Oh, I’ll go ahead and say it if YOU won’t

If you’ve missed it on the news, there was a shooting here in Utah Monday evening. An 18-year-old with a shotgun killed five before being cornered by Ken Hammond, an off-duty police officer who kept him pinned down with fire until uniformed officers arrived. It’s not clear who fired the shot that killed Sulejmen Talovic, but the perp is dead, and lives were saved as a result.

From the CNN coverage:

Hammond’s boss, Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner, said the state Senate wants to honor him.

“Thank goodness he was there,” said Greiner, who is also a state senator. “You don’t want to ever say it’s good we were there and killed somebody, but it’s probably good someone was there.”

… and killed somebody. I’ll go ahead and say it if you won’t.

Okay, I’ll waffle a little. It’s not good that somebody HAD to be killed, but when placed in a situation where the alternative is letting a deranged punk kid slaughter innocents with a shotgun and a backpack full of ammunition, it is a good thing officers shot and killed Sulejmen Talovic.

It’s also a GREAT thing that Hammond carries his pistol with him off-duty. He probably saved another five or ten lives last night by being willing and able to take one.

60 thoughts on “Oh, I’ll go ahead and say it if YOU won’t”

  1. Gotta’ love our cops. Can’t pay me enough to have to deal with… less than savory people, like they do, and to have to live with stuff like what happened yesterday.

    I used to game with a country sheriff. Due to his influence, I got my carry license. Hell of a gaming night when more than half the folks showing up were armed. ‘Course, made for some real nitpicking when it came to games with firearms.

    1. At least once, one of the members of our group has looked up from where he’s set up running that week to discover that his wife has been handing out knives, swords, and other sharp objects. All but two people in the group had one in hand at that point. The two who didn’t had either a makeshift garrote/whip made from a key chain or sharp, claw-like fingernails.

      Good times, that. Gaming while surrounded with lethal weapons, including a variety of knives and swords with a dash of firearms including a couple of shotguns, plus a well-made shovel for that classic horror game effect, that’s a great way to set the atmosphere. *evil grin*

      On a more serious note, good thinking stopping that whacked little punk. It is never right that someone has to die in a situation like that but Lord is it sometimes necessary.

  2. Small world.

    I have a friend who’s sister’s sister in law’s husband just died suddenly from complications due to appendicitis. He was 40 and it was unexpected. The poor family across the street gave the widow a card with 100 bucks in it. It was very touching, because they prolly didn’t have much to spare.

    And it was that family’s kid who shot up the mall… they don’t have the money to bury their son. Just to put a human face on things.

    names omitted, because this is info from a friends-locked post.

    1. To clarify, dead husband -> condolence card with c-bill from family -> a few days later family son shoots up the mall.

      I think the widow is going to give them a card with some money in it.

      1. Very sad, and I don’t doubt for a minute that the boy will be missed by his family.

        As I said above, it’s not good that these things happen. It would certainly be BETTER if non-violent means could be found to prevent them from happening in the first place (e.g. counseling). But every violent sociopath out there is some mother’s son.

  3. First, I’m glad everything seems to be fine with the Taylor clan.
    Second, I’m glad that officer Hammond was there, ready and willing to do what he did.
    Third, I’m upset that an off-duty police officer was apparently the only armed citizen to respond.

    I’ve been carrying a weapon since, shortly after the 1990 Luby’s Massacre I found myself in that very same Luby’s restaurant by chance.
    I’m a CHL Instructor, and have a concealed handgun permit. I carry a rifle in my car. I will train ANYONE who asks in basic weapons handling, for free.

    I encourage each and every one of you who read my words to get TRAINING and get LICENSED, and carry with you the tools necessary to stop these SICK MADMEN from carrying out their suicidal rampages.

    Carrying a handgun with you isn’t sexy. It isn’t macho. It isn’t fun. Truth be told, it’s a giant pain in the ass… sometimes literally. But it’s the price I pay to be READY to defend myself should something like the Luby’s Massacre or the North Hollywood bank robbery shootout or this rampage in Utah.

    It is terrible that people treat each other so badly in this world that people get so… twisted … that they can do these things. But as sad as their stories are, I propose that the good people of this world should NOT stand by and let them play out their sick swan songs. They must, whenever they show themselves, be shot down like the mad dogs they are. And to do so, the proper tools must be at hand.

