Hot tip: Don't try to shoot up a shooting range

By all accounts, yesterday was just another Saturday at the Jefferson Gun Outlet and Shooting Range in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. In the front of the building, customers were browsing the available firearms. Around back, people were engaged in training and target practice in the facility’s shooting range. Then somebody walked into the store and opened fire, killing two people. What happened next should have been easily predictable. The initial shooter who initiated the attack did not fare well, to say the least. (Associated Press)

A suspect fatally shot two people at a gun store in a suburb of New Orleans on Saturday afternoon, and the shooter also died during gunfire as others engaged the suspect both inside and outside the outlet, authorities said.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said a person he described as the initial shooter fired inside the Jefferson Gun Outlet in the suburb of Metairie, striking the two people who were later pronounced dead.

He said several other people — whether employees or store customers — then opened fire on the shooter, both inside and outside of the building. The suspect also was killed, according to Lopinto. He added that two other people were wounded and have been hospitalized in stable condition.

As of yesterday afternoon, neither the attacker nor the victims had been identified as authorities tried to sort out what happened. Following the shooting inside the store, customers from the shooting range came outside and opened fire on the initial shooter, who was killed. Two customers were injured by gunfire and taken to a local hospital.

When I read the first reports where the Sheriff’s deputies hadn’t provided details, three possibilities immediately come to mind to explain this. One was that the guy who set all of this off had a beef with someone on the range and decided to put a terminal end to it. Another was that he was a random, wannabe mass shooter. The last was that this was a really twisted version of suicide by cop, using civilians that he knew would be armed and ready to end his life instead of law enforcement officers.

As it turns out, however, it sounds as if none of those were the actual explanation. A follow-up report from a local news station indicates that the shooter had walked into the store with an unholstered, loaded handgun. A clerk in the store reportedly admonished him, saying he needed to wait until he reached the shooting range to load his firearm. That sparked an argument that quickly escalated to gunplay.

I don’t know whether this guy was drunk, stupid or both, but this incident really falls off the end of the bell curve when it comes to shootings. There’s an old saying about how an armed society is a polite society, but that bit of wisdom really failed to manifest itself yesterday. No matter how bellicose you may be by nature, it would seem logical that your natural instinct would be to not start raising your voice and instigating a fight in front of a bunch of armed people. And even if you couldn’t resist the temptation to chew someone out, making the decision to open fire under those circumstances should still qualify as suicidal behavior of some sort.

Spare a thought for the victims in this event. As for the idiot who kicked all of this off, perhaps the best thing we can say is that he spared the taxpayers the cost of a trial and having to feed him in prison. This sort of incident is the last thing we need when gun rights are once again under threat from liberal Democrats. Thankfully, this sort of shooting really is an outlier.