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Mass murderers v. armed citizens

Seems some whackjob decided to shoot up a church. However, an armed woman decided to end said whackjob’s plans. Ahab notes that:

Colorado state law requires that an armed security guard who is not a member of law enforcement must be in possession of a concealed carry permit. I am currently in the process of determining whether the guard at New Life was an off-duty cop, or a civilian volunteer with a carry permit. Because no media have referred to the guard as an off duty police officer, my hunch is that he (or she, I suppose) is just a regular concerned citizen like us.

As Glenn said: People don’t stop killers. People with guns do

Well, armed citizens have a reasonable record at stopping mass murderers:

1 Tyler, Texas: Shooter on the loose. Mark Wilson hears the noise and grabs a gun. He intervenes and saves the life of one man (who turns out to be the shooters’ son). He also drew fire from the murderer and likely saved more lives. Sadly, Mr. Wilson was murdered on the scene.

2 Tacoma, WA: Brendan “Dan” McKown was delivering a bank deposit for Excalibur Cutlery, a mall gift store, when gunshots scattered shoppers at noon in Tacoma. Dan McKown was an armed CCW holder. Witnesses state that McKown stood about 20 feet from the gunman when he faced him and drew his own pistol before being shot. Whether he spoke to the gunman is unknown. “Our understanding is that Dan drew his weapon and confronted the gunman,” his stepmother, Beverly McKown, said during a news conference Tuesday at Tacoma General Hospital. “Dan is always one who believed in protecting people and he put his life on the line for other people,” McKown’s father said. “His actions and the actions of others like him may have prevented additional casualties by confronting the aggression and possibly changing the gunman’s action early in the conflict.”

3 courtesy of Mr. Burnside Pete Odighizuwa. He’s the man who killed three innocent people at the Appalachian School of Law. But was likely stopped by two armed students who had to run to their cars to get their guns. There’s some dispute as to what caused Pete O. to surrender because he was also out of ammo.

4 Another, via comments, was the Utah mall shooting:

An off-duty police officer having an early Valentine’s Day dinner with his wife was credited Tuesday with helping stop a rampage in a crowded shopping mall by an 18-year-old gunman who killed five people before he was cut down.

He was off duty. Good thing he disregarded the mall’s no gun policy that day. And another one:

5 In Pearl, Mississippi:

Vice Principal Joel Myrick held his Colt .45 point blank to the high school boy’s head. Last week, he told me what it was like. “I said ‘why are you shooting my kids?’ He said it was because nobody liked him and everything seemed hopeless,” Myrick said. “Then I asked him his name. He said ‘you know me, Mr. Myrick. Remember? I gave you a discount on your pizza delivery last week.”

6 another: A knife-wielding grocery store employee attacked eight co-workers Friday, seriously injuring five before a witness pulled a gun and stopped him, police said.

7 Allen Crum, an armed citizen, was deputized when Charles Whitman climbed a tower and started shooting people. Read Mr. Crum’s account here. He used a borrowed rifle.

8 Kenneth Gage.

I like the odds more when good people are armed.

Add number 9 to the list.

28 Responses to “Mass murderers v. armed citizens”

  1. Brian Says:

    Numbers 1 and 2 highlight an important thing to consider in situations like these. If you decide to draw your firearm and then demand that they drop theirs, there’s a good chance that you’re just going to end up dead. Tactically, your safest options are to either just walk away (wise if you aren’t 100% sure who the bad guy is), or just draw and shoot.

    If the situation lies in the middle there somewhere (i.e. you can’t morally justify walking away, but you aren’t so confident of who is the bad guy that you would just draw and fire), you may want to be sure you have EXTREMELY good cover before getting involved.

    I think Larry Correia explained the hazards of getting involved in third party situations best in one of Say Uncle’s November posts. (http://www.saysuncle.com/archives/2007/11/29/roleplaying_in_ccw_classes/). Drawing a firearm solely with the intent to verbally subdue is not a very plausible tactic. All it does is ensure that you will probably hesitate when it really counts.

  2. Major Bill Says:

    I agree, if you draw your weapon, you better plan on using it first to stop the threat. Never give the bad guy a chance to get a shot at you.

    Major Bill

  3. Cactus Jack Says:

    Major Bill Says:

    December 10th, 2007 at 11:16 am
    I agree, if you draw your weapon, you better plan on using it first to stop the threat. Never give the bad guy a chance to get a shot at you.

    That’s a good point but there’s something else to consider before taking action. If you’re in a area where there’s lots of other people and see a guy (or gal) standing there with a drawn pistol hold fire until you’re sure whether or not that’s the shooter. He/she could be another CCW holder, like you, who’s trying to figure out who’s doing the shooting.

    My point is make sure that IS the bad guy before you do anything.

  4. Brian Says:

    “That’s a good point but there’s something else to consider before taking action. If you’re in a area where there’s lots of other people and see a guy (or gal) standing there with a drawn pistol hold fire until you’re sure whether or not that’s the shooter. He/she could be another CCW holder, like you, who’s trying to figure out who’s doing the shooting.”

