Lessons from Newtown and Clackamas: Zero-dispatch response

Closing the looney bins was a bad idea.

Closing the looney bins was a bad idea. Seemed progressive at the time, but it’s time to reverse this nightmare decision.

The first lesson is going to be stated without much explanation, because you’ve all seen it:

I – The media’s performance

The so-called mainstream media, most especially the television networks that drive coverage in the print media, have no decency, no class, no morals and no shame. They are vile, which is an anagram of “evil,” which they also are. May they come to know the sorrows of Hell, and may a benevolent Lord clear all obstacles and expedite their path there. Amen.

The second point will take a bit more elaboration, and has a bit more to do with our preferred subject here:

II– What stops mass shooting murders

Many — particularly the talking heads of the same gutter media — have said the problem is that free men can access guns. Others have said the problem is that dangerous psychotics like the shooter are free men — law professor Ann Althouse cited this article by historian Clayton Cramer, whom we have mentioned frequently in the past, which long predates this shooting, but describes it rather well. While we certainly need a better national policy on dangerous lunatics, and that means both millions for research and involuntary commitment for life for dangerous lunatics, that wasn’t the only lesson.

This blog would point out that what stops these guys is the same thing every time — armed resistance or the prospect of the same. While most of the mainstream reporting on Newtown is opinion, speculation and fabrication (in short, “crap”), they do seem to agree that the shooter, whose desire for fame and immortality we shall not gratify by using his name, shot himself when armed police arrived.

TV liveshots showed swarming rifle-armed tactical teams, long-rifle-toting snipers, and pathetic Lenco Bearcat tankettes arriving to late to do the dozens of murder victims any good at all, but soon enough, one supposes, to keep the body count from being higher. One can’t fault the police response, based on these initial reports. They got right there and they went right in, and for them to have saved the victims would have required them to bend space and time. A cop can’t be on the scene sooner than dispatch can call him, and dispatch can’t call him until (1) someone calls dispatch and (2) the dispatchers, who tend to be ill-educated, low-skill employees, figure out what to do and call the cop with the word. This takes only minutes, but it’s why when seconds count, the police are, at best, minutes away.

The recent shooting at the Clackamas, Oregon mall had a similar ending — a nut case , with a stolen gun, who should have been involuntarily committed years ago shooting himself when he encountered an armed response. In this case, it was a civilian carrying a gun, and his action – early intervention by a licensed carrier — kept the Clackamas body count down.  This has been little reported by the gutter media.

It is reported, here, on a gun blog:

More armed sane people = zero-dispatch response to armed loonies.

More armed sane people = zero-dispatch response to armed loonies = lower casualty counts. This is a good idea.

That’s when the girls realized Nick had not gone to cover with them and was still faced with the gunman… and that Ashley’s boyfriend was somewhere in the mall as well – in his meeting. All the while, young Noah is crying. Knowing the gunman was still outside and not wanting to be found, Ashley started feeding Noah to keep him calm and keep him from making any noise.

Knowing the girls were more secure, Nick was now alone and the gunman was still approaching. Like most malls, Clackamas Town Center’s second floor has walkways by the storefronts with an open middle area so that light gets through to the bottom floor. The gunman was across that opening from Nick and continued to approach. Nick noted that the gunman seemed unfamiliar with the rifle we now know was stolen. Instead of clearing a malfunction cleanly, the gunman was slapping the gun and pulling the charging handle with seemingly no plan in mind.

As the gunman came closer, he turned to cross a walkway bridging the open space and connecting the two sides of the mall so he could continue his rampage inside the large Macy’s Home Store on the other side – right where Nick was standing. Nick lined put his front site on the man’s head and put his finger on the trigger. Nick has extensive firearms experience with both rifles and handguns, at the range of approximately 15-20 yards, this was a shot he knew he could make, and then… movement from behind the shooter, inside of Charlotte Russe.

As all firearms owners know, Colonel Jeff Coopers Rule #4 is to know your target and what is behind it. Now Nick knew for sure that, while he had a good target, what was behind it were innocent people who were terrified. He removed his finger from the trigger while keeping the gun on the gunman.

Then a dangerous confrontation got worse. Nick heard the distinctive sound of a malfunction being cleared in the rifle and saw the gunman reach for another magazine. As the gunman was inserting the fresh magazine, Nick quickly backed into the Macy’s Home Store and took cover while keeping his eyes on the gunman. Despite being outgunned, Nick stayed in cover but visible to the gunman.

Knowing he had an armed person in the mall and that this was no longer his gun-free zone, the gunman avoided the Macy’s Home Store and ended his rampage by fleeing to a service corridor and into the stairwell to the lower level. He then took his life, unbeknownst to everyone in the mall. “It seemed like forever but we actually heard the last shot the shooter put into himself,” said Ashley. That single ominous shot after the deafening silence that covered the mall during the gunman’s malfunction was replaced by Nick’s familiar voice shouting, “It’s me! It’s me!” right before he opened the door.

By all means, Read The Whole Thing™.

Ironically, Nick Mell, the unsung hero of Clackamas, may be in trouble. Although he ended the gunman’s 4-minute rampage by facing him down, he violated mall policy and Oregon law by carrying a weapon into a “gun-free zone.” It’s extremely likely that the Clackamas shooter, (who also should not be named and lionized as ABC/CBS/CNN/FOX/NBC seem inclined to do), selected the mall for that reason. (The Aurora, Colorado, shooter drove past five nearer, larger theaters that were not so posted, to find one that was. Why do you think he did that?)

It’s also extremely likely that the Clackamas nutcase would have killed more than the two people he did, had he not encountered armed resistance. In both Oregon and Connecticut, the initial encounter with armed resistance led the lunatics to kill themselves, before even being engaged. (In Colorado, the initial encounter with armed police brought about a meek surrender).

Nick Mell, a license holder on the scene, did not have to fire a single shot to stop a massacre. The Newtown PD, which had to dispatch, assemble, arrive and assault, didn’t have to fire, either. The difference in the casualty count, 2 versus 27, is the measure of zero-dispatch response versus rapid response.

Armed citizens give you zero-dispatch response.

Finally, rewind back to the moment in the excerpt above where Nick Mell is face to face with the armed villain.

Nick has extensive firearms experience with both rifles and handguns, at the range of approximately 15-20 yards, this was a shot he knew he could make, and then… movement from behind the shooter, inside of Charlotte Russe… Now Nick knew for sure that, while he had a good target, what was behind it were innocent people who were terrified. He removed his finger from the trigger while keeping the gun on the gunman.

Once again, Read The Whole Thing™.

What percentage of cops would have fired in those circumstances, and tough toenails for the civilians behind? Remembering the NYPD shooting that bagged one murderer and nine bystanders, we leave it as an exercise for the reader.

One thought on “Lessons from Newtown and Clackamas: Zero-dispatch response

  1. Chuck

    It took days before I saw this follow up on the Clackamus story. I have since posted it on my FB page to spread the word.

    I would give the media the benefit of the doubt and say the Newtown story overshadowed the Clackamus story and that’s why we haven’t heard a peep about this anywhere, even the supposedly conservative (but now apparently anti-gun) Fox News Channel. But I know better.

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