Friday, December 07, 2007

Omaha

Gabe Suarez weighs in:

OMAHA - WHAT WENT WRONG AND WHOSE FAULT IS IT?

Once Again, the Law failed and The First Responders Were Irrelevant. How many more times will things like this happen before we stop relying on feel-good measures to keep us safe?

Right now, the witches and warlocks of government are plotting how to use this. The Kerrys, Kennedys and Pelosis are stirring their cauldrons as the Boxers and Feinsteins of the nation toss in their “eye of newt” to turn this event into a political platform from which to push their agendas.

They will say the 19-year-old Hawkins was a troubled young man. They will want to institute mandatory testing for all kids to determine their "danger quotient" so they can be "diverted" at birth.

They will call for more laws against the civil rights of all Americans in spite of the fact that there were already laws that would have prevented young Hawkins from possessing a firearm had he obeyed them. Local records show Hawkins had a felony drug conviction on his record as well as several misdemeanor cases filed against him.

The focus of course will be the SKS semiautomatic Russian military rifle -- the same type used in the shooting. I would not be surprised if they painted the evil “assault rifle” as the main culprit with Hawkins as a poor impressionable American Boy trapped by the evil weapon's spell.

“But there were laws preventing this,” the pundits of the left wing media will say. “We need laws to get these guns off the street,” Sarah Brady will shriek from her broom on the way to work this morning. “We need more police in Omaha,” someone else will say. We have heard it all before at Virginia Tech, Tacoma, Salt Lake City, Seattle , and Columbine.

There are in fact laws and rules. But laws and rules are only for the good, as the bad never pay them any mind to begin with. There were laws keeping Hawkins from having a rifle, yet they failed. There were laws keeping Hawkins from killing so many people. But, as in Virginia, Tacoma, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Columbine, the law failed, as it will always fail.

I am told by one who was there that Nebraska just passed their Concealed Carry Law, joining the rest of America in recognizing the God-given rights of its citizens enumerated in the Constitution. Yet there was one law that seemed to work. It was the one that said - “NO WEAPONS IN THE MALL .”

Indeed! I wonder how many will obey that stupid rule today? Not I!

We will hear abut the “evil” assault rifle as well. I suggest that all of you who do not have an AK, or an SKS , or even an AR, that you go into debt today and get one. Get one this week! If we get the wrong sort into office next year, and it is quite likely we will, you can bet your bayonet that they will seize on events like this to ban even the mere picture of an SKS .

And the first responders, ah yes, the ones that arrive to save the day. Here is what the media said, “By the time police arrived they weren't sure how many shooters they were dealing with. They surrounded the mall, and once they were set up, shoppers and employees had to come out with their hands raised in the air.”

Very nice. Very nice. Thank you Mr. First responders for saving the day once again. You push for laws to take the guns out of the hands of common people and then arrive late to every single event that may have required their use. Shame on you.

Who is to blame? Well the murderer Hawkins is top of the list of course. But then there are those in power who sought to stall the Concealed Carry Law. They are at fault as well. And then the managers of the mall with the sign, “NO WEAPONS IN THE MALL”. They are equally at fault. I would like to see the survivors sue the state of Nebraska for dragging its feet on CCW and the owners of the Mall for preventing the legal exercise of rights.

In the meantime, buy all the guns and high capacity magazines you can. I think we can expect hard times for the civil rights of all Americans in a short time.

Gabe Suarez is a former L.A. police officer and author of several of my favorite gun books.

John Lott's take:

The horrible tragedy at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Neb. received a lot of attention Wednesday and Thursday. It should have. Eight people were killed, and five were wounded.

A Google news search using the phrase "Omaha Mall Shooting" finds an incredible 2,794 news stories worldwide for the last day. From India and Taiwan to Britain and Austria, there are probably few people in the world who haven’t heard about this tragedy.

But despite the massive news coverage, none of the media coverage, at least by 10 a.m. Thursday, mentioned this central fact: Yet another attack occurred in a gun-free zone. [Emphasis mine.]

Surely, with all the reporters who appear at these crime scenes and seemingly interview virtually everyone there, why didn’t one simply mention the signs that ban guns from the premises?

Nebraska allows people to carry permitted concealed handguns, but it allows property owners, such as the Westroads Mall, to post signs banning permit holders from legally carrying guns on their property.

The same was true for the attack at the Trolley Square Mall in Utah in February (a copy of the sign at the mall can be seen here). But again the media coverage ignored this fact. Possibly the ban there was even more noteworthy because the off-duty police officer who stopped the attack fortunately violated the ban by taking his gun in with him when he went shopping.

Yet even then, the officer "was at the opposite end and on a different floor of the convoluted Trolley Square complex when the shooting began. By the time he became aware of the shooting and managed to track down and confront Talovic [the killer], three minutes had elapsed."

There are plenty of cases every year where permit holders stop what would have been multiple victim shootings every year, but they rarely receive any news coverage. Take a case this year in Memphis, where WBIR-TV reported a gunman started "firing a pistol beside a busy city street" and was stopped by two permit holders before anyone was harmed.

When will part of the media coverage on these multiple-victim public shootings be whether guns were banned where the attack occurred? While the media has begun to cover whether teachers can have guns at school or the almost 8,000 college students across the country who protested gun-free zones on their campuses, the media haven’t started checking what are the rules where these attacks occur.

Surely, the news stories carry detailed information on the weapon used (in this case, a rifle) and the number of ammunition clips (apparently, two). But if these aspects of the story are deemed important for understanding what happened, why isn’t it also important that the attack occurred where guns were banned? Isn’t it important to know why all the victims were disarmed?

Few know that Dylan Klebold, one of the two Columbine killers, closely was following Colorado legislation that would have allowed citizens to carry a concealed handgun. Klebold strongly opposed the legislation and openly talked about it.

No wonder, as the bill being debated would have allowed permitted guns to be carried on school property. It is quite a coincidence that he attacked the Columbine High School the very day the legislature was scheduled to vote on the bill.

Despite the lack of news coverage, people are beginning to notice what research has shown for years: Multiple-victim public shootings keep occurring in places where guns already are banned. Forty states have broad right-to-carry laws, but even within these states it is the "gun-free zones," not other public places, where the attacks happen.

People know the list: Virginia Tech saw 32 murdered earlier this year; the Columbine High School shooting left 13 murdered in 1999; Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, had 23 who were fatally shot by a deranged man in 1991; and a McDonald's in Southern California had 21 people shot dead by an unemployed security guard in 1984.

All these attacks — indeed, all attacks involving more than a small number of people being killed — happened in gun-free zones.

In recent years, similar attacks have occurred across the world, including in Australia, France, Germany and Britain. Do all these countries lack enough gun-control laws? Hardly. The reverse is more accurate.

The law-abiding, not criminals, are obeying the rules. Disarming the victims simply means that the killers have less to fear. As Wednesday's attack demonstrated yet again, police are important, but they almost always arrive at the crime scene after the crime has occurred.

The longer it takes for someone to arrive on the scene with a gun, the more people who will be harmed by such an attack.

Most people understand that guns deter criminals. If a killer were stalking your family, would you feel safer putting a sign out front announcing, "This Home Is a Gun-Free Zone"? But that is what the Westroads Mall did.

No more gun bans!

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