In a stunning reversal of traditional police advice against private citizens taking action in the midst of a crime, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier acknowledged times, and crimes, have changed and citizens — if they can — should “take down” active shooters in a segment scheduled during Sunday’s “60 Minutes” broadcast.
In a segment with Anderson Cooper, Lanier may have just handed gun prohibitionists and anti-self-defense advocates a verbal brick upside the head. Here’s the chief of police in one of the nation’s most anti-gun enclaves, with a high homicide rate, telling private citizens to fight back. News of the broadcast was reported by WTOP and briefly previewed on Seattle’s KIRO, the local CBS affiliate, during its 5o’clock news broadcast. The segment was headlined “When calling 911 isn’t enough.”
“I always say if you can get out, getting out is your first option, your best option,” Lanier told Cooper. But she quickly added, “If you’re in a position to try to take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there.
“And that’s kind of counter-intuitive,” she acknowledged, “to what cops always tell people, right? They always tell people don’t, you know, don’t take action, call 911, don’t intervene in the robbery, y’know; we’ve never told people take action. It’s a different, this is a different scenario.”
Lanier said that just ignoring the potential, exhibiting a “numbness” is bad strategy. “That’s not an option anymore,” she stated.
With millions of honest American citizens now licensed to carry — and that number is rising almost daily across the landscape, including Washington State — and the threat of home-grown terrorists launching a Paris-style attack without warning, there is a small but increasing likelihood that at some point, the bad guys are going to encounter a good guy with a gun. This segment, by no small coincidence, comes just days after King County, Washington Sheriff John Urquhart encouraged his deputies to carry off-duty. It made news across the country.
In an interview with Examiner, he also said that, “It would be presumptuous of me to say a citizen should or should not arm themselves. That’s a personal decision.”
But in Lanier’s city, getting a carry permit is more than just a challenge. District residents must go to great expense and jump through several hoops — all seemingly designed to discourage people from actually going through the process — so they would still be at a disadvantage.
Meanwhile, in the “other Washington,” out here in the Pacific Northwest, more than a half-million active concealed pistol licenses are now in circulation. King County, despite the presence of anti-gun far-left Seattle, there are more than 92,000 of those licenses, including more than 18,000 in the hands of women. It’s a safe bet most, if not all of them, are aware of what happened nine days ago in Paris.
No doubt there will be resistance, if not an attempt to refute, Lanier’s advice. The “surrender first” crowd could do armed citizens a huge favor by wearing some sort of identification so that, in the event of a terrorist attack, the good guys with guns will know not to lift a finger to protect them. Of course, such a scenario is about as likely as anti-gunners putting signs on their lawns declaring their homes “gun-free zones.”
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