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Around the country, gun owners stop potential mass murder; Here in Ohio, more violence in places where guns are banned
by Chad D. Baus
Nearly two weeks later, the nation is talking about the horrific deaths in a "gun-free" zone in Connecticut. In their arguments for the creation of more and more "no-guns" zones (more appropriately termed "victim zones"), gun rights opponents like to make claims such as college students having a "right to a gun-free" campus, and that the public has a "right to know" who has a gun in a public place.
As the discussion about the Connecticut killings goes on, here are other gun-related events happening in our state and across the country.
Quickly forgotten in the wake of the horrific attack in Connecticut is the attack at Clackamas Town Mall in Portland, Oregon. It has now been reported that a 22 year-old man licensed to carry a concealed handgun was at the mall when the attacker opened fire.
[Nick] Meli, who has a concealed carry permit, positioned himself behind a pillar.
"He was working on his rifle," said Meli. "He kept pulling the charging handle and hitting the side."
The break in gunfire allowed Meli to pull out his own gun, but he never took his eyes off the shooter.
"As I was going down to pull, I saw someone in the back of the Charlotte move, and I knew if I fired and missed, I could hit them," he said.
Meli took cover inside a nearby store. He never pulled the trigger. He stands by that decision.
"I'm not beating myself up cause I didn't shoot him," said Meli. "I know after he saw me, I think the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself."
Meanwhile, in Texas, an off-duty police officer stopped a potential mass murder in a movie theater when he shot an attacker who entered the building after firing shots in a nearby restaurant and injuring a victim in the parking lot.
Bexar County sheriff's spokesman Louis Antu says the incident started about 9:30 p.m. Sunday when the man fired shots inside a nearby restaurant. It's not clear what led to the shooting.
Antu says the man headed toward the theater and shot a male in the lot. The age and condition of the victim wasn't immediately known, but Antu says his injuries did not appear life-threatening.
The gunman entered the theater. Antu says the man fired a shot but struck no one. An off-duty sheriff's deputy working security then shot the gunman.
Two recent news reports here in Ohio, on the other hand, prove that the presence of a "no-guns" signs are impotent at stopping an armed attacker.
From the Cincinnati News Record:
One male was arrested in relation to shots fired in the Clifton area early Sunday morning.
Gregory Green, 18, was arrested after Cincinnati Police District Five and University of Cincinnati Police responded to Calhoun and Scioto streets in response to calls about gunfire heard in the area.
Officers arrested Green for carrying a concealed 9mm handgun.
For UC, two lock downs occurred. The first lock down was enacted for a robbery on Glendora Avenue, and the second was in relation to shots fired on Jefferson Avenue.
Three males held a victim at gunpoint at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Glendora Avenue.
The suspects took keys, a cell phone, a wallet and $11 from the victim, and fled toward Jefferson Avenue.
Nearly an hour later, UC Police responded to a report of gunshots heard near Daniels Hall. Witnesses told police three suspects fled toward the middle of campus after shots were fired.
UCPD Police Chief Michael Cureton confirmed campus went on lock down at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Students were ordered to stay in buildings while UCPD responded to the scene.
At approximately 2:03 a.m., a witness located in the University Park Apartments reported she heard six shots fired near Calhoun Street. A second lock down was enacted on campus at 2:06 a.m., according to police.
Two suspects were apprehended by police on Calhoun Street between Scioto Lane and Ohio Avenue at approximately 2:09 a.m. A third suspect was last seen fleeing toward West McMillian.
After the two suspects were apprehended and a firearm was recovered on Calhoun Street, the university-wide lock down was lifted at approximately 2:37 a.m.
Legislation aimed at lifting the ban of bearing arms for self defense on Ohio's campuses has been introduced in each of the past four state general assemblies (126th [2005-2006], 127th [2007-2008], 128th [2009-2010]), and 129th [2011-2012] but the bills were never given serious consideration, no matter which party was in the majority.
Meanwhile, the students of Ohio's campuses continue to pay the price in the loss of blood and treasure.
In Portsmouth, OH, an armed bank robbery occurred recently at a location that not only posts "no-guns" signs on the building, but also at the parking lot entrance.
From the Portsmouth Daily Times:
A man armed with a gun has robbed a Scioto County Bank. Approximately 11:19 a.m. Friday, the man entered WesBanco at 2331 Galena Pike in West Portsmouth, brandishing a gun and demanding money.
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said deputies along with detectives and the local FBI office responded to that location. Upon arrival they were advised that a male subject entered the bank brandishing a weapon and demanded an undisclosed amount of money. The male subject demanded the bank teller to give him her car keys then made her walk with him to her vehicle in the parking lot. The teller stated that he got into her vehicle and drove away last seen traveling south bound. The vehicle was described as a 2000 gold in color two door caviler. Detectives did recover the vehicle on the side of the road in West Portsmouth just shortly after the robbery.
"He got an undetermined amount of money and fled the scene," Scioto County Sheriff's Captain David Hall said. "He actually left with one of the tellers' vehicles. He made her produce the keys, then made her walk to her vehicle on the parking lot. The teller said he got into her vehicle, a 2000 gold two-door Chevrolet Cavalier, and drove away, last seen traveling southbound."
Hall said the vehicle was recovered a short time later in West Portsmouth.
And finally, a fatal stabbing at the University of Toledo:
The students involved in a fatal stabbing Wednesday night at the University of Toledo have been identified.
Dead is Josiah Galat, 20, of Mansfield. Mr. Galat was a senior studying engineering, according to university officials.
Injured and being treated for multiple stab wounds is Erik Littleton, 19, of Detroit, a sophomore studying engineering.
Police said the two were stabbed as the two got into a fight in a stairwell at the Horton International House, an on-campus residence hall.
UT officials said a 911 call was made at 9:02 p.m. by a driver who had "no part" in the incident. Four minutes later, police arrived on scene. At 9:10 p.m., and found Mr. Littleton outside of the hall.
At 9:23 p.m., police found a Mr. Galat inside the building.
"There is nothing we could have done to prevent this," Chief Newton said.
It is simply not possible to guarantee a "gun-free" zone in most public places, or to know with absolute certainty whether or not everyone around you has a gun, knife, or other tool to use as a weapon.
When considering whether or not to post "no-guns" signs, the only real question is, do you want to create an environment where the only people that may have a gun are lawless? Universities in Cincinnati and Toledo, WesBanco and, yes, Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, are four such places...and how's that working out for them?
We've tried all these 'get rid of the guns' laws before. It's never worked before and it won't work now. Americans are fed up with acting like we're all helpless when some nutcase decides to share his pain with the world and kill innocent people.
There's only one thing that works. Shoot the guy who is murdering our children. That works 100% of the time. It never fails. We arm our pilots. We have armed guards to protect banks. Politicians and rock starts travel armed or with armed security. It works for them. It will work for schools.
We need to stop being so passive and start acting like we give a damn. Stop the politics. Stop the talk. Let's do what works!
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.