Yet Another Of Those Incidents That Never, Ever Happens

Permit-holder in Inver Grove Bites shoots an armed robber:

According to Inver Grove Heights police, the clerk was in the back of the store when they were approached by two men, one whom was armed. While being held at gunpoint, the clerk drew his own gun and shot the suspect.

When the shots were fired, the other suspect fled the scene with some stolen cell phones. He is still on the loose.

That’s two carry permittees stopping crimes in two weeks.

I suspect the cops will not identify the shooter, so as to avoid any possible retaliation – but the clerk is a hero.

This has been added to the Good Minnesotan With A Gun series – which is piling up fast.

A Good Guy With A Gun: “Heroic Actions Of Self-Defense”

Henco has affirmed that a Minnetonka man shot an attacker / stalker in self defense, and all but carried him down Excelsior Boulevard on their shouders:

Following the strong recommendation of investigators, the Hennepin County attorney’s office said this week that 65-year-old James LaCount, of Minnetonka, will not be prosecuted for fatally shooting Thomas Luetzow on June 23 at the Public Mini Storage in the 2800 block of Hedberg Drive.

LaCount “described elements consistent with heroic actions of self-defense” when he shot the 58-year-old Luetzow with a facility employee close by, police Sgt. Troy Denneson wrote in a summary of his department’s 20-page report submitted to prosecutors. “Physical evidence and eyewitness recollections appear to confirm LaCount’s explanation of events.”

Given that it took place in Henco, that’s bureaucratic shorthant for “Mr. LaCount’s actions were pure as the driven snow”.

He was one of the good guys:

The retired refrigeration technician also credited his being able to legally carry a gun in public with sparing him more serious injury, or worse.

“If I hadn’t had [the gun], I’d probably be dead now,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

It absolutely is.

Minnesota put its permit-to-carry law on the books in 2003, but not until after substantial public debate about whether the streets would become more dangerous.

“Substantial” meaning “A lot of it”, not “of intellectual heft”.

And after the Castile incident, the LaCount episode shows a very different result when interacting with the police:

Police Chief Scott Boerboom also credited an exhausted and bloodied LaCount with properly interacting with officers as soon as they arrived on the chaotic scene in order to help them properly assess the situation.

“From the onset, when we approached Mr. LaCount, he immediately said it was self-defense and he had a permit to carry,” Boerboom said. “He wanted to make sure, and it helped us initially get an idea about what was going on here.”

The case file also disclosed that LaCount, weakened from abdominal surgery, was sitting down and leaning against a vehicle when police arrived. He also made sure to not have his handgun on him, leaving it on the ground for officers to recover.

That’s another good Minnesotan with a gun alive today.

Wes Skogland?  You’re still a lying sack of garbage.

Mr. LaCount has been added to my “Good Minnesotan with a Gun” archives.  It’s up to six justifiable homicides now – and that doesn’t include who episodes from the late ’00s that involved bouncers shooting lethally-aggressive patrons (if you can find the link, shoot it over to me…)

A Good Classmate With A Gun

I got this from a high school friend of mine..  He lives in a major city in the Southwestern US.  I’m concealing his identity for obvious reasons.

He had a close encounter with a couple bad guys over the weekend.  Or, should I say, a couple bad guys had a close encounter with him:


Two Hispanic males, mid-20’s, broke down my front door and entered my home this morning at 9:13 AM. I was monitoring them on my security cameras at the time, and when I sensed something was wrong, I grabbed my loaded 9mm from my safe and met them as they reached my kitchen. Seeing my weapon pointed at their heads, they immediately started screaming, “Oh, sh*t! Oh, sh*t! Oh, sh*t!” and turned and ran out the front door, jumped in their car, and tore off. They didn’t have a chance to touch anything, but they might need a change of skivvies.

Pulling into the driveway…
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The first guy …
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The second guy (not sure why his pants were down…)
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Guy #2 checks my garage door as Guy #1 continues to ring my doorbell and knock on my door.
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Both seem intent on testing my carpentry…
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Ah, … this is gonna be a cakewalk!
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“”…, or maybe not!”
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Here’s my new door frame.
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I love a happy ending.

Of course, that happy ending was brought to you by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

And who knows?  Maybe the two miscreants will take their close call with having their brains splattered over a granite countertop to get their “lives” back on track?

Several happy endings!

Another Good Guy With A Gun

Another episode in Texas last week of an armed citizen intervening in what police term a potential spree shooting.

One James Jones walked into the “Zona Caliente” sports bar in Arlington, got into an argument, and shot manager Cesar Perez,  killing him.

Then, a man – unnamed, except for the cops’ appelation “good samaritan” – with a carry permit shot Jones in the back an unnamed number of times.

Jones was carrying not one but two guns, one of them with its serial number filed off.  He had no carry permit.

The police were cautiously thankful, as usual in these situations:

“We’re thankful that the good ‘Samaritan’ acted quickly and decisively to end the threat,” Cook said. “We never recommend people get involved. That’s a personal decision that a citizen has to make.”

