Watch Mitch Berg DESTROY This Liberal Hamster’s Argument With This One Weird Trick

Check Out Paragraph Nine.  Mind Blown.

The website “Raw Story” is, in general , almost as useless as Buzzfeed; at least Buzzfeed has some really cool recipes, which Raw Story utterly lacks.

Raw Story (henceforth RS) is as useless as “The Awl”.  There.  Got it.

Anyway, they ran a piece last week about the Oregon shooting that claimed that guns were useless for defending against mass shootings because…

…one shooter has a solid sense of physical and legal self-preservation.

But they sure think they’re onto something, as evidenced by their cool-handed, measured, sober headline:

Armed vet destroys gun nuts’ argument on mass shooters by explaining why he didn’t attack Oregon killer

So let’s look at the story and see what gets “destroyed”.

It relates the story of a Mr. John Parker, whom RS via MSNBC note is a veteran of an unspecified armed service:

A veteran who says he was carrying a concealed weapon on Oregon’s Umpqua Community College campus Thursday when 26-year-old Christopher Harper Mercer went on a murderous rampage, says he didn’t intervene because he knew police SWAT team members wouldn’t know him from the shooter.

So far so good.  He’s right.  Standing around with a gun when a SWAT team is responding to “a guy with a gun” is a good way to get killed. It happens; a few years back during a botched robbery in Saint Paul, a citizen picked up a shotgun dropped by one of the robbers – and was killed by the SPPD.

Discretion is, indeed, the better part of valor.

RS slips into editorial mode – but I repeat myself:

Conservative commentators — none of whom were caught up in the panic and confusion at the college campus — have complained that the school’s “gun-free” designation drew the shooter there and that a “good guy with a gun” could have stopped him.

And the conservative commentators – operating on decades of data and law enforcement’s current doctrine for dealing with active shooters – are right, and to the best of my knowledge “Raw Story”‘s “writer” (Tom Boggioni) and his “sources” (an MSNBC piece from which he seems to have cribbed his “facts) weren’t there, either.

Parker explained that his military training provided him with the skills to “go into danger,” but said he felt lucky he and others didn’t try to get involved going after Mercer.

“Luckily we made the choice not to get involved,” he explained. “We were quite a distance away from the building where this was happening. And we could have opened ourselves up to be potential targets ourselves, and not knowing where SWAT was, their response time, they wouldn’t know who we were. And if we had our guns ready to shoot, they could think that we were bad guys.”

Let’s take a step back.

Getting a carry permit in Oregon is substantially similar to Minnesota.  In particular, there is a training requirement, although not quite as specific as Minnesota’s requirement.

You learn three vital things in carry class:

  • Laws have meaning
  • You’re not a cop
  • Anything you do can be held against you

You Fight The Law, the Law Will Win:  As we’ve pointed out on this blog countless times, in most states there are four criteria you have to meet to use lethal force in self-defense:

  1. You can’t be a willing participant.  That clearly doesn’t apply to a mass shooting.
  2. You have to be in immediate fear of death or great bodily harm.  We’ll come back to this.
  3. The force you use has to be appropriate.  This means you can’t finish someone off after you shoot them, among a few other things.
  4. In Minnesota and Oregon, when outside your house, you have a “duty to try to retreat” if reasonably possible.

We’ll come back to II and IV in a bit.

Badges Only:  And one of the most important lessons you learn is that a carry permit does not make you a junior G-man.  It carries none of the protections the law offers law enforcement in the use of firearms in self-defense.


When a cop shoots someone in the line of duty, they immediately get a police union lawyer; there often a cooling off period before they can be asked questions; the presumptions involved in qualified immunity protect the officer from most criminal and civil liability, even if the shooting is ambiguously justified.

And while the prospect of injustice and abuse is there, it also makes sense; we ask cops to go toward the sound of the shooting.  In exchange, we remove some of the risk, at least legally, of doing that for a living.

