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Northwest has its own tragic shooting anniversary: Clackamas Mall

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For the past couple of days, the Portland Oregonian has been recalling last year’s deadly attack at the Clackamas Town Center, an event that preceded Sandy Hook by three days, but has provided a launch pad for local gun control efforts and allowed the newspaper to re-live the events, even with a story today.

The Dec. 11, 2012 incident took the lives of Steve Forsythe and Cindi Ann Yuille, and left one other person seriously wounded. Gunman Jacob Tyler Roberts – who stole the AR-15 rifle he used in the attack – took his own life moments after he apparently spotted an armed, off-duty security guard drawing a bead on him with a handgun.

One story in the Oregonian seems to suggest that accounts of the confrontation have changed a bit, and the man involved has apparently not been too eager to recall the incident, even though he didn’t fire a shot. If Roberts did kill himself because he was being confronted, it would not be the first time for that pattern to emerge. Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza killed himself as police cars began rolling up. Ian Stawicki, the man who shot up Café Racer in Seattle last year, took his own life when police were moving in.

Somehow overlooked in all of this is the fact that, like Sandy Hook Elementary, the Clackamas mall was – at least in theory – a “gun free zone.” Last year after this column reported on the incident, the Guns Save Life blog pointedly asked how that policy was working out.

The sad reality is that gun control proposals tossed out by the prohibition lobby, and “gun-free zones” as promoted by soon-to-be-ex-Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, are at best self-delusional. They do not deter criminals or crazy people from perpetrating vicious, heartbreaking crimes.

As reported by this column earlier, gun prohibitionists have been busy exploiting the looming Sandy Hook anniversary, while attempting to silence rights activists who are calling attention to the fact that guns do save lives. At least the Second Amendment Foundation is giving gun opponents an opportunity to cast a vote in an unscientific national telephone survey.

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post is reporting today that former Congresswoman Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords has taken another step “forward” with her new gun control PAC. At least the HuffPo isn’t calling it a “gun safety” organization.

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