Jason Hayes
Balancing ecological, economic, and political realities to promote progress and liberty.


Sometimes you have to fight back

What happens when a mass murderer (or a would be mass murderer) meets armed resistance? Classically Liberal gives a good description of the outcome and provides other examples here as well.

In each of these cases a killer is stopped the moment he faces armed resistance. It is clear that in three of these cases the shooter intended to continue his killing spree. In the fourth case, Andrew Wurst, it is not immediately apparent whether he intended to keep shooting or not since he was apprehended by the restaurant owner leaving the scene.

Three of these cases involved armed resistance by students, faculty or civilians. In one case the armed resistance was from an off-duty police officer in a city where he had no legal authority and where he was carrying his weapon in violation of the mall’s gun free policy.

What would have happened if these people waited for the police? In three cases the shooters were apprehended before the police arrived because of armed civilians. At Trolley Square the shooter was kept busy by Hammond until the police arrived. In all four cases the local police were the Johnny-come-latelys.

Not surprisingly, this is true of other cases as well. I’ll include a description of one that does not involve a human attacker for four reasons. First, I lived in the area. Second, I had spent time at the location in the story. Third, further deaths were stopped by an armed civilian. Fourth, a friend from my town (Ray Kitchen) was killed in the incident.

There is a short Boston Globe article describing the bear attack at the Liard Hot Springs in north eastern British Columbia that saw three people killed and two others mauled by a black bear.

LIARD RIVER, British Columbia – A mother from Texas was mauled to death by a black bear in a remote park in British Columbia as her two children watched helplessly.

A man who tried to save Patti McConnell, 37, of Paris, Texas, also was killed by the bear. McConnell’s 13-year-old son and a college student were mauled by the animal as well but survived.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Raymond Kitchen, 56, of Fort Nelson, B.C., was killed while trying to save McConnell. Kitchen is believed to have been an experienced hunter who was familiar with the habits of bears.

Hikers who witnessed the attack Thursday night at Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park threw rocks and sticks to try to distract the bear without avail.

Authorities said McConnell had been walking through the brush between hot springs with her son, Kelly, and daughter, Kristen, 7, when the attack occurred.

The bear was shot and killed by a tourist who rushed to get a weapon.

What is not described in this article is that the tourist had to run back along wooden pathways to his car (if I remember correctly about 3/4 of a mile), open his trunk, grab the firearm, and then run back to the scene of the attack before he could shoot the bear. Also not discussed in the article is the fact that what this tourist did was, in fact, illegal.* The article also does not say that there were rumors floating around that the person who shot the bear and likely saved many other lives that day would be charged for possession/discharge of a firearm in a provincial park.

Lastly, the article does not describe the fact that even if a Park Ranger had been in the area, they would have had to do the same thing as this fellow did. I worked as a BC Park Ranger for two seasons and spent many days and evenings in the backcountry. During our initial training, we were given a 1-2 hour training session on firearms, allowed to fire a shotgun once or twice and then … never saw the firearm again. We were given bear mace and nothing else to deal with bears in the backcountry.

In each of the examples listed in the Classically Liberal posting and in the Liard Hotsprings example, the attacker showed no signs of relenting and their attacks would have likely gone on. Many more could (would?) have been killed if they were not forcibly stopped. The take home lesson is that when a person, familiar with the use of firearms, is in a position to defend against a violent attacker (whether human or non-human) the potential for loss of life is greatly reduced.

(The possession and/or discharge of a firearm in Liard Hotsprings Prov. Park — or other BC Class A provincial parks — is illegal unless specifically allowed in the approved management plan (see page 11 “Wlidlife” – see also Sec 29 c3i of the Parks Act and Sec 28 for what happens if you contravene the act or associated regulations.)