Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gunman Stopped by Armed Citizen!

Found this on Snowflakes in Hell, who found it at Dustin's Gun Blog. The basic story is that a man went into a Nevada bar and started shooting, killing two and wounding two. When he stopped to reload and then started shooting again a bar patron with a concealed carry permit shot and killed him. The police and District Attorney have determined that it was a justifiable homicide under Nevada law.

First things first: THANK YOU, UNNAMED CITIZEN! You have shown your true colors as a good, caring, person. I hope you have friends and family who will support you. Killing is not easy (and I never want to meet someone for whom it is easy), but remember, you did the right thing! Never let anyone tell you differently.

Now, several points come to mind:

a) There were only two reasons for this guy to reload. Either he didn't get the people he was there for, or he was just going to keep shooting until someone stopped him. Either way, he wasn't done killing. Most likely this was a mass murder in the making. He brought extra magazines. With most targeted killings or confrontations that escalate, the shooter fires a few times and then runs, trying to avoid police. This guy stayed and reloaded, indicating that he was going to keep shooting. This could have been a very bad incident. According to the story, there were about 300 people "in and around" the bar.

b) With an armed, law abiding citizen on scene, the whole incident was over by the time the police arrived. Even with an extremely fast reaction and response time by the police, there would have been a much higher body count if this good man had not been allowed to carry his weapon. Remember, the killer was reloading when he was stopped. Even if he was after a specific person, he obviously didn't care about hurting innocent bystanders. Out of an entire "high capacity" magazine, only four people were hit. How many shots missed? How many of those four was he actually aiming at? This is a perfect example of how armed citizens prevent such mass shootings. [Correction: He had already reloaded, and had started shooting again, when he was stopped.]

c) "High capacity" handgun. "At some point during this shooting spree Villagomez allegedly stopped and according to witnesses reloaded his high capacity handgun and began shooting again." They do not clarify what they mean by "high capacity." Chances are, it was just a regular gun, i.e. 10-14 round capacity. This appears, on it's surface, to be intentionally inflammatory language, and smacks of biased (and therefore bad) journalism. Leave the bias to the editorials, and report the facts - all the facts - and let the readers draw their own conclusions.

All in all, an excellent example of how armed citizens can save lives. I shudder to think of what might have happened if this had happened here in Virginia, where concealed carry is illegal in any establishment that is licensed to serve alcohol. Unless there was an off duty cop present (they're exempted), it would have been a massacre. (Surprisingly, open carry is allowed in such places, but even many who carry regularly are uncomfortable with doing so openly in a bar.) [Note: I'm not against open carry anywhere, even in bars. I'm just surprised. I would have assumed that if anything was allowed, it would be the other way around. But that's another post for another time.]

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I keep reading stories about people being injured from negligent discharges, and they always have one thing in common: failure to follow the four rules of gun safety. (Look to the left. There they are.) Most important is Rule 1: IT'S ALWAYS LOADED!!!!

People who forget Rule 1 tend to stop following the other rules because "it's not loaded." When that happens, people get shot. It's not accidental, it's negligent. Someone has neglected to follow the rules of gun safety. It's no one's fault but the person handling the gun.

If disassembling your gun is required to clean it, remember Rule 1, and remember the other rules as well. Many guns require that you pull the trigger as part of disassembling them. If this is the case, don't rely on the fact that you checked it just a minute ago and it wasn't loaded, or you didn't reload it after using it. Check it immediately before pulling the trigger. Don't just take a quick look. Take a long look. Think to yourself "magazine empty or removed - check; chamber empty - check." Then, and only then, point the weapon in a safe direction and then pull the trigger.

If you're teaching gun safety, and have to use a real gun to do so, don't do it with a loaded gun, and always follow the rules.

If you follow these four rules all the time, you will never shoot anyone. Unless you mean to.