- Posted January 11, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Gun control debate: Background checks
We Were Not Soldiers
November 20, 2005:
"The Tacoma Mall shooting was an attempted mass murder that occurred on November 20, 2005 at the Tacoma Mall in Tacoma, Washington.
The gunman, Dominick Maldonado, entered the mall with a semi-automatic Norinco MAK-90 rifle and a pistol, injuring six.
During the course of the shooting, Dan McKown, a legally armed citizen, tried to intervene.
McKown drew his 9mm CZ pistol and verbally commanded Maldonado to put down his gun. Maldonado's response was to fire on McKown, striking him once in the leg and four times in the torso, damaging McKown's spine and leaving him paralyzed.
In addition to McKown, five other people were shot but not seriously injured, and a seventh person received a non-gunshot injury. At least one other person in the mall at the time also pulled a gun on Maldonado but did not fire for fear of hitting innocent bystanders.
Maldonado then took four people hostage in a Sam Goody store, including two employees, a customer, and a 12-year-old boy whom he only briefly held captive before releasing.
The attack began shortly after noon, and the hostage situation lasted until four p.m. when Maldonado surrendered to a Tacoma police SWAT team without further incident."
I knew Dan, though I haven’t seen him for quite some time.
The idea that the more armed civilians we have running around will be the best defense against attacks such as these is probably one of the worst arguments being made regarding this topic.
Typically what happens is, as in the case of Dan, you can have all the confidence in the world about your skill with a firearm, but when faced with actually using it on another human being most people have trouble actually bringing themself to kill another person.
I believe it is human nature to be averse to killing another person. Call it instinct, empathy, the human condition or whatever else makes the most sense to you.
The people most trained to disregard this instinct are soldiers and police officers. They have years of experience and recurring training that is, for better or worse, supposed to allow them to deal with this particular stress of their job.
Even then, cops, with all their training still end up having trouble pulling the trigger and when they do, the psychological trauma of killing another human is sometimes too much.
And soldiers, with all of the desensitizing training they go through to reduce the reluctance to kill during battle still face the general psychological trauma that comes with taking another life, among the multitude of other traumatizing experiences that come with war.
Anybody who says they could easily shoot and kill another person, regardless of the reason for doing so, I would consider a borderline sociopath. Nobody should ever be so cavalier about taking a life.
The only other scenario I can really think of that would lead somebody to take another life, is that of somebody who has been tormented so much for so long that they feel there is no other option left.
To kill another human, to me, is the epitome of doing something completely against every natural fiber of a person's being.
Yet we have people actually insisting that we need to just let teachers and principals carry guns in schools? People who don't have, and wouldn't have, the same opportunity to receive the same type of training like cops and soldiers receive.
And these same people insist that teachers and principals would be perfectly fine in the event they ever had to confront a shooter just because those people believe that they themselves would be able to, so of course that means everybody else would too.
The report of this shooting also says that another armed civilian drew his weapon and thought of trying to stop the shooter, but was afraid of hitting bystanders.
And that's at a mall...with lots of space...and mostly adults walking around.
Imagine how afraid you'd be of hitting bystanders at a school!
I support the 2nd Amendment; I do not support the NRA.
But the 2nd Amendment also needs to be updated and brought into the 21st century to address many of the myths and fallacies surrounding this topic that are created and propagandized by pro-gun people and lobbies.
Simply arming everybody is not and cannot be the answer. As far as I'm concerned, anybody who thinks this way is not protecting rights of gun owners or standing up for the principles of the Constitution....they are merely paranoid people who for some reason believe that anarchy and a wild-west environment are the only viable and rational solutions!
I refuse to allow the fear and paranoia of some to continue monopolizing this conversation. The time for talking about this was decades ago, but thanks to the NRA and others the conversation is still waiting to be had.
We already know what needs to be done. Now is not the time for talking, now is the time for action.
There is generally a good reason that the majority of us are civilians….and why we were not soldiers!