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At approximately 5:56 PM on July 17th, 2022, a deeply flawed and defective young person opened fire with a rifle at the Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, Indiana. While the attacker did accrue casualties, he himself was nearly immediately neutralized by 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken, an armed citizen, who was at the mall shopping with his girlfriend. With his GLOCK pistol, Dicken engaged the attacker at an initial distance of 40 yards, successfully hitting him with 8 out of 10 shots fired.
Dicken’s actions prove that once again, a gun in the hand is better than a welfare queen government employee on the phone, if they even bother to answer or show up at all…
Truly, the assailant learned the hard way that in many places, American citizens are sick of government ineptness, poor parenting, and the general mollycoddling of psychotic individuals (such as Political Pidgeotto) in our nation. More importantly, more and more Americans are arming up and training to be able to defend themselves and quickly resolve situations like these.
We can and should sing the praises of Dicken’s heroic actions that evening, but there’s always some rather important, and sobering, life lessons in these kind of incidents.
Carrying A Firearm? Good. Now Learn How To Use It!
Over the past few years, the amount of first-time firearms owners has exploded in this nation. More and more, people are realizing that the police are many minutes away, if they show up at all. And if they do show up, they are likely to just stand there doing nothing. It’s an old trope at this point, but you are your own first responder.
However, while the right to keep and bear arms is inherent to us all, that GLOCK pistol or that AR-15 is just a fancy and potentially dangerous fashion accessory if one is not trained on how to use it.
The 40-yard successful shot by Elisjsha Dicken wasn’t dumb luck, it was persistent and focused training on his part. Not content to just meet the government’s own so-called “standard” of 7 yards and hoping to achieve accuracy by volume, young Dicken took to the range as much as possible and sought out competent private instructors.
Certainly, there’s a price tag attached to that training, but fortunately there’s several cost-effective methods to work on the fundamentals. Dry-firing is invaluable, and it’s only cost is time. Instructors such as Paul Perkerson and John Lovell have developed the “50 round pistol drill”, which is 1 box of full-metal jacket ammunition.
Regardless of whether there’s an ammunition shortage or not, one should always train with their firearms. Whether it’s dry fire, the 50 round drills, or a class by an experienced trainer, honing and maintaining those skills is critical.
Armed Citizens Are A Deterrent
The stats bear it out, soft targets are called that for a reason. It’s almost unheard of to hear of a disturbed individual bent on violence to attack say, a police station, or a gun range, or any other location where armed defenders are present. Hard targets are avoided.
The solution is simple, make most, if not all locations a hard target. Now, even though the ideal amount of armed citizens would be close to “all of them”, encouraging trained and effective firearms use would go a long way to ensuring a majority of people in a given location were to be armed. An attacker, or attackers would likely think twice about carrying out their plans if they knew the likelihood of survival was low.
Of course in a world of near-infinite possibilities, some may choose to attack anyways. At that point, armed citizens would demonstrate the finer points of marksmanship, and stop the threat in a decisive manner.
So-Called Gun-Free Zones Are Usually Suggestions
With the trend towards normalizing the carry of firearms, many places of public accommodation have reinforced a stubborn stance on “proudly” being a gun-free zone. Ironically the Greenwood Park Mall had signs up to that effect, which seemed to do little to stop the aggressive party. And yes, Dicken ignored the sign too, mainly since the signs in Indiana, and most states, are just requests really. Merely walking onto the premises with a concealed firearm wasn’t a crime. The only time such a thing becomes a crime is if the armed person is discovered as to having a weapon on ther person, and does not depart the premises when requested. Then it becomes armed trespass.
Note: In some states, most notably Texas with their infamous 30.06 and 30.07 laws, the mere act of walking onto private property with a firearm is illegal provided the property owner posts specific signage explaining that concealed or openly-carried guns are not permitted on the premises. The signs carry the weight of law as long as specific wording and design rules are followed. As always, check handgulaw.us for the best insights.
In the case where the signs on say, a mall, do not have the force of law, two solutions present themselves.
For the respectful citizen, they can either disarm and enter, or take their business elsewhere. The second option is preferable. Besides, anything available in a mall is available online or in an independent shop.
For the disrespectful sort, one can enter the premises, adhering to the principle of “concealed is concealed”.
Of course, those suggestions only apply to locations where active measures are not employed to enforce a gun-free zone. Metal detectors, pat-downs, etc. And of course carrying a loaded firearm is not advised where a federal prohibition is in effect, i.e. most federal facilities.
In the end, “you do you”.
Even Heroically, Taking A Life Is No Trivial Matter
A lot of bravado surrounded young Dicken’s heroic act. At great risk to himself, he engaged an opponent who arguably had a more capable weapon, and decisively neutralized the threat. While some still lost their lives, the carnage was minimal thanks to the quick thinking and effective response of Elisjsha Dicken.
That being said, the aggressive party was still a living being with a pulse. Yes, his life was forfeit the minute he shouldered his rifle and attacked innocents. And Dicken took that life.
In a measured volley of loud gunshots, the attacking shooter was hit multiple times. The shooter, bleeding out profusely from 8 bullet wounds, stumbled a distance, and fell to the floor, eventually dying a well-deserved death.
As righteous and heroic as Dicken’s deed was, he did end the life of another person, and to be blunt, outside of specific psychological conditions, human beings aren’t wired to take the life of another human.
When a “baseline” human being takes a life, there is a degree of psychological trauma and damage. Seeing blood, smelling the smells of death, and hearing the sounds, it’s not something that one will ever forget.
Thus far, it seems Dicken is doing the right thing. He’s laying low and staying out of the spotlight. Hopefully he’s taking stock in the good things of life, and perhaps seeking spiritual and professional guidance.
In the Second Amendment community, there’s a certain fear of admitting mental issues. Whether it’s a sense of “being tough” or a very real fear of getting “red flagged”, some Second Amendment Radicals and armed citizens just choose to grin and bear it.
Fortunately, organizations like Walk The Talk America and Doctors For Responsible Gun Ownership have taken the lead in this case. Staffed by professionals and trained volunteers, both organizations can provide guidance, referrals and mental health services for the Second Amendment community, especially for folk like young Dicken who may have taken a life in the defense of self and others.
Additionally, if one is involved in a defensive shooting, the first call should be to 911 to dutifully inform them that there’s been a shooting, using those exact words. One’s next call should be to an attorney.
As the stark photo above depicts, it’s not a trivial matter. As a community, we need to look out for each other, not just in a physical sense, but in a mental sense as well.
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