December 05, 2007

Mass Shooting at Omaha, Nebraska Mall

Thursday - What went wrong in Omaha yesterday.
Why nobody fought back.
Scroll down for latest updates

Shooting victim
Man opens fire with a rifle inside the Von Maur department store in Omaha's Westroads Mall. So far, 14 people injured, 9 dead, including the shooter, who apparently shot himself dead.

Police response was fast, considering that US President Bush was visiting in Omaha also today.
Update: 20 year-old Sarpy County, Nebraska man is suspected of being the shooter. Evidently the chap left a note behind saying that he was "going out in style" today. Some crappy style.

Robert A. Hawkins
Latest eyewitness reports indicated that the perp was a white man who shot a teddy bear during his 'stylish' murder spree. Now we know his name was Robert A. Hawkins, a youth facing 'minor in possession' of alcohol charges, and a history of depression. Last words: "Now I'm going to be famous."

What made him snap? The family who had taken the 'emotionally troubled' young man into their home reported that he was fired from his job at McDonald's yesterday or early today. The firing seemed to upset him inordinately. Thousands of young cats get fired from McDonald's jobs, almost none of them react by going on a murder-suicide spree. Oh! He just broke up with his girlfriend, too. Now my heart is really starting to bleed.

We may never know why Mr. Hawkins chose Von Maur, an upscale department store, to vent his madness. His boss and co-workers at his old place of employment should be grateful he didn't seem to be looking for revenge. Perhaps he figured McDonald's wasn't stylish enough to accomplish his stated goal of going out in style.
I note that Omaha Mayor Fahey was out of town as this happened. Look for the absentee tyrant to call for more worthless gun control laws.
For the latest coverage of this unpleasantness, see our local TV stations' websites. The local coverage is getting too sappy for me. Example: "the scene must have been surreal, hearing Christmas music and smelling gunpowder..."
Don't bother with the Omaha World Herald. It would appear that any breaking news nearly crashes their wretched web-site.
Sad Conclusion: These killings could have been minimized or even prevented if just one mall employee, store employee or customers had been armed and taken action. I'm guessing misguided policies are at least partly to blame for the extent of the damage. Not just misguided mall and store policies that often deter a citizen from exercising their Second Amendment rights, but the misguided personal policies of the shoppers and workers that lead them to go unarmed despite their right to defend themselves.

The Westroads Mall is a "gun free" zone. I didn't know until I saw it at Joe's Crabby Shack; I almost never go into malls. Bad store policies like this don't make me want to change my ways, either.

I don't understand why any self-respecting citizen would let a store or mall policy take away their natural right to self defense by force of arms, whether such right is deemed guaranteed by the US Constitution or not. I'll not be reduced to "huddling in a corner" as David Codrea at War on Guns describes today's victim's plight.

Lonely Machines would "like to see the owners of Westroads Mall held accountable for rendering their patrons defenseless." Sounds like a good idea to me.
Missing the point - the Day After
Lets see how many bloggers covering this tragedy have so far missed the fact that it occurred in a state that allows both concealed and open carrying of firearms BUT which allows local entities to post areas as "gun free zones". Westroads Mall has a posted "No Weapons" policy. Just one armed customer or shopkeeper could have spared much suffering. A small sampling of bloggers that have missed the point so far:

Michelle Malkin - no mention of the Mall's ill advised policy or Nebraska's CCW law.
Hot Air - ditto
Unstable - same, plus more heart-bleed
Stop the ACLU - no mention of self defense
Jawa Report - at least it wasn't a Mohammedan
JammieWearingFool - no mention
Leaning Straight Up - notes the 'assault rifle' moniker, but not the CCW aspect
Gateway Pundit - no mention
Irish Calvinist - Repent or ye shall be shot dead! A weapon won't save you.
Eye on Omaha - gets the blame game right.

I'm sure there are more bloggers that are waking up to what really went wrong in Omaha yesterday.
Some bloggers that saw the real issues:
From the Heartland
Joe's Crabby Shack
John Lott's Website
Liberty Zone
Real Gun Guys
The Pickle
Read these pro-carry comments on a Democratic Underground forum.
More comments from the Freepers.

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