Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier was on 60 Minutes this week talking about mass shootings, law enforcement response times and the duties or abilities of citizens in such scenarios. One of her comments caught a lot of attention from those familiar with her official office policies.
“Your options are run, hide, or fight,” says Lanier. “If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there,” she tells Cooper.
In recent years, mentally ill gunmen and now terrorists have killed victims indiscriminately, their aim to kill as many as possible, rather than taking hostages. These events call for more active approaches, she says. “That’s kind of counterintuitive to what cops always tell people, right? We always tell people, ‘Don’t…don’t take action. Call 911. Don’t intervene in the robbery’…we’ve never told people, ‘Take action.’ It’s a different…scenario.”
To get the full inflection and feeling we should really go to the video.
This is one of those rare occasions when we might actually agree with Chief Lanier. The cops can only move just so fast and a determined killer can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. If you have the equipment, the training and the inclination, it’s just possible that a skilled concealed carry holder could cut the mayhem short or, if nothing else, pin down the shooter and buy the police a little more time to get on the scene and take control. What’s not to like about that?
Well, as Fox News reports, if the mass shooting in question is taking place in Washington, D.C. you’d better hope that one of less than fifty people in the entire city happen to be in the same building with you, because that’s how many concealed carry permits she has approved since the Supreme Court ordered her to start processing them.
Despite her call on Sunday night for civilians to “take the gunman down” in a mass shooting scenario, Washington DC’s chief of police has approved just 48 concealed carry licenses in the past year and nearly 80 percent of all applicants have been rejected.
Of 233 applications sent for review since the Metropolitan Police Department began accepting permits on Oct. 23, 2014, 185 licenses had been denied as of Nov. 14, a department spokesperson told FoxNews.com on Monday…
Lanier did not respond to requests for comment, but a department spokesperson told FoxNews.com she has the final approval on all applications received. By her own account, a prospective victim’s best chance in a mass shooting might be to have a gun.
In all fairness, I have no idea how the Chief feels in her heart of hearts about this issue. Cops tend to be a bit more supportive of legal gun ownership by law abiding citizens, though that’s not an iron clad rule. She works in a city where advancement in your career depends heavily on keeping on the right side of some politicians who are pretty much unified in their desire to thwart the Second Amendment wherever they can. (There are still challenges to gun rights grinding through the courts this year.) If Lanier’s comments are reflective of her true feelings that could signal the beginning of something better for prospective gun owners in the Capital.
Then again it might be the beginning of the end of her career.