Walmart: Just another shooting

Friends and relatives await word about their loved ones in the store.

Friends and relatives await word about their loved ones in the store. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

By now you may have heard about the Walmart shooting here in Thornton, CO, Wednesday evening. And one or two of you might even have remembered I live here. But that particular Walmart is six miles away, so I wasn’t terribly alarmed … except that the gunman got away and it took police five hours to finally identify him on surveillance video. He wasn’t located and arrested until the next morning.

Why did the identification take so long? Because a number of shoppers pulled their own guns. It took police five hours to figure out which gun-wielding individual was the shooter.

So much for the NRA dictum: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Not one of those “good guys” on the scene fired a shot. All they managed to do was delay the identification of the long-gone shooter. (And if they had started shooting — in a crowded Walmart at 6 pm — imagine the chaos. How would they have known who to shoot? Would they have ended up shooting each other?)

Three people were shot and killed. It’s a wonder more didn’t die. And given the NRA’s obstruction and Congress’s complicity, I expect this to be a common occurrence during the remainder of my life. I take no comfort in the fact that by definition this was not a “mass shooting” because fewer than four people were shot.



Categories: guns

23 replies

  1. Glad you’re safe and weren’t in harm’s way.

    Sad. Sad that since so few where shot, media here in CA hasn’t covered the incident. One of these days there will be another shooting like this where all the NRA members will start shooting at each other. That will make the news here.

  2. I was wondering how close it was to your house; six miles is still too close for comfort.

    This is exactly the kind of situation that a lot of the gung-ho “good guys” seem to forget about, and we’re lucky that it didn’t become worse than it already was. They also forget that they’re not all “good guys,” and not all responsible. This is clearly one of the hazards of the whole “open carry” movement. Anything that slows down apprehension in cases like this can endanger innocent people. We no longer live in the Wild West, and there’s certainly no reason to bring it back … unless you want to bring back the gallows too (yep, I grew up about 30 miles south of the Hanging Judge’s courtroom); might as well go all the way on that swift justice.

    Oh, but mentioning anything (read: reasonable limits, universal background checks, etc.) means you want a complete ban on guns, doesn’t it? Have I said lately how much absolutists annoy the crap out of me? 😉

    • As it turned out, the guy headed south, away from my end of town, after the shooting.

      The “good guys” and their guns managed only to make things worse. And yes, absolutists (any kind) bug the hell out of me too.

  3. Oh, my. I had not heard. I rarely watch the news anymore. I just cannot stand to hear anything about Trump, his cabinet, and especially his voice. I read articles while online and listen to talk radio, but I must have missed this discussion as talk radio always talks about the shootings. Carrying guns is one of the most asinine things this country has done. Luckily they didn’t all start shooting at each other thinking that anyone armed other than their own self must be the shooter. I sure as hell NEVER want to be around an armed civilian if someone breaks out shooting people.

    • Like you, I mostly avoid national news these days. And yep, if I see a gun in the hands of anyone but a uniformed cop, I’m outta there. Let somebody else figure out who’s the bad guy and who’s the good.

  4. I did know that this was your home town, and knew you were safe as you were not reported as a victim.

    I knew you would be giving a report and comment and was getting a bit agitated with the delay. I fully expected your report two days ago.

    Don’t do this to me PT.

    Do we know the actual number that pulled their own guns, in accordance with the wishes of the Commander-in-Chief of the US?

    It really is quite ludicrous. I just sit here shaking my head at the idiocy that allows this state of affairs to continue, thankful that I live in a country where these occurrences are extremely rare

    • I’m surprised to hear this story made it all the way to Sydney, and even included the names of the victims. I apologize for keeping you waiting for my response. I haven’t read how many people pulled their own guns in response, but it took the police five hours to work through all the possibilities (tracking each individual’s path through the store, etc.) and narrow it down to the one suspect. That’s either a lot of people with guns, or some incompetent investigators, or both.

      Yes, it’s a shame the US didn’t act years ago, as Australia did, to control the problem while it was still possible. There are so many guns in this country now, we could never collect them all.

  5. Heartbreaking, the whole mess.

  6. With a new year, many Missourians have a new freedom: to legally carry a firearm with or without a concealed carry permit.

    On Sunday, Jan. 1, Senate Bill 656 went into effect. This new law allows open and concealed carry throughout the state, for those 19 years or older, with or without a concealed carry permit. It remains illegal, however, for domestic violence offenders and felons to carry a firearm.

    An old joke is not so funny anymore: “All right everybody, now form a circular firing squad!”

  7. I wonder why the shooter stopped shooting and ran away so quickly?

    • I wonder why the many legal gun carriers never fired a single shot?

    • He’d fired all his bullets? It was described as an ordinary handgun. Also, witnesses said he calmly walked out afterwards. You were thinking, perhaps, that all those other guns (number never specified) scared him away? As for no one shooting at him, one could surmise either that the gun owners were too responsible to start shooting in a crowd, or too confused as to their target, or discovered that it’s one thing to carry a gun and quite another to actually use it. I don’t know. You’ll have to read the news reports and draw your own conclusions.

"Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance." ~ Plato

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