Thursday, January 29, 2015

MN: Councilman with Gun acts, defends Colleagues

In the dramatic video from inside the New Hope, Minnesota city council chambers, one of the council members reacts to the sound of gunfire outside of the doors by drawing his own weapon and preparing to defend his colleagues. 

Link to video:

It is clear that the council member on the left of the screen has considered this sort of scenario, and is mentally prepared.   Immediately after the shots are fired, you hear a voice saying, "Get down!, Get down!".  As the video progresses, and shows the councilman with the handgun on the left, it is clear that he is the one giving commands and taking responsibility for defense, even though he has to expose himself to do so.

The image stands in stark contrast to the picture at the Canadian parliament, where the legislators armed themselves with makeshift spears.  

It appears that the city council was the target.  The attacker, Raymond Kmetz, had a long history of difficult interactions with local governments and police.  He had been committed numerous times and had been found incompetent.  He was not legally allowed to possess firearms.  Felony cases against Kmetz had been dismissed because of his mental state.  From

Kmetz’s brother told KSTP'S Beth McDonough, that the family had warned police officers about threats Kmetz apparently made about using firearms and "all we could do was sit back and wait for it to happen."  He asked not to be identified.
Two new officers had been sworn in at the New Hope City Council moments before, and were attacked just outside the door with other officers.  Initial reports are not clear if the attacker used a long gun or a hand gun.  Two officers, one newly sworn in, were wounded before the attacker was shot and killed.   It has to be one of the fastest shootings in a police career, no more than minutes; perhaps only seconds!

One of the most difficult barriers for people to overcome in their own defense, is the denial that it could happen to them.   Over and over again, we read of victims that say, "I could not believe that it was happening".  "This can not be real".  "I did not believe that it could happen to me".    If something is outside of your mental framework, it takes considerable processing to understand what is going on.

People who obtain concealed carry permits have overcome that barrier.  They have already decided that it could happen to them.   In the New Hope shooting, the city council member with the concealed carry permit shows this mindset very clearly.   He is the first to understand what is going on.  He takes charge and issues appropriate commands.  He prepares for the worst,and does not panic. 

In a emergency, quick action is often required.  Many valuable seconds are wasted in denial that what is happening is real.   One way to overcome this handicap is to play the "what if" game.   As people go about their daily lives they consider; what if someone tried to carjack me at the grocery store; what if someone insisted that I give them money; what if someone attacked the city council.  Then, when an emergency happens, they have already considered a response to a somewhat similar situation, and they do not have to start the mental processes from scratch.

Another good method is to read about actual crimes that have occurred, as are shown on Gun Watch.  Having read about actual self defense situations makes it easier to accept that one is happening to you.

I applaud the city council member who took quick action to defend his colleagues.   Though he did not have to shoot anyone, he showed that he has "the right stuff".   Quick thinking and clearheaded action in the face of gunfire at the door should be applauded and rewarded.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

Wireless.Phil said...

I watched the video on TV News.

Here is the problem I saw.
As he got down behind the desk and drew his weapon, pointing in the air, he's looking around instead of keeping his eye on the potential target, or at least on the door, where the gunman might come through.

I say he definitely needs more training than shooting at targets just to get his right to carry a gun.