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!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's it, blame the mall managementfor the gunman's actions. They simply are trying to detere people with gus from hurting people and a gun ban is the best way to do that. We need to help troubled people as we ban guns from the face of thias earth.

The NRA murdered those people and should be forced to pay the victims and their families.

Guns and resistance to assaut are not the answer. If more of us would just turn the other cheek we'd have no more killing!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am blown away by the ignorance of the first poster to this topic. Blame the NRA for a lunatic because he used a handgun? Such idiocy is rampant whenever there is a widely publicized shooting in this country. As Paul said, if law abiding, armed civilians and / or off-duty or retired cops had been at that mall, the shooter may have been stopped. People need to stop acting like sheep, expecting the police to protect them. Face the facts, you are on your own when a situation such as this happens, and if you are unarmed, you are at the mercy of the shooter. Me? I'll better my odds of surviving by having a legal, concealed weapon on me at all times.

It's Not All Real said...

I'm the NRA and I didn't murder anyone! I'm also a police officer for 20+ years. You sir/madam are an asshat.

You go ahead and turn your cheek to an armed assailant, I for one will be glad to cancel their ticket!

You're just a victim waiting to happen. I wonder if any of those poor souls who were killed would agree with you if given a second chance?

Brandon G said...

This must be the stupidest comment I've ever read.

Had there been armed citizens on the property the perp would have been neutralized in a matter of moments.

It's a shame that some of the public can be the this ignorant. Gun control helps NO ONE! Criminals are going to have weapons no matter what, if it's illegal to own one, who cares? They're already criminals. You would LITERALLY have to remove every weapon off the face of the Earth to keep someone from owning a gun.

People like you are the reason why the government is being pressured into taking away our Constitutional right to bear arms.

I carry a pistol on my side for this reason and this reason only. I will protect my family, friends, innocent people around me, and my property or I will die trying. You can be rest assured that if I were near a perfect stranger as they were being mugged/robbed/raped, I would step in an assist in defending that stranger.

If everyone owned and carried a gun and criminals knew that, crime rates would drop 99%.

Anonymous said...

IF WE TURN THE OTHER CHEEK THE ONLY THING THAT WILL HAPPEN IS IT WILL GET SLAPED ALSO

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
In this case, I am not sure how having more guns around would have made a difference. From what I've read so far, the gunman had concealed himself in an elevated sniper position and fired down on the crowd from there. Maybe someone might have eventually been able to take him out, but not before he caused a great amount of carnage.

The problem is, the more we loosen restrictions on weapons whose only function is to kill large numbers of people in a short amount of time, the easier we make it for people who want to cause massacres to obtain the tools they need to do it. We can talk all we want about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, but in many situations, a person's criminal intent or mental instability do not become apparent until it is too late.

Crimefile said...

I will deal with this one quote at a time…

“In this case, I am not sure how having more guns around would have made a difference. From what I've read so far, the gunman had concealed himself in an elevated sniper position and fired down on the crowd from there. Maybe someone might have eventually been able to take him out, but not before he caused a great amount of carnage”

A man wearing camo gear as he enters a mall with a rifle can not do so unseen. Someone could have stopped him cold before he got up to is “sniper position”.

“The problem is, the more we loosen restrictions on weapons whose only function is to kill large numbers of people in a short amount of time, the easier we make it for people who want to cause massacres to obtain the tools they need to do it.”

Guns are a way for weaker people to survive attack from bad humans and would be dictators. Guns save many more lives than they take. Gasoline and household chemicals can be used to bomb and burn people very efficiently. Remember that illegal alien that killed 100 people with a single gallon of gasoline at New York’s Happyland Social Club?

“We can talk all we want about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, but in many situations, a person's criminal intent or mental instability do not become apparent until it is too late”

You make a great case for sane and sober Americans to be able to carry firearms because you never know when or where a nut, armed criminal or terrorist may show up

jim said...

I believe the fist comment was deliberatly posted just to enrage us, because I'm sure no one could be that stupid. LOL
No need for me to add more dialog, everything I believe in has been already stated very eloquently, just let me close by stating that I would be proud to walk side by side with Brandon G. a real hero.

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
Thank you for hosting such an interesting debate. If I could play devil's advocate once more and offer a rebuttal to your response:

"A man wearing camo gear as he enters a mall with a rifle can not do so unseen. Someone could have stopped him cold before he got up to is “sniper position”."

I just have an anecdote. I live in rural Pennsylvania, where there are many people who legally own guns for hunting. I don't hunt, but I am a gun owner myself. We don't have to be afraid of random gun violence out here as in the big cities. Most gun deaths out here are a result of domestic violence (most recently a man who killed his daughter-in-law during a drunken brawl with his son) or plain stupidity. Out here it is not uncommon to see people in public wearing camos. It is also not unusual to see people enter places of business with firearms, especially the types of businesses that sell or repair them. Several malls in the area have sporting outlets. On top of that, during the winter people often wear clothing which could easily conceal a rifle similar to the one used in the Omaha massacre. Also, many guns that could kill large amounts of people in a short span of time can be disassembled and concealed, or are small enough to conceal even in normal clothing. I guess what I am saying is that the scenario you described is not in and of itself out of the ordinary. What if someone walks into a sporting goods store on his way to the woods with a rifle to have repaired or fitted for a case and someone hits the panic button. Also, not everyone intent on finding a vantage point to kill people sniper-style is going to look out of the ordinary from the outset. I am still not convinced that every incident like this could be prevented or ended more quickly if the entire public was armed.

"Guns are a way for weaker people to survive attack from bad humans and would be dictators."

You are right. Guns to even the score for the physically weak. However they also make it easier for "bad humans" to carry out their attacks, as well as for people to cause incredible amounts of harm through carelessness and sheer stupidity. I guess it's a question of what we fear more: would-be-dictators or stupid people. I see far more stupid people around me than potential dictators.

As far as the bad humans, that puts us in an arms race against each other. If bad people are allowed to have guns (and you already agreed that loose gun laws would also arm people who haven't been bad yet but intend to become bad) I am not so naive as to say turn the other cheek, but what if the bad person can afford (or steal) a more powerful gun than I can. Doesn't that create another form of weakness that guns can't even out?

I know some might say that we already have a situation in which many bad people are better armed than the rest of us, but I still don't see how adding even more guns to the equation is going to change anything. The same guns that we put into circulation to protect ourselves will also be used to victimize us, just at a greater level than before. A well-armed public is no deterrent to someone who is suicidal, and no obstacle to someone with better tactics and firepower.

I am not anti-gun, but I am moderate in most of my views. I think our response as a society to these massacres past, present, and future should take all factors into account.

The Duck said...

I would point out that in 64 armed citizens helped keep Whitman pinned down in the Texas Clock Tower. So 3 floors, CCW'ers could have kept this idiot pinned down also.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea....
Let's segregate the population by gun ownership. The anti-gun pansies on one side of the country, the armed folks on the other. And then we can have a real test of theory. After the criminals murder the unarmed anti-gun folk we will get that portion of the country back anyway. And, as a bonus, we won't have to listen to their drivel anymore.
Works for me.
But, then again, I'm a gun owner.