December 10, 2007

"I was given the assignment to end this before it got too much worse."

"I give credit to God."

Says Jeanne Assam, the woman with a gun, who saved perhaps 100 persons.

86 comments:

Simon said...

(1) When was the last time there was a major killing spree in an area that was not designated gun free, and (1) what exactly is the empirical basis for the argument for "gun control" and such gun free zones?

Simon said...

I mean, it's a quite serious question: if you believe that policy ought to be driven by practical, empirically-verifiable bases, rather than a priori ideological posturing, what is the argument for gun free zones?

rcocean said...

"I saw him coming through the doors" and took cover, Assam said. "I came out of cover and identified myself and engaged him and took him down."

Bravo.

Revenant said...

what is the argument for gun free zones?

Well, setting up parts of a city as areas where certain activities are decriminalized (like several European cities do) lowers the rate for those crimes outside the zone, since would-be perpetrators migrate to the zone to commit the acts in question. I guess you could argue that, by clearly labeling their schools and malls as being full of 100% Legally Guaranteed Helpless Victims, proponents of gun-free zones provide the societally useful function of directing mass murderers towards those zones and away from other areas, such as my house and my office.

So thanks, concerned parents and shoppers, for volunteering to put yourselves and your children between me and whoever might want to kill me.

Anyway, bravo to this lady for taking the guy out.

downtownlad said...

Sorry - but this woman is certifiably insane if she thinks "God" pulled the trigger.

She needs to be sent to a mental hospital along with all other Christians. All Christians should be quarantined.

Palladian said...
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downtownlad said...

Palladian obviously ran out of Doritos and she's very very upset.

downtownlad said...

There is nothing more pathetic than a fat gay man.

Palladian said...
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downtownlad said...

No swearing on Ann's blog doughboy.

Palladian said...
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Palladian said...
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downtownlad said...

You're only as young as the man you feel.

That makes me 24. Enough said.

Palladian said...
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downtownlad said...

So Palladian - Are you going to visit my 4500 square foot pad before I bolt this country for good?

George said...

Kid got arrested in a local school recently for bringing a handgun to class.

Cops were informed. They burst into the classroom--during a class--and took him away. Kid had the gun in his backpack.

The event hardly made the papers...just a squib in the police blotter a few days later.

Palladian said...
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downtownlad said...

It's hard to talk when your mouth is full.

christopher said...
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Palladian said...
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christopher said...
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Daryl said...

I'll tell you what's super-pathetic: gay lefties who believe in the religion of Global Warming even though there's no scientific proof and the climate models are wrong.

Palladian said...

God, you make DTL seem likable, kwissy.

christopher said...
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downtownlad said...
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christopher said...
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Chip Ahoy said...

*leaves*

downtownlad said...

OK. The insults are getting boring.

What's so amazing about this woman. She was a security guard and killed this guy. That's her job. Big deal.

christopher said...
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rcocean said...

When is Christopher going to leave?

Roost on the Moon said...

Grand questions,
Like whether gun culture
makes us safer overall-
These, we can't answer.

So, the best we can do
is cheer whenever one of these
malfunctioning jackasses gets
gunned down when the number
is still in the single digits.

God bless us everyone.

christopher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Synova said...

"What's so amazing about this woman. She was a security guard and killed this guy. That's her job. Big deal."

Pretty much, that's it. Though I suppose her being a girl and all adds a little extra punch just as a role model of someone cool and capable in a crisis.

As for mental illness, is it mental illness if it doesn't interfere with responding rationally and effectively in a crisis?

Daryl said...

She isn't a security guard, she's a former cop who brought her personal gun with her to the church that day because of the earlier shooting.

Some of the men there with guns did nothing. I don't know whether they were paid guards or civilian volunteers.

nick danger said...

You all fail.

Daryl said...

Not approving of waterboarding America's terrorist enemies--that's the real mental illness.

Revenant said...

Grand questions, like whether gun culture makes us safer overall- These, we can't answer.

You might as well ask if gravity makes us safer overall. It exists, nothing you will ever do will change it, so you might as well figure out how to deal with the world it exists in.

christopher said...
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Daryl said...

Who came up with the 100 dead casualty figure, anyway?

The worst mass-shooting incidents by individuals rarely result in more than a few dozen deaths.

