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Why don’t the heroes who stop mass murderers get better press?

If I say Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and Aurora you will most likely think of the mass shootings that took place there.

I also think about all those places being gun free zones and how well that worked out.

But what would come to mind  if I said: Pearl High, Parker Middle School Dance, Golden Market and  Clackamas Town Center?

If you are like most Americans you probably don’t know anything about these places and that is a shame because they are all places where a law abiding gun owner STOPPED a mass murderer before they could ratchet up the body count.  Does the media trumpet these citizen heroes and repeat their names ad nauseam so they become household words? No.  Their names are often unreported save for the local press of their town because apparently stopping a mass murderer with the ability to kill hundreds isn’t as sexy as letting him murder his way into the headlines.

I think that is a load of steaming bull crap.  As such, let me tell you a little about the aforementioned situations.

Pearl High School; Pearl, Mississippi October 1st 1997: Luke Woodham started the day by beating and stabbing his mother to death before taking his 30-30 hunting rifle to school. Do I need to even point out the eerie similarity to Sandy Hook? Upon arriving at the school Woodham opened fire with his rifle injuring 7 and killing 2 including his former girlfriend.  Principal Roy Balentine ran out of his office thinking something school related malfunctioned and ran across Woodham with his rifle.  The principal, fearing that Woodham would come for him next ran back to his office and barricaded himself in to call the police allowing Woodham to continue on his rampage, shooting more kids along the way.

Fortunately the Assistant Principal Joel Myrick (HERO) ran to his truck to get his Colt .45 semi automatic handgun and confronted Woodham as he was heading to the Middle School for younger targets.  Myrick held his pistol in Woodham’s face and forced him to the ground where he kept his foot securely on Woodham’s neck until police arrived.

Once again proving mass murderers are cowards and will either give up or kill themselves whenever they are challenged by someone else with a gun.

Hero Asst Principal Joel Myrick saved countless lives that day.  Principal Balentine ran to his office and called the police.  Which Principal would you rather have if you were a student that day?

Parker Middle School Dance; Edinboro, PA April 24th, 1998: Parker Middle School was holding its 8th Grade graduation dance at Nick’s Place, a banquet hall off campus.  About 20 minutes before the end of the dance, 14 year old student Andrew Wurst pulled out a .25 caliber pistol and shot teacher John Gillette to death.  He then went on to shoot three more people within the dance, moving along slowly and deliberately, mocking the people as they cowered there.

This situation was ended when the owner of Nick’s Place, James Strand (HERO) heard the shots from next door, grabbed his 12 gauge shotgun and came running over.  He too, like Joel Myrick shoved the boomstick in Wurst’s face and ended the situation.  The police arrived 11 minutes later.  Wurst could have done a lot more damage in 11 minutes if not for the heroism of Stand who ran TO danger armed with the means to do something about it.

Wurst would later say he was intending to kill himself but like all cowards when faced with the actual threat of having his head blown clear from his body his talk proved cheap.

Golden Market; Richmond, VA July 13th, 2009:  In this case the hero chose to remain anonymous yet his actions were not.  A man entered the store with his revolver out, told everyone to get on the floor and then walked over to the store’s owner and shot him twice without provocation.  The mass shooter then moved over to a teenage boy and raised his gun to shoot him when another customer (HERO) pulled out his concealed weapon and fired. The bad guy ran to the back of the store and found another innocent man lying prone and attempted to shoot him, until the hero distracted him and shot at him again.

The bad guy walked around the store attempting to execute people and each time the hero shot at him and forced him from his murderous intentions.  Finally the bad guy walked in between aisles and the hero took his shot unfortunately learning that his single action revolver’s trigger spring had snapped and therefore the trigger would not return forward.  Not missing a beat the hero simply fanned the hammer like in old school westerns

striking the bad guy twice and ending the attack.  The store owner survived and the bad guy was killed.  No other injuries occurred thanks to a law abiding citizen being armed and present.

Clackamas Town Center; Clackamas, OR Dec. 11th 2012: Mass murder wannabe Jacob Roberts (22) entered the Clackamas Town Center shopping mall with a rifle and opened fire.  He got off 16 rounds that killed 2 people and injured a third.  Before he could continue, armed shopper Nick Meli (HERO) drew his Glock 22 and confronted Roberts.  Meli would say that if there were not innocent bystanders standing behind Roberts he would have fired but the point was fortunately moot as the simple act of someone standing up to Roberts with a firearm ran him off where he committed suicide shortly after.