Civilians get none of those protections.  Depending on the circumstances, and especially the jurisdiction, the shooting will be immediately investigated, often as a crime, often by cops and, especially, a county prosecutor that may well be deeply unfriendly to civilian shooters.

Legal Minesweeper:  So let’s say you are a citizen with a carry permit.

Let’s say, furthermore, that you are a veteran, and moreover a veteran of combat arms – infantry, armor, artillery, combat engineers, whatever – and have some training in how to move toward the sound of gunfire.

And you and your handgun are out in public – at school, at the mall, at the post office – when you hear shooting.  There’s no sign of cops – so you draw, and begin moving toward the sound of the shooting.

You round a corner, and there he is – an acne-ridden forty-something loser in a “Minnesota Progressive Project” T-shirt carrying an AK-47 with a drum magazine.  He is blazing away at people; there’s screaming and blood and bodies…

…and you follow your training, block it out, draw a bead, and start firing on center mass, counting your shots until he falls to the ground.  You follow training and turn your head to both sides to shake off the adrenaline-driven tunnel vision, and hear silence, slowly fading as the police sirens draw draw near.  You holster up and follow your civilian permit training, and call your lawyer as you wait for the cops.

Problem over?

In a perfect world, yes.

The police question you.    You are certainly taken downtown and interviewed.  Maybe they arrest you, pro forma; maybe they don’t.  It depends on the situation and the jurisdiction.  In a Republican or rural area, assuming there’s nothing untoward, you will probably be congratulated and treated as the hero you most likely are.

But in a place where the County Attorney was elected by anti-gun Democrats?  Who reports to a liberal mayor?

An ambitious assistant prosecutor could note that:

  • Your life wasn’t under immediate threat.  You had to run to get to the threat.  Your life wasn’t in immediate danger until you chose to put it there.  Your protestation that you were doing the right thing – as you were – is met by the simple fact that the law says what it says.
  • You have a duty to retreat.  And yet you advanced to the attack. What are you – some kind of vigilante?

You will have had split seconds to decide your actions, under mind-blowing stress; the prosecutor will have days, maybe months, sitting in room in a building secured by metal detectors and armed deputies, sipping on an espresso and poring over law books.

And if they decide to prosecute, your future depends on spending $50-100K on a lawyer, and hoping you don’t get a liberal Democrat judge that gives the jury instructions that basically ensure you’ll get convicted of something.

Tactics:  No, Parker did the right thing under his circumstances:

Parker noted that he was hustled into a classroom with other students by a professor who asked if anyone was armed. He said he raised his hand and said he would attempt to protect his fellow students if they came under attack.

Way back when I was in carry permit training, it became fairly clear to me that…:

  1. The only time the benefits of using a gun in self-defense outweigh the legal risks is when the incident is right there in front of you, pointing a weapon at you or someone near you.  Not one room over.  Not outside the building you’re in.  Right there with you.
  2. If you can leave without shooting, do.
  3. If you can’t get away and aren’t the immediate target?  Hunker down and find a place to ambush the shooter.    Just as Mr. Parker did.  

So let’s try to get this straight:  according to the left (who are, almost to a person, ignorant on the subject, as befits a party who are generals in the bedroom and whores on the battlefield), gun owners are angry white men who just want to kill someone, but carry permitting can’t help deter crime because carry permittees are too law-abiding and driven by common sense.

The Moral Of This Story:  As always, on the subject of self-defense, you get better information from the raving dissociative homeless guy under the bridge than from any major-media or “progresssive” “news” source.


As we’ve shown elsewhere, when that citizen is in the line of fire, mass-shooters don’t do so hot.

40 thoughts on “Watch Mitch Berg DESTROY This Liberal Hamster’s Argument With This One Weird Trick

  1. “We were quite a distance away from the building where this was happening.”

    Then why was this fellow even interviewed? No one has ever suggested armed citizens should converge on a scene they are not part of.

    Did dg write that tripe?

  2. And just think what the military vet who did willingly put his body between the attacker and the other students might have been able to do if he’d had a gun.

