Boots & Sabers

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1943, 01 Mar 18

Good Guy With a Gun Thwarts Robbery

The best result in a bad situation.

A security guard shot and killed a man who was attempting to rob a bank Thursday afternoon on Madison’s Far East Side, Police Chief Mike Koval said.

The attempted robber entered the Chase Bank at 4513 Milwaukee St. at about 4:45 p.m. with his face covered and postured as if he had a weapon, Koval said. He then handed a bag to an employee and demanded money.

The security guard saw the man posture with the gun and shot him, Koval said.

None of the seven other people in bank were reported injured.


1943, 01 March 2018


  1. fuzz

    In my best Ben Shapiro voice, “Okay, now do this one:”

    I get the “good guy with gun saves life” thing. I’m glad the bad guy’s actions only ended in bad consequences for himself. And I’m certainly pro gun ownership.

    But, the reason you posted this story is to say “See, guns are good.” But for every one of these stories, there’s two for the link I posted or about some kid getting into an improperly secured gun and accidentally shooting himself.

    This whole internet echo chamber is so taxing. On both sides. It’s divisive. What the hell happened to the middle?

  2. Owen

    So what’s the middle, as you see it?

  3. Owen

    BTW, my intent was not to say “guns are good.” Guns are objects. They do not have a moral quotient. They just are. The people wielding them have morals.

  4. fuzz

    I agree with you, Owen. Guns are objects. They serve a purpose. I find them enjoyable. I’d love to go shooting with you, someday (I think we talked about it many, many years ago).

    What I’m saying is we’ve gotten to the point where there is no reasonable conversation about tough topics in the U.S., anymore. The umpteenth tragic mass shooting has happened, and like we all do now, everybody just aligns way to the right or way to the left and there is no compromise. It doesn’t bring any of us, as Americans, together to solve an obvious issue, it just aligns us further to one side or the other.

    What do stories like:

    “Good Guy With a Gun Thwarts Robbery”
    “Would-be Victim Kills Carjacker”
    “Mother and Daughter Thwart Armed Robber”

    …do for solving the problem? It just gives your audience ammunition* to dig their heels in harder against any sort of change that might help stop the trend.

    There is a problem that needs to be fixed. I hope we can agree on that.

    Countering “Gunman kills 17” with “Good guy stops robber” isn’t going to fix the fact that both of those stories deal with a bad guy who was able to get a gun.

    Nine of the largest, most notorious mass shootings in the last five(ish) years were done with an AR-15. It’s a common denominator. As is the mental illness of most (if not all) of the people who committed those acts. But instead of actually coming together to say, “Maybe we have a problem,” or “Maybe we need to do extensive (i.e., drug/mental) background checks to ensure buyers aren’t planning on shooting up a school/theater/church/etc.,” or “Is the AR-15 an object that should be available without first evaluating the moral/mental capacity of the individual obtaining that object,” we are just going to sit in the same place and shout “Second Amendment!” or “Ban guns!”

    The middle is a wide range, but the stories you’re posting and the “ban all guns” side certainly aren’t it.

    I mean all of the above respectfully.



    *yes, total pun, sorry


  5. jjf

    Fuzz, those “good guy with a gun” stories affirm the fantasy. They’re news also because they are rare. The accidents are not rare.

    You want to claim there are all sorts of unreported moments of deterrence? Then also admit there are many accidents that go unreported, too.

  6. Owen

    jjf, the fact that these stories exist kind of undermines your “fantasy” argument.

    Fuzz, I like stories like this because I like seeing bad guys being thwarted. But I also write about various ideas and the culture rot that I believe underpins violence. In the last 2 weeks, I wrote a column about arming teachers. In that column, I referenced the deeper causes and advocated arming teachers as a way to mitigate inevitable violence. I floated the idea of red flag laws. I shared the piece by the Dodge County Sheriff about parenting. I shared another story about how girls, especially, are more depressed and lonely than ever thanks to social media.

    Forgive me if I take your criticism of tribalism with a bit of salt. The issue is that there isn’t an easy fix to the culture.

    As for the prospect of banning the AR15, I don’t support that because it won’t do anything to end the violence. It is commonly used not because it is a particularly effective weapon, but because it is a common weapon. It’s the most popular rifle in America (the AR15 and it’s cousins), so of course it is commonly used. If we ban it, then some other type of gun will be the most commonly used gun. Banning guns is chasing a phantom of a solution while ignoring the real problems that cause violence.

    I would also add that the VAST majority of murders with firearms are not committed with a rifle at all. Check the FBI data:

    Murders with rifles, of which the AR15 is a subset, were only 3% of all murders with firearms in the most recent data year (2014). And you think banning the AR15 is  fix? ‘fraid not.


  7. jjf

    By “fantasy” I’m referring to the persistent daydream held by many who carry that they’ll be the one to be at the right place at the right time and make the correct determination of the target and get the right shot and there will be no innocents killed and no confusion about who has a white hat or a black hat.

    I don’t think handing someone a concealed permit makes all that come true.

  8. Le Roi du Nord

    Fuzz, I’m with you on this one.  Great comments.

    BTW, 50 years ago the most common weapon in most states, certainly in WI, was a lever-action 30-30.  No 30 round clips/magazines, no bump stocks, hard to mount a scope.  The question you need to ask is what caused the recent popularity of the AR-15.