40 would be a very surprising death toll. Few shooters have achieved as much. 100 is simply not credible.

I would peg it closer to 30, given the circumstances.

Daryl said...

Do you know what's worse than anal rape, christopher? Abortion. I'll bet you're proud and happy that women can legally get abortions in this country. There's no possible philosophical justification for a woman's "rights" to trump her baby's right to live. Even if it's a gay baby.

peter hoh said...

C'mon, let's start arguing about polar bears.

DBrooks17 said...

The comment section here has become borderline unreadable, which might be the intention of the worst offenders. Ann, I realize conflict drives passion, but I, for one, think your site is much the worse for the infantile shenanigans you allow to go on in your comments. It's your site, and you will do what you want, but my interest in wading through this dung is waning each day, and my inclination to comment is just about nil.

christopher said...
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Daryl said...

This is the game I just made up: it's called "distract the troll with inane segues until he figures out that he's the butt of the joke, not the winner of the argument."

Peter, now that christopher figured out the game, there's no point in bringing up polar bears. I can't believe he took the bait twice, though.

Lawgiver said...

Here is an eye witness account.

It's awesome she had the faith and courage to act like she did. I'd take one insane Christian like her over an army of DTLs and Christophers any day.

christopher said...
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Lawgiver said...

Brooks,

I don't know how long you've been reading this blog but these guys are the real lightweights of Althouse trolldom. The seriously disturbed trolls haven't been around for a while.

Revenant said...

This is the game I just made up: it's called "distract the troll with inane segues until he figures out that he's the butt of the joke, not the winner of the argument."

I've got an even cooler game in mind. It's called "Blog Clue". First person to realize that trolls just want to get people to argue with them and don't CARE about winning and that people who engage with them just make the problem worse -- wins.

peter hoh said...

Lawgiver, what makes her an "insane Christian?" Sounds like she had her wits about her.

Wish I could link to an interview I once heard with a female cop who was studying Buddhism. She described how her teacher led her to understand how she could recognize her spiritual call to compassion with her calling in the world, which carried with it the potential use of deadly force.

Different language. Same stuff.

peter hoh said...

Rev, I need a scorecard with me to keep track of the trolls. Seems there are some in the comments who turn trollish now and then, while others just come in and start pissing. There are extreme wingers on both sides that I can't keep straight.

As for feeding the trolls, yeah, that's a mistake. Remember that guy who wrote the Doc Bonner's soap label rants? Did he just disappear or did he get tossed?

Lawgiver said...

Peter,

One of the trolls called her insane earlier in the thread.

Cedarford said...

Daryl said...
She isn't a security guard, she's a former cop who brought her personal gun with her to the church that day because of the earlier shooting.

Some of the men there with guns did nothing. I don't know whether they were paid guards or civilian volunteers.


A Church spokesman said she was one of several churchgoers that volunteered and were trained as armed plainclothes security guards for Church meetings. The spokesman said that there were 4 such private security people in the Church when the gunman got in. Assan was the closest, and took the guy out by the book.

The guard in her interview comes across as understandably relieved that she didn't get whacked herself while trying to take the guy down, proud she did her job, and gracious enough to thank God for any part he played in her killing the gunman and preventing further death and injury of innocent people.

Supposedly the other 3 armed guards were further away and were coming in to take him down if Assan failed. But she didn't. And, well done.

From these sorts of shootings, we see a fairly predictable pattern. Gun-free zones always have 911 calls when the slaughter starts, and by the time cops arrive and start "setting up" outside, the slaughter is usually complete and the gunman kills themself..
When citizens are armed, they either minimize the slaughter by keeping the gunman pinned down by counterfire (Charles Whitman in the Tower), or end it in the 1st minute or so. (West Virgina College, this Church incident.)

Synova said...

Rev, your 8:50 post is priceless. Mind if I lift it for my blog?

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

DBrooks17 said...
The comment section here has become borderline unreadable, which might be the intention of the worst offenders.

DBrooks: I've been reading this blog for years. The current troll situation is quite moderate by historical Althouse standards.  In fact, I would say there are no real trolls here right now, just marginal commenters.

