latimes.com reports on a brutal and fatal attack at a Wal-Mart store in Lakewood California. “Sheriff’s investigators said the suspect grabbed a metal baseball bat from a rack in the sporting goods section of Wal-Mart and began repeatedly pummeling the defenseless victim in the head and upper body. ‘It does not appear there was any communication or warning whatsoever,’ [Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Ed] Hernandez said. “It’s one of the most brutal attacks I have ever seen.'” . . .

Down at my local Arizona Wal-Mart, the ammo counter is right next to the baseball bat section. On any given day, you’ll see armed individuals standing at that counter buying ammo.

It seems no one intervened in an attempt to save this elderly gentleman’s life. Was someone able to intervene but, when confronted with the enraged man beating another man to death with a baseball bat, decided to wait for the cops? Perhaps they felt overmatched by the baseball bat and/or the size/physicality of the accused.

Would a bystander with a gun have made a difference? Would a gun control advocate standing near the crime listening to bones crack and watching blood spurt emerge from the event clinging to their belief that legal concealed carry firearms only makes things worse?

Sadly we will never know because California has disarmed its citizens. And citizens were the only ones readily available to intervene in this crime. Truth be told, we are the first responders.

41 Responses to Lakewood CA Wal-Mart Homicide: Death by Disarmament

  1. To be fair, I’m sure the police would’ve loved to have been there, but they couldn’t make it in time. In their defense, I’m sure they conducted a great homicide investigation, and when it’s all over I’ll bet they submit one heck of a neat report. No amount of armed citizenry could replicate that effort.

    • and I am sure the family of the victim will be comforted to know that the long painful death their loved one suffered didn’t result in any additional fatalities brought about by someone whipping out a 1911 and pointing it near any other shoppers.

    • … I’m sure the police would’ve loved to have been there …

      Not necessarily. They have “no duty”, from a civil service perspective. Of course, there’s always that “moral duty” thing, if you want to depend on that. And then, there are lawyers. The whole thing is a real can o’ worms, I tell ya’.

  2. I think a culture in which the people are disarmed and taught to be dependent on the police lose their sense of responsibility for their own well-being and the well-being of others.

    I hope I would have intervened, armed or not. I hope I never find out if I would.

      • I am surprized (not really) that nobody else intervened.

        I mean the guy was so focused on beating that man – what was to prevent anyone in the store from picking up another bat and bopping that guy in the head one good time?

        Good to armchair QB, but I am pretty confident that I would have done exactly this with no hesitation.

        We can have wet dreams about a cc owner whipping out his gun, but one hit in the upper back or head with a bat would have dropped the BG much more effectively than just about any cc gun made.

    • This is true. All I ever heard growing up was–“If there is an emergency dial 911”. Never a mention that you should try to help, or intervene.

      Now, we also need to understand the psychological issues going on here… It’s called the “bystander effect” and the more people that are present the more likely it is that no one will offer help because everyone assumes someone else will.

      This past 9/11 anniversary, I was watching various documentaries and listing to the accounts of what took place at the Twin Towers. The one thing that struck me was how many people basically just stood there, waiting for someone else to do something. Now, the people in the Towers were trained by the Tower operators that “if you ever hear a fire alarm just wait for a call before you do anything”. Those instructions, coupled with the societal norm that you should just wait for an authority figure, coupled with fear, coupled with the bystander effect, no doubt cost people their lives.

      The passengers of Flight 93 fought back. But we must remember that this is the (unfortunately) exception, not the rule of how people act in these kinds of situations.

      If there is one thing that police training has, that non-sworn citizens don’t get, is training to overcome the natural tendency to do noting. They are told “you are the authority you must act”. I don’t think it’s really “training” per se but that they [emergency responders] are given permission to act. The rest of us are basically told to cower and wait. We are told that it is not our job to do anything. We are told to not get involved.

      Being armed does not necessarily preclude you from the bystander effect, nor will it necessarily help you overcome the social norm of cower and wait for authority, or fear for that matter. I think that you have to make a decision beforehand as to what your going to do if faced with a situation, like the one relayed here. You have to commit before the situation arises.

      That said: The fact is you should not intervene in any situation your not directly involved in. Except when you should.

      Many times the right answer is to call the cops, cower and wait. Sometimes it’s not. Yes, we are almost always the first responders. But the rules for us are different that for “real” first responders and we must exercise a greater degree of caution before intervening.

      Would having an armed citizen, or even an armed victim, have saved a life in this situation? We cannot say for sure.

      One thing is for sure–it sure as hell would have changed the odds.

      • they honestly wouldn’t even have had to kill the dude, grabbing a bat and using it to restrain said BG would have been enough

        • @garynyer

          It’s not really about killing/not killing. People have to overcome psychological and social norms in order to act. Not to mention fear.

          The point is, if you go out armed, I think you have to prepare yourself ahead of time as to how you would act/react in a similar situation.

        • How do you do that if you are elderly, disabled, or a 90 lb female? Heck, I am a healthy standard, fit male and I would not want to go toe to toe with some insane man currently beating anothers brains out with a bat.