  3. Yep NW, and he was in the immediate vicinity, with a half dozen gun wounds to prove it. Maybe he’d been able to help save more people had he a gun, which he couldn’t legally because IT WAS A GUN FREE ZONE. That fact fell on the deaf ears of the insane criminal.

  4. Mitch, you may enjoy (meaning find interesting) the comments on the St Paul PP school suspensions story. Gives some good and scary insights to how a large urban school district run.
    Do a search on School suspensions to get yesterday’s article.

  5. How long will the college administrators wait before they commence to either suspend or expel Mr. Parker for violating school policy?

    Let’s hope they wait until all the dead are buried…

    But isn’t it interesting that the professor immediately asked if anyone was armed? I thought almost all professors believed everyone with a gun was equally suspect in their level of danger to unarmed students.

  6. But isn’t it interesting that the professor immediately asked if anyone was armed?

    I actually didn’t think that hard about it until you mentioned it.


    Reminds me of a story I heard after a synogogue shooting in LA after 9/11. A very left-leaning synogogue in Saint Paul apparently asked some local shooters (many of the leading 2nd Amendment activists in MN happen to have been part of the Tribe) if they could quietly provide armed security.

    Fascinating, all in all.

  7. Every once in awhile you see a video on television or youtube that shows an attempted and foiled armed robbery in someplace like Texas that has very liberal carry laws. You wonder why the crooks do it? I mean, you’re in TX, and you decide to walk into a convenience store and pull a gun? How likely is it that the clerk is carrying, or at least one of the patrons?

  8. “The best way to prevent mass gun deaths on campus, Okamoto said, is to prevent dangerous people from getting guns, especially semi-automatic ones.”

    The leader of Ceasefire Oregon is either ignorant about guns or purposely pandering to lowest common denominator of the anti-gun movement.
    Also, I’m still waiting to hear how you can keep “dangerous” people that have no history of instability or threatening behavior from getting guns without keeping everyone else that isn’t a danger and has no history of instability or threatening behavior from getting guns (aka Exercising our Constitutional Rights).

    Oh, yeah, that second part is the goal.

  9. Cops are subject to depression and commit suicide more than the average citizen. They also have a higher rate of alcoholism than average. Why do we let them have guns?

  10. Perhaps MBerg made an editorial decision

    “Editorial Decision?” Huh?

    I was going by the info I had at the time. Given that most colleges – including the one I went to, 30 years ago, in gun-friendly ND – restrict guns, the early reports didn’t seem implausible.

    And the bit you note seems to be a labored concession to Oregon law.

  11. The “point” Emery seems to be trying to push is that Umpqua isn’t a gun free zone, since it allows people with carry permits to carry legally, as required (IIRC, lest Emery think he’s onto another conspiracy) by Oregon law. In other words, the same people can carry guns at Umqua that can legally carry them most everywhere else in Oregon.

    Got it.

    MY point in this post wasn’t so much whether Umpqua was gun-free, as it was the idiocy of the Raw Story post. The fact that Parker acted in legal as well as personal self-defense doesn’t “destroy” the “guy with a gun” theory.

  12. The space where the murdering was taking place was gun free (from what we know now). Simply because it was legal doesn’t ensure there will be someone with a gun when the need for one arises. But when we say we actually need more guns the steam comes out of the gun grabbers ears and eyes.

  13. ” In other words, the same people can carry guns at Umqua that can legally carry them most everywhere else in Oregon.”

    Does that include students and staff with carry permits or would those same people be subject to expulsion or termination by the U?

  14. If the college couldn’t outright ban guns they did everything they could to discourage people from having them. This is from their web site. Sure sound like they want you to THINK they were banned:

    “Possession, use, or threatened use of firearms (including but not limited to BB guns, air guns, water pistols, and paint guns) ammunition, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or any other objects as weapons on college property, except as expressly authorized by law or college regulations, is prohibited.”

