She was forced by policy to work in a so-called “gun free zone.” As a utilities engineer for the City of Virginia Beach, she was forbidden to bring a gun into the building where she worked…as was her murderer. And I am quite confident that the managers of that organization told her (and the other 11 victims of the May 31st shooting there) that the reason for the policy was “safety.”
If Katherine Nixon had argued this policy with them, they would have lied to her. They would have told her that allowing employees to bring guns to work was not safe. They would have told her that in the event of a workplace shooting, her having a gun would only make things worse. Worse than what?
This is the lie that managers tell employees (and themselves) every day in this country. Despite readily available data to the contrary, they continue to insist that denying citizens the most effective and easy-to-use self-defense tool available somehow makes them safer. Don’t you believe them.
The only ones made safer by policies like these are the managers and the organizations which employ them. As I have written before, these policies are meant to protect the organization from liability, rather than the lives of the human beings who work there. Organizations don’t see employees like Katherine Nixon as real people, with real lives…precious lives worth defending. They are “resources,” and resources can be replaced. You are the “R” in your company’s “HR” department, after all.
Jason Nixon has retained an attorney, hoping to force some answers and accountability from the city. My cynical side fears he will have little success, however, as the court system has been extremely reluctant to assign any liability to organizations which enact no-gun policies…even while they fail to protect the lives of the people who work there.
Very few states have any sort of law on the books assigning liability to organizations which disarm their people, or even grant immunity to organizations which allow the choice to go legally armed on their premises. This needs to change.
But I do hope that Jason Nixon’s revelation of Katherine’s fears in her final hours might inspire some change in the way the legal system and our lawmakers look at “gun free zones,” and start shifting the calculus of risk-averse managers.
No one should die defenseless…for their own safety.
The thing is, this is precisely why an on-site armed response capability is necessary every day. Do you think that if Columbine, or Virginia Tech, or Sandy Hook had actually expected that a shooting was imminent, they’d have been open that day? I’ll guarantee that if you asked any organization which had actually experienced a mass shooting if they expected it to happen that day, every single one of them would answer “no.” If they had honestly expected something like that to happen, or even think there was a truly credible threat, they would do just what Colorado did and close the doors for the day and send everyone home. (And for the record, I find no fault in that decision. I’d do the same thing if I really thought trouble was coming.)
“So what’s your point, Dave?”
My point is that every single mass shooting at a school or business happened when it was not expected, and if one happens at your school, church, or business it will also be unexpected. Just like every other victim of a mass shooting, you will not have advance warning.
If and when that day comes, the time for avoidance and for preparation is over…you will be forced to react, right then and there. The opportunity to avoid bloodshed will have passed, and the only option remaining is whether it will be a shootout, or a massacre…and guess what? You have to make that choice in advance. Choose well.
Note: Due to excessive spamming, comments are disabled for the time being.
Today, as I watched live news coverage of a multiple shooting at a business local to me, one theme kept resurfacing. News anchors, reporters, and witnesses repeatedly emphasized that prior to the eruption of violence, today seemed “just like any other day.”
Of course it did. This isn’t the movies, you know. There isn’t going to be some ominous background music to warn you that something bad is getting ready to happen. Everyone thought it was just another Thursday…and it was.
There is still very little information on this incident so far, so I’ll refrain from extensive commentary right now. However, it is already evident that it was quite lucky that the attack occurred in a downtown area which typically has a heavy law enforcement presence. Most other locations in this area would not have the benefit of such rapid police response and resolution.
But remember this: Tomorrow, you will get up and go about your business…just like any other day. Are you prepared?
“It is with great sadness that I stand here today to share with you that we experienced an unthinkable tragedy at our high school this morning.”
– Dr. Leigh Wall, Santa Fe ISD
To be fair, it is entirely possible that Dr. Wall did not mean “unthinkable” in the literal sense. Still, I think it is worth addressing the use of that word when it comes to mass murder in a school…or any other act of violence, for that matter. While violent crime is thankfully unfamiliar to the vast majority of America (386.3 offenses for every 100,000 people) , no one with access to a television, a radio, a computer, or smartphone should be in denial of the possibility.
Anyone who steps out their door in the morning truly believing “it can’t happen here” is a fool. Furthermore, if you are in some sort of position which entrusts you with responsibility for the lives of others and you still believe “it can’t happen here,” you are both negligent and morally bankrupt.
Although there were armed officers present today, and by all accounts they performed admirably, no law-abiding adult should be denied the right to defend themselves immediately from violence…right now. While prevention is certainly preferable, I know of no one who has a realistic proposal to guarantee that such violence can be prevented without fail. And once the killing begins, prevention is no longer an option. History has proven again and again that the longer it takes for an armed defender to arrive at the scene, the more people die.
If you are a leader…in a school system, a business, or any other organization…and you sit safe in your office while those in your charge are left vulnerable, you are wrong. It is one thing to opt for defenselessness for yourself, but to force others to be so is wrong. “Gun-free zones” are wrong. “Gun-free zones” kill.
Unthinkable, my ass. You had better think about it.
Gun control is as old as gun powder itself. There has always been one side in favor of controlling who can get a gun. Gun control is great for politicians and the media because it is easy to sell. It’s about money. It’s good for corporations and celebrities in need of tax write offs. Its good for politicians because you can’t offend a mechanical device. It’s good for organizations because you can look like you are doing something socially correct. It is good for preacher, and clergy because it sounds like you are socially conscious and aware but not. Gun control is a billion-dollar industry. It sells guns.