          An “Equalizer” is helpful in disparity of force situations.

  3. Yeah it’s a sad state when no one is willing to charge into the attacker knocking him to the floor. At least no one will get sued for injuring the perp or arrested for assaulting the loon. Remember,, he has rights and they are important. More important than victims rights. When cops show up it’s his rights they protect, when he is brought in for arraignment his safety is of primary concern. His defense in court guaranteed. Healthcare, food, recreation all taxpayer provided including job training, law library, TV, magazines, checkers, and outdoor playpen.

    The family of the victim gets to suck it up, spend 15 grand on a funeral, and hope he doesn’t get paroled too soon.

    • You forgot to add, it was not his fault he did this….it was obviously society’s fault for making him do this.

      • No, society didn’t. The bat did it. Just cause it was being held by some syco had nothing to do with the beating. The bat did it. It on its own accidentally and repeatedly beat the victim.

        • No it was not the bat. Baseball did it. Just because it was used in the beating of a person does not mean its the bat’s fault. Since baseball in inherently dangerous and has mean players using the bats to beat balls into submission. Clearly baseball should be blamed.

  4. The problem is the easy accessibility of metal baseball bats. Walmart should have had them under lock and key to prevent their misuse. I think the California legislature needs to take steps to stop the uncontrolled purchase and ownership of metal bats and enact a ban on wooden bats (Wooden bats should be reclassified as “assault” bats because you can drive nails through them and make them even more deadly.)

  5. I’m sure that California’s two Senate harpies will propose a ban on bats, especially evil Louisville Slugger assault bats longer than 18″ that can be swung more than once. Why would anyone need such a bat? If everybody had one, there would be blood in the streets. We’re the only country in the world without bat control. We to do something to stem the Wooden River of baseball bats to Mexico. After all, it’s for the children.

    • You’re right! We have no bat control. If we did, the 2 senate harpies and the house minority leader would be in cages.

    • Without bats, people will just turn to baseballs and golf balls. You can conceal carry baseballs and golf balls, but not bats and clubs. We need to ban the carry of hard, round objects.

      And for the love of God, stop selling those six-packs of golf balls. It’s hi-capacity golf ball assault clips that make this country like the wild west.

  6. I would like to think that I, witnessing such an attack, would try and tackle the guy or at least grab another baseball bat off the shelf to use as a weapon.

    Apathy is an even stronger foe than disarmament.

  7. How many times do we hear from “officials” don’t intervene, wait for the professionals.

    The powers that be are worried that if they advise people to get up off their butts and DO something, and it doesn’t end well they will get blamed.

    Thus if you ask a firefighter “what should I do if little Johnny sets the house on fire?” they will be obliged to tell you to abandon ship, grab your kids and vacate the house… instead of “Pick up the G#@-D@mn fire extinguisher and put the fire out you dummy”

    In this day and age, where you can be sued if you give well intentioned advice and it doesnt work out, people in charge default to telling others to do whatever will keep the authorities out of the hot seat.

    Because of the way that liability law is applied and practiced in this country, we are defaulting to a society where cowardice and apathy are the norm.

    Kind of makes you want to throw up doesn’t it.

  8. i’ve been to this walmart and it is in a relatively nice part of town. there is a country club and golf course literally half a block down the street.

    it is a sad fact that gov brown is continuing to take steps to disarm the law abiding citizens of the people’s republic of kalifornia. he passed a bill that would ban open carry a day before the seal beach shooting. just another one of many events that could have been prevented by a law abiding citizen with a firearm.

    when seconds count, police are just minutes away.

  9. Problem 1 – Disarmament, as mentioned. Pretty self-explanatory.

    Problem 2 – Brute force. In today’s “civilized” society, people are not prepared to deal with brute force. As a whole, we aren’t raised that way. I don’t contest that I fall into that category too; that’s why we have guns. Except no one there did.

    Problem 3 – Sense of responsibility. Already covered above.

    Problem 4 – This took place in California, the west coast ground zero of the leftist plague eating away at this country. The same kind of people who let a gang of thugs walk around, openly raping women in Central Park in broad daylight without even calling 911. Frankly, this story would’ve been news if someone there DID help.

      • No, but he could have fled to a better state at any point in his life prior to being beaten to death. Apparently he thought sunshine and pretty girls on topless beaches were more important than his life and liberty.

        • @Jack Sparrow

          So then it’s the victim’s fault? Because they live in a state that you don’t like (which may or may not have necessarily been by choice).

          Is it always the victim’s fault with you? Or are their times when you decide to blame the perpetrator?

          Can we take your logic train to its destination and say that the perpetrator in this case is completely blameless? In fact, the perpetrator is really the victim… After all, the dead guy was in the wrong state, wrong city, wrong WalMart.

          Welcome to “Blame The Victim Ville” where you can beat the shit out of someone without fault.

        • I didn’t say it was his fault. The person you responded to previously said that those who live in California get what they ask for. I’m simply pointing out that nothing was stopping him from packing up and moving to a better state with sane laws (and citizens).

