Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Will They Get The Message This Time About Gun Free Zones ?
How many must die first?
We have another horrible story of mass murder. This time it was 20 year-old Robert A. Harkins, a convicted felon, deranged and suicidal gunman attacking a soft target rich with unarmed people to kill. No armed security or armed civilians with concealed weapons permits are allowed on the property. Any gunman or terrorist is reasonably guaranteed that no one could or would be able to fight back or provide any challenge at all.
Nebraska was one of the last states to allow law abiding residents to obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Of course when that provision passed places like the Omaha, NE Westroads Mall rushed to bar the permit holders through posted signs.
The Westroads mall management had in every way facilitated and abetted Hawkins during his violent rampage by making sure everyone was helpless and unprotected.
The armed 20 year-old whack-job was wearing camouflage clothing while armed with a stolen SKS .30 cal rifle. Hawkins was unstoppable until he decided to end his own life. Mall employees and shoppers had no choice but to run, hide and pray they’d somehow avoid being shot.
Malls or any institution that deals with crowds of people are ripe for similar assaults. They need a plan to deal with this kind of attack. They need experts to assist them and their local police agencies may be a part of the problem rather than a solution because they echo the sentiments of the gun rights hating mayors that run the larger cities. The police chiefs are told to promote the idea of more Gun Free Zones, to advise businesses to maintain unarmed security and to never challenge armed maniacs. I guess the plan is to dial 911 and then wait to die or if you’re in luck the maniac/s will simply run out of ammunition.
I guess we don’t remember that only one of the 9/11 hijacked planes did not strike its target. That of course was flight #93 where passengers revolted and made the attack impossible for the terrorists. Of course the revolt was too little and too late to have prevented the breach of the plane’s flight deck. That and the FAA made sure trained and certified local police officers could no longer carry guns on planes while off duty. Two such disarmed officers were on those doomed 9/11 planes.
America cannot afford another mass shooting in such environments as Westroads Mall.
For better public safety all event venues must:
1. Allow all off duty cops and people authorized to carry firearms the right to do that within the venue.
2. Hire only trained and armed security people.
3. Have a couple of .223 rifles available for accurate shooting over longer distances.
4. People entering these venues should be observed for behavior profiles.
5. Mall operators need to let the local cops know they are welcome whether on or off duty with their firearms.
To continue down the road of simply hoping that won’t happen here has to end and such places as Westroads Mall have to become tougher targets for violence.
Stand by now for the COPY-CATS and I don't mean some rock group!