25 yrs ago at a McDonald’s in San Diego…

My father and his shooting buddy were enjoying some food after a morning out plinking. Their pistols at their side – open-carry.

One week later…the same McDonald’s, the same time, a lone gun man would take the lives of 24.  Perhaps things would have gone a little differently if there were a couple of “sheep dogs” having a Big Mac.

While a .357 or Glock pistol might have been outgunned by a semi-auto Uzi.  I’d wager two experienced shooters having just finished target practice would have a fair chance in close quarters. Especially, if the gunman was unaware of their armed presence. Perhaps it would have been 2-4 dead – instead of 24.

CNN has an article recalling the incident and detailing one of the events which has led to what many refer to as a militarization of our police forces.


One thing that I find intriguing is the fact that the first officer on scene had an opportunity to take out the gunman – but did not.  In many of these high death count incidents there is a recurring trend on the part of the first responders – inaction.  I guess I really can’t blame a police officer for being concerned about their own safety.  Many if not most police officers have families, they have children, they want to go home and see them tonight.  But at the same time I am left wondering how many others would have gone home if the first responding officers acted with trained initiative instead of inaction.

San Diego – he arrived, saw the gunman. Had an opportunity to take him out. But he assumed there were others and he’d get surrounded. And took a passive position.

Columbine – officers arrive and do nothing. They respond as if it’s a hostage situation long after people are being shot and executed.  Two young gunmen who when finally confronted took their own lives. How many would be alive today if they had been confronted earlier.

Even more recently we had a shooting in which several died while police waited outside for ages.

Inaction, it may not get you killed. But someone will probably get killed by it.  Just read up on the Battle of Antietam and General McClellan’s inaction.

Published in: on July 25, 2009 at 5:47 am  Comments (1)  
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