Use of force and firearms expert Emanuel Kapelsohn told NBC News that, from his understanding, the man who took down the shooter reacted appropriately.

“I think it’s to be applauded,” he said. “Not everybody in the world ought to own a gun. Not everybody in the world ought to carry a gun. Not everyone in the world ought to engage an armed criminal where innocent people could be potentially injured.”

“But this good Samaritan obviously had the ability to do what he did,” Kapelsohn added. “Who knows how many people would be dead if he had not acted?”

That’s twice in one week in Texas.

A Good Kid With A Gun, Y’All

A mass stabbing attack left one dead and three wounded at the University of Texas Austin.

It could have been worse, but…:

Eyewitnesses have reported seeing a student pull out a concealed handgun on the suspect, and made him back down.

While one can expect the UT and Austin media to downplay such a story – after they all doubled and tripled down against lawful carry on campus – this blog presumes the story true, and that the unnamed student is a hero.

 

Good Guys 3. Criminals 0. “ELCA Engage” Bummed.

Three armed men tried to rob a Nashville store the week before last, guns blazing, robbery in mind.

An armed citizen changed their plans:

An unnamed person inside a Nashville (TN) sneaker shop went John Wick on three armed robbers last after they made the mistake of charging into the store with guns blazing.

A man died after he was injured during a shootout at a Bordeaux shop late Thursday night.

It happened inside retailer Hot Kicks, located in a strip mall at 3101 Clarksville Pike, around 11 p.m.

Metro police told News 2 a group of people were inside the store when at least three armed suspects came in through an unlocked back door and began firing.

One of the people in the store returned fire, while others took off running, according to police.

Metro police said officers found one man near the back door with several gunshot wounds.

None of the customers or staff of the store were injured in the exchange of gunfire. One of the three robbers was found critically injured outside the back door of the shop by police, and died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The other two suspects arrived at TriStar Centennial Medical Center leaking from fresh holes, and one of those two robbers is now in critical condition.

I love a happy ending.

 

Everything You Say Can And Will Be Held Against You

“Play stupid games, get stupid prizes”.

It’s a mantra my first carry permit instructor, the late Joel Rosenberg, used to drill into his students’ heads.  The point?  The best case of self-defense is the one you don’t need to state in front of a court.  Don’t put on your legal gun and go to roughneck bars, or hang out where stupidity is likely to break out.   If someone provokes you, walk away – using extreme measures.  “When you’re armed”, Joel used to say, “it’s incumbent on you to be the biggest pussy in the bar”.

And the stupidity doesn’t start when the potential violence does.  Oh, no.

One of the things police and prosecutors would do, if you got into a lethal-force self-defense incident, was pore over everything they can find about your past, to find some way in which they can convince a jury that it wasn’t really self-defense.

Remember – under Minnesota law, there are four factors that must be upheld when you claim self-defense using lethal force:

  1. You must not be a willing participant:  you can’t start a brawl, and then shoot someone who breaks a bottle.
  2. You must reasonably, immediately fear death or great bodily harm.  Reasonable means “it’ll convince a jury”.  Immediate means now; if someone says “I’m gonna kill you…tomorrow”, you can’t kill them first.
  3. You must use appropriate force.  In other words, you can only use the force needed to end the threat.  No more.
  4. You must make a reasonable effort to retreat.  Reasonable.  If you’re pushing your baby in a stroller, you don’t need to leave it behind.  If you’re a 70 year old man with a knee replacement attacked by four youths, you don’t need to try to out run them.  And in Minnesota, it doesn’t apply in your house.  In “Stand Your Ground” states, this provision is disregarded.  Minnesota is not a Stand Your Ground state.

When you claim “self defense”, you must meet all four of the criteria above.  That means all four; if you miss one of them – or if a jury can be convinced you missed one of them, rightly or wrongly – you’re in big trouble.

Big Trouble:  Allen Scarsella was convicted of “Riot”, First Degree Assault and some counts of Second Degree Assault for an episode that happened at the protests outside the Minneapolis Fourth Precinct in November 2015.

The jury deliberated for seven hours following two weeks of testimony from nearly two dozen witnesses — including surprise testimony from Scarsella and a co-defendant — before returning guilty verdicts on all counts.

So – how did Scarsella get convicted?

Let’s go through those four elements.

Fear Of Death:   Observers, and even some of the victims, testified that there was a chase, as at least seven protesters ran after Scarsella and his companions.  Was fear of death or great bodily harm reasonable?  We’d have to ask the jurors – but the law doesn’t require one to be a mind-reader.

 Mobs do stupid things.  Call this a definite maybe.  It would certainly be obtuse to rule it out just because you don’t like the defendant or his motivations; people who believe objectionable things have rights, too.

Convincing a jury of this sort of thing is why defense attorneys make the big bucks.

Duty To Retreat:  Well, no doubt there.  Scarsella and his friends certainly tried to get away.   Call this a no-brainer for the defense.

