An incident involving someone with a gun occurred tonight in Las Vegas at the Boulevard Mall. The Boulevard Mall is not located in a good neighborhood; we’ll leave it at that and move on. All we know is that no shots were fired, no one was killed or wounded, the “suspect” was not found, and it is believed that someone wearing a mask and carrying a long gun of some sort was seen at the mall.
A mask and a mall in a ghetto economically disadvantaged, primarily minority, part of town does not sound like a Texas-style long gun open carrier. It sounds more like a jackass intent on scaring people or some sort of would-be mass killer who was too much of a coward to get on with this plan (thankfully). Ockham’s Razor: this was just some sick asshole getting off on creating a mass panic who got lucky there was no cop or armed citizen who ventilated him tonight.
Ironically, the Boulevard Mall is another “gun free zone” where normal people openly carrying handguns and causing no ruckus whatsoever have been asked to leave. Heaven forbid an average person tries to defend themselves against criminals and spree killers! Signs are not magical marks that ward off evil. If they were, nothing marked “Danger, Flammable!” would ever explode.
Knee-jerk reactions will further tighten the sphincters of commercial risk managers and business insurance underwriters who fear getting sued. Although living in a world where amoral personal injury attorneys can sue a casino for somehow not magically knowing a guest was going to mow down a crowd from one of their rooms might validate that fear a little. Anyhow, good concealed carry is the go-to method for those with permission slips who don’t mind carrying past the signs that convey no legal authority whatsoever.
But we can and should be thankful that nothing bad happened tonight and that we don’t have asinine gun-trespassing laws like Texas that would force a concealed carrier to leave his piece in the car, totally helpless in the face of a gunman. We can’t always get lucky like the hero from Waffle House.
The legality of open carry will be blamed for this incident. Carrying a rifle into a mall is not illegal. Reckless, rude, and unnecessary for sure, but not illegal. Even so, this incident will probably be used as the basis for another do-nothing proposed bill in 2019. After the River Run Riot in 2002, it was proposed to allow open carry to be banned during large special events because bikers did it.
Things being legal are not always a good idea. A masked man carrying a rifle in a mall, even to someone who considers himself to be an “expert” on open carry and a staunch defender of the same, would likely go into Code Red. Even the most tone-deaf open carry protesters in the worst periods of Texas’ open carry debate didn’t go around wearing masks and strolling solo through malls. Was this a dry run? Maybe some fool trying to make a point about how defenseless the average mall and person is? Whatever it was, it was not the average gun owner, open carrier, or anything benefiting the Second Amendment.
The public and mall operators should use this as a lesson that the handgun carrying citizen is doing it to protect himself and his loved ones. Keeping law-abiding citizens from carrying handguns, whether or not they have a “jacket permit” to conceal their gun, benefits no one. It does not make anyone safer. Anyhow, let’s go to sleep tonight comforted by the fact that this turned out to be nothing more than a frightening evening.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West