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"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Gunners come out again
This event had very little to do with guns and more to do with someone just wanting to commit suicide. As yet there is only four shots reported (officially) to have been fired while the individual was entering and walking across campus to the library. Once there, he evidently shot himself, his intended act all along, firing at least one more shot. Our total seems to have been five shots. Anyone with any experience with automatic weapons will tell you that it is very hard to control the numbers of shots fired on auto – three-four-five-six, it’s hard to keep the number down.
The weapon was most likely not an AK-47; probably only a look-alike. At best it may have been a semi-automatic knockoff.
Before we get too carried away by the gunners, we need to step back and look carefully at the facts.
Would have the ability to have legally concealed handguns on campus have made any difference? Maybe, that’s a qualified maybe, at best.
The entire incident was over in almost no time at all. But the lockdown continued for quite some time. Why? The answer to that question is very easy. Excitement! Yes, excitement is the reason the incident continued for some time. Those around the action were excited. They couldn’t get the eye-witness facts straight. They couldn’t describe the shooter or what he was wearing. They couldn’t count to one, the actual numbers of shooters involved. Oh yes, there were some that remained cool, calm and collected and gave appropriate information that allowed the police, both campus and city, to follow and pressure the shooter into quickly completing his intended purpose – suicide and nothing else.
But still, the police, due to bad descriptions kept the campus on lockdown for several hours while they searched for the guy they already had laying under a sheet.
Had some of these description givers been armed, they just might have taken innocent lives in their attempt to be the next Lone Ranger. The concealed handgun license (CHL) requires certain abilities be met for its issuance to take place. Not one of these abilities requires or proves that the licensee will be able to act cool, calm and collected when Chicken Little becomes the message giver. Even the police have a problem with this fact. This is one of the main reasons that the Austin Police Department (APD) no longer assigns two patrolmen to a vehicle – cuts down on the excitement level under exciting conditions. Remember these are the guys carrying weapons everyday. If they fear excitement levels being elevated; what would one expect from the CHL guy//gal who is not under this level of pressure everyday or at this level of training and discipline routinely?
Imagine what those SWAT and other responders have to face when they start rolling up to a campus of 50,000 and are surprised by 20,000 to 35,000 students running around with their guns awaving – hopefully not afiring. Lets hope we never have to worry about those around us coming unglued due to the excitement around us and firing off their concealed handgun in our proximity.
Firing a gun is not an action one can take back – once its done, its final!