Was Lethal Force Appropriate?:  Well, assuming it was reasonable to assume the threat was immediate and lethal, the shooting ended the threat.  As far as that goes, let’s call it a non-factor.

Not A Willing Participant:  Here’s the thing about jury trials (or so I’m told by my lawyer friends); a big part of the job is making sure the jury likes you, feels for you, identifies with you.  This becomes important when it comes to this criterion of self-defense in particular.

Going where a confrontation might happen might be considered “willing participation” – but in the Darren Evanovich shooting, where a Good Samaritan chased an armed robber into an alley, the prosecutor decided the evidence showed the Samaritan was not a willing participant; he went looking for the purse, not a fight.

But while Scarsella may well have had second thoughts about attending the protest long before the shooting started, the prosecutors also found some evidence that made him pretty  unsympathetic to the jury:

They watched several videos taken before and after the shooting, including ones of Scarsella making racist comments; and they viewed numerous texts where Scarsella described his intent to kill black people.

Now, could a good lawyer have gotten a jury to disregard this?  Maybe, maybe not.    Even racists have the right to defend their lives; self-defense isn’t a popularity contest.

But jury trials, to a great extent, are.  And the prosecution (according to sources familiar with the case) were able to create an impression with the jury that Scarsella went to the Fourth Precinct looking for a fight.  Which blew away his chance of calling himself an “unwilling participant”, and with it, his self-defense claim.

The obvious lesson – if you value the right to self-defense, and you believe things that a jury might find unsavory, then keep quiet about them, especially on social media, text messages and other searchable media.

And it’s not just racial ugliness.  If you’re a shooter, for crying out loud, don’t be jabbering on Facebook about how eager you are to turn your new shotgun on an intruder.  It’l make it harder for a zealous prosecutor to paint you as a slavering gun nut with an itchy trigger finger.

Another obvious point – the Good Samaritan in the Evanovich case, as well as the Broadbent shooting in 2015, involved citizens who followed the rules; after shooting, they called the police and tried their best to render first aid.  Scarsella fled the scene and didn’t call the police and was caught sometime the next day – a bad tactic if you want to claim self-defense.  It’s good to be a responsible citizen.

Like every self-defense shooting, the Scarsella case should be a sobering reminder – in this case, of what not to do.

Un Bravo Ragazzo Con Una Pistola

A good guy with a gun shoots two robbers at a pizzeria in Levittown, Pennsylvania:

The shooting happened late Tuesday night at Porfirio’s Pizza and Pasta, located in a shopping plaza in Levittown, about 25 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

The customer took out a gun and shot both men after they allegedly pistol-whipped him, Middletown Police Chief Joe Bartorilla told reporters.

The police are still investigating.  But I’m pretty sure we all know where this ends up.

 

“You Won’t Be Seeing Me Again”

The FBI released the details of their initial investigation into the Saint Cloud mall mass stabbing last month, including the first public look at the store video.  MPR News covered it.

Warning; the video is  graphic, if you haven’ been completely desensitized to violence:

The investigators also praised Jason Falconer.

Falconer’s actions are instructive to anyone who is a carry permittee, and – with a little luck – to voters this fall:

Thornton said Adan had asked Falconer if he was Muslim. Falconer, said no but saw the knives and identified himself as an officer.

Adan initially turned away from Falconer and the officer followed repeating that he was law enforcement and ordering the man to drop the weapons.

If you were a citizen with a carry permit and a legally-carried handgun, at this point, you’d have a bit of a conundrum.

The Minnesota self-defense statute allows lethal force in self-defense to protect one’s self “or another” from death or great bodily harm.  But case law also establishes a “duty to retreat” (outside one’s home) – you have to undertake all “reasonable” means to avoid the use of lethal force.

What is “reasonable?”  For your purposes as a citizen, that will be decided by a county attorney.  As Joel Rosenberg used to say, while you, the citizen, had seconds to decide whether to defend yourself or not, under immense stress, often under low-light or confusing conditions, with a lethal threat bearing down on you, the county attorney will take days or weeks, in a well-lit, warm office, with sheriff’s deputies guarding him, to decide that question.  And at the end of the day, it’ll likely be at least in part a political decision; a DFLer will often file charges (although we’ve been surprised in the past), while a DA in Kandiyohi or Pennington counties will hail the shooter as a hero.

In other words, it’s vague.  Intentionally so; county attorneys like to have lots of discretion; they don’t like to have to work under all sorts of immutable rules any more than you do.  Of course, you and I don’t hold peoples’ lives, freedom and lifes’ savings in the palms of our hands, either.

That was the crux of the”Stand your Ground” law that passed the Minnesota legislature in 2012 with a decisive bipartisan majority, only to get vetoed by a governor who was acting as a marionette of big-money anti-gun special interests; put the benefit of the doubt on the side of the law-abiding citizen.

Oh, yeah – and the next time some gabbling anti-gun hamster asks “why does anyone need more than seven shots?”, you can show them what happened in Saint Cloud; Jason Falconer is an expert “three-gun” competition marksman and marksmanship instructor, an absolute master of the craft of putting pieces of lead into things.

