A Pennsylvania mall that bans guns has mass shooting

Although the daily news always provides plenty of examples of people doing genuinely bad things (assault, robbery, rape, murder, etc.), the fact is that most people in America are law-abiding.  And while some will sit passively while a violent rape occurs directly in front of them, many of these good citizens will act when called upon to do so.  Nevertheless, America's retail stores and entertainment venues insist on disarming the good guys under the delusional belief that it will stop the bad guys.

The latest example of this urge to disarm comes from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where a shooting occurred at the Park City Center shopping mall on Sunday afternoon:

Gunshots rang out at the Park City Center in Lancaster around 2:30 p.m., according to Lancaster Online.

Two people suffered gunshot wounds and two suspects were in custody, according to police and the website, which said the injuries were not life-threatening.

An argument broke out between four people outside an international food store, the owner of the store told the outlet. One man brandished a gun during a scuffle, and it was knocked away by a man who then opened fire, according to the report.

It's great that no one was hurt.  In the grand scheme of mass shootings — that is, a situation in which someone with a gun starts shooting in a way that, possibly, puts dozens of people at risk — this one was a nothing-burger.

However, I found the story notable because the mall is yet another American retail venue that bans guns (emphasis mine):

Examples of specific activities that are prohibited include but are not limited to:

  • Disruptive profanity, vulgar or threatening language
  • Unnecessarily blocking walkways, roadways or storefronts
  • Running, horseplay or disorderly conduct of any nature
  • Excessive loitering
  • Operating unauthorized recreational and/or personal transportation devices in the shopping center
  • No firearms or illegal weapons

And again, we were reminded that the bad guys don't pay attention to signs banning firearms or illegal weapons.  If they were the kind to abide by rules, they wouldn't be bad guys.

The one thing we know is that when someone starts firing in a public place, the only thing that stops that person is a good guy's gun.  We saw that vividly with the shooting at the White Settlement Church in 2019 when a would-be mass shooter was able to kill only two people before armed security in the church killed the gunman.

Although there've been innumerable other examples, the one that sticks in my mind (because I know the mall) is the 2007 attempted mass shooting at the Trolley Square shopping center in Salt Lake City, which an off-duty policeman stopped by killing the shooter.  The shooter managed to kill five people but would undoubtedly have killed many more had an armed good guy not been there.

A stark contrast to this emerged the other day from Norway, where a mass shooter — using a bow and arrow, not a gun — managed to kill five people because the police (the good guys) were unarmed and unable to stop him:

Norway on Saturday announced it will hold an independent investigation into the actions of police and security agencies following a bow-and-arrow attack that killed five people and injured three others. Police have been criticized for reacting too slowly to contain the massacre, acknowledging that the five deaths took place after police first encountered the attacker.

[snip]

In general, police officials say the first officers on the scene observed the suspect but took cover and called for reinforcements when arrows were fired at them. The officials have acknowledged the armed suspect got away and then likely killed the five victims between the ages of 52 and 78 both outdoors and inside some apartments.

Norway is one of the few dozen countries in the world where law enforcement officers don't automatically carry guns though they have a rapid access to guns and other weapons, depending on the situation. Authorities in a statement said police were unarmed during their first encounter and armed during later encounters with the alleged assailant.

People do stupid things.  Accidents happen.  People make bad judgment calls.  But the reality is that if someone is determined to kill as many people as possible, the only thing that will stop that person is a gun.

Rules that disarm the good guys, whether it's gun bans in shopping malls or leftist laws disarming police, while they may stop a few accidental or stupid shootings, will be a gift to killers.  For them, every crowded venue will become the equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel.

Image: Lancaster, PA mall shooting.  Twitter screen grab.

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