Bellbottom Blog

Scratching A Writing Itch From Time To Time

Shots Fired

The other day, in New York City, police responded to those words in front of the Empire State Building.

A disgruntled former employee shot to death his former co-worker on the sidewalk in broad daylight.

Police came running and in a confrontation that lasted mere seconds killed the gunman and wounded nine passersby.

I am not going to criticize the police in this matter.  They did what they are trained to do.  The bad guy was killed before he could harm anyone else.

My observation leads me in a slightly different direction.

Gun advocates, after any shooting, always say,”If someone had a gun, the shooter would have been stopped.”

Well, look at what happened with well trained police officers.  They weren’t able to limit their spray of bullets to just one person.  Adrenaline is a tricky thing.  We have seen too many movies where the bullets land in exactly the right spots.  Those officers went from a normal patrol to the deadliest situation they would ever face.  Most police officers go their entire careers without pulling their weapon during their shift.

More civilians with guns is not the answer to shootings like this one or the movie theater one, or the temple one, or ….on and on.



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7 thoughts on “Shots Fired

  1. I’ve come to accept that I’ll never really understand the American gun culture. It seems to be an emotional thing, beyond the each of logic. And it’s not only an American phenomenon either – we’ve got more guns than people here where I live in Åland, Finland.

    But ignoring that and getting to my point: I believe the nine people wounded were hit by shrapnel from bullets hitting nearby objects? Some 16 rounds or something was fired by the police. Perhaps a little more than needed to take down the perpetrator, but they were faced with an armed killer and probably a little panicked.

    A while back, the police went to the smaller 9mm calibre to minimise collateral damage from stray bullets. And still nine people were injured.

    As you say, if most of the civilians surrounding the scene would have had guns and used them the casualty count would probably be in the hundreds.

    Perhaps we need to introduce a powerful non-lethal weapon that everyone would be allowed to carry? That way, any crazed gunman could easily be taken care of, without risking the lives of innocent standers by.

    • I think in America, some people have this mythological notion of why they should have a gun. It doesn’t make sense to me. The same day of the NYC shooting 7 people were killed and 21 wounded in various shootings in Chicago. Sad.

  2. Although I (of course, who doesn’t) get very upset whenever I hear about gun violence, whenever I hear about something going on in NYC I get beyond-words upset. NYC is a very special place for me. Anything big happens there, I’m immediately brought back (I’m sure a lot of us are) to sitting in front of my television watching the coverage 11 years ago, even when it’s not terrorism-related.

    I’m glad none of the 9 people the police injured were killed. There’s that, at least. I feel terrible for the employer who was killed and the shooter, who thought that was his only option to deal with what was going on with him.

    I never know what the solution is in these situations. Other than me hiding under my bed with my cat for a little while. That seems like a solution more and more these days. Good thing it’s so dusty under there and I have allergies, or I’d actually do it.

    • People get way too angry. Move on from whatever adversity you face. He got fired. Find something else to do. From what I read he just kept stewing over it. Like a pressure cooker, eventually if you don’t release the pressure, something will explode. And since guns are so easy to come by what happened next turns out to be all too predictable.

      • we need a healthier work culture.

        not working, i really notice how harmonious my relationships with people are – the moment you are in a work environment you are supposed to function well AND get on with all sorts of people. in a pressured environment.

        ok, it would be less likely to happen in the uk, by some margin, but stewing and unhappiness and whathaveyou is hugely toxic.

      • In a workplace, all the little idiosyncrasies wind up getting under people’s skins. If you can learn to leave it at work, that would be best. Oh well.
        Thanks for the comment. I am always happy to see you here.

      • considering how much of our lives are spent at work you’d think they’d teach us how to cope at school.

        i know that mindfulness and meditation are now taught in a handful of american schools. it can’t catch on quick enough in my opinion.

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