On December 11, 2012 and armed man stood outside the Clackamas Town Center near Happy Valley, Oregon. He had to chosen what he would do. He knew that the shopping mall was a “gun free zone”. Signs were posted to that effect. He would be violating the wishes of the owner – and possibly the law - by carrying his gun into the building – but Nick Meli, 22 and a concealed weapons permit holder who was packing a Glock 22 semi-auto pistol, decided to take his firearm into the Mall. Perhaps the fact that he had a friend and her baby with him that night influenced his decision.
A short time later, someone else who also knew that the Clackamas Town Center was a gun free zone arrived there. Chances are this greatly influenced his decision to choose this location. Jacob Tyler Roberts, also 22, was not there to shop – he was there to kill as many people as he could with a stolen AR-15.
Roberts entered the mall and started shooting, killing two people and wounding another almost immediately. Meli’s reaction was a textbook perfect example of CCW training put into practice. First, he got his friend and her baby down and behind what cover there was. He then took a defensive position behind a pillar.
It was then that Meli saw Roberts attempting to clear his jammed AR15. At this point he drew his Glock and put his sights on Robert’s head – who by now had cleared the jam and had the AR15 ready to fire. As he was beginning to squeeze the trigger, his eye caught movement behind Roberts – there were innocent people in the line of fire, so Meli made the correct decision not to shoot. At the same time, Roberts saw Meli. Meli, in another textbook move, took cover in a nearby store (from which he might have had a clear shot at Roberts). Roberts, having run into the last thing he expected at this point – armed opposition – ran down a hallway. There he encountered a worker from one of the stores, but did not fire at him. Instead, he ran down a flight of stairs where he fired his last shot – into his own head. The killing was over. Minutes later the police arrived, along with a huge EMS response. As is almost always the case, when seconds counted they were minutes away. The reality is they cannot be everywhere, no matter how much we want them to be.
A homicidal maniac entered a mall full of people – and because a CCW permit holder disobeyed a no guns allowed sign, the death toll of innocents was not dozens – it was two killed and one wounded. What would have happened if Nick Meli had obeyed those signs?
The answer is clear and simple: Many more people would have died. Of this there can be no doubt – because Roberts’ actions were textbook for what law enforcement trainers call “active shooters”. They have thought and planned for some time before they show up and start killing. A very important part of their planning is how these sick people want the incident to end. They may want to escape or surrender, but the most common plan is suicide. In almost all cases they will keep shooting innocents until the first armed opposition shows up. When this happens they will almost always put their “end game” plan into effect, before the armed opposition can stop them from doing so. This is exactly what Roberts did when he realized Meli was not a helpless victim, but an armed citizen.
Meli did everything right that night – and almost certainly saved many lives. Yet, few news outlets other than local Portland, Oregon media have mentioned this obvious example of an armed, trained and licensed CCW permit holder saving a lot of lives.
Why is this? Why is it that if a man in Florida, who also has a CCW permit, shoots a young man potentially in self-defense, it is news for weeks. But when another CCW holder cuts short a mass shooting without firing a shot, those same outlets are silent.
Simple: The mainstream media will not cover this story because it contradicts all of their made up “conventional wisdom” about CCW permit holders. Such people are supposed to be knuckle-dragging yahoos that do more harm than good. Gun free zones are supposed to be safe because people like Nick Meli are kept out, or at least they have to leave their guns behind. Gun free zones are not supposed to attract people like Jacob Roberts. Guns are ALWAYS supposed to be the problem, NEVER the solution (unless they are magically transformed by being in the hands of a cop). This story was never supposed to happen – and since the national media hardly reported it, it effectively didn’t happen.
This story, if actually reported widely, could actually change the “national conversation” on guns – and the mainstream media doesn’t want that to happen. There is too much danger that they might not get what they want if the public learns that guns in the hands of trained and licensed citizens like Nick Meli are actually a good thing.