And here’s what happened (I’ve added emphasis):

“Upon following Adan into Macy’s and repeatedly announcing his authority and commands to drop the knives, Adan ran toward Falconer with the knives raised two separate times, then continued to crawl toward him with a knife in his hand even after being shot during to separate prior charges at the officer,” Thornton said.

Falconer fired 10 rounds, striking Adan six times, he added. Store video showed Falconer shooting while backing away from Adan as the attacker continued to approach with his back turned.

Adan fell to the ground multiple times after being shot and still had a knife in hand. He tried to get up a final time using a store sign for balance.

So – an expert marksman (and cop) fires ten shots at contact range, and misses four times (which is actually abnormally good, even for point-blank range engagements); he scores six hits, during most of which the attacker kept charging.

If the shooter had been less expert, and hit the attacker fewer times?    If the attacker had been high, or dissociative?  If the defender had a smaller-caliber firearm (Falconer’s pistol was a 9mm)?  If the defender didn’t have any unobstructive, flat, clean room to back-pedal away from a charging man with two knives?

If there’d been more than one attacker?

Even with a “large” magazine, a defender in that situation could very well have learned what a Thanksgiving turkey feels like.

The lesson for the law-abiding gun owner?

No compromise.  No retreat.  No surrender.  

None.

The Good Guy With The Gun

The man who shot the apparently ISIS-affiliated maniac at the Crossroads Mall in Saint Cloud over the weekend has been IDed as Jason Falconer – a carry permit instructor, civilian carry advocate, and part-time officer and former chief of the tiny, tiny police department of tiny, tiny Albany Minnesota.

And if you’re a wanna-be terrorist, Falconer’s just about the last civilian you want to run into when you’re going on your rampage in a “gun free zone”:

USPSA Shooter,  3-Gunner, and NRA-certified firearms instructor Jason Falconer has been identified as the man who shot and killed a 22-year-old Somali immigrant who went on a stabbing rampage inside a St. Cloud, (MN) Mall on Saturday.

The apparent terrorist—who apparently asked victims if they were Muslims before stabbing them—was engaged by Falconer inside the mall.

Emphasis added by me:

Falconer is the president and owner of Tactical Advantage LLC, a shooting range and tactical training facility with a strong focus on arming concealed carriers. He’s also a former chief of the Albany (MN) police department, and he remains a part-time officer.

And is there bias involved? Oh, yes:

But Falconer has consistently been identified in the mainstream mediaonly as as a “former police chief” and  “off-duty police officer.”

Falconer’s side gig?  Ensuring law-abiding citizens are armed, and capable of doing…

…exactly what he did.  I’ve been documenting these sorts of cases as they occur over here (and feel free to submit more of ’em!).

As Glenn Reynolds puts it, we The People need to be a pack, not a herd.

UPDATE: David French notes the obvious; Falconer was not only in the right place at the right time, but he was the right person.  But then, anyone can be:

You can be Jason Falconer. In most communities in this country, you can not only own and carry a weapon for personal defense, you can also receive comprehensive training. You have virtually no control over whether you’re at the right place at the right time, but you do have control over whether you’re the right person.

And as has been noted in the comment section, this incident highlights the need for “Stand your Ground” legislation; a non-cop would have had a “duty to retreat” – to make a reasonable effort to disengage in the face of the attack.

What does “reasonable” mean?  That your efforts to avoid using lethal force are enough to convince the cops, prosecutors and potentially a jury that you did your best to avoid using lethal force.  It’s vague; it’s intended to be vague, concentrating the power of life and death in the hands of prosecutors.

“Stand Your Ground” will be on the agenda this coming legislative session.  It’s doubtful the Senate or Governor will pass it.

So we’re gonna need a new Senate and Governor.

A Good Guy With A Gun

Two men attacked a woman in a WalMart parking lot in Shawnee, Kansas, hitting her in the head.

An unarmed man attempted to intervene.  The assailants shot him.

Another Good Samaritan – armed with a legally-owned firearm – responded, shooting and killing one of the attackers (some emphasis added by me).

Police said the second man ran off. Police originally believed they captured the second suspect using a K-9 officer, however, that person was not connected with the incident. Police are working to identify the second suspect at this time.

The good Samaritan who was shot and the woman who was injured were both initially listed in critical condition. The woman has since been released from the hospital. The good Samaritan who was injured had surgery Sunday night. He is being identified only as a 33-year-old Kansas City, Missouri resident. The second good Samaritan, a 36-year-old DeSoto, Kansas man, was interviewed by police and released.

Interviewed and released.  Written between the lines; he was carrying legally (Kansas has Constitutional Carry), and the shoot was righteous.

Prayers for the good samaritan who didn’t have the means to deter being shot.

And for the good samaritan who did.  Right though he seems to have been (and events will no doubt vindicate him completely), it’s as traumatic for a righteous shooter as anyone.