The ironic thing about this case is that the hero, Nick Meli, ignored the mall’s prohibition against firearms.  Had Meli submitted to the idiotic notion of a gun free zone, the death count would no doubt have been higher.

If you want to look over the Center’s Code of Conduct you can do it here: Clackamas Town Center Code of Conduct.  It’s pretty short and near the end it says “No firearms or illegal weapon.”

The funniest part is what comes after:

Guests who do not act responsibly may be asked to leave. If they refuse to leave the property, they may be arrested and prosecuted for criminal trespass.

No, if some mass murdering nutjob refuses to leave based on the prohibition they ignored in the first place they will shoot up the place and kill as many unarmed people as they can while you call 911 and wait for the police.  Criminal trespass…ha…the Center should be on their knees praising Nick Meli, not promoting the silly notion that a gun free zone sign would stop Jacob Roberts.

Here’s another little bit of food for thought.  Look at these locations, even if some are in gun free zones they are in states that embrace gun rights.  Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Virginia; even Oregon has that libertarian gun rights streak.  These are states where people have a gun close at hand and thus have the ability to stop tragedies before they happen.

Yet the national media will focus on the failures in states where gun control is oppressive and gun ownership is limited.

Light must be shined on the heroes in the cases where tragedy was averted or at least limited thanks to the law abiding gun owner.

Speaking of states with a culture of gun rights and ownership, I can only wonder if the Aurora movie theatre in Colorado weren’t a gun free zone if the incident would have been in the second group of tragedies averted instead of the first group of successful mass murders.

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  • ride2live

    Good article- could use some proofreading and editing though.

    • podunk1

      However, we must make the capital including the White House, legislative, & judicial centers TOTALLY GUN FREE – NO ONE CAN POSSESS ANY GUN OR WEAPON – CONCEALED OR NOT, zero exceptions for anyone especially politicians, their body guards, and police.

      ADD TO IT – NONE OF the 537 top executive shall possess, or be accompanied by anyone with any gun at any time!

      The problem will solve itself!

  • Joseph D Femoyer

    America has waited for a new leader and now we have 2. RET MG PAUL VALLELY,US ARMY AND RET COL HARRY RILEY, US ARMY.GO TO WW.STANDUPAMERICAUS.ORG AND WW.PATRIOTSFORAMERICA.THERE WILL BE A rally, protest in WASH DC ON MAY 16TH, 2014, OPERATION AMERICAN SPRING.we need every citizen who is disgusted by the way the obama administration is trampling our constitutional rights, our 2nd amendment rights are under constant attack, our right to privacy ,right to free speech are all in jeopardy. a coup d etat has taken place within our govt and we must put a stop to it. we are not leaving WASH DC UNTIL all our demands are met. the removal of obama, biden, pelosi, reid, boehner, mc connell, these violators, traitors must leave wash prepared to stay for the duration. this is our chance to take back our country.see you there in WASH DC ,

    • Patriot

      So who’s going to remove them from office? Somebody else, but not you? That’s just more of the same old waiting game. They will not leave on their own. I understand you will not be armed, and I don’t think they will listen to you any more than they have any other time there was a protest in DC. I’m not advocating violence; I just think they will laugh at everyone like they have been doing all along.

      • Mac Boy

        1.5 MILLION have signed up ….. does DC have THAT many police ?????

      • Joseph D Femoyer

        instead of hiding behind a nameless moniker like “patriot” I suggest you COME OUT OF THE CLOSET AND FIGHT for independence like the rest of us. if you bothered to read there are thousands of lawyers, constitutional professors, retired military and ret peace officers,elected officials AND REAL AMERICANS WHO GIVE A CRAP ABOUT THEIR FUTURE involved. do you think i am going to name everybody involved, ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? DO YOU THINK WE ARE JUST GOING TO GO TO DC, STAND OUTSIDE AND YELL “HEY BARRY, TIME TO GO!! GET REAL.IT IS FAKE CITIZENS like yourself who have already talked themselves out of going, THIS TYPE OF ACTION IS CALLED LAZINESS,people like you who are selfish and let others PULL YOUR WEIGHT. do me a favor and stay home and watch history unfold on CABLE TV in your undies.