          Welcome to you “no personal responsibility”-ville where people apparently have zero control over their actions, including where they choose to live.

          Try stopping and thinking next time before running off on some tangent that has nothing to do what what someone said.

        • @Totenglocke

          No, see your assuming that he had a choice. The article says he was 74, he could have very well been living with or near family due to his age, or just because that’s where his family was.

          Beyond that, a lot of people go where the work is, etc. As someone who has moved from one state to another twice I can say that it’s not as easy as you insinuate.

          The comment I originally responded to said “California gets what they voted for” I’m sorry but again I doubt this man, nor anyone voted to get beaten to death with a bat.

          This man was in a WalMart presumably minding his own business. At what point did he bear any responsibility for being beaten to death with a bat?

          Because that’s what your saying, that at least in part this was the victim’s fault.

          Answer this–should the perpetrator get a lesser sentence? Based on your logic blame is to be shared between the victim and the perp. Like you said, the vic could have simply fled the state.

          Also, would you be blaming the vic if he lived in say, Oregon (where I live) where CC is relativity easy to get? Because other than that, I’m not really sure what the difference is. You’re also assuming a lot: even if this would have taken place in a state w/different laws, the vic still would have needed an opportunity to act and/or someone (bystander) would have needed/been willing to act on his behalf. That’s not taking into account that someone would have needed the means to intervene (most CC permit holders don’t carry regularly). Would it have changed the odds to have a person w/CC there? Probably, but it may have not necessarily changed the outcome if someone was not able/willing to act and to assume that it would have is highly ignorant.

          Also, would you be willing to tell the vic’s family, to their, face, that his beating and death was, at least partly, his fault?

        • He had a choice of where to live. Everyone over the age of 18 does. He chose to live there. No men with scary guns with the shoulder thingy that flips up came and forced him to live there.

          There are plenty of jobs in states better than California (hell, even NY is better than CA). You do realize that the majority of the US population does NOT live in California, right?

          That man may or may not have voted for the police state that is California, we’ll never know. However, by choosing to live there, he’s implicitly agreeing to the laws overall or else he would have left and moved to another state.

          He bore the responsibility (again!) of choosing to live in California. He knows what a wretched place it is and how it’s one of (if not THE) most violent states in the country. How many times do you hear of things like this happening in states that AREN’T California? Sometimes you hear about it in New York or Florida, but it’s almost always California.

          No, genius (sorry Rob / Brad / other Editors, but this guy is blatantly being an incompetent jerk to the point of making Mike look reasonable), the person who beat him should get the same sentence. However, the man would have been alive if he’d moved to a better part of the country – and that part of it will always rest solely on him. He chose to live there and thus put himself in that location which resulted in his death. Just like how if I choose to go to a high crime area of town at 2am and get shot, I will always bear the responsibility for having put myself in that place when I knew exactly what sort of things happen there.

          Yes, I’d absolutely tell them that he bears the responsibility for choosing to live in that cesspool – because HE CHOSE TO LIVE THERE. Would they be irrational and emotional like you? Sure, but it doesn’t change the fact that he chose to put himself in a state the actively tries to turn its citizens into victims (in his case, they were successful). I’m done with your crying now. End of conversation.

        • @Totenglocke

          However, the man would have been alive if he’d moved to a better part of the country…

          So along with being diluted you’re also psychic.

          You said “end of conversation” but I want to ask you one more question. You are free to answer or ignore.

          You seem to think that the victim in this case was at fault because he lived in a state that has draconian gun laws (I completely agree that CA’s gun laws aredraconian).

          The 2011 Tucson shooting – Arizona has very pro-gun laws. People were shot and killed by Loughner. Do any of the 6 people that died, or any of the 13 that were injured bear responsibility for their death’s or injuries?

          Oh, and because you compared me to Mike let me make this very clear–I’m as pro 2A/pro-gun as you can get. I completely agree that an armed victim or bystander could have changed the odds in favor of the victim surviving. What I am vehemently against is blaming the victim.

          Yes, there are situations when a victim does bear some responsibility (like if they are engaging in criminal activity to begin with). I’m sorry, I just don’t see how you can believe that it is this man’s fault he was beaten to death.

  10. My condolences to the family of the victim. It has been said that the blame is always someone elses. Mr. Brown, the bat, the perps parents, society on and on and on…… The truth is it’s US ourselves who are at fault WE have allowed this and other crimes against US to be perpitrated WE have to act WE need to make an effort to help ourselves. Having armed citizens in Wally world doesn’t make any thing different. It doesn’t mean they were going to be at the very spot were they could have made any difference in the outcome. What if my uncle wore a dress? He’d be my aunt. “I wish”, doesn’t change anything. Fact is some one got killed. Hope that if WE are ever in that situation, armed or not, WE will have the courage to act and hope that by that action we can make a change for the better.

  11. “Would a gun control advocate standing near the crime listening to bones crack and watching blood spurt emerge from the event clinging to their belief that legal concealed carry firearms only makes things worse?”

    No, they would simply start a Brady Campaign Against Baseball Bat Violence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *