Why more people didn't die in Clackamas mall shooting
Citizens' coolheadedness and individual preparation for coping with gunfire in public settings may have curtailed the casualty count from Tuesday's shooting at a Portland, Ore., shopping mall, law officers suggested on the day after the tragedy.
Two people died and one was critically wounded before the shooter, 22-year-old [name deliberately redacted]* of Portland, killed himself a few minutes after running into the food court at the Clackamas Town Center mall. Officials say Mr. Roberts, wearing camouflage and a white hockey mask, had methodically fired "multiple" rounds from an assault-style rifle at random shoppers.First, stop right there. I want to point out a couple things. I removed his name from the article because I honestly believe that these putzes are doing this specifically for the fame that mass shootings engender. We know the names of the Colombine shooters, the VA Tech shooter, even the Fort Hood "workplace violence" shooting. For a desperate loser looking to punch their own clock, going out in the proverbial blaze of glory taking out innocents with you insures your 15 minutes of fame. Some, like the Aurora CO shooter, even live to see themselves become famous.
Remove the celebrity worship, stop making their names household words, and a good deal of the attraction will fade.
Secondly, they're down to a "hockey mask and camoflauge" - initial reports were body armor and a gas mask. I understand that first person reports can be notoriously unreliable, and I'd hate to think what would come out of my mouth if I were at the mall and some Gen Y loser opened up with an AR, but the media shouldn't be plastering the brain droppings of unreliable witnesses as though it were gospel. In the aftermath of the Aurora CO shootings we were inundated with stories of a shooter with heavy body armor - only to find out that he had a cheap nylon vest with magazine pockets, no more "bulletproof" than a pair of blue jeans.
Next up, though, is this little nugget:
Gun-control advocates seized on the mall shooting as a possible result of the expiration in 2004 of a national ban on assault weapons.
"Santa Claus could have been shot in the mall," said Penny Okamoto, executive director of Ceasefire Oregon, in an interview with the Portland Tribune. "If you're sick of this, you should call your legislators to tell them to fix the laws so that assault weapons don't end up in the hands of felons."Ah, yes, that old chestnut. Because he killed so many people with the bayonet, or the collapsible stock, right? Maybe he choked someone out with the pistol grip, or crushed them under the weight of a drum magazine? The rifle in question being an "assault weapon" is 100% completely irrelevant - I have a Bushmaster that is 100% AWB-compliant, and I guarantee you that no one outside of the gunnie community could tell my rifle apart from a new, non-compliant rifle.
Hell, even with a stripper-clip fed SKS, which is many orders of magnitude removed from what was covered under the AWB, I'd wager the toll wouldn't have changed much. Now, a caveat: for the families of the two people killed and the girl who was gravely wounded, it was three people too many. However, it's not the style of weapon that was used to do this - he could have killed two and wounded a third with a five-shot revolver.
In fact, I'd wager that it was precisely his choice of a "ZOMG ASSAULT RIFLE" that kept the carnage so low. Had he chosen a more robust weapon - say, a pump action shotgun like the Aurora movie theater shooter used after his AR-15 jammed - he almost certainly could have run up the body count more. Those mall shoppers were very lucky that he had a weapon he was unfamiliar with and unable to use effectively.
And lastly... He stole the damn rifle. The only law that legislator could pass that might have stood a snowball's chance in hell of preventing this would be a complete and total ban on all firearms; a complete revocation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. And even then I have my doubts - go back aways and read the post I linked where a local guy built an AK-47 pattern rifle out of a shovel. Genie's out of the bottle. Has been for well over a century. We've had magazine-fed, semi-automatic firearms for over 100 years. Heck, we've had the very same types of rifles used in this shooting in common use for nearly 50 years.
Passing another AWB - even one more draconian than the 1994 law - will do exactly squat to stop determined psychopaths. These people know this - the continued violence in the street over the illicit drug trade is more than enough proof that banning something does not equal that something being removed. The question that needs to be asked of them, then, is why they call for these "bans" knowing full well that they will fail. We had ten years of an "assault weapons ban" - and all it did was make "pre-ban" guns worth more. There was no drop in gun crimes; certainly no less carnage; heck, the Colombine shooting happened smack dab in the middle of the ban.
Fortunately, as the recent events in Illinois have shown us, fewer and fewer are buying the snake oil the gun control movement continues to sell.
That is all.