        • podunk1

          Chill out! I share your frustrations and anger; and support “May Days”‘! Treason is far deeper than Obama, Reed, etc. and I’m sure you know that, & equally sure American Spring will rattle their cowardly cages. The target is lock step progressive democrats and RINOS who mock their oath and duties of office to “fundamentally change America” by overthrowing the Constitution! THAT IS TREASON! Article 6, and both oaths of office unconditionally empowers every federal and state executive, legislative, and judicial officer to DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION WITHOUT ANY MENTAL RESERVATION OF PURPOSE OF EVASION! The Constitution trumps ALL other law, regulation, opinion, order, and person, PERIOD! NONE have immunity for treason or any other felony act within any court jurisdiction level in the USA! Failure to “defend” is and has been collusion and complicity!

          Make sure we generate millions of civil jury trial suits against INDIVIDUALS wherever damages of “over $20″ occur” – with or without a lawyer, based on the Constitution word by word! Same for treason & felonies! Legislators come home & travel outside their district. When Obama & holder send their “enforcers” out, jail them if they’re violating the words within the CONSTITUTION!!

        • dodger4754

          “Patriot’s” type of action is called “COWARDICE”, not laziness. See you in DC on 5-16, Joe.

          • Joseph D Femoyer

            roger dodger, are 100% correct. i will see you in DC MAY , far 1.5 million citizens have pledged to be in is my belief when the rest of the nation hears we are there many more will attend. you have no idea of the anger, frustration citizens have towards the obama administration. 33 million Egyptian citizens booted their govt out of office and so can WE, THE PEOPLE. TOGETHER WE HAVE THE POWER NOT WASH DC, WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT.

    • Mac Boy

      Semper FI !

  • Dean Weingarten

    Good article. It is clear that these stories are spiked specifically because they show the usefulness of firearms for defence. Any real *news* provider would jump on these stories, stories that are full of drama and suspense, and are relatively rare. The fact that they are spiked shows malice aforethought against the second amendment and armed citizens.

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  • ProudUSAVet

    Since I have a concealed handgun license and always carry it with me, I ignore the signs that prohibit firearms. In Texas, many businesses have signs that say “The unlicensed possession of a handgun on these premises is prohibited.” Today, we got notice that our city, on the border with Mexico and across the border is the most violent city in the Americas, was just named by the FBI as the Safest City of over 500,000 population in the United States for the fourth straight year. Give credit to the 16,000 plus concealed handgun carriers in this city.

    • Cameron Triplett Sr

      An attorney told me that signs prohibiting the carrying of weapons are like signs requiring shirts & shoes: all the owner can do is ask you to leave. Therefore I now ignore those signs except on gov’t buildings where the law prohibits carrying.

      • dodger4754

        Unfortunately, in NC, where I live, it is against the law to carry in a business that posts a “No Guns Allowed” (or similar) sign & one can be arrested & their CCW revoked if convicted.

        • Marc R

          Maybe so, but wouldn’t you rather be caught with it, than without it? Especially if you needed it?

      • Jonathan Schulte

        Not the 30.06 sign in Texas, that is a crime that can get your license revoked with jail time.

      • Mark Price

        If there’s no metal detector, I’m carrying.

    • mark fischer

      Who declared it the most violent city?

      • ProudUSAVet

        Our city. El Paso, TX, is the safest city. in the US. Across the border is Juarez, MX. During a 4 yr period, 2007-2010, they shot/beheaded over 11,000 people, because of a war by narcs who want to control the area.

        • BaliHai84

          I grew up in El Paso. In San Antonio, now. I miss the phenomenal Mexican food in EP though. Griggs was one of my favorites.

          • ProudUSAVet

            My brother, who was raised in El Paso also, lived in San Antonio. He was the one given credit for building the River Walk to it’s present stage, and my nephew, his son, supervised the construction of the Tower. We visit about once every couple of years on our way to Padre Island.

      • ProudUSAVet

        All the cities/countries on the list have strict gun control laws, especially the ones in the US, and the ones in the US are run by DEMOCRATS!.

        • mark fischer

          Damn dems.

    • BaliHai84

      Do you live in El Paso?

      • ProudUSAVet


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  • The short answer is that blood has always led the headlines (if it bleeds, it leads).