A Good Guy With A Gun

26 year old Antione Cooper walked into a Waffle House in DeSoto, Texas with an AK47, robbing several patrons:

And then…:

A handgun-licensed customer, whose wife was on her way to meet him at the restaurant, followed Cooper to the parking lot, fearing for his wife’s safety, according to DeSoto police.

Police said the customer called to Cooper once they were outside. Cooper pointed the AK-47 in the customer’s direction, prompting the customer to shoot Cooper several times, according to police in the southern Dallas suburb.

The citizen was not arrested – as befits someone who’d seem to any rational person to be a hero.

The Terrible Hours

You’re in a room.

Between you and the exit – any exit – is someone who is busily killing people.  So you’re not going anywhere.  Probably not, anyway.

You’re in the midst of a spree killing – sometimes called a rampage killing.  You’re surrounded by crowds of people, as someone – one person, most likely – is carrying out some deluded or diabolical plan to kill…

…well, lots of people.  Maybe you’re in a gay bar, and the killer’s faith hates gays.  Maybe you’re in a synogogue, and the killer hates Jews.  Maybe you’re in a classroom, and the killer hates classrooms?  Or you’re in a church basement, and the killer hates you, whether you be Episcopal or Black or Unitarian.  Maybe it’s just because you’re a westerner, and they’re there to make a point, and inflict terror upon the rest of us westerners.   Or maybe they’re just doing the bidding of the voices in their head.

Either way, here you are.  When you woke up this morning, you didn’t expect to be involved in a spree killing.  Only one person in the room did.

You’re not him.

But there’s no getting around it.  And barring some miracle, there’s no getting away from it;  There are two exits from the space you’re in – but the shooter can see both, and has been mowing down anyone trying to get to the exits for quite some time.  Once, he stopped to reload, and someone rushed him with the only weapon he had available, his bare hands and shoed feet; perhaps he didn’t realize one can reload with a round in the chamber; that bit of resistance, valiant as it was, ended with a body on the floor.

Seeing someone shot down trying to attack the attacker took the fight out of the rest of the people in the room with you.

You may be dimly aware that the room you’re in is a “gun free zone” – an irony that causes not a single laugh.   You’re probably not aware; you may be like most Americans, and have never considered making carrying a firearm part of your lifestyle.  You might have even been one of that tiny, dim little fraction of the population that thought those signs made you safer.

But here you are.


The first transcripts of the 911 traffic in and around the Pulse night club have been released.

These are preliminary transcripts – but if they’re even remotely accurate, you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to reach a couple of inescapable conclusions.   And it’s not from the mainstream media, so it’s got that going for it.

I’ve included the entire list of transcripts below the jump.

In the opening moments of the massacre, Omar Matteen engaged the cop who was providing off-duty security.  The cop and Matteen exchanged fire; neither was hit, and Matteen retreated into the club, where the massacre continued.

It took six minutes for five or six officers to show up; they broke out a patio window and, armed with “patrol rifles” (it’s a marketing term for “pretty much the same gun Matteen had”, for police departments and city councils that don’t want to have to explain to their dimmer constituents why they’re buying “assault rifles”), entered the building.

And took cover, as the shots continued.

I’m not going to monday-morning-quarterback the cops.  I’d damn sure take cover if someone was in a room, shooting.

Standards and Practices:  At the Columbine massacre, the Jefferson County (CO) SWAT team, nervous about reports of bombs in the building, held up outside the high school for four hours before entering.  By this time, all the victims, and the two killers, were stone cold dead.

This caused some significant outcry at the time; why had the citizens of Jefferson County spent all that money lavishly outfitting a SWAT team to not one degree behind the current SOCOM fashion curve, only to have them turn out no more useful to saving lives than the Jefferson County VFW Drum and Bugle Corps?

And to their credit, law enforcement did some studying.  They found a couple of things about spree/rampage killers:

  • They tend to exist in a fantasy world.  In this fantasy, killing will make them…something. Important.  Martyrs.  Popular.  Something.
  • The planning for the attack tends to be extremely elaborate (by the planner’s standards, anyway).
  • That many rampage killers – not all, but most – carry out their final “mission” in a sort of reverie; this is the culmination of their entire fantasy life.
  • Breaking that reverie – by upsetting the plan, interfering with the fantasy, and “getting inside their decision loop” – is essential in thwarting an attack once it’s underway.
  • The best way to do this – or at least the best way available when prevention has ailed, andonce the shooting starts – is to shoot at the shooter.  And preferably hit him.  But any resistance will do, really.  Because…
  • …once the shooter meets resistance, their reverie usually breaks, and their long-fantasized plans go awry, they usually – not always, but usually – panic; they break off the attack, they give up or, frequently, they kill themselves.  Sometimes it doesn’t work – Matteen kept shooting after he met resistance (I’ll speculate that his terrorist motivations may be part of the reason for this).  Sometimes it works amazingly well; Nick Meli had only to point his gun at Jason Roberts (he checked fire out of worry that he’d hit a bystander), causing Roberts to withdraw into a nearby store and kill himself, still carrying hundreds of unspent rounds.   More according to the theory – Jeanne Assam shot and wounded Matthew Murray inside New Life Christian Center, after he’d already killed two (and two more at an earlier crime scene); Murray withdrew and ended his worthless life.
  • Because of this observation, the convention wisdom among law enforcement became to “get in there and engage active shooters”; rather than wait for SWAT teams and bomb squads to assemble and stage and come up with a plan, individual officers, armed with whatever was in their cars or on their persons – “patrol rifles”, shotguns, handguns – should move toward the shooting, and try to put some lead in and around the shooter.  To seize the initiative, to take control of the narrative.
  • While cops don’t say this in public, of course, it doesn’t really matter if the person putting that fire into and around the shooter has a badge or not; incoming bullets all sound the same. This blog has compiled a sizeable list of mass shooters thwarted by civilians with guns – currently 16 and counting.  From Nick Meli to Dr. Lee Silverman, the list of regular schnooks who’ve thwarted mass shooters is much, much longer than the media and the ignorant (pardon the redundancy) are willing to comprehend, much less admit.