    A good example of that middle ground I mentioned. My preference if, god forbid, I ever find myself present during a public shooting incident would be to find “rifle proof” cover (e.g. a pillar, low concrete wall) and then try to figure out what is going on. I wouldn’t draw until I was certain I knew who the threat was. Drawing any earlier, without intent to fire, would only flag me as a threat for the nutjob to eliminate early on.

  5. edh Says:

    Brian, Major Bill, Cactus,

    Use your weapon first, heck, wouldn’t that mean you’re being “pre-emptive”?

  6. Terence Says:

    Don’t know if it counts, but I remember after the mob of angry Latino citizens caught Richard Ramirez on thier block, one of them hollered at his wife to bring the gun so they could finish him right there. Seems to have disappeared down the memory hole though..

  7. Stephenm Says:

    I’m with #1 and #2. Anything else is to play Cop. Most cops wear armor and have adequate to extensive training in how to make the perp “DO IT NOW.” We do not. Mostly we are constrained only by the rule of immediate and credible threat. To me that means draw and present only to shoot.

  8. austin Says:

    In Texas the law that governs civilian use of force is that same law used for police.

    If you practice shooting 2x a month, that is more than most police.

  9. Sam Says:

    During a news conference the pastor of the church said she was not an off duty cop but had a law enforcement background or past. He also said it was her own weapon and she was dressed in civilian clothing.

  10. M. Says:

    Has anyone tried to find out if any of the VTech victims were licensed to carry, but were effectively disarmed by the “gun free zone” ban?

  11. Mike Says:

    Here’s an update to Ahab’s post:

    UPDATE: Directly from the head pastor at New Life Church, the “security guard” who stopped the shooting was an unpaid volunteer, not a police officer, and “used a personal weapon.” The CNN link confirms the information I just received in an email from a source at New Life Church.

  12. Major Bill Says:

    Cactus Jack, Brian,

    Good point, well said.

    Thanks,

    Major Bill

  13. DirtCrashr Says:

    I think I found a new Church to attend!

  14. adam Says:

    didn’t someone come into the US Capital building a couple of years ago and shoot a few people before getting shot? Ten years ago, maybe? I am hazy on the details.

  15. Martin Edward Says:

    When I read a story like the shooter at the Colorado church, I weep for the faculty and administration at Virginia Tech. Whoever was responsible for the “gun free zone” was also responsible for the deaths of many of the victims.
    In Colorado, you have to fault the shooter for being dumb enough not to pick a liberal, gun free zone, otherwise he could have racked up a near VaTech total. We know he was crazy but appears to be stupid, as well.

  16. Mordwyn Says:

    Brian Says:
    December 10th, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Numbers 1 and 2 highlight an important thing to consider in situations like these. If you decide to draw your firearm and then demand that they drop theirs, there’s a good chance that you’re just going to end up dead. Tactically, your safest options are to either just walk away (wise if you aren’t 100% sure who the bad guy is), or just draw and shoot…

    Just as a point information, in the incident recounted in example #1, The shooter was carrying a semi-auto Kalashnikov variant and was wearing a Level 3 bullet resistant vest. When he responded, Mr Wilson emptied his .45 cal 1911 variant pistol into the center of mass of the assailant but the combination of the vest and the assailants adrenalin rendered these shots ineffective. There was no “Stop or I’ll shoot” warning, Mr Wilson responded correctly and aimed for COM

    As it’s been said, Mr Wilson died a hero, having been confronted with force by him the assailant decided to flee, saving one of his two initial targets and most likely many others. Sadly Mr Wilson had taken cover behind the assailants vehicle and was shot and killed as he was reloading his pistol, as he was a barrier to the assailants escape.

    Ever since these details came out regarding this incident I have trained with my CCW pistol utilizing “Mozambique drills” where one places two shots into the COM and then one into the head of the target.

    As it seems that violent felons and are using bullet resistant vests more and more often the self defense community must upgrade it’s tactics accordingly.

  17. Lyle Says:

    Example #4: He was both off-duty and outside his jurisdiction. Hence he was a regular citizen with a gun.

  18. Morgan Sailors Says:

    Ed note: Comment IP 12.19.56.66 deleted. Tard limit exceeded. If you want to fling poo, go elsewhere.

  19. # 9 Says:

    Glenn says, “Gun-free zones” are premised on a fantasy: That murderers will follow rules, and that people like my student, or Bradford Wiles, are a greater danger to those around them than crazed killers like Cho Seung-hui. That’s an insult. Sometimes, it’s a deadly one.”

    I like the shorter version, “Trust the criminal never works”. Why do you think they call them “criminals”.

