The American Militia

Defender at home, in public and at worship

We were about to dive into a discussion of the term “Regulated” as used in the Second Amendment, but suddenly events have occurred which demand attention to other matters.

In early December (2007) there were several multiple victim attacks in the heartland of America. First in Omaha Nebraska and then in the Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado area.

In that first incident, a very troubled youth decided to end his agony in a blaze of glory and secure his “15 minutes of fame” in the media. He entered the Westroads mall in Omaha and began firing on the patrons. Many were killed or wounded and then he killed himself. His story, even his name, is not important. What is important are the comments by an eye witness and Law enforcement officers on the scene. This first account, attributed to an eye witness first responder, sounding like a law officer, sums it up best. This is from an on-line blog posting at Joe’s Crabby Shack. The spelling has been corrected and it’s condensed for length.

The link is:

“Out first responders were on call in 6 min. the shooting was done in approx 1 minute.

The first responders were irrelevant as you said but not because they didn't run to the sounds of the gunfire and put themselves in harms way. We had good men on scene in 6 min. That brings up another issue about our sub par 911 system not getting the call out to us until 2 minutes after the first person called in. IT WAS OVER.

I thoroughly believe in the unregulated Militia, they should have handled this problem but we live among Sheep as you know. ... We need to have citizens armed and ready to address these types of attacks.

I must respectfully disagree with you in saying that first responders are irrelevant. They weren't in this incident and won't be in future incidents of this type but the person at ground zero at the time of the shooting needs to be armed and ready to step up.”

The important point here, as stressed in an earlier American Militia chapter, is that You are the first person on the scene when you come under attack, you must be ready to react. That is the Militia mind set, training and ability.

Now lets see what happens when someone is on the scene, is knowledgeable and trained in self defense, but is NOT EQUIPPED to react at the time. Again what follows are some eye witness comments, edited for length, filed at Joe’s Crabby Shack with the full post at the link;

At this point I don't have a time line, but the events unfolded follows: I heard gunshots, about 8. I knew exactly what they were, but my brain didn't want me to believe it.

I looked towards the escalators because it sounded like they came from there. I could not place the direction the shots came from because I was surrounded by 4 walls and standing nearly in a corner.

I stood there for maybe 8 seconds (time enough to change a magazine), then I heard several more shots. Somehow, then I focused in on the shooter. He was towards the south wall, in the east corner, maybe 30 degrees to my left. He was about 30 yards away. He was shooting towards the west and I had a nice side view of him.

The narrative continues;

The way he was walking and shooting, calmly, no yelling, made me think that there was more than one shooter and they were performing a "clean sweep". He was aiming down the barrel of the gun, and shooting rapidly.

At this point, I stared for nearly 5 seconds, until I turned and ducked down and started running. I want to make note of this point in time, as I will come back to it.

And then, continuing about this earlier point in time;

Now back to the point I referenced earlier.

Honestly, and as God as my witness, when I saw him shooting and as watched for a few seconds trying to figure out what he was going to do and what I should do, the thought that when through my mind was, “If I had a gun, I have a perfect shot.”

Yes, a perfect shot. I had a full side profile, I was close, and no one was visible behind him except a wall. I had a clear shot during the second round of fire. I told this to every cop I came in contact with. The interviewer agreed. (After incident police interviewer)

When I realized that I had no gun, fear instantly struck me, along with anger, and severe panic. I ran hard.

In summing up, he says;

I do not have a Concealed Handgun Permit. I have completed the training class, but I keep putting off applying for the permit because I think it is useless. In the places I would need a gun most, I am not allowed to have it. I will not be a person living in fear and not go to Van Maur because they don’t allow guns.

My point that Open Carry needs to be easier in Omaha, and places like Westroads need to take down their “no guns” signs.

So, we have an eye witness who was within a few yards of an active shooter when things started popping. He has had training and reports that he could have reacted actively EXCEPT that he was un-armed. He was unarmed because of several reasons, some with direct impact and some only collaterally related. First and directly, though he had contemplated obtaining a CCW permit, he had reservations about being “permitted” to exercise his right to self defense. It appears that the lack of a CCW permit, although he does not believe he should be “permitted” to defend himself, still kept him from carrying a firearm.

At this point I must interject a comment about an individual defending himself as compared to coming to the defense of others. In the world of CCW and self defense rules, it is clear that an individual can, as in almost every jurisdiction and instance, use deadly force to stop an attack on himself. Coming to the defense of others and protecting property have a less clear and less universal application. Such actions clearly are dependent on state regulations and vary over a wide range from state to state. Should someone take immediate action against an active shooter in a public multiple victim attack? Personally I would and so would the American Militia, that’s what it is all about.

There was also a collateral restriction on him arming himself for defense at this mall. The mall is posted with a sign prohibiting weapons. Again, from Joe’s Crabby Shack at the site address;

. . . there is the following message.

JOE'S UPDATE: Some dispute about Westroads being posted "no guns." No dispute, there is a big sign inside every mall entrance that says "MALL RULES" and item 3-4 is "no weapons" which is enough under state law to qualify. (As a proper prohibiting sign) I have seen the sign. I will stop in and take a pic whenever the mall reopens.