    Arm yourself. Learn how to use your arms, and when. Be ready and watchful.

    1. If everyone was so diligent as to get trained in responsible use of a firearm I’d be happier to see more of them out there. Sadly, I suspect that not everyone is that responsible.

    2. That.

      Any free society, no matter how enlightened, basically lasts only as long as its citizens are prepared to stand up and defend it against those who would tear it down. When the citizens stop caring, or just can’t be bothered any more, its days are numbered.

      1. It’s not when the people stop caring. It’s when they start believing the rhetoric that says that they should put that burden on someone else – employed by the people that they should be prepared to put down.


    3. I agree — another armed citizen could have made a huge difference.

      Interesting factoid from the Deseret News: The shooting spree itself lasted only six minutes.

      Sure, the cops made really good time getting there and stopping the killer, but an armed citizen on the scene could have responded in the first thirty seconds.

      1. Most of these things are short. The long-drawn out sprees like the “Hungerford Massacre” tend to be the exceptions.

        The striking thing about the Hungerford massacre is that fairly early on, a citizen, former military, then a competitive high-power rifle shooter, called the police and told them what was happening. He said, “I have my FAL right here, I have a clear shot, I can take him out right now, do I have permission to fire?”

        They told him no. It would be another 30 minutes before an armed police unit actually arrived on the scene.

        1. A retired US Navy Admiral (who co-created COBOL) said “It is better to seek forgiveness than ask permission”

          I don’t believe I’d have asked if it was ok to take the shot till after the shooter’s body was done twitching…

          1. My inclination would be much the same. But this was in England, where everyone has become much more … conditioned, shall we say … to defer to authority first.

          2. Don’t blame England. Blame (then THANK) military training. You don’t fire without orders, ever. That’s pretty strong conditioning, and that’s why we trust these people to commit violent (but usually necessary) acts in our behalf, and then walk freely among us.

          3. Well, that’s not actually entirely true. There are times when, depending on the tactical situation, you may have to simply use your best judgement within your defined ROE. And very occasionally, you may have to say, “Screw the ROE, the guy who wrote them isn’t here and didn’t anticipate this situation, if we stick with the ROE we’re boned.”

            (And yes, I’m fully aware that in civilian situations, this can be a very tough judgement call.)

            Nevertheless, your point is taken.

      2. I’d just like you to add “and competent” to “armed citizen”, there. a less-than-competent citizen would either get shot himself or shoot someone else in error. The off-duty cop has been trained in how to do it properlym, or so one would hope…

        I’m all in favour of those who are competent carrying, since the criminals, nutters and such seem to manage to get weapons pretty easily. In the UK, we have punitive gun laws [1] and it’s VERY difficult to get a firearms licence. This, of course, has next-to-no effect on armed crime, ‘cos hey, look, criminals don’t have gun licences and don’t use registered weapons, well what a freakin’ suprise. It’s not quite so bad getting a shotgun licence, but mutli-shot (more then 3) repeaters are classed as firearms, not with the shotguns, and there are restrictions on barrel length too.

        Of course, there’s the little detail about deciding who is, and who isn’t, competent to own and/or carry a gun.

        The gun laws over here were introduced/tightened in 2 phases following “massacres” at Hungerford and Dunblane, both of which, unusually, were done with registered weapons, by licensed gun owners – although in each case they found notable errors had been made in the application process and neither man should, in fact, have gotten a licence.

        I have every sympathy for the victims, but in cold, hard figures as many people are killed most days of the week on the roads and nobody bats an eyelid, ‘cos that’s OK, we all want to have cars.

      3. Sure, but do you really want to trust [insert name of idiot who voted for opposing idiot in your relevant election] to make the decision on when it is appropriate to fire a lethal weapon in your vicinity? Most people are opinionated and irrational, and have a tendency to overreact.

        1. If it’s a matter difference of “shoot into my general area at the guy who’s killing people” and “stand by and watch someone shoot innocent people” I’d hunker down and take my chances on the stray round.

          Heck, my dad and I have long discussed that, should it come down to it and someone has a gun to the head of one of us, the other better make darn sure the shot gets taken.

