Once more we have another real life lesson in the futility of the ficticious “gun free” zone, this time from Darby, Pennsylvania. A patient who had some sort of “history” with the institution decided he was mad enough to kill somebody and darned if the “gun free” policies of the place weren’t much backup to the murder-free policies of the state of Pennsylvania. It’s almost like the bad guy wasn’t dissuaded from his intentions by words written on a page somewhere in the slightest!
Fortunately for the people at the hospital it appears that someone else ignored the “gun free” zone, but with an entirely different motive. A physician in the office where the shooter manifested was armed and after being wounded by the bad guy returned fire effectively, grievously wounding the active shooter. The police chief of the area has gone on record saying: “Without that firearm, this guy (the patient) could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition.”
It’s customary to be modest and claim that I just hate to say I told you so but I’m not the slightest bit bashful about it. There are many gray areas in life but this isn’t one of them: Bad men do not respect laws and policies. They respect force. Some men can live peaceably with others because they have a functional moral code which they use to guide their behavior. Some men will never achieve that kind of moral standing and must be kept in check by the knowledge that straying outside the moral lines will bring sufficiently unpleasant consequences that they don’t risk it. Some will not be troubled by morals or the promise of eventual judgment. For these men there is no alternative to force. If you find yourself face to face with such a man without the ability to visit effective forms of violence on his person…well…it does not bode well for you.
Lots of people preach non-violence, but non-violence is a luxury provided by modernity. People at a social function today can stand around eating a pathetic attempt to recreate “tapas” and talk about how they could never use violence against another human being because they have the expectation that they can whip out a cell phone, dial 911, and have an armed police officer show up to sort a bad man out. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think anyone willing to call a dude with a gun is really a non-violent pacifist. “I would never harm another human being! I’ll just call another heavily armed person to do it for me. Gaze upon my superior morality and despair!” If I was really committed to non-violence I wouldn’t tolerate any violence done on my behalf, either…but maybe that’s just me.
We hear all the time how violence never solves anything, but it’s pretty clear here that the doc’s prescription for hollowpoints solved the problem of this dude shooting up a hospital. Sometimes violence is the best medicine.
The physician who acted to save his life and the lives of others runs the risk of disciplinary action for violating the hospital’s policies on weapons…but I would submit for consideration that if the only reason you know an employee or associate has a weapon is because they pulled it and stopped somebody who was murdering others, it’s kind of stupid to try and hammer them for it. Had the presence of the good Doc’s weapon been discovered because he was goofing around with the gun and accidentally launched a round into a patient, by all means fire the guy. It would be absurd, though, to get ticked off about a gun you never even knew was there until somebody had a damned good reason to pull it out and use it. Hopefully the doc’s actions, the gravity of the situation, and the support of the authorities and the general public will be enough to prevent him from experiencing any career or financial setbacks as a result of deciding to discretely arm himself just in case somebody tried to murder him. I mean, what are the odds that’s going to happen, right?