — so watch your back!

    David Ehrenstein (5f9866)

  63. The Kennesaw ordinance was largely symbolic and, to my knowledge, has never been enforced.

    Code of Ordinances & Gun Law

    Sec. 34-1 Heads of households to maintain firearms.

    (a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the City (county), and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city (county) and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the City (county) limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.

    (b) Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability, which would prohibit them from using such a firearm.

    Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.

    With the city 350% bigger today, crime stat comparisons are challenging. You’d have to examine zip codes adjacent to Kennesaw to prove any gun ordinance differential.

    steve (1a4ce0)

  64. Joel, I’m a fan.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  65. By the way, in Colorado Springs today, at the New Life church, a gunman opened fire on the church grounds. The church’s security guard shot and killed him, but not before he was able to shoot approx 5 people with one fatality among the victims. It sounds like the security guard saved a lot of lives with his timely action, as the gunman was not able to advance beyond the parking lot. When police arrived minutes later, it was all over. My deep respect to the security guard for his fine work.

    There was a shooting the night before at a ministry in the Denver metro area ( Arvada ) as well, no confirmation of a link between the two although that is the speculation as that gunman was not apprehended.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  66. Rules of a gun fight:

    1. Have a gun.

    Gerald A (8c8fe4)

  67. I’d say comment 23 is pretty revealing. I’m not relying on the kindness of strangers. I’m anticipating that the police and security guards will do their jobs.

    The alternative, AFAICT, is dying in a hail of bullets as a lot of insecure guys turn the mall into live-ammo paintball each one guessing the last one standing will be seen as the most macho.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (bbea97)

  68. You have a pessimistic view of your fellow men, Andrew.

    DRJ (a6fcd2)

  69. Andrew J. Lazarus — if the job of police and/or security guards were to be present to stop violent attacks in progress, by and large, they do a pretty much invariably lousy job. Police arrival in response time to a 911 call averages some number of minutes; violent crimes, like muggings or shootings, can easily take place in some small number of seconds.

    Or, as some wag put it, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

    Your expressed fear of armed citizens randomly letting fly and injuring bystanders is very common, but flies in the face of the facts that there are literally millions of Americans with carry permits; that there are at least many hundreds of thousands of successful defensive gun uses every year; and that incidents of bystanders injured by lawfully-armed citizens shooting and missing attackers are so rare as to be close to nonexistent.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  70. SPQR — thanks.

    DJR — agreed. The fears that Andrew J. Lazarus expressed were very common coin during every carry reform debate that I’ve followed, and such fears were as thick as the spring mosquitoes in Minnesota when we were going through our carry reform debate here. But such fears tend to dissolve in the wake of real-life experience after such laws take effect.

    My favorite example was one of our local antigun activists, Heather Martens, who spent a whole lot of time spewing such nonsense during the debate over carry reform. Late last winter, when she took part in a debate at the U of M on a related subject — the U changing its policy to no longer forbid permit-holding students and staff from carrying on campus — she knew that many of the non-student public were going to be permit holders, many of them carrying (MN law prevents the U from barring visitors from lawfully carrying on campus), she was so unconcerned about the danger of the permit holders that she had come to demagogue about that she brought her three-year-old child to the debate.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  71. AJL #69, we’ve a lot of real experience with concealed carry in this nation, and your scenario remains nothing but your fantasy and unrelated to the real world.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  72. …and that there are at least many hundreds of thousands of successful defensive gun uses every year

    That works out to around a thousand a day.

    Citation?

    steve (748e6d)

  73. Steve, Gary Kleck of the University of Florida did the study work behind that and came up with actually a larger estimate.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  74. The alternative, AFAICT, is dying in a hail of bullets as a lot of insecure guys turn the mall into live-ammo paintball each one guessing the last one standing will be seen as the most macho.

    Has that scenario ever played out in real life, Andrew? Or is that perhaps your own insecurity we’re seeing?

    Pablo (99243e)

  75. Steve, Gary Kleck of the University of Florida did the study work behind that and came up with actually a larger estimate.

    The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey estimate is 108,000 DGU’s/year.

    People who draw their guns to defend themselves against perceived threats are not necessarily innocent victims; they may have started fights themselves or they may simply be mistaken about whether the other persons really intended to harm them. Survey interviewers must take the respondent’s word for what happened and why.

    http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/165476.pdf

    steve (748e6d)

  76. That is not a refutation, Steve, as Kleck used a different methodology for his estimates. He and his coauthor addressed that survey in their original paper citing to many criticisms of the NCVS.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  77. I’m not relying on the kindness of strangers. I’m anticipating that the police and security guards will do their jobs.

    The alternative, AFAICT, is dying in a hail of bullets as a lot of insecure guys turn the mall into live-ammo paintball each one guessing the last one standing will be seen as the most macho.

    This is a logical fallacy known as False Dilemma. Andrew posits that there are no scenarios between law enforcement saving the day and an all-out melee of random bullet fire. Everyone knows this is bullshit. There are instances where citizens have used guns to stop crimes without imperiling everyone around them.

    Andrew, when have lawfully armed citizens ever created a hail of bullets as you describe? If you can’t find a single instance, then don’t you think you should withdraw this silly statement of yours. In other words: put up or shut up.

    Steverino (af57bc)

  78. Steve:

    Kennesaw is an Atlanta suburb. As you pointed out, since the gun law was passed, it grew from 5,000 to 28,000. Ever wonder why?

