38 thoughts on “Out of curiosity”

  1. Yes, but the news doesn't trumpet them because a) it goes against the narrative and b) they are sometimes stopped before it becomes a massacre, even in Aurora, CO.

  2. IIRC, the 2011 Tuscon shooting wasn't in a gun-free zone, as it took place outside the Supermarket. But that's one out of…. how many? Dozens? Hundreds?

  3. Monkey: That's actually from April of this year.

    LawDog: Trolley Square Mall, Salt Lake City, Utah; 2/12/07. The mall has "no weapons permitted" on their list of rules, but Utah doesn't have binding signage.

  4. I think the Tuscon shooting was an assassination attempt and not a typical mass shooting.

    Assassins operate under a different mind set than mass murderers and don't necessarily expect their victims to be unprotected.

  5. Sevesteen,

    Since 1950? As much as I would like to believe that to back up my world view, it is demonstrably untrue.

  6. Armed Texas,

    How old is the Unlawful Carry of a Weapon law in Texas?


  7. Texas didn't allow concealed carry or open carry anywhere in the state in the 1960s. (unless hunting)

  8. LawDog,

    1871 if you're talking about hand guns. Long guns have always been legal to carry openly. Hence, the two responding APD officers asked bystanders to get their guns and provide suppressive fire while they entered the clock tower.

    I was ripping that statement as it was quoted. Having read the Lott article, I see he should have said hand guns instead of firearms in that sentence to be precise.

    Firearms ≠ hand guns.

  9. Possibly Thurston High in Springfield, Oregon. I say "possibly", because current law says I can carry there and not break the law. Not sure what the law was in 1998.

  10. LD, maybe you or the other commenters can tell me – seems to be an awful lot of "news" stories about the 'massive increase' in gun sales/applications for CHLs in Colorado, primarily – were any other "mass shootings" followed by such supposedly knee-jerk reactions? {BTW, received MY CHL this week 😉 }

    Semper Fi'

  11. @ DM,

    Gun sales spiked in AZ (especially Glock sales) after the Tucson shooting.

    To answer the 'Dog's question, the Tucson shooting, (which did appear to bear most halmarks of an assasination) was outdoors in a Safeway parking lot, several CCW holders were present, and decided not to shoot back due to the crowd. The guy who ended up taking Laughner down in a tackle was one of the CCW holders.

  12. Armed Texan…hell, anybody, help me out here. It's been a long day and I've got six kids to keep up with during Summer vacation so maybe I'm not tracking too well, but I can't find an error in the statement from Lott's article.

    He said "with a single exception" without noting which it was and AT noted a single exception of Charles Whitman in Texas in 1966, where at the time citizens were allowed to carry long guns.

    How then is the statement incorrect, and what difference would it make to change "firearms" to "handguns"?

  13. ZerCool Utah may not have "binding signage", but any business anywhere in the land can make a customer or visitor leave for not obeying the rules.

  14. Dang, left out a comma. I already hear the siren of the Grammar Police. 🙂

  15. Shell, you're absolutely right about that. Now we're going to argue semantics; "expressly forbid" as originally posted translates (to me) as "illegal". If they say, "Sir, you're in violation of our rules and we need you to leave," then you say OK and walk out – or they can then get the law involved.

  16. Lawdog, Killeen might be considered a possible exception under the old "it is a defense against prosecution that the actor was traveling at the time if the offense" clause.

  17. @DM:

    Actually, from what I was reading in an article the other day (on Yahoo, I can't find it now), that is typically the case–after a shooting, people buy guns and get concealed carry permits (assuming they are able to do so). Colorado has seen a 41% increase in background checks for firearm purchases since the shooting at the theater.

    And the politicians talk about banning guns and making more laws that keep people from buying, owning, or carrying guns.

    Nope, there's no correlation there.

  18. Thanks, ZerCool. I think I see your point. Is it, "Unless there is a law pointedly against it, it's not 'expressly forbidden', it's just a request. The pertinent law is only concerned with failure to comply with the demand to leave, not with the possession of the firearm itself."?

    Just trying to make sure I get it.

  19. He said "with a single exception" without noting which it was and AT noted a single exception of Charles Whitman in Texas in 1966, where at the time citizens were allowed to carry long guns.

    I'd like to know the criteria he is using–I suspect his exception is the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, and he is talking about handguns–although it is possible that incident counts as an assassination attempt rather than a spree shooting.

  20. Thanks, again. Semantics it is, then.

    Now here's why your example doesn't answer the question Himself asked – Lawdog, being a lawdog, and I, being in private security for most of my working life, would say "expressly forbidden by law" if that's what we meant. To us, a private citizen can expressly forbid an object or action on his property precisely because the law will back up his right to control his property.

