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Mall shooting, from the Front site blog

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by E.L., Dec 12, 2007.

  1. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Omaha Mall Shooting

    OMAHA, Neb. — BREAKING NEWS: A man with a rifle opened fire at a busy Omaha shopping mall Wednesday, killing eight people before taking his own life, police said. Five others were wounded, two critically.
    The killer has been identified as Robert A. Hawkins, age 19 or 20, who left a suicide note stating, “I’m going out in style” and “I’m going to be famous.” The man’s vehicle was reportedly found in the parking lot. Source
    Things I heard

    “…Police received active shooter call and arrived six minutes later…”
    “…shopping where they thought they were safe…”
    “…It’s pretty confusing because you never think it would happen around here…”
    “…I don’t think anybody believed it was gunshots…”
    “…what would I have done if this guy would have tried to come and get us?”
    [Unarmed] Security Guard: “I should have done something, but I just ran.”
    Police received active shooter call and arrived six minutes later.
    Another tragedy unfolded on the afternoon news: a crazy shooter with a rifle in a mall in Omaha. Eight innocent people killed and five more injured. The depressed young man behind the rifle finally shot himself, ending the carnage. The police arrived at the mall six minutes after receiving the “active shooter” call, but it was too late to stop anything. It was all over. Apparently, there was no one on the scene capable of offering any resistance to the shooter.
    As the story was reported by the talking heads, I couldn’t help but notice some familiar cliché’s in their chatter.
    “People were shopping in a place they thought was safe.”
    I’m not sure where people have picked up this notion that there are safe places. Terrorists, psychos and criminals can go anywhere they want to. They particularly like to strike in places that people consider safe and insulated from trouble. In truth, there are no safe places.
    “We never thought it would happen here…”
    Why exactly? Why would one arbitrarily judge that there are no psychopaths or criminals in Nebraska? What about Charles Starkweather? That was Nebraska fifty years ago. There are dangerous people everywhere. To take the position that there are certain areas that are free of violent criminals is simply denial.
    “I don’t think anyone believed it was gunshots…”
    Again, we see denial at work. Spend precious seconds playing mind games with yourself, and they could be your last. Situational awareness can save your life.
    A guy who was hiding in terror in a dressing room with his small child asked, “What would I do if he came in here to get us?”
    Well, if you had a gun, you could shoot the bastard. Apparently, there was no one at this mall would could rapidly respond to the attack. A single trained citizen with a handgun could have stopped this thing before nine people died. Of course, if frogs had wings they wouldn’t bump their butts when they hop, and no one there was prepared to respond to the “active shooter.”
    I’m sure that some of these remarks will sound callous to some. It isn’t the victims’ fault that they were shot by a madman. They and their families have my complete sympathy and prayers. My desire is to see that my friends and loved ones live long full lives that aren’t cut short by killers. I believe that the best way to put a stop to this is for people to take seriously the responsibility of self-defense and the tactics of survival. The odds are strong that we will see more of these kinds of incidents in the years to come. Why they happen is beyond me to decipher, but I do believe that there are responses we can make to this sort of madness that will deter and reduce it. Dialing 911 and waiting to be slaughtered is not it. The police arrived in six minutes from the time they received the call. That’s a pretty decent response time, but it was too late. It was already over. Only someone(s) on the scene with a firearm would have had any chance of stopping the shooter. What did police do when they answered the call? From Gabe Suarez we get this:

    “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.”
    To be fair to the police, when they arrive on a scene like this, they are facing a nightmare scenario. They don’t know what’s going on, where people are, or what they bad guys have planned. They have to spend a certain amount of time to get an idea of the situation they are facing. They can’t just run in with guns blazing and shoot at anything that moves. The police cannot be expected to immediately rescue us out of a situation such as this. It is foolhardy to expect that they will.
    An unarmed security guard was quoted as saying, “I should have done something, but I just ran.” No, if your employer forces you to try to provide security unarmed, you should run when someone opens up with a rifle. There is nothing you could do unless you have a penchant for martyrdom. The proprietors of these sorts of venues and many employers care about one thing – liability. Their lawyers have told them that if they allow armed security guards, armed employees or armed citizens, and if something goes wrong, they can be sued for damages. This is all they care about. They don’t care about the safety or the very lives of their customers and employees. They care only about their hypothetical liabilities that might ensue if an employee or customer were to misuse a firearm, so they ban them. I think that every time one of these shootings happens in a gun-free zone we should sue the owners of the facility for denial of our civil rights and failure to provide adequate security. We should refuse to patronize malls and stores that put up “No Firearms” signs.

    Debora Maruca Kovac, Hawkins’ landlord, said she found the suicide note after getting a phone call from Hawkins about 1 p.m., just minutes before the shootings. “He basically said how sorry he was for everything,” Maruca Kovac said of the note. “He didn’t want to be a burden to people and that he was a piece of s— all of his life and that now he’d be famous.”
    She said Hawkins was a friend of her sons and “reminded me of a pound puppy that nobody wanted.” He came to live with her about a year and a half ago, telling her he could not stay with his own family because of “some issues with his stepmother.”
    She described Hawkins as well-behaved, although “he had a lot of emotional problems, obviously.”
    Maruca Kovac told the Omaha World-Herald that Hawkins showed her an assault rifle the night before the rampage, but she wasn’t alarmed. Source

    She told the Omaha World-Herald that the night before the shooting, Hawkins and her sons showed her an SKS semiautomatic Russian military rifle — the same type used in the shooting. She said she thought the gun belonged to a member of Hawkins’ family. She said she didn’t think much of it — the gun looked too old to work.
    Records in Sarpy and Washington counties showed Hawkins had a felony drug conviction and several misdemeanor cases filed against him, including an arrest 11 days before the shooting for having alcohol as a minor. He was due in court in two weeks.
    Maruca-Kovac said Hawkins had recently broken up with a girlfriend and was fired from McDonald’s. She told the World-Herald that Hawkins said he had been fired after being accused of stealing $17 from his till at the restaurant. McDonald’s management declined to comment to the newspaper. Source
    Now, I don’t know about you, but if a young man was living with me who had been rejected by his own family, lost his girlfriend, been fired from his job, had identified substance abuse problems, was facing legal charges because of those substance abuse problems, was depressed, “had a lot of emotional problems” and showed up at my house with an SKS, I might be just a little bit “alarmed.” Folks, we need to be paying more attention to troubled young people than we do. This is a hard time to be growing up in, and our young people are facing enormous stresses and pressures. Talovic at the Trolley Square Mall, Cho at Virginia Tech and Hawkins at Omaha share this profile of an obviously troubled young man who gave out ample warning signs of his distress and was largely ignored by the adults in his life. I don’t say this to deflect responsibility from the shooter. It is simply an observation that this sort of mental dysfunction appears to be on the rise and we need to be paying close attention to those who are obviously troubled.
    Emotionally disturbed people with substance abuse problems shouldn’t be able to get guns, but they do. Families and friends should be actively engaged with obviously troubled young people, but they often aren’t. Police should be able to instantaneously extract us from peril, but they can’t. When the chips are down, there is only one person you can count on for the safety of your family and yourself, and that is you
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    How true that statement is. [applaud]
  3. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Here I am agreeing with you again Tracy!!!
  4. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Tracy usually makes a great deal of sense .

    The only thing I can figure out is she must have been a man in a previous life [LMAO]
  5. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    [nono] No sir!

    Just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I have to play those idiotic girl head games.
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