          I agree with Howard that it’s a shame that someone, anyone, died. But since this kid had at the LEAST shot several people when the off-duty cop engaged, I have to say that the shooter’s life ends up way down on the list of people I want to see survive the day.

          My thoughts go out to not only the wounded and the families of the dead an wounded, but also to the family of the shooter.

        2. do you really want to trust [insert name of idiot who voted for opposing idiot in your relevant election] to make the decision on when it is appropriate to fire a lethal weapon in your vicinity?

          Sure. FIRE AWAY.

          I think about 90% of the registered rape-ublicans and dumb-ocrats who ALSO happen to have CCW permits can tell the difference between right and wrong when some punk is discharging his shotgun into the greeting card store. They may have voted for the wrong person in the last election (political cynicism — by definition, you’re ALWAYS voting for the wrong person) but that’s a far cry from SHOOTING the wrong person.

          1. Oh, absolutely. But, what about when it’s the 4th of July, and sharp retorts are heard, and some teenager runs by with what looks like a gun? Then maybe later you realize it was firecrackers and a water pistol?

            What about when some teenybopper starts screaming, and you see what appears to be an older man menacing her, and then maybe you find out later it was her dad pulling a bad joke on her (“look honey! Spider!”)?

            If the real world were always simple, the laws would be too.

          2. Your comments tell me that you don’t understand the full responsibility of carrying a handgun.
            It’s not like a Western movie, where the farmboy straps on a shootin’-iron and goes out looking for trouble.
            It’s not that simple.
            A person who carries a handgun has made the decision that his own life and the lives of his family and friends are more important than the lives of those who would commit crimes against him. It is for self defense, not armed nosiness.
            A person who uses his legally-carried weapon for self defense faces very real legal trouble, even if his use of the weapon turns out to be completely justified. He might face civil suits for damages to property, or from the criminal or his family. Even if he prevails in court, he faces enormous legal bills to defend his actions. He may be fired from his job, or lose friends.

            You don’t go blasting away at kids with waterpistols.

            When I go out, I go armed. The presence of my gun is a weight in a physical sense, and in the sense that it restrains my actions, moderating any tendency I might have to do naughty things or go where I probably shouldn’t. It makes me a more sober, considerate person that I might otherwise be. It makes me more aware of my surroundings, and keeps me alert to situations I should avoid, rather than leading me to get into conflicts.

            I invite you to get some training. Actual exposure to real weapons and the real issues surrounding the decision to carry legally in public will definitely give you a more realistic perspective.

          3. It isn’t that *I* don’t understand the responsiblity. It isn’t even that I don’t think *YOU* understand the responsibility. Right now there are enough hoops to jump through to carry a weapon that the people who have them legally DO tend to be more considerate and responsible.

            My concern is the type of people who will end up carrying if we make it easier and more acceptable to do so. Many decades ago, the same argument you make for the character of a handgun carrier could have been made about the character of an automobile driver. Now? Not so much.

    4. I have no interest whatsoever in carrying a handgun on my person. Personally, I’m not fond of violence nor do I consider myself the most stable of individuals. Those who are emotionally unstable and on psychoactive medication have no business carrying firearms, in my opinion. Also, I live on a college campus. Public Safety’s response to an armed student would not be something I care to deal with. (That said, their response times to incidents are also something that I and a number of others find lacking a certain urgency at times.)

      That said, if you own and carry a firearm and actually know how to do so responsibly, I don’t really have a problem with you doing so. Your point about the proper tools assumes that the person handling the tool is capable of handling it correctly and will do so. If they are, then I’m not worried about them.

      If they aren’t, I do not want someone who is either unwilling or unable to safely and responsibly handle a lethal weapon anywhere near me. Reckless endangerment offenses (including DUI and reckless discharge of a firearm) are charges that should be enforced ruthlessly to weed out stupidity that is a danger to others. In a situation like the ones you’re referring to, someone with impaired or flawed judgment is a danger to themselves and others; adding a gun to the mix simply increases the danger.

      1. With that information about yourself, I’d say that you’re a fantastic candidate for basic firearm safety and shooting lessons.

        The point is knowing exactly what _could_ happen, and knowing how to deal with it. If that involves knowing that you shouldn’t grab the thing, great. Especially if you’ve been taught exactly what you shouldn’t do.