  21. Sevesteen – Alan mentioned the Giffords shooting in the same vein earlier. I, too, would like to know which incident Lott was referring to.

    I'm not an expert on Lott but given his knowledge and grasp of the subject I'll venture that if he meant handguns only he would have said so.

  22. Shell: people do not typically carry long arms in urban areas, but pistol carry in town has a long history.

    Yes, pistols are not as effective as long arms … but you are more likely to have a pistol when you absolutely need a gun.

    So Texas, during 1966, was effectively disarmed.

    The Tacoma Mall shooting was ended by a Mr. McKown, who ignored the legally non-binding "no guns" sign on the door. He paid a steep price for doing so, but he did get within the shooters decision loop and shut him down.

  23. Kristopher – that is incorrect.

    First, in 1966 people all over the country "went to town" with gunracks in the back windows of their pickups and long guns therein. It was that way in Atlanta Georgia where I grew up. I know it was true in Texas because my next-door neighbors during that time and after were from Texas and I remember them talking with my parents about another neighbor who was from New York City saying she couldn't understand why people were "allowed" to do that.

    Second, read up on Whitman's crime. Citizens assisted police in keeping him from killing more people than he did by getting out their rifles and keeping up a suppressive fire, some on their own hook and some because the police asked them to do it. That's why the police were finally able to get to the tower, Whitman was only able to fire from a couple of places where he had cover. Until then he was walking around the observation deck firing over the wall wherever he pleased.

  24. OK, lemme back up a minute, Kristopher. I think the nickel is beginning to jar loose. (Damn, I love my kids but my brain is turning to jello.)

    Re-reading Lott's assertion for the umpteenth time I finally twigged to the significance of the word "carry" in it. I was thinking of it as "have close by", I guess, instead of the actual meaning of the word.

    So, mea culpa. Now I have to wonder even more about which incident Lott was referring to.

  25. Friends:

    Texas outlawed public carry of pistols except while hunting or travelling ( and a few other exceptions) , way back in 1876. That did not change until Governor George Bush signed the CHL law in 1995.

    When the Killeen Luby's shooting happened, carrying a pistol was unlawful, and as Dr.Suzanna Hupp testified to the Legislature and Congress , it was that law that led her to leave her J frame Smith and Wesson in the car that day. So… I thik Luby's would be included in the list of " no defensive weapons available" shootings.

    In Texas, long arms have never been restricted. As a kid in north Dallas in the early '70's, I often walked to a meeting of my Boy Scout rifle club, 2 blocks away, carrying , quite openly, an Anschutz match rifle. Never raised an eyebrow. Gun racks in pickups are still common in rural areas – in big cities they are in no way illegal, they just invite auto burglary.

    As for Whitman, not only did private citizens return fire, they were in many cases better equipped with scope-sighted rifles than the Austin police. One of the persons who climbed the tower stairs and cornered him was a private citizen.

    As Lott pointed out, wanna-be mass shooters demonstrably pick places where there are no arms available to the good guys. As a public policy measure, to deter mass shootings and improve public safety, reducing or eliminating "gun free" zones is a cheap, reasonable and readily available tool that should be speedily adopted.

    There – I just came up with a "common-sense, reasonable" gun law.



    1. Correct on most points, but if you look through older copies of the penal code, the defense to prosecution clause predates the automobile. Had there been a traveler traveling for pleasure in the Killeen incident, carry would have been expressly prohibited, however a good guy could have presented a defense.

  26. I do believe that before firearms were common, most mass public murders were accomplished with bombs and/or simple arson — and they racked up much higher body counts. The easy availability of firearms thus actually serves to lower the casualty rate when a deranged individual decides to kill a bunch of people.

  27. No prob Shell.

    Yea, Texans did tend to keep guns nearby, but they generally couldn't actually carry them unless they were "on a peaceable journey", hence a lot of car-carry.

    The clocktower shooter was also a special case, a well armed vet who was severely effected by a brain tumor. A real nightmare scenario, a pro who was entirely ready to trade shots with cops or armed bystanders.

  28. There has been argument about whether the brain tumor actually had an effect on the clock tower shooter or not.

  29. I strategically avoid "soft targets of opportunity"… Thus, I do not go to theaters, schools or malls right off the bat… Hospitals and "legal buildings" I only go into as required to save life or rights/privileges, respectively.

    For the latter, I intentionally live in a lower violent crime sort of area…
    Brent aka: hogdogs

  30. Someone I know talked with a member of the Sikh temple & that member said that it wasn't posted… but apparently he was under the impression that churches were automatically off-limits. (They're not in WI.)

    ~ MKEgal

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