John Lott, a scholar at the University of Maryland (Go Terps!) gets it right, as usual, by exposing the aspect of the Nebraska mall shooting that doesn't get talked about incessantly on the news shows:
"Nebraska allows people to carry permitted concealed handguns, but it allows property owners, such as the Westroads Mall, to post signs banning permit holders from legally carrying guns on their property (all emphases mine)."
Boy, that sign really stopped the nutcase from going in there to slaughter innocent people, didn't it? All that it accomplished was to make sure that there would be no way for the shoppers to fight back, except by possibly throwing their full shopping bags at him.
"The law-abiding, not criminals, are obeying the rules. Disarming the victims simply means that the killers have less to fear. As Wednesday's attack demonstrated yet again, police are important, but they almost always arrive at the crime scene after the crime has occurred."
These incidents happen very fast. The police cannot be everywhere at once, nor are they able to respond instantaneously to a crime in progress. You have to be responsible for your own self-protection against incidents such as this.
Oh, and lest you think that disarming law-abiding citizens will make gun deaths go away, Tam has a profoundly interesting take on that fantasy:
"Guns are not going away. This is also fact. Understand that. This genie is not going back in the bottle. And understand when I say "people are going to get killed with them", I don't just mean a handful of folks at a mall every now and again, I also mean a few thousand people kneeling on the edge of a ditch every now and again. Just because a gun is publically (sic) held and not privately owned doesn't mean it's never going to be used to murder someone. Or thousands of someones. Understand that."
Freedom comes with responsibility and risk. It's a package deal. One simply cannot legislate complete safety in any aspect of life, whether it's transportation, the workplace, or any other issue. Life has dangers, but the risk can be minimized by allowing people to take charge of their own protection.
Whether from criminals or from a rogue, out of control government, people have an inherent right to self-defense. This incident sadly documents what happens when that right is taken away.