Clackamas -- the Oregon Massacre a Gun Stopped

President Obama’s politicization of the massacre in the gun-free zone that was Umpqua Community College in  Rosburg, Oregon shows how selective he is about which shootings he comments on to advance his gun control agenda and ignores the fact that in another Oregon town, Clackamas, an armed citizen cut short a similar mass killing.

In Obama’s Chicago, arguably the most gun-controlled city in America, if not the world, the carnage at Umpua Community College is considered an average weekend. A few days earlier, Lolita Wells of Chicago, mother of six and grandmother of six, was gunned down, along with her pregnant daughter Patricia Chew. Wells’ baby grandson was also wounded but survived. About this President Obama said nothing.  

Those searching for motives for the Umpqua killings in which the shooter asked his victims if they were Christians should ponder this connection between one of the Americans who prevented a massacre recently aboard a train in Paris:

“Dancing With the Stars” contestant Alek Skarlatos, the Oregon National Guardsman who gained international recognition for helping to stop an armed terrorist aboard a French train in August, was a former student at Umpqua Community College, where a gunman killed at least ten people Thursday.

So we have a shooting targeting Christians at the same school attended by an American Christian who prevented a massacre by a Muslim gunmen on a train in Paris. Some would call that motive and a couple of dots worth connecting. President Obama would probably just consider it an academic equivalent of Ft. Hood’s “workplace violence” by Muslim Major Nidal Hassan. Ft. Hood was also a gun-free zone.

As at Virginia Tech, Aurora, Colorado, and other mass shootings, there was no one with a gun at Umpqua to stop the shooter. There was a guard, but he was unarmed, and, as Breitbart News reports. May be one of the reasons Umpqua Community College was chosen:

Joe Olson -- the former president of Umpqua Community College -- says the school only keeps one guard on shift at a time and that guard is unarmed….

Former U.S. Marshal Art Roderick suggested the gunman chose the campus for that very reason. He said, “[The gunman] probably knew that the facility was a gun free facility, [which is] an easy target for these kinds of coward individuals. They know they’re not going to get any response unless they happen to run into security or a campus police officer.”

Overlooked in the news coverage of the Umpqua shootings was the Oregon massacre that wasn’t at Clackamas Town Center Mall in December of 2012. As Investor’s Business Daily noted, fortune placed a good guy with a gun at the same place a bad guy with a gun planned a massacre:

Before the tragedy in Connecticut, a shooter at an Oregon shopping mall was stopped by an armed citizen with a concealed carry permit who refused to be a victim, preventing another mass tragedy.

In the target-rich environment of the Clackamas Town Center two weeks before Christmas, the shooter managed to kill only two people before killing himself. A far worse tragedy was prevented when he was confronted by a hero named Nick Meli.

As the shooter was having difficulty with his weapon, Meli pulled his and took aim, reluctant to fire lest an innocent bystander be hit. But he didn't have to pull the trigger: The shooter fled when confronted, ending his own life before it could be done for him.

We will never know how many lives were saved by an armed citizen that day.

Indeed we will not. What we do know is that killers will deliberately choose gun-free zones such as Umqua or that Aurora, Colorado movie theatre to target their victims knowing there will be no one thereto immediately return fire:

As John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Research Prevention Center, wrote in an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, "Since at least 1950, all but two mass public shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns." This is usually why they are selected as targets, Lott says.

In the July 2012 mass shooting inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., the shooter had a choice of seven movie theaters within 20 miles of his home that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. The Cinemark Theater he chose wasn't the closest, but it was the only one that banned customers from carrying guns inside.

So enough of the exploitive rhetoric, President Obama. Ever since Cain slew Abel, there has been evil in the world and a desire among some to kill others. Disarming the law-abiding to prevent such killings is like trying to fight drunk driving by making it harder for sober drivers to get driver’s licenses. We don’t need more gun-free zones populated with unarmed targets. We do need more people able to defend themselves.

There was no such person in Rosburg, Oregon, but there was one at Clackamas, Oregon.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.