    • damifinoone

      Unless the blood is the perps. then it gets buried on page 22, or it gets 15 seconds on the nightly news.

    • dasbunker

      Only if it is the perpetrator.
      If the legal gun owner stops an attract,then the left and the media attacks.

  • Terry Lee

    I ignore the signs as well. The only place you can actually get in trouble in on school property (unless you are transporting only), the airport property, government buildings, and the State Fairgrounds. Everywhere else they can only ask to you leave and if you do not then they can get you for trespassing. It is on me except when I am preaching.

  • HappyG

    Gun-grabbers are but one attack away from arming themselves…they just won’t admit it…

  • larrygrant876

    Someone with excellent Website design skills should design a website that touts the lives saved by gun owners responding to criminals intentions with force. Something so cleverly designed that it goes viral so word of mouth makes it popular. Maybe it could be mentioned in Duck Dynasty ads or such.

  • calvin allen

    ride2live thinks it needs to be proofread and edited, but then it would probably be dumbed down to a point where people would mistake it for a fairy tale.
    Good reading, informative, and undeniably written by someone out of the mainstream media.

  • Patriot

    Somebody please start a website that is dedicated solely to recording these events. I’d do it but I have no knowledge about that sort of thing. People could submit articles that are verified and then published – we’d soon see how many lives are saved by people carrying guns.
    It would probably make somebody a ton of money too.

    • cHUCK

      The NRA publishes a monthly magazine called America’s 1st Freedom which features a compilation of stories of armed citizens who have successfully dealt with burglars, robbers, rapists and thugs of many sorts. I have a web site on which I transcribe the articles, which are all taken from the local newspapers in the areas where they took place and can be easily verified. I spent hours on this project each month, and no-one bothered to read the articles, much less comment on them. I had other things to do, so I stopped.

      There ARE web sites with this info – several of them, and some are listed in this forum. If those who find the info useful and enlightening would contact the site owners and tell them how much they appreciate the service, and even submit articles for publication, there would be a lot more such “alternative news media” sources available.

    • Pat De ESposito

      The NRA publication, The American Rifleman has a monthly page dedicated to this information.

  • Samuel Clemens

    This is what the mass killer sees.

  • Sunshine Kid

    I will direct those who say that gun control works to this article and let them say, “Well, OCCASIONALLY such things work, but usually more people get killed by guns than guns stop killers.”

    The liberal fools will never give up their Utopia dreams. They all go back to the “Give Peace A Chance” refrain, not realizing criminals are not peaceful at all. They want, and they will take, whether it be property or lives, if you give them an opening.

    • dodger4754

      Tell the gun control devotees that it is estimated that legally owned/carried firearms are used 2.5 MILLION times a year in self defense. If you Google that sentence you can prove it to them.

      • Sunshine Kid

        Teaching monkeys to fly spaceships (and it has been done) is far easier than teaching a liberal anything factual.

        • dodger4754

          True, Sun, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. Who knows? Maybe we could even convert one now & then.

          • Sunshine Kid

            The first thing they need to learn is honesty. From there it is not so hard to teach advanced concepts.

        • jimbodc1

          Don’t confuse them with the facts, their minds are already made up…

  • yaki534

    You will not hear of those in the media. They show that gun ownership makes people safer.

  • Robert L. Rice

    I always carry conceled…

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  • Barbwire Bob

    Why, getting favorable news about the benefits of guns goes against liberal views don’t you know.

    • bulletsfirst

      Ain’t it the truth Bob. Rest assured that when I hear of heroes saving the day with their guns i’ll be passing it along.

  • Paula

    Antoinette Tuff stopped a gunman ready to commit mass murder by talking to him. I’m collecting stories about people (mostly women, so far) who have talked other people (mostly men, so far) out of using guns. None of these talkers had guns. All of them used words, and their words saved lives. Are any of you talking about Antoinette Tuff?

    • bulletsfirst

      Al Capone once said you get more with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone. I think it’s great that Ms. Tuff stopped a man using her words but really, at that point it’s all she had. I’ve no doubt that there is always SOMEONE who tries to talk a mass murderer from killing them. The only issue is that the murderer usually just kills them anyways. If Ms. Tuff had failed in talking her would be murderer down she’d be dead. If she had a gun but still tried to talk him down and failed she’d at least have a punchers chance of not being executed.

