On Yesterday’s Tragedy in Manchester…

I’ve been debating as to whether I/we should post on this, as it really isn’t what we’ve focused our blog upon, and came to the conclusion that there were things that I want to say.

First, and most importantly, my heartfelt condolences go out the the family, friends, and co-workers of the victims of this terrible crime. It was utterly senseless, and a horrifying reality of our times that this occasionally happens. There was nothing that these people did that could justify this monster’s actions.

I’ve read some of the news stories, and the opinions on some of the blogs I follow. I don’t believe this was about racism. I think that he was obviously disturbed, and at the end of his rope. He was also allegedly a thief. Whatever occurred, it wasn’t that cut-and-dried.

Allegedly, he felt that he was the victim of racial harassment, and neither his union nor the company did anything to stop it.  The union claims they have no record of a complaint. Even if they did nothing, it doesn’t justify a killing spree. Clearly he had more problems than getting picked on at work. Apparently, he was called in to be fired for stealing beer.

The news articles give a better picture of what occurred than I can:

Midway in his spree, he called his family

“He said, ‘I killed the five racists that was there bothering me,’” said Will Holliday, Thornton’s uncle. “He said, ‘That’s it. The cops are going to come in so I’m going to take care of it myself.

I believe, based upon past events, that if at least one other person had been carrying a weapon in Hartford Distributors, then this tragedy might have ended much sooner.

NY Daily News:  Truck driver Omar Thornton kills 8 in Connecticut, rants about racism to mom before taking own life – there was an important point made here – the shooting started at 7:30 AM. SWAT Teams made entry at around 9:00 AM:

Thornton shot himself in an office area after SWAT teams entered the building and closed in about 9 a.m., Manchester Police Chief Mark Montminy said.

Last year, in an email conversation with a more liberal-minded friend (who was appalled at the movement to allow concealed carry on college campuses), I wrote the following:

Here’s some observations about spree killers – which while they get tons of press, are so incredibly rare as to be a small worry.

  1. Spree killers pick soft targets – they go for schools, offices, universities, etc. i.e., anywhere that it is prohibited for a private citizen to legally carry a weapon.
  2. Police doctrine prevents them from making an immediate entry – they “secure the perimeter” and wait for backup. It’s been shown that it would be better for the first responders to immediately enter and seek to confront the gunman. See #3 for why.
  3. Spree killers continue until they meet resistance, then they generally (yes, qualified) kill themselves or are overwhelmed. This means that active resistance from within would likely cut the mayhem short. This has been proven in a couple of instances – one notable example was a couple of years ago at a church in Colorado – spree killer was stopped by a volunteer security guard – a woman who killed the gunman after he’d murdered two parishioners in the parking lot, and was entering the church to continue his rampage. When confronted, the situation was stopped.

This is not to say that the outcome is always positive, or that there are never victims, or that innocent bystanders are not caught in the crossfire. What it does mean is that anyone’s chances are better for survival if there is someone armed to confront the killer. Otherwise, you have a situation like Virginia Tech, where the bastard lined up students, and executed them as they stood passively. I would rather die fighting than shot facing a wall.
In any event, it isn’t a blanket permission to hand out guns at the school door. If someone is legally licensed to carry, it’s all good.

Why are you more comfortable with someone defending their home or car, but not defending innocent bystanders? It’s usually pretty obvious who the bad person is. He’s the guy shooting people running away.

My thoughts on the matter haven’t changed. My company doesn’t allow weapons in the workplace either, and while I follow the rules, and have no worry about my co-workers, I don’t like it.

I have a weapon because the bad guys always will – it would be a great relief if more employers recognized this.

Further reading:

Fox News: Conn. Warehouse Killer Was ‘Cold as Ice’ Before Shooting Spree

CNN: Gunman ‘cold as ice’ before killing 8 in workplace shooting spree

UPDATE 08/05:

This article tells a slightly different story. According to this article, the police entered the building within ten minutes, and found the shooter dead within forty five minutes of the start. This doesn’t effectively change my view, as forty five minutes is an eternity when you’re faced with someone randomly gunning people down.

Share and Enjoy:
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • email
  • RSS

Related posts:

Comments are closed.