Lubbock1911 wrote:The shooting is so sad. We need to pray for the family's loses. I am in favor of a law allowing LE to kill the shooter with the smoking gun on the spot.
I wholly agree that what should be, and should have been the sole focus of President Obama's message, are prayers for the fallen, for the families and community, and for healing.
Morality/legality aside, the difficulty with your second statement is that, unless law enforcement is already present at the time a mass shooter begins his psychotic rampage, most if not all LE departments have SOP that they do not rush into an active shooter situation. And this makes sense. If police arrive after a notification, they have no idea what is taking place inside a building. Even if they have an embedded 911 caller, it's likely that person has done everything he or she can to hide and be as inconspicuous as possible...which means they serve no tactical advantage as an informant. When the first responding LEOs arrive, they don't know whether it's a lone or multiple shooters involved; they don't know the layout of the building or premises; they don't know if a hostage situation exists whereby breaching an entry might exacerbate the situation and cause even more loss of life; and running in blind puts the officers' lives at risk.
As frustrating as it is to see this play out in active shooter situations like Virginia Tech, the Century movie theater in Aurora Colorado, Fort Hood, Columbine, and others, the fact is that a mass murderer in a gun-free, target-rich environment is not going to be stormed by law enforcement immediately upon their arrival. LEOs will respond as quickly as possible based on the situation and their operating procedures. In a large city that likely means the first responders calling for SWAT deployment, establishing a protective perimeter, obtaining information about the premises, and other measures.
This is where TexasCajun's point is well made. The head-in-the-sand liberal left always decry that only law enforcement and the military should have guns, that you and I--honest, law-abiding citizens who are licensed and probably have many hours of training and practice--should not be trusted to carry.
But the simple fact is that the LEO-to-population ratio in big cities is staggering, and the LEO-to-square-mile ratio in rural areas is equally daunting. If some psychopath wants to commit mass murder with a gun, a bomb, a chemical weapon, or even as we've just seen in Austria, with a motor vehicle, there is a very high probability that the target selected will not have significant, pre-existing police presence at the point of attack. In the U.S., the vast majority of these attacks occur in gun-free zones...in fact, going all the way back to the UT sniper in 1966, over 40% of mass shootings have taken place on school grounds alone.
We, and the media and politicians, can speculate all they want about what-ifs and could-have-beens. But the simple, inconvenient truth is that the best chance of stopping a mass shooting is for there to be a good guy with a gun standing there when it starts to unfold. There are multiple examples, but two involving churches are the 1993 incident in South Africa
where terrorists attacked a congregation of 1,000 with grenades and automatic weapons. Several people were killed almost immediately, but Charl Van Wyk, sitting a few rows from the back, pulled his handgun and opened fire on the attackers, hitting one and interrupting their plan. They fled.
Another is the more recent 2007 New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs. A young, mentally unstable murderer went first to the Youth With A Mission training center in Arvada, Colorado, where he shot four people, killing two. Unimpeded and unchallenged, he then went to the New Life Church, a huge megachurch with over 10,000 members.
His clear intent was to kill as many people as possible, and he did shoot five, killing two, sisters Rachel and Stephanie Works, in the church's parking lot on his way inside. But before he could rack up the body count, he was met by a "good guy with a gun": church security volunteer Jeanne Assam, a concealed handgun license holder (Concealed Weapon Permit in Colorado). Assam shot and wounded the psychopath who, knowing his plan was thwarted and that he was done, turned his gun on himself.
That incident took place on a Sunday, December 9, when hundreds were exiting the church after an 11:00 a.m. service. Without legally-armed citizens at the church that day, there is no estimating what the death toll could have been. The pastor of New Life Church said that Assam shot Murray before he was more than 50 feet inside the building, and that Assam probably saved "over 100 lives."
In the Charleston tragedy, we've learned that the shooter was giving off clues the size of weather balloons for some time before he engaged. Nobody paid attention. Prevention is always best...in this case, his 21st birthday was only two months before the shooting, and his father gave him the gun he used for his birthday. Prevention doesn't start with the tool ultimately employed, it starts with parents, teachers, counselors, and mental health professionals.
But if an attack is launched, the only person who can respond quickly enough to effectively stop a committed, deranged mass murderer is the person already present. And that means firearms in the hands of honest, moral, willing, law-abiding citizens.