    Also, can anyone cite a single incident in which a bystander was wounded or killed in a citizen gun defense? If there are such incidents, I’m sure the media would let everyone know.

    arch (2fee36)

  79. And where is the example of civilians (not security guards) stopping a suicidal massacre in progress?

    Shall I start posting a list of hunting accidents? Bystanders killed in the crossfire of rival drug dealers?

    By citing “Men in Black”, I was hoping to bring to your attention that all of you saying “Gimme my gun and I’ll save the day” needs to go on the fiction shelf. I’m glad you’re all so confident of your own (untested) heroism. No, actually, I’m not glad. I’m kind of shocked.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (1bb1be)

  80. Shall I start posting a list of hunting accidents? Bystanders killed in the crossfire of rival drug dealers?

    Hunting accidents are not an example of citizens trying to stop a crime. Neither are gun battles of rival drug dealers. (BTW, sometimes bystanders are killed by police.)

    You are the one who said there is no ground between law enforcement acting properly and the gunfight at the OK corral. You are the one who put forth the fallacious argument. So, you have to defend your position, or be a gentleman and admit it’s absurd.

    You didn’t put up, so it’s time to shut up.

    By citing “Men in Black”, I was hoping to bring to your attention that all of you saying “Gimme my gun and I’ll save the day” needs to go on the fiction shelf.

    It was an idiotic analogy, but instead of backing away from it, you are now defending it. Men in Black is pure fiction, and anything in that movie has no more in common with fact than the moon has with green cheese.

    Steverino (af57bc)

  81. Shall I start posting a list of hunting accidents? Bystanders killed in the crossfire of rival drug dealers?

    If you’d like, although when you’re in a hole, the best thing to do really is to stop digging, not ask for more shovels.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  82. And where is the example of civilians (not security guards) stopping a suicidal massacre in progress?
    Joel Myrick in Pearl MS has already been mentioned. The earliest example I can think of is Allen Crum, who helped take down Charles Whitman, the “Texas Tower Sniper.” There are others.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  83. “And where is the example of civilians (not security guards) stopping a suicidal massacre in progress?”

    http://www.saysuncle.com/archives/2007/12/10/mass_murderers_v_armed_citizens-2/

    just a small list

    Lord Nazh (899dce)

  84. Yes. Because you sure as hell won’t!!!!!

    Interest in one’s fellow man is an alien concept to you.

    You gotta love the classics.

    The alternative, AFAICT, is dying in a hail of bullets as a lot of insecure guys turn the mall into live-ammo paintball each one guessing the last one standing will be seen as the most macho.

    Or, you know, dying in a hail of bullets from the shooter, who happens to be the only guy there with a gun who will remain so for the next several minutes at least – until the cops arrive, secure outside, set up a perimeter, and slowly move through the location.

    Me? I’d rather be able to at least defend myself from the guy (or gal) shooting. At a minimum get their attention focused on me and not, for example, small children.

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  85. Shall I start posting a list of hunting accidents? Bystanders killed in the crossfire of rival drug dealers?

    Bet those killed in the crossfire of a rival-gang-shootout wished they had something to shoot back with.

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  86. AJL is not interested in reality, only in conforming all those who disagree with him into his categories for opponents: racist, fascist and/or mentally ill. This is why he focuses on his fantasy about others’ fantasies.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  87. This is why he focuses on his fantasy about others’ fantasies.

    He knows about my desires for DRJ?

    God damnit, if he tells her, I’ll be ruined!!!

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  88. “Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd is my new role model — so watch your back!”

    -David Ehrenstein

    I was gonna ask you if you were excited about Sweeney Todd, seeing as you’re always quoting Stephen Sondheim, but you answered my question for me.

    That movie looks badass beyond all belief: Johnny Depp and Tim Burton reunited in a hellishly violent musical – and the gorgeously twisted Helena Bonham Carter thrown in, to boot!

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  89. Shall I start posting a list of hunting accidents? Bystanders killed in the crossfire of rival drug dealers?

    No, Andrew, examples of the situation you fear so deeply having actually happened will suffice. Nothing else will. Armed citizens stopping a wacko shooter and killing others in the process, please.

    Pablo (99243e)

  90. 52, 53, 55 & 59

    Pablo, Joel – Your point has been completely validated in Colorado Springs according to the latest from the Denver Post:

    “The man fired numerous rounds from the AK-47 in the parking lot before entering the church where he was killed by a security guard. The guard fired as many as six bullets into him, according to sources.”

    JayHub (0a6237)

  91. Better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6.
    Vermont, the only state without a cc permit.

    Mtnman8 (59f8d1)

  92. Think again, buddy…

    Illinois too

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  93. Let me restate about Vermont, WE carry legally without the need for a permit. There is no permit required in VT.

    Mtnman8 (59f8d1)

  94. Right, but then again, you don’t need a permit in AK, either. They’re shall-issue if you want one, though, and that can come in handy when traveling to other states.

    Xrlq (b71926)

  95. VT – a wonderful place – the home of “Leaky” Leahy, and Bernie “The Red”.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  96. In other words no permit is avalible, even if you wished one.
    Hey I didnt vote for them and they are out of staters that the other out of staters voted for.

    Mtnman8 (59f8d1)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.5354 secs.