In Minn. mall, A ‘Good Guy With A Gun’ Stops A ‘Bad Guy’

From LATimes — Gun rights advo­cates have a new hero.

Jason Fal­con­er, a part-time police offi­cer who killed an attack­er wield­ing a knife Sat­ur­day at the Cross­roads Cen­ter mall in St. Cloud, Minn., earned high praise from local offi­cials as well as his own trend­ing hash­tag on Twit­ter.

He was put in unfor­tu­nate cir­cum­stances. I believe there was divine inter­ven­tion,” Corey Nel­lis, the police chief in the neigh­bor­ing city of Avon, said at a news con­fer­ence Mon­day. “I think he was the per­son that need­ed to be there to pre­vent it from being worse than it was.”

Fal­con­er was report­ed to be shop­ping Sat­ur­day when Dahir Adan entered the mall and began stab­bing peo­ple. At least nine were wound­ed by the time Fal­con­er inter­vened.

St. Cloud May­or Dave Kleis said sur­veil­lance footage shows the sus­pect go down and come back up three times as Fal­con­er fires his weapon.

An expert marks­man, Fal­con­er quick­ly became an icon in the debate over gun rights, a real-life exam­ple of the long-tout­ed and much-dis­put­ed argu­ment that an armed cit­i­zen­ry makes soci­ety safer. In the rhetoric of gun rights advo­cates, he was the prover­bial “good guy with a gun.”

Jason Fal­con­er is a gun own­er, #NRA-cer­ti­fied instruc­tor, and own­er of a shoot­ing range; a good guy with a gun,” the NRA tweet­ed Mon­day.

Liz Sheld, a gun-rights advo­cate who goes by Assault Weapon Lizzy on Twit­ter, blogged on the web­site PJ Media that the main­stream press often tries to “hush up any sto­ries that fol­low the ‘good guy with gun stops bad guy with a gun’ nar­ra­tive. Espe­cial­ly when the good guy trains oth­er good guys.”

Fal­con­er ducked pub­lic­i­ty as offi­cials asked peo­ple to respect his pri­va­cy. But his cre­den­tials rapid­ly spread across the Inter­net and social media.

For the last 13 years, he has been the own­er and pres­i­dent of Tac­ti­cal Advan­tage Firearms Train­ing as well as a licensed instruc­tor there. He is also a for­mer police chief in the near­by city of Albany and a com­pet­i­tive shoot­er.

If I was going to ask any­body to fire live rounds in a crowd­ed mall, I would trust his abil­i­ties next to anybody’s,” Nel­lis told reporters.

Firearms experts said that lev­el of skill only comes with exten­sive train­ing.

Marc Hol­ley, who runs Atlas Defense, a firearms train­ing busi­ness in Min­neapo­lis, said the good-guy-with-a-gun argu­ment only holds up if the good guy has been trained to shoot from var­i­ous dis­tances, take into account what’s behind the intend­ed tar­get and com­mu­ni­cate with law enforce­ment to avoid being mis­tak­en for the bad guy.

There is a whole judg­ment process on mak­ing the deci­sion to fire the weapon,” said Hol­ley, who was a Marine reservist for eight years and served in Afghanistan.

With­out train­ing, some peo­ple freeze,” he said, adding that an empha­sis on the con­sti­tu­tion­al rights of gun own­ers has over­shad­owed the neces­si­ty of train­ing.

Hol­ley said that Falconer’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the U.S. Prac­ti­cal Shoot­ers Assn. is “evi­dence of how good a tac­ti­cian he is.”

Albany Police Chief Osval­do Car­ba­jal, who took over for Fal­con­er more than three years ago, said peo­ple who want to pro­tect them­selves should not stop with get­ting a gun and a con­cealed weapon per­mit.

Peo­ple should not just take the basic course, but should have con­tin­ued train­ing,” he said. “It’s a per­ish­able skill. Pro­fi­cien­cy with a firearm is a skill and you have to use it and prac­tice with it reg­u­lar­ly.”

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ER1C ☠

ER1C ☠

Dedicated Second Amendment Advocate, At-Home Gunsmith, Designer, Blogger, Video Guy, Author, Business Owner & ReloadOne Member.

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