Gun Ban Prevents Army Veteran From Saving Coworkers' Lives
It was the day after Christmas in the year 2000, and people were back to work at Edgewater Technology in Wakefield, Massachusetts.
Sandy Javelle, a widower and father of four children, was visiting with fellow employees. He normally worked out of the New Hampshire office, but today he just happened to be in the Wakefield building.
Unfortunately for Sandy, this was the wrong day to be visiting the Wakefield branch.
In another part of the office, Michael McDermott was joking and chatting with a fellow employee. Cool and relaxed, he seemed to be caught up in a festive mood. It was the day after Christmas, after all.
But not everything was right.
"I was having a conversation [with McDermott] and suddenly he was not talking with me," said a project manager. "So, I walked away."
Well, McDermott had other things on his mind. Grabbing the black gym bag on his desk, he began his journey to the accounting department -- apparently to "discuss" the wages which the IRS was garnishing from his paychecks.
Nicknamed "Mucko," McDermott is a hulking 42-year old man with shoulder-length hair and a bushy black beard. He looks more like a Civil War veteran than a computer programmer.
The former Navy submariner pulled an AK-47 and a shotgun out of his bag. He also had a pistol tucked inside his waistband.
"Hey," a startled coworker called out from a nearby office, "where are you going with that?"
McDermott just continued walking, undaunted, until he reached the reception area. It was there that he started firing. For the next seven to eight minutes, McDermott methodically shot several victims. He rarely missed.
People began diving behind desks and barricading themselves behind doors. Calmly, McDermott strode towards the accounting department. He switched to his shotgun and sized up a new target.
It was Sandy Javelle.
A victim of gun control
An Army veteran, Sandy had been trained to stare death in the face. He barricaded several coworkers into a room and went out to meet McDermott.
There was no na‹vet‚ on Sandy's part. As an avid sportsman, he was quite familiar with firearms. He even possessed a concealed carry license from the state of New Hampshire.
There was just one problem. He was now in Massachusetts, a state which does not recognize concealed carry permits from its neighboring state.
Sandy quickly approached McDermott and paused at the copy machine. The meeting between the two men lasted only an instant, as McDermott leveled his shotgun and fired into the face of his unarmed victim.
Sandy became the third casualty that day. Four more would die before the shooting ended.
Making gun owners SAFE
It is heart-wrenching to think that last December's tragedy in Massachusetts could have ended much differently had McDermott chosen to attack the Manchester, New Hampshire office instead.
In Manchester, Mucko would not have been the only one armed. A pistol-packing Sandy Javelle would also have had a gun and could very well have saved several people's lives.
According to Dr. Gary Kleck, the highly acclaimed criminologist at Florida State University, citizens use firearms to protect themselves while they are away from home up to 500,000 times every year.
That means that decent people use their concealed firearms to thwart criminal attack almost 1,500 times a day. Arguably, that number would be higher if laws did not discourage good people from carrying guns.
It is with this in mind that Representative John Hostettler (R-IN) has introduced legislation to allow citizens the right to carry concealed firearms across state lines.
Rep. Hostettler told Gun Owners of America that, "People shouldn't lose their Second Amendment rights just because they cross the state lines. My legislation ensures that those who legally carry concealed firearms will be able to protect themselves while traveling on vacation or while driving to work in another state."
The right to defend oneself can represent the difference between life and death.
Guns Save Lives
Linda Hasselstrom is a peace-loving woman from South Dakota.
She spent more than a decade agonizing over her decision to carry a gun. But on more than one occasion, Linda has been grateful that she packs heat.
Several years ago, she was traveling out-of-state in a desolate part of Wyoming.
A man played cat-and-mouse with her car for 30 miles, trying to run her off the road. At one point when he pulled his car within two inches of hers, she flashed her pistol at him.
He sped away and disappeared. That was the last she ever saw of him.
Similarly, the Wichita Eagle reported in February 9, 2001, that a Kansas woman may very well have prevented a rape because she was traveling with a pistol.
A truck driver flashed his lights at her and indicated there was something wrong with the back of her car. She pulled over to the side of the road, got out of her car and walked to the back of her vehicle to inspect the rear tires and lights.
In the meantime, Kevin Thompson parked his truck directly in front of her car, thus blocking her in.
Thompson approached the woman as she was getting back into her car and stuck his foot inside to prevent her from closing the door. He began making sexual advances, but quickly backed off when he saw her pull a pistol out of her pocket and state, "I've got a gun."
She drove away and called authorities who later arrested Thompson.
Carry laws helping to drop crime rates
It is no surprise that, in the state where citizens can freely carry their handguns, people are also enjoying one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
In Alaska and Vermont, citizens can carry a firearm without getting permission ... without paying a fee ... or without going through any kind of government-imposed waiting period.
While Alaska's law is relatively new, Vermont's law has been in place for quite some time. For several years in a row, Vermont has remained one of the safest states in the union -- having twice received the "Safest State Award" from the Morgan Quitno Press, a private agency which compares and analyzes state crime statistics every year.
Likewise, Dr. John Lott, who is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has also shown the powerful benefits of CCW laws, or "Carry a Concealed Weapon" legislation.
In 1996, Lott published a comprehensive national study that found violent crime fell after states made it legal to carry concealed firearms. Specifically, states which passed CCW laws reduced their rate of murder by 8.5%, rape by 5%, aggravated assault by 7% and robbery by 3%.
Rep. Hostettler is hoping that encouraging citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights will only increase these encouraging results.