        1. Long response but a serious one

          If I have to make a grab for a gun, I want and need to be as close to the gunman as possible, preferably close enough to step into his reach before he can take a shot. I am not a terribly athletic person and I need to make use of my weight and inertia in a grapple rather than attempt an arm wrestling contest with bad leverage. The best opportunity is to hit the gunman from behind, of course.

          My actual weapons safety training comes from lessons in archery safety from my Cub Scout days but the fundamentals are perfectly applicable to firearms. I haven’t personally handled a firearm in years aside from a few times that I’ve touched a museum piece or such. Just because I have very little real training with one doesn’t mean I don’t have a firm idea what not to do with a gun (or, for that matter, a bow or crossbow), however, even if my ability to do so is rusty. This is pretty much all I know about gun safety, assembled and put into a readable form from what I’ve picked up over the years and the lessons I had as a boy:

          Do not point a gun at anyone or anything you are not willing to shoot and kill, ever, even on a firing range. A gun is best assumed to be loaded with the safety set to ‘off’ and therefore dangerous unless I can confirm with a moment’s glance that the weapon presents no danger (i.e., disassembled or visibly showing that it has no clip and no chambered round). A firearm is not and should never be treated as a toy, even in jest; accidental shootings are not funny to anyone involved. A gun’s safety can be flicked off in a split-second and I am not familiar enough with firearms to tell if it is set or not without close inspection. A gun should have the safety on or be unloaded when it is not drawn and in use. A weapon being held in hand but not aimed or otherwise used should be pointed at the floor about two feet from my feet and not in the direction of anyone else to indicate that I am not aiming to take a shot. Putting my hand over the hammer is a good way to get injured, albeit not as bad as actually getting hit with the bullet; if I have to make a choice, my hand will heal faster than a head wound will. A flesh wound to the arm is more survivable than a shot to the gut or the head if I have the chance to choose. If I have to shoot another human being, aim for the center of mass and keep shooting until they hit the floor and don’t try to get up again because that is probably the only reliable method I have of preventing them from attempting to kill me. Fancy trick shooting is mainly a good way to miss the target and then get shot myself since I am not John Wayne, James Bond, or an expert marksman and real life is not a game. Finally, do not ever attempt to discover the status of a weapon by looking down the business end of a barrel unless I want to earn at least an Honorable Mention at the Darwin Awards.

          I do not consider myself someone who has any business owning or carrying a gun because I am not willing to concede that my judgment is sufficiently unimpeded by psychological issues and medication that I would be properly responsible with a firearm. Among other things, I have in the past occasionally had suicidal thoughts; while I am being treated for major depression, including taking anti-depressants, and am not suicidal (nor have I ever actually been, aside from occasional thoughts about it), there is such a thing as tempting fate. I also have a quick temper and am given to bursts of rage, occasionally violent rage, where I might readily give in to the temptation to commit severe violence against someone given the wrong provocation. That risk is serious enough in a situation where I would be bare-handed; adding a firearm to a mess like that is like throwing a match into a pile of black powder.

          I have very firm convictions that owning and carrying a firearm means accepting and fulfilling the responsibility that comes with it. I don’t consider myself able to do that as well as a gun owner should and, hence, will not be purchasing or carrying a gun for the foreseeable future.

          1. Re: Long response but a serious one

            My actual weapons safety training comes from lessons in archery safety from my Cub Scout days but the fundamentals are perfectly applicable to firearms.

            [/tongue-in-cheek]That is because a weapon is a weapon, and while knowing how to handle a knife safely does not mean you know how to use a rifle safely, knowing that both will make holes in people is at least a step in the appropriate direction.[/tongue-in-cheek]

    5. Your post is the best argument I’ve ever read for carrying a firearm (and I’m typically dead-set against it). I can only imagine what could have resulted if an average untrained citizen with a gun decided to be a hero before the off-duty cop took action.

    6. The fact that there were no armed citizens in a state with such reasonable CCW laws is surprising. I am curious if Arizona would do better or worse, considering the apathy most folks seem to have.

        1. May I say I am greatly envious? I didn’t have the funds to purchase her when she was up for auction. I tried to convince Doc to have a mold made for those that wanted a less expensive option, but had no luck.

      1. My friend was actually present at that shop about 24 hours prior to the shooting. He is very into self-defense (he even works security at gun shows). However, given that he was flying I doubt he was carrying. Even if he could have helped, I think I’m glad he was out of there when the trouble went down.