As you've no doubt seen, the commentariat tends politically to be conservative/moderate liberatarian, with a few thoughtful progressive lefties, and a fair number of middle-of-the road Democrats and independents, such as myself.  For some months there seemed to have been a coordinated campaign to drive off conservatives and wreck the comments in general with some really outrageous ├╝ber-trolls.  This has stopped in the past two weeks as quickly as it began.  Either Althouse has done something she is not disclosing, or the Central Committee has called off the dogs.  What we have now is background noise.

Anyway, don't give up.  You referred to these comments as "dung," but they're actually not. They're just what you get when things are as open as Althouse is committed to keeping them.

Plus, there really are ponies.

Revenant said...

Rev, your 8:50 post is priceless. Mind if I lift it for my blog?

Be my guest.

John Lynch said...

This isn't the first mass shooting ended by a civilian shooting the murderer, but it's the first one where the civilian is getting a lot of media coverage. Maybe it's because she's a woman, but if that's what it takes to convince people that it's OK to defend themselves, then viv la difference.

Speaking of media coverage, I sure wish that mass shootings were not covered nationally. This last one may have been triggered by that mall shooting last week. Why do mass murderers get all this free publicity? It seems to me that it just encourages more mass murder. I really wish the big national news networks would stop coverage of these bloodbaths. I don't believe it should be illegal, but they should be able to see the logic of not giving notoriety to mass killers. National coverage is not necessary

B said...

John Lynch,

While I applaud the end result youare attempting to reach - the lessening of notoriety and fame for the killers, I disagree with your means. I would prefer to see all shootings still reported - but not the names of the killers. Let them be "no name/no face". That alone would give pause to the people who, like the mall killer last week, believe that they "will be famous".

Ann Althouse said...

Christopher: You've worn out your welcome. Don't comment on this blog anymore. I will delete everything you write without reading it from no one. Everyone else: Don't respond to him or your comments will end up looking meaningless when his are deleted.

Hoosier Daddy said...

She needs to be sent to a mental hospital along with all other Christians. All Christians should be quarantined.

My how Soviet of you. Is quarantine enough or are you planning on bringing in some lions?

Always nice to see the liberal mask slip off to see what really lurks underneath.

Pogo said...

B and John Lynch have a point. However, I am unsure how likely it would be for competing news stations to cease to divulge the names of the killers.

But this method may have helped in Omaha in the early 1980s when a series of copycat high school suicides sprang up. The initial coverage was maudlin and reverential about the deaths, with crying teens and candlelight vigils and the like. Over time, it became perfunctory and names were not given out, just the high school, gender, and the age. It ended at about 9 or 10 deaths, IIRC.

I am afraid this young man may have been mentally ill. Some of the news reports mention his expulsion from the youth group for disruptive behavior that included hearing voices, a classic indication of schizophrenia.

If true, it's another example of the bad side effects of the 1963 Congressional Community Mental Health Centers Act which sought to move as many of the mentally ill as possible out of prolonged confinement in state mental hospitals and into "voluntary treatment" at community mental health centers. It was signed into law by President Kennedy without sufficient funding, and thus began our modern homeless problem.

From Testimony of Congressman Ted Strickland, 9/00:
"• 16% of state jails and prisons, or 260,000 people, are individuals with severe mental illness. That is more than four times the number of people currently in state mental hospitals;

• The American Jail Association estimates that 600,000 to 700,000 bookings each year involve individuals with mental illness;

• On any given day, at least 284,000 schizophrenic and manic depressive individuals are incarcerated, and 547,800 are on probation;

• By default, L.A. County Jail is now the largest mental institution in the United States, holding an estimated 3,300 mentally ill inmates on any given night."


Some of these folks are dangerous, and the government refuses to make us safe from them.

Fen said...

Christopher: You've worn out your welcome. Don't comment on this blog anymore. I will delete everything you write without reading it from no one. Everyone else: Don't respond to him or your comments will end up looking meaningless when his are deleted.

Thank you Ann.

People don't seem to realize, trolls like Christopher aren't trying to get in pointless argument for its own sake, they use it to shut down discussion they disagree with.

MadisonMan said...

Taking a gun to church seems very very unchristian to me.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Taking a gun to church seems very very unchristian to me.

Perhaps but considering prior events, it seems very very common sense.

Being a Christian doesn't mean having to be a helpless victim.

jen said...

"Taking a gun to church seems very very unchristian to me."