In the inner city they get the mothers of slain teens to put their tears on display. Politicians and organizations pimp these grieving women. Imagine your mother being manipulated and used in the worse time of their lives. Some of these ladies lost their children early on to the streets. Their sons were in gangs or the drug trade and their death although tragic was not a surprise.
This month we have the affluent kids of Parkland Florida gladly being exploited and pushed into the spotlight for the cause of gun control. I suspect they are loving it, many being flown around and funded by millionaires to be on the spotlight. Using their naiveté, voices and socialist tendencies they are being paraded and funded around the country to champion the cause of gun control. They are surprised however that no one takes them serious. They have no idea that every gun control measure that can be instituted has already been tried, implemented, legislated or proposed before.
Gun control is a fail. It was birthed in racism. You cannot legislate human behavior. Evil exist when good people do nothing. Evil is real.
The heart of man is desperately wicked.
I started my journey as the Black Man With A Gun right around the time that it looked like the world was going insane. Mass shootings are not new.
WE have lost many people to evil.
October 1991: Gunman crashes pickup into a Texas cafe, then begins shooting; murders 23 people before committing suicide.
November 1991: Gunman murders four University of Iowa faculty members and a student before committing suicide.
In 1991, Republican hero Ronald Reagan wrote a New York Times op-ed making the case for the Brady bill, which was named after Reagan’s press secretary, who was shot during an assassination attempt. The law established federal background checks for firearm purchases and created a five-day waiting period to give law enforcement time to run these checks. (The waiting period was eventually replaced by an instant background check system, which can be extended to three days if the results of the check aren’t immediately clear.)
Provisions of the 1994 ban. The Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Act (the Federal Assault Weapons Ban) was enacted as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. … The Act prohibited the manufacture, transfer, or possession of “semiautomatic assault weapons” as defined by the Act.
In 1996. There was port Arthur in Australia that changed things there
IN 1998, Massachusetts passed what was hailed as the toughest gun-control legislation in the country. Among other stringencies, it banned semiautomatic “assault” weapons, imposed strict new licensing rules, prohibited anyone convicted of a violent crime or drug trafficking from ever carrying or owning a gun, and enacted severe penalties for storing guns unlocked.
But the law that was so tough on law-abiding gun owners had quite a different impact on criminals.
Since 1998, gun crime in Massachusetts has gotten worse, not better. In 2011, Massachusetts recorded 122 murders committed with firearms, the Globe reported this month — “a striking increase from the 65 in 1998.” Other crimes rose too. Between 1998 and 2011, robbery with firearms climbed 20.7 percent. Aggravated assaults jumped 26.7 percent.
As a mountain state, Colorado has a history of broad support for Second Amendment rights. But in the years since the Columbine tragedy, the state’s lawmakers and voters passed some gun restrictions, including requirements governing the sale of firearms at gun shows, a law regulating people’s ability to carry concealed weapons and legislation banning “straw purchases” of weapons for people who would not qualify to buy them legitimately.
April 1999: Two Columbine High School students murders 12 students, one teacher and themselves in Colorado.
January 2006: Ex-postal worker murders eight before committing suicide in California in rare case of female shooter.
October 2006: Gunman murders five girls in Pennsylvania Amish school before committing suicide.
April 2007: Virginia Tech student murders 32 people before committing suicide.
November 2009: U.S. Army psychiatrist murders 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas.
January 2011: Gunman murders six people and wounds U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona.
July 2012: Gunman murders 12 people during showing of a “Batman” movie in Colorado.
August 2012: Gunman murders six people at Sikh Temple in Wisconsin before committing suicide after being shot by police.
December 2012: Gunman murders 26 adults and children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut before killing himself.
September 2013: Gunman murders 12 people at a naval facility in Washington before dying in a gun battle with police
October 2014: Teenage gunman murders four teens, two of whom are his cousins, in Washington state high school before committing suicide
June 2015: Gunman murders nine people in South Carolina church before fleeing, is captured the following day. The gunman, Dylann Roof, was sentenced to death.
July 2015: Gunman murders five at U.S. Navy Reserve center in Tennessee before being shot and killed by police.
October 2015: Gunman murders nine at an Oregon community college before kills himself after a gun battle with police.
November 2015: Gunman murders three after storming a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic; he is arrested after an hours long standoff with police.
December 2015: Couple murders 14 people after storming California social services agency. They are killed in gun battle with police.
June 2016: Gunman murders 49 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Oct. 1, 2017: Gunman opens fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, murdering at least 58 people and wounding more than 500 others, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
2017 – October 5
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) introduced the Background Check Completion Act Sen. Feinstein said would close a current loophole in the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that allows gun sales to proceed if a background check is not completed after 72 hours, even if the gun buyer is not legally allowed to purchase a gun.
2-14- 2018 A former student who had been expelled for disciplinary problems was arrested Wednesday in a shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead and 16 wounded.
2018 – February 21
Just days after the February 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, President Trump ordered the Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to review bump fire stocks — devices that allow a semi-automatic rifle to be fired in fully-automatic mode.Trump had previously indicated that he might support a new federal regulation banning the sale of such devices.
“The President, when it comes to that, is committed to ensuring that those devices are — again, I’m not going to get ahead of the announcement, but I can tell you that the President doesn’t support use of those accessories,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a press conference.
On February 20, Sanders stated that the President would support “steps” to raise the current minimum age for buying military-style weapons, such as the AR-15—the weapon used in the Parkland shooting—from 18 to 21.
“I think that’s certainly something that’s on the table for us to discuss and that we expect to come up over the next couple of weeks,” Sanders said.