Before they built US 35 in the sixties, my neighborhood, South Park, was connected to the next neighborhood north of us, The Oregon District. Now there is a slash, like a DMZ, called a highway that separates us. It was Dayton’s first “Historic District” and got about a 5 year head start on my neighborhood at gentrification. With only about 170 homes, it happened faster and richer. Once known as “Filth and Wine” instead of “Fifth and Wayne”- the “OD” is a small entertainment district with about 20 places to get alcohol and food. At 1am, the food is all shut down, with the exception of the guys who set up tents on the street who still may be flipping burgers or sausages- right in the area the shooting started.
I heard it just as I turned the light off and rolled over in bed. I’d spent my Saturday night working on a legal brief to overturn the judges decision not to award legal fees to me after winning a public records case against the library. I’d mistakenly thought I was supposed to be at “Blind Bob’s” that night to see a show of Veteran’s playing music to raise awareness of PTSD- but, that was Friday night- and I’d missed it (because I was working on a post calling for a County public hospital to compete with our duopoly hospitals- which don’t provide enough mental health beds, turning our county jail into the largest psych facility in the region).
Hearing that much gunfire is normal on the Fourth of July, but on August 3rd, it wasn’t. What was I supposed to do? Grab my gun and run to the shooting? Nope, that’s why we have police, and luckily, the Oregon District is always well patrolled.
As I woke up to multiple cryptic texts of “Check the news” I first saw Lt. Col Matt Carper calmly responding to reporters about the shooting. 9 victims dead, plus the shooter- making it 10, and 16 wounded. The shooter had a long gun. Police weren’t injured and were the ones who successfully stopped the carnage. There will be other reports today of who, what and never the why.
My last post on Facebook before I went to bed, opening up the normal hornets nest:
And if you don’t have FB-
Don’t go to Walmart- you’ll get shot.
Don’t go to Country Music festivals, you’ll get shot.
Don’t go to Church/Temple/Mosque, you’ll get shot.
Don’t go to School, you’ll get shot.
Don’t go to a Night Club, you’ll get shot.
Don’t go to McDonald’s. You’ll get shot.
Don’t go to the post office. You’ll get shot.
Don’t go to the movies. You’ll get shot.
But- if I leave this country and go to any other superpower, industrial giants- I won’t get shot.
What’s the matter with Americans? Do we just like getting shot? How come with all these people telling us “owning guns makes us safer” that the asshole shooter in El Paso didn’t get shot by anyone including the police…
But John Crawford in Beavercreek did….. and he wasn’t shooting anybody….
this doesn’t have to happen.
August 5th will be the 5th anniversary of John Crawford dying in a nearby Walmart- for holding a bb gun while talking on the phone. Now we have the Oregon District Massacre to go along with it.
My friends on Facebook are diverse- I’ve tried to not limit myself to an echo chamber. Scott immediately asked “So please tell us David, how do you stop this? Please be specific.”
To which I responded: “put guns in armories, where those in a well regulated militia can access and train with them. Require training and insurance on them.” Which is my standard solution. Even in the Army, when on base, we didn’t have access to our weapons, they were stored, and guarded. You can see my answers on this subject on this site (as well as abortion etc) in the category “hot button issues.”
Without scrolling too far is this post: What a right to bear arms means- really.
And then there is Boobs vs. Bullets and The 2nd Amendment and foreign policy and Limits on killing myself, but none on killing others: Aurora shooting thoughts 2 and Our culture of death and more…
I think my bona fides are clear on this, and it’s one of the reasons I believe every politician elected in America should be forced to have a blog- and to have to write about their votes, so we get it straight from the horses mouth, without being able to blame the “Fake News” for somehow twisting things or misquoting them. I’m running for Dayton City Commission, and I can’t escape these posts or change my tune about gun violence and “gun rights.” My opposition, has nothing like it. I am my own best fact checker. The reality is, I can’t do anything about gun ownership as a city commissioner. If I did, and we’ve had commissioners like Tony Capizzi try in the past (he’s now a juvenile court judge) it just ends up costing the tax payers a fortune in legal fees and I won’t do that. I know where the limits of my jurisdiction are. However, the three times I ran for Congress, this issue was on the table- and I addressed it. Not with “thoughts and prayers” but with a call for a fundamental change in how we handle guns in our country.
For the umpteenth time, I’ll restate: You can own a gun if you have taken and passed a thorough background check, taken extensive training, regularly qualified with it, carry insurance and are part of a “well regulated militia” – which in my definition means, other like minded folks who believe they need access to firearms to protect themselves from the government. These weapons will be stored in an armory, and will be only used at approved training sites when in the presence of other members of the militia. This would be applicable to all handguns, rifles, anything with more than a capacity of two shots without reloading or physically moving a bolt. IE- a double barrelled shotgun, or a bolt action rifle. To have those at home, would require a legitimate range or reason- such as a farmer who may need them to kill a fox or coyote. Otherwise, in an Armory.
Note, it is illegal to discharge a weapon in the open in most urban areas- if you don’t own a few acres, you don’t have a range to safely shoot. If you want to practice, you do what my CO of my reserve A Team did, he was an Army pistol champ, he shot a Crossman .177 caliber pellet gun daily to practice his trigger pull, breath control and sighting. Trust me, it keeps your skills sharp. Other than the lead of the pellets, it can safely be done indoors- I know, I used to shoot mice in my house with mine as practice.
Of course, many of my “Rambo” brainwashed friends still believe that “The best way to take care of a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun” and in Dayton, the good guy was a cop, or several of them, who train to proficiency to manage this situation, and are equipped with AR-15’s in their cruisers to deal with threats like this. I don’t know what they used last night, but I’m guessing that the shooter was killed by multiple shots from multiple officers who used fire and maneuver tactics along with superior communications and training to effectively use their hand guns to kill him. The response was so quick, and effective because of their being in the vicinity and knowing the area well, that they were successful. Time will fill out this story, it’s not mine to tell.
Average Joe, wouldn’t legally be able to carry a gun in the bars, and this isn’t a reason to change that law. Drinking and guns don’t go together. The cops who shot the shooter most definitely hadn’t had a drink last night. Anyone other than a uniformed cop who was trying to take down the shooter would be mistakenly identified as a threat and shot by the cops. This is not the movie “Die Hard” and even if it was- remember, John McClain was a cop. He had training. Rambo had training too. Even with training, the only way to deal with a long gun safely is either take it away by rushing him, or superior firepower or position. In a man to man duel- pistol vs rifle, you both lose.
I don’t expect anything to change. We’ll still have “thoughts and prayers” and sadness. People will have lost their loved ones. And the senseless killing will continue until we stand up to the NRA and rethink what our founding fathers meant when their idea of “arms” was a muzzle loading musket capable of one inaccurate shot a minute.
As an ad man, I leave you with this ad, about Ed, and his attempt at a workplace shooting with a musket.
And as always- please, I urge you, Think before you vote.
I hope none of your friends or mine were hurt last night in the OD.
But, I know sadly, that this isn’t the case today.
Addendum- a few minutes later. For the record, I have a Concealed Carry Permit, and own two handguns. I only owned one until this happened: Dealing with a neighborhood cancer