MadisonMan, if it changes your feelings on this, they said that the church "security guards" are church members who volunteer and then go through screenings and trainings. This particular lady (a former cop) apparently regularly attended the morning service, then was a guard during the afternoon services. It sounds like she may not have been carrying (and definitely wasn't "working") while actually worshipping herself. She was just there, at her church, to protect the other church members.

It kind of set me back to hear of a church that even has armed security guards (basically, if you are one of their volunteer security guards, and you have a CCW permit, then you can carry as a guard - not all of the guards have the permit). But given that they said there were *7,000* people on this church campus at the time, it makes a little more sense.

And apparently, this lady (Assam) is not only the one who stopped him but she was also the one who suggested additional security in light of the shootings at the mission camp.

rdkraus said...

There is nothing unchristian about being prepared to defend yourself and others from a murderer.

Waiting for the police to come while 20 or 30 people are shot to death - that's unchristian.

Roger said...

Thanks for draining some of the swamp, Ann (re Christopher)--as to the substance of the issue which Simon raised in the initial posts, if I were a shooter I would certainly prefer a gun free zone, which ultimately gives the shooter some assurance of safety. And I don't care whether God pulled the trigger, or the security guard, as long as the murderer is waxed.

Henry said...

Taking a gun to church seems very very unchristian to me.

I've always wondered what Peter was doing with a sword in the Garden of Gethsemane.

It didn't seem to bother Jesus much. He healed the guy who lost his ear, but it was Peter thrice denial that broke the disciple's heart.

Pogo said...

Is self-defense un-Christian?
Is there no just war?

I think attitudes favoring a peaceful approach are best. But it's foolish to believe that one must acquiesce to force. That way, the bad guys always win. How can refusing to save others be doing good?

MadisonMan said...

Henry, Jesus did rebuke Peter for attacking Malthus with a sword. I don't think it's accurate to say it didn't bother him (Jesus).

The idea of expecting violence in church -- that's the dissonance. My experiences in church are calm, reflective, uplifting. It's disquieting to think that violence can intrude. (It's also disquieting to think powerpoints can intrude.)

The idea of 7000 people in a church is also a little mind-boggling.

peter hoh said...

I attended an interfaith service at a synagogue a few years ago. A fully armed police officer was stationed in the lobby.

MadisonMan said...

A fully armed police officer was stationed in the lobby.


I am -- apparently -- living in a bubble. I'm just not sure if that's good or bad.

peter hoh said...

Earlier in the thread, I mentioned that I had heard a radio story featuring a female police officer who is also a practicing Buddhist. Through the wonders of Google, I found the woman, Capt. Cheri Maples, of the Madison police department.

Last year, she spent three weeks at Nhat Hanh's monastery, Plum Village near Bordeaux in the south of France. During the visit, she reconciled the idea of being a police officer with a respect for life that includes not killing any living creature. "One of the nuns said to me, 'Who else would we want to carry a gun except someone who does it mindfully,' " Maples recalls.

source:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2003-08-19-stress-retreat_x.htm

Daryl said...

A fully armed police officer was stationed in the lobby.

Do you mean he had a dinky little semi-auto pistol holstered at his side? I don't suppose he was carrying a shotgun.

That's a start, but real security doesn't begin until parishioners are packing heat. With just a single guard, an attacker can start by killing the cop first, and then get on with the business of his rampage. If some of the potential victims are also armed, they are that much better protected.

Kirk Parker said...

MM,

The fellow who lost his ear was named "Malchus", though arguably we might be better if the Father of Alarmists Statistics had taken it on the neck. :-)

Regarding "the idea of expecting violence in church", I'd just point out that trouble can come looking for you wherever you are. Consider the three most recent justifiable homicide self-defense shootings in Washington State that come to mind. They happened at (a) a gas station in a non-high-crime area, (b) a highway rest area, and (c) on a sidewalk in Seattle's fanciest downtown shopping district. Not much help in planning when you might need to defend yourself, is it?

And can DTL maybe get the "Christopher" treatment? His frequent rants about others' insanity , along with being in bad taste, are also something much worse--they're boring.

Henry said...

Henry, Jesus did rebuke Peter for attacking Mal[c]hus with a sword. I don't think it's accurate to say it didn't bother him (Jesus).

