Three armed robbers are dead in two different shootings, one in Pennsylvania yesterday and the other in Ohio over the weekend, and the most accurate way to sum things up appears to be “they had it coming” for committing their crimes in places that weren’t “gun free zones” and their victims could shoot back.
Investigations of both incidents were still in progress yesterday when 20-year-old Richard Shoop reportedly walked into a shopping mall in Paramus, N.J. and opened fire with what was identified as a .22-caliber rifle. He didn’t hit anybody at the Westfield Garden State Plaza shopping mall and late last night his body was reportedly found with a fatal self-inflicted wound.
In Seattle, anti-gunners are still cringing over the notion that public libraries are now allowing (as if they could ever legally stop it) the carrying of firearms, oblivious of the fact that having armed citizens in their presence just might make their environment safer due to the deterrent factor. Armed citizens apparently have been in their presence, and nobody has been hurt.
Yesterday’s gunfight between two armed robbers and a legally-armed citizen in Reading, Pa., left both thugs dead. According to the Reading Eagle. Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams, “These two men chose this store as their prize for the day, and it didn’t work out very well.”
It does not appear that charges will be filed against the citizen who killed them. He’s identified only as a friend of the shop owner who was being robbed. Licensed to carry, the armed man spotted the robbery in progress about 2 p.m. yesterday afternoon. The newspaper said he waited outside for the robbers to exit the store, and then challenged them. When they threatened him, he shot both of them in the chest and that ended their criminal careers.
In West Toledo, Ohio Saturday, a clerk identified by the Toledo Blade as December Long was wounded by the robber who marched into the convenience store where she worked. The Toledo Blade said Long shot the robber right back. Identified as Christopher Shockley, he didn’t get much farther than the front door of the store.
Anti-gun Seattleites might learn something from these cases. While nobody was hurt at the New Jersey mall shooting, they could have been. Someone was hurt in West Toledo, but she fought back because she had the tool with which to fight back, and a criminal is permanently off the street instead of committing another crime. Nobody but the robbers was hurt in Pennsylvania, and they won’t be robbing anyone else.
It is not likely any of the three robbers bought their guns at retail, so background checks would have no bearing. Indeed, Shockley in Ohio apparently had a criminal record, precluding him from passing such a check. The newspaper reported, "Toledo police listed Shockley’s address as...a halfway house, where inmates undergo supervised transition from incarceration to reacclimating themselves to society." The story did not explain why he had been incarcerated.
Shoop, meanwhile, reportedly stole the modified rimfire rifle from his brother. He also did not undergo a background check.
People licensed to carry in Washington go through background checks just to get the license. Likely they bought their sidearms at retail, passing another background check. These are not the kind of people library patrons need to worry about. Indeed, if reaction to a story on the KOMO website are any indication, library patrons are panicking over nothing as they’ve had armed citizens in their presence at the libraries for quite some time.
The mall in New Jersey is closed today but the libraries in Seattle are open.