      Talk is nice, but someone who is really going through the process of committing mass murder isn’t doing it for a cry for help, that ship has long since passed. Some animals just need to be put down.

    • mark fischer


      • Paula

        Would you like to explain what that means, or is this your way of saying that you don’t talk to people? If you don’t talk to people, you’re not using an effective means of defense.

      • Paula

        You could learn a thing or two or three from Cure Violence, a program that is based on talking to people who use guns against other people. That is, if you want to stop violence. Perhaps you hid what you meant because you really don’t want to stop violence.

        “Violence interrupters are asked to go into the most
        dangerous neighborhoods, in the most dangerous cities in the U.S., at
        the most dangerous times, to get people to stop shooting each other. And
        they’re going in unarmed. Yet, they go in, and they do it. And it
        works. It’s really changed my view about what’s possible.”
        Prof. Daniel Webster, Deputy Director, Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence

        • bulletsfirst

          You could learn a thing or two or three from victims who failed at talking there way out of being raped or beaten.

          My point is that not all bad guys will respond to reasoned words. They WILL all respond to a .45 slug to the chest.

          I believe in choices for people. You seem to believe that talking is the only way and to promote that absolutism is dangerous and foolhardy. I’m all for talking things out and only shooting when you have too (despite the irony of a site named bullets first) but it is important to have the ability to shoot when words fail. Your way just leads lambs to slaughter, my way turns lambs into lions.

  • Northohio

    The press may not report a story when someone with a gun saves lives, but you can damn sure bet the first thing they do check is to see if the “hero” had legal permit. if he didn’t, that would be the main lead to their story. Their agenda is all that matters. That’s why very few heard about the CBS female reporter raped and brutalized in the Middle East by those barbaric muslims as they did Ambassador Stevens.

    • Top Gun

      Northohio= still $Hits his pants & wears a helmet

  • Rick Lamm

    Last article – I do the same thing… I carry everywhere for that very reason. Mall, bank, school (thru campus too // NAU takes up most of my travel area), bus, etc.

  • henrybowman

    “I can only wonder if the Aurora movie theatre in Colorado weren’t a gun free zone if the incident would have been in the second group of tragedies averted instead of the first group of successful mass murders.”

    John Fund writes that John Lott “noted that the Aurora shooter… had a choice of seven movie theaters that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. All were within a 20-minute drive of his home. The Cinemark Theater the killer ultimately chose wasn’t the closest, but it was the only one that posted signs saying it banned concealed handguns carried by law-abiding individuals. All of the other theaters allowed the approximately 4 percent of Colorado adults who have a concealed-handgun permit to enter with their weapons.”

    Note also the behavior of neo-Nazi murderer Buford Furrow, who Time Magazine reported “apparently cased three Jewish institutions in [Los Angeles]–the Skirball Cultural Center, the University of Judaism, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance–before deciding their security was too tight.” In other words, they were guarded by men with guns. He went on to shoot up the North Valley Jewish Community Center, a “gun-free zone.”

  • kjatexas

    Because that would be legitimizing guns, showing that they have a place of value, and the left will have not of that.

  • tullmargaret

    there s a few I would love to have taken out

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  • Tom Nash

    You know it doesn’t help when you skew the facts. The Pearl shooter stopped and fled after he heard the police sirens. No doubt from the principle having called them. The assistant principle saw him in the parking lot and shouted for him to stop but the shooter entered his truck and began to flee when he lost control and wrecked. It was then that he held the gun on him until police arrived. He didn’t confront him and keep his foot on his neck. You do a disservice to your cause when you stretch the truth.

    • bulletsfirst

      Lubbock-Avalanche Journal 1997

      And I quote: “Minutes later, Assistant Principal Joel Myrick chased Woodham down outside the school, held him at bay with a .45-caliber automatic pistol he kept in his truck in the school parking lot. He forced Woodham to the ground and put his foot on the youth’s neck.

      No offense Tom but you really should get your facts straight before you try to undermine someones credibility.

    • Bullets First

      Lubbock-Avalanche Journal 1997

      And I quote: “Minutes later, Assistant Principal Joel Myrick chased Woodham down outside the school, held him at bay with a .45-caliber automatic pistol he kept in his truck in the school parking lot. He forced Woodham to the ground and put his foot on the youth’s neck.”

      No offense Tom but you really should get your facts straight before you try to undermine someones credibility.

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