Point taken. But what was Peter doing with a sword?

I would say the key word in the context of this discussion isn't "church" but "campus." When you have a 7000-person capacity facility, you really should have a security plan.

Ann Althouse said...

"I will delete everything you write without reading it from no one."

Took me a minute to figure out why I wrote "from no one." It should be: "from now on."

Revenant said...

Henry, Jesus did rebuke Peter for attacking [Malchus] with a sword. I don't think it's accurate to say it didn't bother him (Jesus).

One of Jesus' last acts was to tell his disciples to sell their possessions and use the money to buy swords. That bit doesn't get a lot of attention, possibly because it doesn't quite mesh with the church's image of the man.

One of the problems here is that Jesus didn't address most of the really tough moral questions, and war and self-defense were among those he didn't really get in to. The "turn the other cheek" line strongly suggests that Christians shouldn't kill another person to preserve their own life, but the question of whether or not killing is permissible to save the life of another person is a much tougher one, and the gospels don't provide any clues.

Personally, my view is that if Jesus didn't change it, Christians should stick with the Old Testament view. That's not what most Christians do on most subjects -- but it would certainly justify going armed and shooting someone in self-defense.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I am -- apparently -- living in a bubble. I'm just not sure if that's good or bad.

No worries there. The Pope rides around in a bullet-proof one with some heavily armed hombres to boot.

He probably thinks the same thing.

MadisonMan said...

He probably thinks the same thing.

But he's infallible! I only like to think I am!

By the way -- all you non-Madisonians are missing a hum-dinger of a snowstorm. It's just absolutely beautiful outside!

Pastor_Jeff said...

One of the problems here is that Jesus didn't address most of the really tough moral questions, and war and self-defense were among those he didn't really get in to. ... the question of whether or not killing is permissible to save the life of another person is a much tougher one, and the gospels don't provide any clues.

Well, yes and no. There are clues in the gospels but no clear answers.

When John tells people to repent and change their behaviors because God is coming, he doesn't tell soldiers to stop being soldiers, but to be good and honest ones.

And Jesus not only doesn't condemn the centurion for being a soldier (and a Gentile one at that!), He answers the man's request to heal his servant and commends him for his faith.

There's more of an argument in favor of law and order in the epistles. In the gospels we can say there are no examples of condemning soldiery when the opportunities presented themselves, so the image of law enforcement is neutral at worst and likely positive.

Pastor_Jeff said...

MM - We've had rain and freezing rain for a week in St. Louis, with fog this morning. Driving across the Missouri River in a dense fog this morning was pretty cool!

jeff said...

"Taking a gun to church seems very very unchristian to me."

Why? Just another tool. I can see why it could seen as very sad, a church should be a sanctuary, rather than a target, but that's the world we live in. I felt the same way when I went to a high school football game this fall. First time in nearly 30 years. I had to go thru a metal detector and get patted down by security. It's a different world.

Henry said...

Pastor Jeff, thanks for your postings above. I was a bit glib above, but it does strike me that in the night of the Garden of Gethsemane, the thing for which Peter shows bitter remorse (and for which Jesus expects him to show remorse) is not his swordplay, but his denial of his lord.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Henry, you're welcome.

I think Peter did do wrong to strike Malchus. Jesus gently rebukes him for it with the famous "live by the sword, die by the sword" statement. But I take that to be a rejection of bringing about the Kingdom of God by force, not a rejection of legitimate self-defense per se.

Windbag said...

Concerning how Christ-like it is to carry guns, it isn't ungodly to carry and use a weapon. Even if you're content to turn the other cheek when it comes to personal threats, the responsibility to protect others' lives, such as helpless children, elderly, and handicapped people is justification enough to neutralize a threat.

Revenant said...

"the gospels don't provide any clues."

Well, yes and no. There are clues in the gospels but no clear answers.

Sorry, I typoed. That was supposed to be "provide many clues". There are some suggestions (like the ones you noted, although I would question relying on indirect teachings such as those of John), just not enough to form a definitive answer.

the responsibility to protect others' lives, such as helpless children, elderly, and handicapped people is justification enough to neutralize a threat

I would argue that it would be preferable to carry a taser instead. But whether or not it is "Christian" to shoot murderers, I'm happy that the lady did it.