Apparently, though, someone from Orlando didn’t get the memo.  Or, more likely – I’m guessing, here – the SWAT team, in a situation of immense stress and confusion, held off doing anything drastic while they figured out what to do.

When Seconds Count…:  As Bob Owens at Bearing Arms notes, around the point in the transcript where Mateen is reloading his magazines.  I’ll add emphasis:

The terrorist has been killing at will, unimpeded, for 20 minutes, longer than any mass shooting in recent American history [except possibly Columbine – Ed.] (in 1966 Charles Whitman, the University of Texas bell tower sniper was still active 20 minutes into his rampage, but civilians and police were actively firing on his position).  Virginia Tech was over in 12 minutes. Sandy Hook took five.

This terrorist was charging magazines, as the OPD waited and victims bled out on the dance floor and in bathrooms.

He had time to reload (as in “put more bullets in his magazines” – perhaps twice.

“High capacity magazines” were clearly irrelevant to this situation, by the way.  As they were at Virginia Tech, where the shooter used mundane handguns with regular (12-15 round) magazines.

Victims are bleeding out, no longer responding to the dispatchers they called to save their lives.  Other callers, including a nurse who is among the wounded, are warning that victims are losing too much blood.

No one is coming.

No one is coming. 

It isn’t until 38 minutes into the terrorist attack that the now-reloaded shooter calls Orlando PD and announces that he is a Islamic terrorist aligned with the Islamic State.

At this point, a competently trained SWAT command, having learned from the Russian experience at Beslan that terrorists call to “negotiate” only to stall for time and improve their positions to kill more people, should have recognized that the best option for a shooter in a confined space with hostages is to throw in flash-bang grenades and storm in while he was disoriented to take him down.

And yet they didn’t.

Why?  We don’t know, yet.  Maybe we never will.

At the end of the day, a cop wants to go home safe.

Who can blame ’em?

Defense:  Well, I’m no monday-morning quarterback.  If I’m a patrol cop, armed with a rifle I’ve rarely trained on, in a thin kevlar vest that might turn a pistol bullet or shotgun pellet but not a rifle round, going into a dark room full of screaming people, floors slick with blood, and the deafening sound of rifle fire in a confined space booming all around?  I might well take cover, and stay there.  Maybe hiding behind the brick I’d crap.

And the Supreme Court has ruled as much, saying that while it’s police’s job to try to protect you, they’re not really liable if they don’t.

On the other hand: the taxpayers of Orlando, like those of every major city, have spent years and millions outfitting police SWAT teams with all sorts of high-test body armor, flash-bang grenades and other right-with-the-SOCOM-fashion curve hostage rescue goodies, and the exquisitely expensive training that goes with with it (or so one hopes that’s where the money went).

Why did the Orlando SWAT team wait until 5:02AM – three hours after the first 911 call – to breach the wall and go into the club?  Why did it take fifteen more minutes to kill Mateen?    We don’t know.

How many died in those three hours?    Go through the transcript (below he jump), and count the number of people whom callers report expiring to blood loss as they huddled in piles on the dance floor, or to cell phone contacts quietly dropping off the line, leaving nothing but the sounds of gunshots and screaming in the background, as victims slowly bled out.

Go ahead.  Do it.

It sounds like an awful place.  Who can blame the SWAT team for being careful?


You.

You, huddled on the floor and playing dead in the room full of frantic people and a growing toll of wounded, maimed and dead bodies, can blame them.   As the hours tick by, as the blood on the floor gets sticky and dry, as the gunman reloads, kills another handful of people, reloads again and again.

It’s you who won’t be going home.

Could it have been different?   If one other person in the room with you had had the means to react in a meaningful, e.g. life-threatening, way?

Maybe.  There are no guarantees, least of all when bullets are flying.    Who knows – maybe they got hit before they had a chance to draw.  Maybe they’d draw, but get shot first.