  15. Emery might want to read this link:

    It is not so clear that the court decision in Oregon opened up college buildings to permit holders. In fact, the decision says “We reject the contention that a statutory exception to criminal sanctions for the possession of a handgun in public buildings indicates an intention to require public educational institutions to permit concealed handguns.” Subsequent to that decision, the “Oregon state board of higher education approved a policy that banned guns from being brought inside campus buildings.”

  16. If it were me in Parker’s position, I would have had to be a little crazy to go running across campus, by myself, to where I thought the shooter might be. Military close combat tactics are centered on teamwork-relying on the guy next to you. Parker was the only one armed as far as he knew, didn’t have enough information to know where or how many shooters were present, and what point in the response scenario the police were at.

    He hunkered down and protected his piece of real estate, which is exactly what his training would dictate.

  17. Dave,

    Also – “Fire and Movement” is not going to fly under any state’s self-defense statutes.

  18. I’m not above giving Emery his due; good catch Emery.

    Still doesn’t mean things would not have turned out better if someone in the room, other than the crazed, Christian hating kook, had a pistol on them.

  19. If you asked someone, would you have rather been in Parker’s classroom or in another classroom where no one was armed, and they answer another classroom, you are talking to a self confessed fool.

  20. Guns in the hands of private citizens are near the top of the list of thing our “tolerant” friends on the Left WILL NOT TOLERATE!
    Along with free expression, free association, and freedom of religion.

  21. PB, I had the same question. Reply – size of population and its makeup. Higher population, higher number of idiots who think they can beat the law of averages. And, population of Texas mushroomed after Rita/Katrina. Most of the NO refugees were from the Lower 9th.

  22. MBerg: A lot of individuals who blog aren’t real journalists, they’re bloggers — they’re either misinformed or lazy or incompetent, or just fishing for clicks. And so they put catchy ledes up that they either know is not true, or they haven’t bothered to do a 30-second Google search to confirm the veracity of it. I wonder where your blog and your editorial standards fits in.

  23. EI,

    Where do you think my post is wrong?

    I’ve been a journalist. Sometimes I still am. Most of the time it’s opinion and polemic.

    In the case of this post, I’ve brought facts most people can’t and won’t.

    So – your turn. Where is there an inaccuracy?

  24. Emery, your opinion of journalists is a bit lofty. Consider the case of Dan Rather, Marylin Mapes, and the faith that they put in documents that were of both doubtful provenance and obvious forgeries.
    It’s all opinion and slanted reporting, buddy. The only things that are objective are objects, and objects (by definition) don’t do anything.

  25. Terry: I like how you take the argument, turn it on its heel, and inflate it.

  26. EI,

    That’s great.

    Got an answer to my question?

    What about the premise to my post is wrong?

  27. Terry: I like how you take the argument, turn it on its heel, and inflate it.

    The only thing inflated is your pomposity, EmeryTheAntisemiticSoci@list. DMA, loren an Scott have demolished the smugness of your righteosity. And if you think there is journaling being done by current crop of journalists, you continue to showcase your delusionaliosity.

  28. Emery wrote:
    “MBerg: A lot of individuals who blog aren’t real journalists, they’re bloggers — they’re either misinformed or lazy or incompetent, or just fishing for clicks. And so they put catchy ledes up that they either know is not true, or they haven’t bothered to do a 30-second Google search to confirm the veracity of it. I wonder where your blog and your editorial standards fits in.”

    Oregon State Board of Higher Education resorts to policy to ban guns on campus

    No one spoke against the policy, which will immediately ban guns from classrooms, buildings, dormitories and sporting and entertainment events.

    People who enter business relationships with state universities must agree not to carry guns on campus property. Those include students, employees, contractors, people buying tickets to university events or people renting university property.

  29. So Mitch simply took the word of the Oregonian, or some other “real journalist” outfit.

  30. I took the word of people who’d either checked out OR law, or read the ORian.

    And, let me stress, it really was not even a tangent to my actual point; claiming that Mr. Parker didn’t kill the shooter does not “demolish” the “good guy with a gun” theory; it merely proves he, unlike the Raw Story writer, knew what he was talking about.

