Sometimes violence is the best medicine

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?


  1. “Some will not be troubled by morals or the promise of eventual judgment. For these men there is no alternative to force.”

    A great article. Well said.

  2. “Some men will never achieve that kind of moral standing ”

    I think mostly important, it is never your duty to die in order to give them an opportunity to achieve it in the future.

  3. Excellent job Tim, I consider it the finest written piece of news reporting I have seen in decades.I truly hope it gets the recognition it deserves and goes viral.

  4. “You must understand, therefore, that there are two ways of fighting: by law or by force. The first way is natural to men, and the second to beasts. But as the first way often proves inadequate one must needs have recourse to the second.”

  5. I read a lot of blogs but infrequently post or reply to them. This is excellent and I will be sharing this with many others.
    You nailed it! Haveing worked in a posted facility and having carried concealed, I understand and agree.

  6. The article linked to by sayuncle has a slightly different timeline:
    “The unidentified 52-year-old doctor shot Plotts three times and suffered a graze wound when the suspect returned fire, Whelan said at an evening news conference. Two guns were recovered.”

    Sounds like the Dr. shot the suspect after the caseworker had been shot, and then was shot by return fire. It is still justified, but those details are not included in the article you linked (and we can’t tell which article is accurate at this point).

    Either way, good thoughts and analysis.

  7. Do you think that the phrase “Jury Nullification” should be bandied about in reference to this case should it ever go to some Persecuting Attorney who might decide that it was better for all those potential victims to have been shot….?

  8. Except that only 1 in 10 judges of our just, and never wrong, nepotistic law system actually look at each individual case. The rest just do like their oppressor henchman and see a number. It does help that this guy is a DR. and therefore will be seen as more of an asset out of jail than in. Not so much the case of a regular, blue collar American. But hey, vote them out, because it works.

  9. “Bad men do not respect laws and policies. They respect force.”

    Unlike laws, force does not require respect to be effective. Great article. I will be sharing.

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