Or maybe they’d trade fire with the killer, and lose – but un-nerve the killer, allowing at least a  few people to escape.

Or maybe, just maybe, the citizen with the gun would catch a few lucky breaks; the killer doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head, after all.  A couple of shots to the back while the killer was looking the other way, and suddenly it’s camera crews and yellow tape.

But as the hours drag on, it’s pretty clear – the only help that’s coming is from outside.

Sometime.  Maybe.  Hopefully before you join the dead.


NOTE:  While I intend my comment section as a discussion, and tolerate dissent and cognitive dissonance better than most, be advised; comments I deem stupid will not be deleted; they will be mutilated for my pleasure.  

The judgment of “stupidity” is all mine; it doesn’t mean “disagreement”; just stupidity.  I know it when I see it.

There will be no other warnings.

Continue reading

A Good Gal With A Gun

Woman kills intruder.

Officials said the 33-year-old woman had returned home with her kids — aged 5 and 10 — when she encountered the man and opened fire.

Police officers and medical personnel arriving at the home in Portland, Oregon, early Sunday found the 59-year-old man who had been shot dead.

The mom is cooperating with the investigation and was not arrested, authorities said.

Perhaps she should have told the guy to wait for the police, and left the house ’til they arrived.

Edumication

The next time some liberal friend of yours cites the Zimmerman-Martin shooting as a gross injustice – a “white man shooting an unarmed black child” – refer them to this long, but utterly impeccably researched series by the great Massood Ayoob.

Then sweep up the debris of their “argument”.

Side benefit; you’ll likely learn a lot yourself.

 

A Good Grandma With A Gun

An 80 year old woman in Sultan, Washington shot and killed a man who was trying to go all teppanyaki on her husband:

The woman called 911 at about 8:30 p.m. from the home in the 13700 block of Woods Lake Road and said “she had shot an intruder after he broke into her home and stabbed her husband,” Ireton said.

The suspect, a 25-year-old Gold Bar man, died at the scene.

“At this time, detectives do not believe the suspect was known to the residents of the home and that this was an attempted home burglary,” Ireton said.

Note to Kim Norton, Ron “I Went To Harvard” Latz and The Right Reverend Nancy Nord Bence; maybe if the woman took a background check, the guy wouldn’t have broken in?  Right?

A Good Gal With A Gun: If It Saves One Life…

East-side Saint Paul man jumped by group of teen thugs stabbed in the eye with a stick, missing being blinded by mere millimeters.

The attack took place in an alley behind Geranium Avenue, near Payne Avenue. “When I got hit, I got dazed a little and fell to my knees, but I got up and continued to fight off my attackers,” Chang said.

Chang shouted to his sister-in-law, who had been in the vehicle with him and locked herself inside, to phone his wife and ask her to come out of the home with a gun.

Both Chang and his wife have permits to carry, and she came outside with a gun, Chang said. The attackers ran off.

I read these stories – gangs of youths roaming the neighborhoods, beating people to within an inch of their lives, like Ray Widstrand a couple of years ago – and wonder when the left will start to apply their old warhorse, “if it saves one life…”.

There’s one, right here.

 

BREAKING: A Good Guy With A Gun: Part V

A law-abiding citizen with a carry permit killed a would-be robber in Brooklyn Park Monday evening.  The Brooklyn Park PD just confirmed that the shooter was a citizen with a carry permit, and the decedent was attempting to rob the citizen.

The person targeted for robbery has “a valid permit to carry a handgun” and was not arrested, said Deputy Police Chief Mark Bruley.

Officers recovered both guns at the scene as they continue to investigate the shooting.

Police have yet to disclose the identities of those involved in the confrontation.

And I’m going to speculate that the law-abiding citizen who did the shooting won’t get his name released, because of the danger he’d face from the rest of the community.  It’s been true with several of the justifiable homicides we’ve seen – the Evanovich shooting and the Broadbent incident last summer among them.

Bruley said the man who died “goes back and forth between Brooklyn Park and Minneapolis. He’s an individual we’ve known from previous contact. He certainly hangs out around here.” Bruley declined to say more about that contact entailed.

I’m going to guess it involved the fact that he was just in the middle of getting his life turned around.   It’s a theme in this sorts of episodes.

State Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, said the outcome of this shooting validates a 2003 law in Minnesota that allows people to carry a firearm in public.

“A loss of life is a tragedy,” Garofalo wrote. “But when a criminal pulls a gun, they risk ending their life. Concealed carry works.”

As of early this year, there were more than 221,000 active permit holders in Minnesota, according to the latest data report from the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The total has grown by more than 20,000 in the past six months. Now, about one in 19 eligible Minnesota adults has a permit to carry, according to Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.

The number is up over 5% of eligible adults – which, in some parts of the state, likely means there’s a better than one in ten chance that someone you might want to try to rob can end you.

The odds are better in the Metro, if you’re a robber; most don’t grow up in a (law-abiding) gun culture; there are fewer ambient, social chances to get into shooting, much less self-defense.  Less than 2% of eligible adults have carry permits in the Metro, where the crime rate shows they are the most needed (and, I’d argue, also shows their lack).

