Dependable Erection

Monday, March 03, 2008

Just one of those things

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A gunman wearing a jacket and tie wordlessly and randomly opened fire inside a Wendy's during the lunchtime rush Monday, killing a firefighter who'd gone back to fetch a missing meal toy for his child and wounding five others. He then turned the gun on himself.

"This was not a robbery. He didn't demand anything," said Paul Miller, a Palm Beach County sheriff's spokesman. "Looks like this was just another random shooting like we've seen around the United States."

The 42-year-old victim, a Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue lieutenant who was not in uniform, had met his wife and child at the restaurant, Deputy Fire-Rescue Chief Steve Delai said. The family had gotten their food and walked out, but the man returned because the free toy was missing from the kids' meal, he said.

The lieutenant, who had been promoted in January and was on his break from new officers' training at a building down the street, was shot in the back as he stood at the counter, Delai said.



  • But, but, but... how could this happen? How did he get a gun in there? It's a gun free zone.

    You forgot the part where the disarmed Wendy's patrons were totally defenseless. If this guy had brought more bullets, and hadn't turned the gun on himself, there would be a whole lot more dead people and there would have been nothing that the patrons could have done about it.

    By Blogger Locomotive Breath, at 10:43 AM  

  • If only you had been there to save them.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 10:54 AM  

  • If only the rules had permitted them to save themselves.

    How often do you think someone's going to enter a restaurant (OK, with Wendy's that's debatable) or a classroom and open up when he knows that 30 people are going to return fire? Even the insane aren't necessarily stupid.

    By Blogger Locomotive Breath, at 11:00 AM  

  • So what would happen in a large, diverse community in which you allowed and encouraged everyone to carry guns at all times? Would there be more casualties due to accidents or sudden incidents of rage, or would there be less casualties since the good people could stop the bad people in time to save lives?

    Or is that question irrelevant, and it's just an issue of personal control? Most people are aware that flying is statistically safer than driving, yet a lot of people fear flying because they have no control.

    Or is the pro-gun argument based on the belief that it's simply a right, plain and simple, and not one individual's or group's concern if the rest of society can't be trusted to act responsibly?

    Honestly, just trying to understand the pro-gun side...

    By Blogger toastie, at 11:22 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Locomotive Breath, at 12:40 PM  

  • You have to accept the fact that no matter how many laws you pass, criminals will ALWAYS have access to guns.

    Why would you then deny people who obey the law the opportunity to defend themselves using the same means? 'Cause law enforcement isn't going to get there in time. Ever.

    Then there's that pesky old 2nd Amendment thing. SCOTUS is about ready to rule on that finally.

    By Blogger Locomotive Breath, at 1:07 PM  

  • I know that Locomotive Breath lives in a utopian world in which everyone has gotten in touch with their inner Charlton Heston, but in the real world, even with a gun on their hip, 90% of people are psychologically unwilling/unable to purposefully shoot and kill someone, even if it's a shoot-or-be-shot situation.

    Hence, the reason that new recruits/officer candidates spend a great deal of time in basic on dehumanizing the enemy and firing at faceless silhouette targets until the decision to shoot is reflexive, rather than rational. (I did some work with the MCCDC battle lab on this very issue.)

    Furthermore, even in Virginia, where it's patently legal to openly carry a firearm in public, without a concealed carry permit, most people aren't very comfortable sitting in the food court with Joe Bob when he's got his USP hanging from his hip.

    I'm also guessing that Locomotive Breath has never actually been faced with his/her own mortality -- else he/she'd know that most people freeze up and those that don't rarely are capable of rational judgements, especially when the adrenaline is pumping. (And unlike the movies, shooting accurately over distance with a handgun is pretty difficult, even with a stationary target.)

    By Blogger Dan S., at 7:24 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Locomotive Breath, at 8:02 PM  

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