He could not get into the mall immediately after the shooting, but went to a sister mall and photographed their mall rules sign which clearly had a “no weapons” clause. On Saturday Joe visited Westroads mall when it reopened and found; All The Signs were GONE! Photographs of the bare walls where the signs once were posted were provided on the above links and the comments are below.

Well, Freedom Fiends, I just got back from Westroads and guess what I didn't find? The rules of conduct signs were gone, leaving only marred paint and screw holes behind.

This is the main entry by at the food court. (photo) Notice the two blue dots? Those are plastic anchors where the sign used to be. This (photo) is over by Dick's and JC Penney. Notice the marred paint in the shape of a sign?

The signs at the Friday's and Panera entrances were also missing, leaving marred paint behind. Security was thicker, so no pics.

I did ask one nice security guard about the sign by Panera. His response was interesting... "Yeah, there was a rules of conduct sign there, but they took it down. Not sure why, but they just took it down."

To summarize this incident, a trained and willing BUT unarmed person was forced to abandon the scene of a multiple victim shooting.

Moving forward just a few days a second incident occurred in Colorado. In this case another young man with deep troubles chose to attack churches. In the first incident near Denver he shot and killed or wounded several people and then fled the scene. Hours later, near Colorado Springs he approached a second large church and began firing in the parking lot striking three victims resulting in one injured and two dead. Upon entering the church he encountered more people, but the story quickly changed.

The shooter eventually encountered four individuals inside the church; here is a summary. One man heard the shots outside and responded, though not armed, by moving toward the entrance. He saw two other men serving as security guards with firearms drawn and leveled at a third man, the shooter. The guards were not shooting at the attacker and the responder called out that he was military, give my your gun, I’ll stop the attacker. Instead, one of the two frozen guards ordered him to “get behind me”. Instead he shouted at the attacker to draw his attention away from the crowds in the church. It worked, a bit too good, the attacker turned and fired at him through a decorative pillar and wounded him. As this was transpiring another armed security guard was waiting for the shooter to move into range and position from which to engage him, which she did. Leaving concealment she identified herself, ordered him to surrender and when the shooter fired at her and missed, she returned fire killing the shooter.

I will let you read the details in this CNN report below as posted, again, at Joe’s Crabby Shack

Update on Colorado Springs shooting – Slap me twice and call me Charlie....

CNN, of all organizations, actually explains that the woman with a concealed handgun was not a cop, nor a security guard. Instead, she was a volunteer from the churchgoers who had a CCW and her own personal firearms.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) -- A Colorado Springs megachurch instituted security precautions after a shooting at a Denver area mission center earlier Sunday, saving "hundreds of lives" at the New Life Church, senior Pastor Brady Boyd said Monday.

A New Life parishioner acting as a security guard shot and killed a gunman who entered the church Sunday afternoon after he had gotten no more than 50 feet inside the building, Boyd said.

A source knowledgeable with events at the church identified the gunman as Matthew Murray, 23. Two teens, identified by police as Rachael Works, 16, and Stephanie Works, 18, were killed in what Boyd called "a senseless, random attack."

Boyd said the teens were sisters and were shot in the parking lot. Police said their father David Works, 51, was also shot and is hospitalized in fair condition with two gunshot wounds.

Boyd said the female security guard was a hero in preventing further bloodshed, rushing to confront the gunman just inside the church. " She probably saved over a hundred lives," Boyd said of the guard, whom he said is not a law enforcement officer and used her personal weapon.

Good thing it wasn't Nebraska... Even if the church officials were this progressive and forward thinking enough, STATE LAW SAYS THEY CAN'T DO IT!!!!!!

NOTE; The “security guards” are individual citizen members of the church who are employing their own firearms. They have volunteered, been screened and trained and form the security pool for the church. They ARE the American Militia.

I was not there and the details are not known so I can not explain the inaction of the first two defenders. Perhaps everyone was jockeying for position and the appearance of the original responder as described above, shouting at the intruder, opened the opportunity for effective return fire. He may have been a crucial part of the overall scenario, the unknowing bait that got the bad guy into position. The action by the third guard, Jeanne Assam, then stopped the attack. Subsequent messages from the church indicate that the “security guards” are in fact church member volunteers using their own firearms. They are not off duty law enforcement officers or hired security.

Oh yes, reports also hint that our hero Jeanne was armed with two handguns, perhaps her carry gun and a backup. In a live news conference she made a point of responding to a question that she was NOT married but hopeful. Humor in the face of conflict? Is that the face of the American Militia too?

Yes, there is a message here; It is “Do Something”!

If you are a part of the American Militia, and defense is needed, do something. Even if you can only direct others, throw a chair or push a cloths rack or just shout to distract a shooter, it may open the way for others to apply more and more effective direct action.

Now it is time for you to act. Remember and learn from these incidents. Tell your friends and neighbors and have them tell your representatives to remove laws which inhibit individual defense. A militia is not much good when it is cowed into not acting; but then perhaps that is the idea of our leaders.

The American Militia will not stand for it.

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