I also wanted to make a fast comment about the Trolley Square mass murder earlier this week. Those of you that missed it, click the link and read about it first before you continue, or this won’t make a great deal of sense to you. At any rate, the usual reaction to some teenager popping into a crowded place and shooting people at random is to call for tighter gun laws and more “gun-free” zones (defined as “defenseless target environments” by criminals), but not this time. I have two ideas why.
1. Ordinarily, these kinds of things happen in churches and pre-college schools (“target-rich environments”), two places that the media and the elites who make all the noise about this stuff don’t go very often. It’s always easier to talk about what ought to be done in places you aren’t going to go and don’t care terribly much about. It’s very easy to go on the nightly news and talk about what a terrible tragedy it is that these people were killed and what you think ought to be done to stop it. But if you go there, live there, you realize that what’s being proposed is the most dangerous kind of nonsense.
This shooting, however, happened in an upscale mall. The wife of the Governor was in that mall twenty minutes before the shooting started. It’s a place where the media and the elites can be found with regularity. All of a sudden, they’re not so sure that gun control is going to stop THEM from being shot. Welcome to reality, people. It’s not all that much fun here, but it reduces the need for expensive psychotherapy.
2. Almost all the other shootings I can remember were ended by the suicide of the gunman, meaning that whoever it was was done killing other people and decided on his own to stop. This time, the murderer was gunned down by the cops, and he was most decidedly NOT finished killing people until he was forcibly stopped. By other people with guns. Contrary to previous practice, the cops did not take time to “set up a perimeter” while the murderer went about inside blowing people away; they reacted very quickly and immediately went after the guy. They were there very fast, inside of 5 minutes. They moved quickly and acted with decision and power. They were great.
Five people still died, and four others are in critical condition.
The lesson here is that there’s no possible way the police can protect you. There aren’t enough of them, and they aren’t going to be in the place they are needed except by accident. However, one of the key components of mass murder is the “mass” part, and among those in the mass there really ought to be some people with the ability and the resources to shoot back at a guy like this. I note with interest that he picked Trolley Square and not Cabela’s. I wouldn’t advise WalMart, either. The people that shop there carry weapons and know how to use them to defend themselves.
Within about half an hour of this, I got two emails from people telling me they would never again go shopping without their 9mm. A day later a good friend of mine was setting up a mass double-date for concealed-carry permit class (which was, as of last count, almost oversubscribed). I predict a large increase in CCW permits issued in the next month or two here. And personally, I think that’s a good thing.