Michael and his colleagues made it quite apparent that the situation that occurred in the Florida school board meeting is a very real and very realizable for anyone. Unfortunately, as is discussed in the linked post, most states have felt the need to restrict "sensitive places" and carve out gun free niches in the purview of compelling interest. As illustrated this week, those gun free zones turn into "willing victim zones." Most of us in the gun blogging and pro-self defense community would agree that the best way to stop this attacker would have been to demand peaceful disarmament through compelling request (read good guy with a gun shouting for compliance) followed by superior firepower if the request was not honored. Unfortunately, that was a solution that could never manifest itself since the "rules" altered the game of the "gun fight."
Which leads to Michael's question posed: What do you we need to learn from this event? Unfortunately, the answers from the professionals leave a lot to be desired, simply because there is no clear cut answer. Every one of us can simply say the law needs to be changed. True. As the common sense world has shown, there is no such thing as a "gun free zone" when there is a bad guy with a gun meaning to cause good people harm. But what should the individual do to mitigate this problem? How should you or I prepare to deal with a potentially disastrous situation when we are forced to be unarmed?
I have noted before that, currently, I have the choice made for me on a statewide level since I am a Maryland resident. Permit Unobtainium is a serious problem where I reside. That said, several of us in the Maryland community have come across this theoretical question before. In Mr. Bane's post, I noted that several of the top tier trainers implied that they would consider disregarding the law and/or signs that create gun free zones. I can assume that the saying goes that it is better to be judged by twelve than carried by six. However, my libertarian mind works in mysterious ways; meaning, my rights stop at your door step. That applies to both "state" owned property and or private property and business that don't wish for you to be armed.
The biggest issue I take from some of the responses is this avocation for "bending" the rules. Considering there are varying degrees of punishment depending upon what state you are in, I don't know if I can agree with that assessment. My initial assessment of the Maryland Shooters thread with a "private gun free zone" was to ignore the sign, keep it concealed, and not get caught, thinking that the most that would happen would be a request to leave and or a potential trespass charge. In Virginia (where I carry the most) that would not be the case. Violation of a private property posting would result in the loss of the permit, and a potential weapons charge since a permit is no good where the permit is no good (sorry for the bad English). Further, as we learned this summer, that can compromise you when you end up the unwilling victim of bad police work and corporate policy.
Considering that there are a lot of issues that need to be worked out in a post-Heller/McDonald world, it is hard to completely agree with "bending the rules." If a permit violation were as cheap as a small civil fine and "don't do it again," I would completely agree with ignoring signs that create no gun zones. However, in states like Virginia, where the charge could be a high level misdemeanor that results in the loss of a permit as well as the potential to make me a prohibited person in the state of Maryland, the loss of the rights is my risk to the reward of remaining alive. Following the law should not allow someone to loose their life, but in the tyrant state, that's the rules as they have been carved out.
Currently, it is hard to feel completely unsafe in the United States. We are still extremely fortunate that crime has not degenerated into mass levels like seen in Mexico or even Argentina. That said, as the economy continues to degenerate, we will see the degenerates attempt to keep their money for nothing scheme alive. Desperate people will do desperate things, or as was illustrated in the Florida school board shooting, crazy people will do crazy things. Meaning? Be prepared!
Update: Fortunately, as I typed this, Michael Bane in his good ways, has an updated "what we've learned" post on how to deal with this type of threat. While the carry aspect of it does not fit in with the Maryland Permit Unobtainium, everything else in his latest post does. Some of his helpful tips are bulleted here in summary here:
- Always be aware of your surroundings! ALWAYS!
- Stay in a conditioned yellow (or moderate awareness) until you are certain you are in a safe environment. Don't look at people, but look at actions, emotions, and the "tell" of someone meant to do yourself, your family, or others harm.
- When a bad situation does present itself, don't just react for the sake of reacting, but be calculated in how you react. Non-action is the worst and almost always results in death or harm. Do something, even if that something is wrong.
- Every time you enter a new room, assess the situation. Where are exits? Where is cover? (Adding my own here) Where is the best place to stay out of the mass rush? People get trampled when panic sets in and flight takes hold. Evading a gunman only to be crushed by the sheep won't bring you home safely.
- Read the others on both posts for a complete understanding of what professionals would do if in this kind of a situation.