  20. nora Says:

    “Identify yourself” even as you draw a bead on the perp. Protects you, other CCW holders, innocents. If the guy shooting hasn’t yelled at the top of his lungs, “STOP I have a gun” and the shooting stops, then I’m gonna drill him. There is a protocol, folks….I definitely don’t want to shoot another CCW holder, so cut with the shoot first stuff. Yell it as you shoot if you must. But please –identify yourself!

  21. nora Says:

    Correct my post, if the guy shooting hasn’t yelled “stop I have a gun” and the shooting HASN”T stopped, I’m gonna drill him.

    Sorry. But man we don’t want to be blowing these.

  22. Morgan Sailors Says:

    Ed note: mdsailors44@aol.com comment deleted, tard limit exceeded. try some substance and not ad hominem and we’ll let you stick around.

  23. Mike Says:

    This sort of thing happens on small scale far more frequently than major press carries. Why? No one dies. The story discussed below made local news only. A bar patron is kicked out of the bar for his conduct, returns with a pistol and opens up on the doorman while rushing the entrance. A patron hears the shots, pulls his CCW, and wounds the shooter, who runs off with half the bar in pursuit. 0 dead.

    Most of the articles are no longer online – a summary of one is here:
    http://massbackwards.blogspot.com/2007/04/i-blame-new-hampshire.html

  24. Gary Williams Says:

    Typical Conservative deleting anything you don’t agree with.

  25. Gary Williams Says:

    How come Americans are the only western nation that has so much gun crime that you don’t feel safe without your own piece?

  26. SayUncle Says:

    I didn’t disagree with him as he asserted nothing. He made lame dick jokes. Nothing to disagree with.

    How come Americans are the only western nation that has so much gun crime

    Really? Try doing some research.

    But at least you made an effort. I mean, you were wrong. But at least you left the dick jokes at home.

  27. Michael Shirley Says:

    Gary, most of the places you need a gun, are the ones that won’t let you have one. I live in a place where there are more guns than people and you’ll find one in about 40 percent of the cars on the road. For the most part, it’s a safe place to be.

    At the same time though, when you need a gun, it’s a good thing to have one. The last time I needed one, there was some guy at my door after ten PM, and he was demanding that my wife let him in. She told him no, he started getting agitated and she told me to call the police. That didn’t scare him off, but my stepping into the living room with an obvious .357 Magnum did. We called the cops and reported it and never heard from them. On the other hand, two days later, around the corner and down the street, the news reported a woman who’d been strangled in her bed. I’m betting money that it was the same guy who tried to get into my place. And if I hadn’t come out with that sidearm, dollars to donuts he’d have still been trying to get through my steel security door. (One of the reasons that I rented that particular apartment. Steel security door, and it’s second floor that makes it defensible space for the most part.) And that was about the fourth time in about 35 years that I actually needed a gun. And every one of those instances would probably have resulted in severe physical harm or death if I hadn’t had one. And luckily for me, I never had to shoot one of them. The gun was the only arguement I needed to get out of the situation.

    In the meantime, I’ve got a question for you. I’ve been asking it for around 35 years now, and I’ve gotten an honest answer exactly twice. Now it’s your turn. Question: If you could get a comprehensive gun ban passed, which other articles of the Bill of Rights would you be prepared to surrender in order to make it enforceable?

    And that’s the sticking point that none of you guys will ever address– the fact that gun control does not have enough of a moral consensus as to make it enforcable, so you wind up dumbing down freedom to the level at which you’d trust the least trustworthy, ergo making the country one big open air prison. Frankly, I’d rather take my chances out in the big free world than to live like that!

    I do notice that after the Snowdrop people got their ban after Dunblane over in Britain, that gun crimes went up, and that eventually according to what I read in the Daily Telegraph, the London Metropolitian Police’s Firearms Unit ended up replacing Heckler & Koch MP-5A3s with Heckler & Koch G36 Assault rifles because they felt outgunned by Yardie gangs that had taken to carrying MAC-11 SMGs that were made in underground shops in Britain. Looks to me like the net result of the the ban there has been to actually increase the net firepower available to those intent on mayhem while leaving the ordinary citizen helpless. I don’t want to see that sort of thing happening here.

    Either way, it would be interesting to see you people start dealing with the collateral effects of what you propose, rather than thinking that you can legislate in vacuo without causing harm to other people who might not otherwise have been harmed. When a government prevents people from having the effective means of self defense, it becomes complicit with their attackers for having created that condition. I’d be interested in seeing you address that starting with how you’d have resurrected my wife and I had that guy gotten though the door.

  28. Phillep Says:

    Michael, I had a gun grabber pose the hypothetical question, “If we could find a way to remove all guns from the country, would you give up your guns?”

    If whatever method he hypothesized required I voluntarily give up my firearms, just exactly how effective would that method be of taking firearms from criminals?

    Note to Gary Williams: Shall we investigate how many blogs on the Right remove comments compared to how many blogs on the Left remove comments?

    Shall we start with Kos?

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

Uncle Pays the Bills


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