Condolences to the victim’s family; he may have run off the rails, but he was someone’s kid, brother or parent.

And best of luck to the shooter, whoever you are.  And thanks.

 UPDATE:  Is this predictable or what – the Strib always shuts down story comments when a good guy uses a gun against a bad actor.

Wonder why that is?

UPDATE 2:  By my count, since 2005, that makes five human lives saved via the ability to resist violence with a legally-carried handgun:

  1. A bouncer shot a knife-wielding drunk outside a Minneapolis bar.
  2. Another bouncer shot another knife-wielding drunk outside Grumpy’s in Northeast Minneapolis
  3. An unidentified man shot Darren Evanovich behind the Cub Foods on East Lake street in 2011, after Evanovich and his sister pistolwhipped a fifty-something Latina cleaning lady and stole her just-cashed paycheck.
  4. Another unidentified man shot Lauventai Broadbent last August, one of a small gang of teenagers who tried to rob the citizen using guns they’d stolen earlier that day on the East Side.
  5. Yesterday’s episode.

Absolute Moral Authority

Jesse Hughes – lead singer of the band “Eagles of Death Metal”, the band that was playing at the Bataclan in Paris the night of the Paris Massacre – says what every gun rights activist already knows; the only response to bad guys with guns is good guys with guns:

“Did your French gun control stop a single [expletive] person from dying at the Bataclan?” Hughes said. “And if anyone can answer yes, I’d like to hear it, because I don’t think so. I think the only thing that stopped it was some of the bravest men that I’ve ever seen in my life charging head-first into the face of death with their firearms.”

The left’s answer, inevitably, is a series of academic postulates that wither as fast as the crowd at Bataclan under reasoned scrutiny, to say nothing of real-life events.

Dear MOA: With all due respect: QQQQ.

The only reasoned response?  You, and you alone, are responsible for your and your family’s protection.  And while the world is demonstrably safer than it was, 20 and 70 and 200 years ago, human nature means that evil, some time, some place, will be waiting for someone, somewhere – whether in the form of a lone mugger, a couple of rapists,  a gang of terrorists, or a government full of gangsters.

By the way – there’s been four terror-related mass shootings, and ten terror attacks altogether, since the Charlie Hebdo massacre, with a total death toll of 152, and 388 injured.

In Zürich, where handgun carry permits are relatively plentiful?  Holding steady at zero and zero.  While correlation doesn’t equal causation, it fits a pattern that we see here in the US, and that they saw in Israel in the seventies; terrorists (like delusional mass-shooters in general) avoid places where there might be resistance.

A Good Guy With A Gun?

A couple of wannabe thugs apparently tried to turn a craigslist transaction into a heist in Shakopee yesterday.

And while the article doesn’t say so explicitly, reading between the lines, it would appear the Fugs picked the wrong guy:

Police radio reports indicated that the apparent victim of the attempted robbery had a handgun and fired at the would-be robber. Shakopee police and other law officers were looking for a silver-gray Chevrolet Venture van with at least two people inside, with at least one armed with a revolver.

Radio reports indicated that the robber ran from the scene toward the White Castle restaurant near Walmart and then got into a vehicle, which reportedly got on Highway 169. The State Patrol was looking for the vehicle.

The apparent victim was waiting near the Walmart garden center entrance for police. He apparently was not injured.

Police were planning to look at store video.

The article doesn’t say so explicitly – but waiting for the cops at the store after an incident is the behavior you’d expect from someone who took carry permit training.

Kim Norton and Heather Martens, obviously, would have preferred that the victim submit meekly, and maybe die.

UPDATE:  The Strib is being veeeeeeery slow to release the facts of this case, including who shot first and who shot who.

Good Spirit. Lousy Idea.

Anyone with a living soul was nauseated by the display in Cologne on New Years Eve, where thousands of men of “North African” descent roamed the street in gangs, sexually assaulting women and impeding the police’s attempts to respond.

Here in the US – where this sort of thing is thankfully very rare – the responses depended on the responder’s politics.

People on the left strenuously denied there was a problem, or blamed it on fraternities affiliated with the NRA.

People on the right bought another box of ammo.

Either would be more productive, I suspect, than this group of…er, males in the Netherlands:

The sign says “If you’re not wearing pants, you make less of a mess when they attack you”. No, that’s not true. It says “Don’t make women dress chaste / keep your hands to yourself”. That’ll show ’em.

I’m sure the women of Cologne are thankful for the “solidarity”.

A more productive statement?  Germans are doing their best to arm themselves, as best they can given Germany’s patriarchal gun laws.

And where real people try to arm themselves, you can count on the media to get the Victorian vapours.

The caption says “The Weapons industry profits from the Refugee crisis”. Naturally. Blame Big Gun.

Or in this case, I suppose, the Hohenzollern vapours.

Which group do you suppose will actually benefit the women of Germany – the shooters or the Dutch guys in dresses?