Saturday, January 26

When Guns Stopped a Rampage - ePanic Button

Security at Church: This is an excellent article from Johnny Lee the President of ePanic Button. The mainstream media has been overflowing with reports of why guns are bad. Johnny does a great job sharing the other side of the story!

When Guns Stopped a Rampage
By: Johnny Lee

In the wake of the tragedy at the Newton, CT school shooting, there has been a call for more gun control laws to prevent similar events. The logic is if a person intent on mass violence were unable to obtain a firearm, violence and shootings can be prevented. Citizens and law makers want to restrict who can obtain a firearm, specifically people with mental health issues. A fine point involves types of firearms and accessories such as large capacity magazines. Even the generic term “assault weapon” has conflicting definitions for those familiar with firearms. Regardless of the weapon’s appearance, all semi-automatic firearms have been identified by some as too dangerous for the general public.

But the heart of the gun control argument is there are too many guns, and adherents point to the growing number of reports that provide timelines, graphs and catalogs of workplace and school shootings. Opponents of gun control measures state that readily available firearms can actually stop these events, but lack a similar collection of accounts when armed citizens ended rampages. This following short list does not include cases of armed citizens stopping robberies, which kill many more people than mass shootings.

December 2012, Clackamas, OR – Clackamas Town Center Mall
As the Mall shooting in Oregon is still a current news topic, one story that has not garnered much attention is why the shooter, identified as Jacob Roberts, ended the rampage to take his own life. Nick Meli had a concealed carry permit and was one of the shoppers when the shooting began. Meli confronted Roberts with his sidearm but did not fire because a bystander could have been hit. Roberts might have killed himself when he realized he faced an armed individual. While impossible to ever determine definitively, the assailant may have feared being wounded and did not want to survive to face court and public outrage (video of interview).

August 2012, San Antonio, TX – Bonham Academy
While focus is on school safety, there is also the case of a woman who had just dropped off her child at school when her ex-partner, who had a history of abuse, confronted her and began arguing. She had just filed for divorce the week before, and as common in abusive relationships, he was not going to let her leave him. His anger escalated to the point where he began stabbing her. An armed citizen with a concealed carry permit drew his gun and stopped the assailant.

January 2009, Houston, TX – Texas Components Corp
Julie Parker entered the technology company where her father worked carrying a bow and what appeared to be a handgun. She shot one worker in the chest with an arrow and then pointed the fake firearm at other workers. Two employees were armed and returned fire, striking her and forcing her to retreat to a restroom. She aimed her bow at arriving police officers, causing them to shoot her again. Parker survived to face charges for the assault.

December 2007, Colorado Springs, CO - New Life ChurchMatthew Murray killed two people at a missionary center before traveling 80 miles to his second target, an affiliated church. Police described him as being armed with an assault rifle and two handguns with as many as 1,000 rounds of ammunition. He killed two teenage sisters and wounded their father in the church parking lot before entering the church building. Jeanne Assam, a volunteer guard and parishioner, fired her own weapon at Murray, ending the rampage by killing him.

July 2006, Memphis, TN – Schnucks Grocery StoreAn employee, upset over a workplace dispute, grabbed a knife and wounded eight co-workers. As he chased one employee out into the parking lot, the manager of a neighboring business in the same shopping center intervened. According to an interview with the manager, “When he turned around and saw my pistol, he threw the knife away, put his hands up and got on the ground. He saw my gun and that was pretty much it.”

May 2008, Winnemucca, NV – Players Bar and Grill
A man entered a crowded bar looking for members of a family with whom he held a grudge. Ernesto Villagomez found and killed two young men before another patron pulled out his firearm to shoot and kill Villagomez. Although the intervening patron was initially apprehended, he was released after Humboldt County District Attorney Russell Smith determined the shooting was justifiable homicide.

August 2005, Albuquerque, NM – Walmart
Again we have a customer, not an employee, intervening to save a victim as seen in this video. A female employee was working behind the counter when her ex-partner approached her with a knife and began stabbing her numerous times. A co-worker tried to intervene, but a customer rescued her. The 72-year-old customer had a concealed carry permit and a 9 mm handgun that he used to kill the assailant. The victim survived the assault.

Whether a firearm is the cause or cure for senseless violence, real prevention is based on establishing communities and relations that limit grievances and frustrations assailants perceive and experience. If a threat has been identified, it needs to be reported and the appropriate interventions put into place. The concern on the actual crisis may be short-sighted if it is the only focus.

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