Seven people were shot inside of a Carson City, Nevada, IHOP. Four died on scene. The gunman, Eduardo Sencion, as often happens, died of the self-inflicted wound to the head. Same story, different characters and location. What was telling about this one is a statement made by a witness to the event.
"The owner of the BBQ across the street had a clear shot of him walking into the IHOP after he killed the lady motorcycle rider but didn’t take it, citing "it was a pistol against an AK, what was I going to do?""
Now, I will bet this article is going to be super controversial. But in the vast majority of these events, the bad guy will either kill himself when he is done, or is eventually captured by the victims who could not take it anymore and charge the gunman while he is distracted in some manner. But until either one of those things happen, the killing continues.
There are arguments about inaction due to uncertainty, and fear of getting into aftermath trouble with the authorities. I would submit that the image of a man shooting people with a rifle is fairly conclusive and informative about what is going on. There are also arguments about getting involved. The usual story goes something like “I carry my CCW to defend me only”.
While it is hard to argue with that point of view, not everyone shares it. If your daughter or wife had been in that IHOP, and I was across the street with a handful of my instructor staff, would you have wanted us to intervene and kill the gunman before he killed your family, or would you prefer we share your isolationist view of CCW? That is a fair question, and I suspect we know the answer.
Certainly prudence is called for in our times when the clarity of events is not there. But when the clarity smacks you in the face like a fired case from a Kalashnikov, it is time to be a man, and not debate whether involvement is prudent. Not everyone can be a man when that is what events call for, but the world would be a better place if they could. The time to decide that is today my friends, not when you hear the first shot.
I'm looked at the scene on Google (3883 S. Carson, Carson City, NV) and the BBQ place is indeed just about 100 yards distant across a parking lot. 100 yards…not 100 miles. Close enough to see Eduardo Sencion shoot a female in front of the store as clear as day. This is not some vague parking lot fight between two men whose fight is none of our business. This is a true active shooter event and people will begin to die right now!
Witness – Non Combatant. This may be for two reasons. One might simply not be capable of doing anything. Consider the elderly veteran in a wheelchair. Every fiber in his body wants to get across that street and kill the gunman, but he cannot physically make it happen. Nor is his hand steady enough nor his eyesight keen enough to make the shot. His only recourse is to call for help. His desire is admirable and his tactics understandable.
The other reason is less admirable or understandable. That is when someone who should be capable of stopping the killing takes the lizard-like option of running back inside while the killer goes on unimpeded…and then tries to think, while dialing those fateful numbers “9 – 1 – 1”, that hopefully nobody’s wife and daughter is getting killed. There will be all manner of viable, logical, and reasonable reasons why that course of action was taken of course. Put a custom high dollar M4 with the best ammo and optics that money can buy at the fingertips of these guys and it will be as if that was a big hockey stick for all the good it will do. You can self elect for that, but that is hardly anything to brag about.
The next option. Combatant. This is the group that has the heart of the elderly veteran we spoke of earlier, but has the physical ability to make it happen. A combatant in this event could have done one of a number of things but they all involve and end with killing the bad guy.
1). Take the shot from across the street. “One hundred yards! Gabe…you must be crazy”. Well…I have been told that before, but nonetheless, taking the shot from across the street is quite a realistic and viable option. You won’t be able to do that with a five shot snubby or a pocket pistol, but with a suitably arranged full sized pistol it is not hard at all.
This is substantially easier to do if you have good ammunition (not just what was on sale at the local Wal-Mart), a good trigger (forget those NY triggers please), and good sights that can be indexed quickly on small or distant targets. I have seen shots like this taken with iron sights by young men with good eyes. Suarez International Staffers Ryan Acuff and Jon Payne have done this with their service Glocks at 300 yards in class (yes…in front of students), so 100 yards would be easy for them. But taking this shot will be considerably easier with a red dot mounted on the handgun. That is a fact that cannot be argued.
2). Arguments against the long shot involve an obstructed line of fire. If intervening vehicle or pedestrian traffic precludes the long shot what can one do? Either don’t take the shot and go call for help (hopefully nobody’s wife and daughter is getting killed), or close the gap for the shot.
100 yards. A man in good physical condition can cover that in about 12-15 seconds. Then take the shot. What’s that? You can’t run 100 yards? Well…that is a problem isn’t it. Once within distance, the shot will be considerably easier. This is not the time for some politically-correct challenge to drop the gun, or some other silly liability-averse tactic. Bring the pistol up, sight picture on the bad guy’s face, or even better, the back of his head, and then press carefully…as many times as needed. It will not be difficult to do once you see what he has been up to inside the restaurant while you crossed the street.
There will be those who have already decided that the death of your entire family is of no consequence to them since it has nothing to do with them. They will no doubt decry my words as insenstitive, careless, perhaps even unamerican. Whatever. I have a higher calling than the approval of lesser men, and so do you. Consider your family in that IHOP when Sension walks in with his rifle. What would you want me to do? Is it not proper for you to expect the same from yourself.
Choose today to be the combatant. Prepare yourself physically, mentally and with the correct equipment. This will not be the last one.