Why Don’t The Heroes Who Stop Mass Murderers Get Better Press?
(Tony Oliva) If I say Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and Aurora you will most likely think of the mass shootings that took place there. I also think about all those places being gun free zones and how well that worked out. But what would come to mind if I said: Pearl High, Parker Middle School Dance, Golden Market and Clackamas Town Center?
If you are like most Americans you probably don’t know anything about these places and that is a shame because they are all places where a law abiding gun owner STOPPED a mass murderer before they could ratchet up the body count. Does the media trumpet these citizen heroes and repeat their names ad nauseam so they become household words? No. Their names are often unreported save for the local press of their town because apparently stopping a mass murderer with the ability to kill hundreds isn’t as sexy as letting him murder his way into the headlines.
I think that is a load of steaming bull crap. As such, let me tell you a little about the aforementioned situations.
Pearl High School; Pearl, Mississippi October 1st 1997: Luke Woodham started the day by beating and stabbing his mother to death before taking his 30-30 hunting rifle to school. Do I need to even point out the eerie similarity to Sandy Hook? Upon arriving at the school Woodham opened fire with his rifle injuring 7 and killing 2 including his former girlfriend. Principal Roy Balentine ran out of his office thinking something school related malfunctioned and ran across Woodham with his rifle. The principal, fearing that Woodham would come for him next ran back to his office and barricaded himself in to call the police allowing Woodham to continue on his rampage, shooting more kids along the way.
Fortunately the Assistant Principal Joel Myrick (HERO) ran to his truck to get his Colt .45 semi automatic handgun and confronted Woodham as he was heading to the Middle School for younger targets. Myrick held his pistol in Woodham’s face and forced him to the ground where he kept his foot securely on Woodham’s neck until police arrived.
Once again proving mass murderers are cowards and will either give up or kill themselves whenever they are challenged by someone else with a gun.
Hero Asst Principal Joel Myrick saved countless lives that day. Principal Balentine ran to his office and called the police. Which Principal would you rather have if you were a student that day?
Parker Middle School Dance; Edinboro, PA April 24th, 1998: Parker Middle School was holding its 8th Grade graduation dance at Nick’s Place, a banquet hall off campus. About 20 minutes before the end of the dance, 14 year old student Andrew Wurst pulled out a .25 caliber pistol and shot teacher John Gillette to death. He then went on to shoot three more people within the dance, moving along slowly and deliberately, mocking the people as they cowered there.
This situation was ended when the owner of Nick’s Place, James Strand (HERO) heard the shots from next door, grabbed his 12 gauge shotgun and came running over. He too, like Joel Myrick shoved the boomstick in Wurst’s face and ended the situation. The police arrived 11 minutes later. Wurst could have done a lot more damage in 11 minutes if not for the heroism of Stand who ran TO danger armed with the means to do something about it.
Wurst would later say he was intending to kill himself but like all cowards when faced with the actual threat of having his head blown clear from his body his talk proved cheap.
Golden Market; Richmond, VA July 13th, 2009: In this case the hero chose to remain anonymous yet his actions were not. A man entered the store with his revolver out, told everyone to get on the floor and then walked over to the store’s owner and shot him twice without provocation. The mass shooter then moved over to a teenage boy and raised his gun to shoot him when another customer (HERO) pulled out his concealed weapon and fired. The bad guy ran to the back of the store and found another innocent man lying prone and attempted to shoot him, until the hero distracted him and shot at him again.
The bad guy walked around the store attempting to execute people and each time the hero shot at him and forced him from his murderous intentions. Finally the bad guy walked in between aisles and the hero took his shot unfortunately learning that his single action revolver’s trigger spring had snapped and therefore the trigger would not return forward. Not missing a beat the hero simply fanned the hammer like in old school westerns striking the bad guy twice and ending the attack. The store owner survived and the bad guy was killed. No other injuries occurred thanks to a law abiding citizen being armed and present.
Clackamas Town Center; Clackamas, OR Dec. 11th 2012: Mass murder wannabe Jacob Roberts (22) entered the Clackamas Town Center shopping mall with a rifle and opened fire. He got off 16 rounds that killed 2 people and injured a third. Before he could continue, armed shopper Nick Meli (HERO) drew his Glock 22 and confronted Roberts. Meli would say that if there were not innocent bystanders standing behind Roberts he would have fired but the point was fortunately moot as the simple act of someone standing up to Roberts with a firearm ran him off where he committed suicide shortly after.
The ironic thing about this case is that the hero, Nick Meli, ignored the mall’s prohibition against firearms. Had Meli submitted to the idiotic notion of a gun free zone, the death count would no doubt have been higher.
If you want to look over the Center’s Code of Conduct you can do it here: Clackamas Town Center Code of Conduct. It’s pretty short and near the end it says “No firearms or illegal weapon.”
The funniest part is what comes after:
Guests who do not act responsibly may be asked to leave. If they refuse to leave the property, they may be arrested and prosecuted for criminal trespass.
No, if some mass murdering nutjob refuses to leave based on the prohibition they ignored in the first place they will shoot up the place and kill as many unarmed people as they can while you call 911 and wait for the police. Criminal trespass…ha…the Center should be on their knees praising Nick Meli, not promoting the silly notion that a gun free zone sign would stop Jacob Roberts.
Here’s another little bit of food for thought. Look at these locations, even if some are in gun free zones they are in states that embrace gun rights. Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Virginia; even Oregon has that libertarian gun rights streak. These are states where people have a gun close at hand and thus have the ability to stop tragedies before they happen.
Yet the national media will focus on the failures in states where gun control is oppressive and gun ownership is limited.
Light must be shined on the heroes in the cases where tragedy was averted or at least limited thanks to the law abiding gun owner.
Speaking of states with a culture of gun rights and ownership, I can only wonder if the Aurora movie theatre in Colorado weren’t a gun free zone if the incident would have been in the second group of tragedies averted instead of the first group of successful mass murders.