  9. Paul

    Eso si que es…

  10. billphoto

    Using my crystal ball, I can see the future at Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Young person walks in and asked for an AR-15.  Clerk says sorry, those are too dangerous to sell to the public.  Young person says, “but I have been saving my money and have the necessary $1000 for an AR-15 firearm and ammo.  Clerk says, “I have the perfect firearm for home defense (sic).  A Remington 870 shotgun on sale for $270.  12 gauge #0 rounds fire 10 32 caliber balls up to 50 yards.  Holds 5 rounds.  With 100 rounds of ammo, I can get you out the door for $325.”  Young person, “I still have $675 left.  Can I see that 9mm Glock?”

    Unless one has been trained in close quarters combat with the AR-15, it is a poor choice.  A 12 gauge pump with #0 or #00 shot is called a ‘door opener’ because it will usually unlock any door with one shot.  More, the AR-15 fires on projectile at a time.  Imagine the carnage if a person had opened fire with a shotgun spewing 10 32 caliber balls into the crowd!

    Here, at Chase Bank, we again have a security guard saving our tax dollars.  Of course, now, most likely, Chase and the guard will be sued for excessive use of force and civil rights violations.

  11. Jason

    >Fuzz, I’m with you on this one. Great comments.

    Pretty hypocritical of you Average Joe to not demand sources for his statements. Oh yeah, trolls be trolling, my apologies.

  12. Paul

    Maybe it’s a baseball “legend” that experienced three 500-year floods in a year during those “12 years” of GOP control.

  13. Le Roi du Nord

    j:  No more than you, but I guess that is expected.  Why don’t you ever ask anyone beside me for proof ?  Now that IS hypocritical.

    pp:  I’m glad you recognize me as a baseball legend.  Folks around here do as well.

  14. Paul

    Nobody was referring to you as a legend, kleagle.

  15. Le Roi du Nord

    Sorry, little fella, but no kleagle here.  But I did once own a beagle…..

  16. Paul

    Nobody cares.

  17. dad29

    what caused the recent popularity of the AR-15.

    How about a few hundred thousand young men and women being trained on how to use it in the US Armed Forces?

    It’s light, accurate, and–if chambered in .308–can hunt almost any creature out there.  You can mount scope, red-dot sights, and/or a very powerful light due to the configuration of the forestock.  Easy to clean and re-assemble, too.


  18. jjf

    A few hundred thousand vets? A few million ARs? You’re off by a factor of ten. You’d prefer an AR over what else for hunting around here?

  19. billphoto

    The lunacy here is a few stores not selling ARs or anything resembling an AR won’t make any difference.  It is foolish to think that if someone can’t get an AR (or buy one from a criminal), then poof, it’s all fixed.  It isn’t.

    If they can’t buy an assault-style rifle, they will buy a shotgun.  Imagine the carnage if a person had opened fire with a shotgun spewing 10 32 caliber balls into the crowd!  If they can’t buy a gun, they’ll rent a truck and fill it with fertilizer or maybe not even bother with the fertilizer.  This could go on and on but the real point is to these ‘people’ (jihadist, criminal, mental or whatever), it all about the killing and they will use whatever resource is available; legal or illegal.

    As a society, we not only need to address the failures of our mental health system and our bureaucracy but also how we can better present a deterrent to these ‘people’ going after soft targets.

    This post is a prime example of what happens if the perpetrator does not respect the deterrent.

  20. dad29

    Well, JJ, think of it this way.  The AR (M-16) was intro’d to the Armed Forces in late 1969.  (I was trained on the M-14 AND the M-16 during BCT in Fall of ’69.)  Frankly, I don’t know how many people entered the service between 1970-2017–but it could well be north of 1 million.

    And yes, I’d use an AR for deer hunting, in .308 chambering.  Why not?  Lightweight, easy to point, comparably less recoil than a ‘regular’ rifle in same caliber, (etc.)  But I’m not going to run out and buy one b/c I have a perfectly fine rifle now.

    And the AR is the most popular hunting rifle in the US at present.  BATF says so….

  21. jjf

    If you look at the sales curves for AR-style rifles, you’d say consumer sales were negligible (~100K a year-ish) from the sixties until 2004 when the assault weapons ban ended, and then there’s a big rise after Obama’s election and another after his reelection. So we’re about a million sold a year in recent years?  Again, an order of magnitude.  I don’t remember Vietnam vets craving to recreate their M16 experiences. As for Afghanistan, we had 100K troops at the top in 2010. Iraq, about 150K for seven years?

  22. dad29

    I’ll accept your numbers.

    So.  You tell ME why AR sales are so high.  Maybe reliability, lightweight, deadly, accessorizable, hunting weapons are being purchased because…..ahhh…..

    Go ahead.  Tell me the reason.

    Meantime, I have another suggestion:  prevention of tyranny.  That neatly coincides with the REAL reason for the 2A.  Huh!

  23. billphoto

    It will probably land me on another watch list or something but I bought my AR for defense from our government presumably as our Founder had intended when they wrote the 2nd.

    With the NSA, FBI, and who knows what collecting data (don’t forget our “friends” like Google), given the incompetence displayed using Parkland as an example, the seemingly endless corruption at all levels of our government and the lunacy demonstrated by on a daily basis, I don’t think my tin foil hat is on too tight.

    And they’re coming to take me away ha-haaaThey’re coming to take me away ho-ho hee-hee ha-haaaTo the funny farmWhere life is beautiful all the timeAnd I’ll be happy to see those nice young menIn their clean white coatsAnd they’re coming to take me away ha-haaa.

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