Guns Are Not for Shopping – The Columbia Mall Shooting!

A cold Maryland winter morning prrompted many to go shopping at the Columbia Mall.   Columbia, Maryland is a large mall, situated between Washington DC and Baltimore in the Maryland suburbs. I was there last month…

Unfortunately, at 11:15 in the morning, a young man entered the mall and started shooting. Some witnesses said he was shooting down into the Food Court from the 2nd Level.  The shots were centered in a surf, skateboard and snowboarder store called Zumiez, which is
now permanently closed.

Two young people were killed, store employees, Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College
Park, MD; and Tyler Johnson 25, of Ellicott City, MD, and a man police identified
as the shooter.  He had killed himself, but was wearing more ammo and had more
ammo around him.

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A bystander was shot in the foot, and others were injured in the chaos that started
when the 8-10 shots were fired and someone yelled, “There’s a man shooting”.
But these injuries were judged to be minor.

ONE MORE ACTIVE SHOOTER.  ONE MORE YOUNG MAN WITH NO MOTIVE.
Seven families devastated and looking for answers. Even 2 days after the incident, police are no closer to discovering the “WHY”.

Again, we look at access control, and due to the NRA effect, making it ridiculously
easy to carry a gun, even a concealed gun almost anywhere, we have to start by
thinking about what kind of access we should allow to public places, like schools, malls and airports.

In a risk and reward calculation, it’s basically, does the right of an individual
to take a loaded gun anywhere they want, supersede my right to safely shop at
the local mall on a Saturday morning?  I think it does.

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