  4. Add “emotionally stable” to competent, please.

    I personally have no interest in carrying a handgun, though for quite the opposite reason to the previous poster. You see, I am a menace to society. Stupid people make me mad. Cutting me off in traffic, for instance, ESPECIALLY after I went to so much trouble to get in the lane I’m in without upsetting anyone else, really tunes me up.

    Hi. My name is Kisc, and I have a temper.

    I probably wouldn’t shoot someone for cutting me off. Most days.

    That said, there was one guy being interviewed on channel 2 that said he was on the upper level and looking for something to throw at the shooter. Bald guy, goatee, tough looking hombre. Looks kind of like me, but shorter. If I could have gotten above the shooter, I’d have thrown 285 lbs of ME at him. My broken legs are a small price to pay, right? I don’t have a problem getting involved in whatever ways I can, and I’ve read enough about tunnel vision to have a fair idea what I’m going to try in those sorts of situations.

    People talk about the “fight of flight” instinct. I’ve only got the first part, and that’s why I won’t carry a gun.

    1. As I posted earlier, then you really should get some basic training.

      Having a hot temper is one thing – I have one myself. However, I own more than five firearms, and have carried them with loaded clips (not in the weapon, I don’t have a need for that) in my vehicle when in extremely stressful situations. (I have to carry them sometimes for two or three days before I can get time to go to the range).

      I’ve never pulled one out, even when having people making threatening gestures in my direction (or directly at me). The gun is a last restore self defense item, it’s not to be used for offence. Cursing at someone is much more relieving for offensiveness.

      Go to a local gunrange. Tell them you have a temper, but you want to know what to do, and NOT to do, when confronted with a firearm. You’ll appreciate it.


      1. However, I own more than five firearms, and have carried them with loaded clips (not in the weapon, I don’t have a need for that) in my vehicle when in extremely stressful situations. (I have to carry them sometimes for two or three days before I can get time to go to the range).

        Um, magazines, not clips. Mags for short. (unless you are caring an older rifle that uses stripper clips, in which case I apologize) Now on to why I am commenting to your post:

        An unloaded gun is a paperweight. It’s not balanced right to be a club, and difficult to throw with any accuracy. It has limited use as a bluff, especially if your opponent has one of his own that is loaded. If I were to carry a firearm (which I may or may not) it would be fully loaded, round in the chamber, safety off. (another note for the general public: I am trained, and the weapon is built to be carried like this. If I have one. Know your weapon, your laws, and yourself before you do this!!!)

        Second, the phrase “I have to carry them sometimes for two or three days before I can get time to go to the range” worries me a bit. Please please please tell me that you are not leaving firearms in your car? I know you didn’t specifically say that, but I am just making sure.

        1. Technically, a ‘clip’, or rather, a ‘cartridge clip’ (or ‘ammunition clip’), is a ‘metal frame or container holding cartridges for a magazine rifle or automatic pistol’. (Note that a ‘banana clip’ is just a long ‘magazine’ that bends because of the shape of the spring and ammunition)

          A ‘magazine’ is a building or room for storing munitions. (I kid you not. It even comes before the synonym definition for the clip)

          I think that anyone that leaves a loaded weapon lying around anywhere but physically on his person is an idiot. I can grab the case and clip, ram the clip in the grip, pop the safety (if you use one) and rack the slide about as fast as just grabbing the gun, popping the safety, and racking the slide.

          I never leave any of my weapons with a round up the spout unless I’m preparing to use it at a range. As for transporting? Yes, some days I have to put it in the car, take it out of the car at night, put it in the car, take it out, etc.

          The ammo box, on the other hand, I sometimes leave in the car. It’s just a toolbox, after all.

          Does that answer your questions?

          I _hope_ you don’t leave loaded weapons lying around.

          1. The first auto loading rifles had the magazine built into the weapon. You used the stripper clip to rapidly load them into the weapon. Even though the magazine has replaced the stripper clip on most autoloaders, the stripper clip is still in use.


            Ammunition is issued in the military on stripper clips, which can be rapidly loaded into the magazines as shown.

