I’m going to talk about this just a little more, and then wrap up the topic.
The first thing I want to address is that the death of the shooter at New Life has been ruled a suicide by the county coroner. The reason I want to talk about this is because it does provide an “out” for the anti-gun people to say that “armed citizens didn’t do anything, he would have just killed himself”, and attempt to somehow invalidate the heroism of Ms. Assam. I can definitively say that such statements are bullshit. Even the coroner’s report notes that Ms. Assam’s shots were what put him on the ground to begin with.
“It should be noted that he was struck multiple times by the security officer, which put him down. He then fired a single round killing himself,” the statement said.
She definitively stopped his rampage. This scenario is (somewhat) common, you can see another example of it in the infamous North Hollywood shootout. A shooter, determined to not be captured, is hit repeatedly by the good guys and severely wounded, realizes that the jig is up and takes the coward’s way out. Had Ms. Assam not been on the scene, there is no doubt in my mind that this little miscreant would have continued shooting until he was down to his last bullet.
The other thing I want to address (and just briefly) is tactics. One of things that came out of the story is that before she engaged the shooter, Ms. Assam made use of available concealment to obscure her position until she had a clear shot. It’s a tactically sound decision, especially when outranged and outclassed in terms of firepower. Handgun vs. Rifle is a bad situation to be in, but by negating the range advantage through use of concealment, Ms. Assam was able to make up for most of the technological disadvantages.
The other thing that her use of concealment did was it swung the momentum in her favor. I have little doubt that the shooter was not expecting to meet armed resistance, and even less doubt that he wasn’t expecting it to pop out from behind cover and start taking chunks out of him.
Now, I don’t advocate that for everyone. In fact, if I were in church and I heard shots coming from the vestibule, you can be sure that my wife and I would be moving towards the exit in the opposite direction of the vestibule pretty much as fast as our legs could carry us. Same with the mall shootings – my responsibility is to my family first; even if I’m alone. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again here: the best way I can “win” any gunfight is not get it one in the first place.