06 June 2014
A good guy with pepper spray
This may not work every time, but I suppose every amoklaufer has to reload at some point. That's where people like Jon Meis come in. He's a student monitor at Seattle Pacific University, where yesterday the latest poor victim of humanity decided it was payback time. This jerk came in with a shotgun and unfortunately was able to hit three people, killing one, before he had to reload. Meis was armed with pepper spray and, well, his arms. Taking advantage of his opportunity, he sprayed the jerk and put him in a choke hold -- perhaps not knowing that the perp still had a knife to use. It didn't get used because Meis's bravery inspired other students to dogpile the jerk. No glorious self-martyrdom for this creep ("super happy and friendly" one friend says, and apparently a clean liver); he will answer to the state and the people for his tantrum. Moral: in some cases, at least -- and this is far from the first -- you don't need a gun to take down a bad guy with a gun. The only time you might, I suppose, is if your amoklaufer has such a souped-up weapon that you don't want to wait for him to have to reload. Even then the guy can't see in all directions. But if there are situations in which the only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, it's not because so many Americans are crazy -- true as that may be -- but because our country's fanatic gun culture has made those situations possible. The need for the good guy with a gun becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when it justifies, however unintentionally, the empowerment of bad guys. Meanwhile, someone who can stop a bad guy with a gun without a gun is a real good guy, at least on that day. Congratulations, Mr. Meis.