            And no, I don’t leave any weapons loaded that are not secured or under my immediate control

  5. I would like to throw in a simple “thank you” to Howard and everyone who has commented here.

    Thank you for being supportive of Officer Hammond’s difficult decision.

    Police officers catch the rough end from media and public opinion quite a bit, especially in cases of the use of deadly force or any situation involving a person under the age of 26. It seems that they can never make the “right” decision; either they respond too harshly by using deadly force, or they “did nothing”. Knowing as many law enforcement officials as I do, it does my heart good to see that some still appreciate the difficult job they do.

    Pray for the families. Pray for the wounded. Pray for healing.

    1. In a situation like that, where the officer is presented with a choice between taking out a suspect/perpetrator using lethal force and letting the target present an imminent, lethal threat to others (most definitely including the officer!), there isn’t a “right” decision. While sometimes a person can be talked down, that isn’t always possible. Further, the life and safety of the victim is paramount to all other concerns, even the life of the officer; allowing them to be harmed simply isn’t “right”, either.

      When it comes down to a situation like that, an officer doesn’t have a “right” choice. Killing a human being is never right in my book.

      What they have is a choice between taking someone down using whatever means necessary or allowing them to cause yet more harm. It is a choice between necessary violence, perhaps even inflicting death, and victimization of the innocent. That the officer has to make that choice in the first place is only another tragedy. I wouldn’t want to have to make that choice. I regret that he did.

      That the media, who wasn’t there, didn’t have to face the choice between the death of a criminal or that of an innocent, doesn’t have to live with the fact that, however necessary it was, they had to take a human life, finds it somehow appropriate to further compound the strain of the situation, is just another cruel injustice. I don’t know many law enforcement personnel at all, really, but I appreciate the dangerous, difficult job they have voluntarily chosen to do. Maybe someday they won’t have to make choices like that anymore.

      That day isn’t coming tomorrow and it won’t be the day after, either, much as we may hope. Until it arrives, I’m thankful that we have people willing and able to step up and deal with the evil that lurks in the hearts of men. And I offer my prayers, for whatever good they may do, to those hurt in this mess.

      1. I disagree with your first scenario, and your supposition that there is no “right” choice…

        The choice that ends the day with the most people alive and free of bullet wounds is the right decision…

        1. I think what he meant was more along the lines of there being no choice that is “right” for everyone. The right choice for those that lost family to the kid with the gun would have been if the off duty officer had shot earlier. The right choice for the family of the kid with the gun would have been if the officer had waited and talked the kid into surrendering.

          The choice that ends the day with the most people alive and free of bullet wounds is the right decision

          change that to “the best we can do”, and it is more accurate.

        2. *shakes head*

          Let me explain something as clearly as I can: I do not regard the killing of another human being as ever being right, ethically or morally. Necessary, certainly, as I tried to make clear, even acceptable as the best of the likely outcomes, but not right. It is never right to take a human life, even in circumstances that make it necessary, acceptable, and the best available option, at least as far as I’m concerned.

          Please do not misunderstand, I am not criticizing the officer’s decision. He made a necessary choice between the lesser of two evils and, in my opinion, he made the best one by removing the gunman. I simply regret that the outcome ended in the necessity of killing him. I have no objections to the use of lethal force in situations where it becomes necessary, I simply do not believe that taking human lives is ever fundamentally “right” even if it is necessary and the best choice in the situation.

          *sighs, shakes head again*

          It’s very hard to properly articulate my beliefs along those lines. Let me put it this way, I regard killing as a sin but one that can be forgiven provided that the circumstances call for it. Does that make more sense?

          1. Hunh. What religion do you follow? I don’t believe I’ve ever run into one that does not condone killing in one form or another. MURDER, yes. But killing in many situations is not only acceptable, but encouraged, by every religion I’ve ever studied – though admittedly late-stage Bhuddism attempts to rise above/beyond worldly concerns like that.

          2. I’m more of a non-denominational monotheist than anything else. While I believe there’s a God, I also believe ethics and behavior matter more than dogma, something that means I have friction with certain of the more… zealous proselytizers that one occasionally runs into in the South.