    I’ll look forward to your answer, EI.

  31. I am not speaking to Emery here, but I wish more people would do an epistemology check before stating an opinion. This goes for the Left and Right. There is nothing wrong, aside from moral concerns, with stating that it is your opinion that a developing fetus is not a human being. But when you claim it is a scientific fact that a developing fetus is not a human being, you’d better have your epistemology in order.
    In an comment to another post I linked to an LA Times piece that said it was a scientific fact that owning a gun did not make a person safer.
    It appeared in the op-ed section of the website. Most newspapers have a policy of not entertaining corrections to op-eds. They aren’t supposed to be taken as fact. I once read a fascinating essay by a Catholic layman who was an academic Church historian. He had written reference works concerning the process of choosing a new pope. He tried to get the NY Times to issue a correction to a Maureen Dowd column because Dowd had misstated something about the process of selecting a new pope. It wasn’t a matter of opinion, she had misnamed group A as group B. The response of the Times was that it was an opinion column, and they do not correct opinion columns. However the person who disagreed with her opinion was welcome to say so in the comment section.

  32. Speaking of liberal hamsters, I was researching a rogue CPL carrier in Michigan (allegedly), when I found this in the comments to a story:

    “I’m asking this respectfully and honestly. As an advocate of “responsible concealed carry”… do you honestly believe that having more people with guns won’t lead to more frequent acts like this? ”

    So commenter DaveM starts sane and reasonable sounding. A few exchanges later DaveM writes:

    “Well, so what does it take to have one [a CPL]? Psych profiles? Intelligence tests? Are you telling me the training is SO INTENSIVE and the screening SO COMPREHENSIVE that dumb or irresponsible people can’t get one of these?”

    The all-caps words are a bad sign, and indeed a little further down DaveM goes full, frothing, gun control hamster on us:

    ” In other words, the most vocal voices in the debate on the pro-gun side seem to advocate for more guns, any guns, for anyone. No bans, no waiting periods, no restrictions… any attempt to do any of those things is “coming to take our guns”. What I DO NOT hear are reasoned voices of gun owners like some of the people here saying things like – “Hey, if I want to stop a gunman with my concealed handgun, maybe it would be great if it was ALSO harder to get semi-automatic machine guns in this country!!””


  33. Loren and Blue: Oregon law explicitly allows concealed carry in public buildings. The header explains that people are not allowed to carry firearms in public buildings except for those listed in 2b, and 2b includes people with concealed carry permits and allows concealed carry as an affirmative defense to being charged under this law. If you feel there is some ‘wiggle room’ in this statute then your beef is with the Oregon legislature. I will concede that it’s rather ambiguous and confusing.

    JPA: If you remove the ramrod from your rectum, you will find it more comfortable to sit and perhaps improve your temperament as well.

    MBerg: Your post is fine. The fact that permit holders are allowed by law to carry on campus would have been a nice addition (IMO) to your post.

  34. To find out if guns were allowed on the campus, Emery, the people to ask would be campus admin. In 2012 they made it very clear that guns were not allowed on campus. Conceal carry doesn’t do you much good if you get expelled (or fired) and have to hire a lawyer to get reinstated.

  35. I should have included this from the Oregonian article about UO’s “no guns” policy:

    Oregon’s higher education board unanimously adopted a policy that will ban guns from most corners of campus life at the state’s seven universities.
    The university system’s top priority is campus safety, said Jim Francesconi, member of the State Board of Higher Education, which met Friday for a regular meeting at Portland State University. “That is our job. We are just doing our job.”

    They tell you do not need to look after your self-defense, and then 8 or 9 people are killed. This is what liberal management of common spaces looks like. They promise you the world if you let them manage your economic security, and they take your money and give you nothing in return. They promise you safety if you let them look after your physical security and you end up dead.

  36. Pingback: Keep Guns Out Of The Hands Of Straw Men | Shot in the Dark

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