            Like I said, I find taking someone’s life to be an extreme step, one that is never “right” in an ethical sense but one that all too often is necessary under the circumstances. It’s a sin in the sense of being an offense against the basic principles I believe in. But, I don’t have a large problem with the death penalty or the use of lethal force in those situations where it becomes necessary. If one must take or end a life because there is no better choice or because the other has committed so offensive and heinous a violation of the law, then it is forgivable because it was best or only option available at the time. In an imperfect world, the best of intentions can lead to the worst of outcomes, something that I believe God understands. “Necessity” and “best option” as ethical concepts do not always equate to “right” to me.

            It’s not necessarily rational. (Actually, it probably isn’t, to be honest.) It is what I believe and it works for me. *shrugs* That’s really all that matters in terms of religion, as far as I’m concerned.

      2. Killing a human being is never right in my book.

        In my disgust at reading this statement, I started to reply with an ad hominem attack on your intelligence. Instead, in the name of good taste and respect for my host (this is Howard’s journal, and we’re guests), I’ll just say that you really need to think about your place in society and re-evaluate this statement and whether you really believe it.
        I’m not going to give scenarios to try to “prove” you wrong. But if you don’t believe that sometimes the only way to deal with a person’s extreme misbehavior is to use deadly force to instantly incapacitate them, then I feel you aren’t entitled to the benefits of the protection provided by that force, should you ever need it.
        In other words, if you wouldn’t kill to defend yourself, why should anyone else do it for you?

        1. There has been a misunderstanding somewhere over what I was saying. I’m going to send you an email instead of attempting to hash this out because your tone appears to be quite hostile to me and I do not wish to provoke some sort of public conflict.

    2. Police Officers catch the rough end of public opinion because they spend 90% of their day enforcing bad laws designed primarily to 1) generate money for the state/city, and 2) to save money for the federal government. Look up the origin of speed limit laws sometime.

  6. I think the sanctity of life is total bullshit. The social contract we all agree to live and abide by provides protections for us. You should be able to live with a reasonable expectation that you won’t get robbed, raped, or killed as long as you agree to do none of those things yourself.

    When somebody violates some aspect of a social contract, the protections and benefits provided by said contract should no longer be guarenteed to them.

    You drive drunk? No more car for you.
    You rape somebody? No more testicles for you.
    You kill somebody? No more life for you.

    I think, if anything, we are too lenient on capital offenses. Wishy washy talk about rehabilitating criminals who were ‘pushed into a life of crime’ by the system is stupid. There are many others who WEREN’T pushed into a life of crime by the system. That doesn’t mean the system is fair or good. Crime can be an indicator of social and economic injustices. It doesn’t make the crime right, nor should it absolve the criminal for paying for his crimes. If we see a lot of violence and crime in a neighborhood, we should look at correcting the root problems to reduce crime and violence. However, we should put any bastards we find COMITTING those crimes in jail, or to death if they’ve killed others.

    People say that executing a killer doesn’t bring back his or her victims and so is pointless. But it DOES insure there will be no more victims from that particular person. And it frees up a cell.

    So I’m with you, Howard. I’m glad that guy was there with his gun, and I’m glad they killed that little bastard. Saves a lot of time and money on a trial and removes the chance that he’d get out of prison someday and have a chance to go loony tunes again.

    1. I’m not glad he’s dead, mind you, Scrubbo, but I’m also not saying that he didn’t earn what he got. That he earned it at all is the part that I regret.

      Other than that one specific point, I agree with a lot of your sentiments up there.

      1. By “glad” I don’t mean I take any joy in the whole thing, but rather I feel that him getting killed saved a lot time and removed a potiential future problem. Sympathy for the plight of a person driven to crime should be directed to others in those situations, not the criminal. And my gladness is that any “What could drive a kid to do this?” won’t be directed at trying to get this guy leniency, but could be directed at exposing the fundamental issues behind this kind of violence.

        Of course, that probably won’t happen. Ah well.

        1. Point. Hopefully, someone will get the message and start paying attention. Things like this usually have detectable signs well in advance of the breaking point.


          Here’s hoping…

  7. Well, ‘magazine’ was what they called the room(s) where they stored the barrels of gunpowder in times of yore 🙂

    My guess is that it stuck around as ‘place to stick ammunition’, and just migrated into use as a ‘thing to stick in the gun’.

    Lots of stuff goes that way.

  8. I’m glad that officer was there and was able and willing to take the necessary action. I feel so bad for that kid’s poor family. What a horrible thing to have to live with.

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