Suarez vs. Assam: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

Jeanne Assam famously stopped a spree killer, Matthew Murray, at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs in December of 2007. He’d killed four people and wounded five others when Assam, a former Minneapolis cop and security volunteer at the church engaged him. Her action and heroism that day — not to mention the lives she no doubt saved — have become prime examples held up by those on the pro-2A side for liberal concealed carry laws and the elimination of “gun free” zones. So, as you might expect, she’s been a go-to source for an informed opinion on the matter of active shooters since Sandy Hook. But much to the disappointment of pro-gunners, her views on the matter aren’t quite what they’d hoped for . . .

In a recent blog post, Assam agrees with most in the gun control industry on the NRA’s School Shield proposal. Basically, she thinks cops are really the only ones trained and qualified enough to deal with an active shooter situation.

Arm teachers? Isn’t that a bit irresponsible? I thought the same thing when they wanted to arm pilots. Let teachers be teachers, let pilots be pilots, and let the police be the police.

Folks, there is a reason police officers have to go through so much specialized training to carry a firearm. The NRA acts as if anyone who carries a gun will automatically know what to do should they encounter an active shooter. Are you kidding? I find that incredibly naive, but also very disrespectful to the law enforcement profession of which I was a part of for over 15 years.

And assault rifles? Don’t get her started.

And I don’t believe private citizens need assault rifles. Think about it. Do you really need an assault rifle?  For what reason? For dove hunting? Deer hunting? No. You don’t need one. Let them be used only by the police and military.

The emotion and anger from some of the gun rights guys at the thought of them not being able to buy assault rifles anymore kind of reminds me of someone taking a baby rattle out of a baby’s hand. The baby doesn’t need it. It doesn’t really serve a purpose other than for the idea of ownership, but since it was taken, the baby throws a fit . . . These are obviously the weapons of choice for the cowardly, psychotic mass shooters.  Keep them off the streets and take them off the shelves of gun stores.

As you might imagine, pro-gunners tend to disagree, and few more strenuously than firearms trainer extraordinaire, Gabe Suarez. He penned a response to Assam and posted it yesterday on his warriortalknews.com website. We re-print it here with his permission:

Ms. Assam,

First off I want to point out to you that you would get a stronger following, and maybe even customers, from the Armed Citizen Community, whereas I suspect the Police Community would not likely give you the time of day, much less any business.

I too have a very strong police background including SWAT, Gangs, Crime Impact Teams, Narcotics both “Drug Raid” and UC, as well as street patrol. I will say this with no reservations at all. The police community is not and has never been the bastion of skill-at-arms that it is thought to be. The gunfighter cop is a rare exception rather than the perceived norm. I suspect there are plenty of LEOs here that will agree with that.

The NRA means well, but they go a bit overboard at times…in being politically correct.

But on to your points -

1). Arm teachers? Isn’t that a bit irresponsible? I thought the same thing when they wanted to arm pilots. Let teachers be teachers, let pilots be pilots, and let the police be the police.

Actually not at all. Not all pilots are armed and not all teachers will be either. The role of protector is a self-selected one. One that not even all of those with uniforms accept by the way. As I recall, there were several police within spitting distance of the Virginia Tech event, and yet their presence did not stop Cho. And letting police be police will not change anything now. The wise preventive measure is allow those who self select as protectors of the weak to do as they have been called, rather than hinder them with asinine laws intended to do nothing but control the masses.

2). Folks, there is a reason police officers have to go through so much specialized training to carry a firearm.

And yet so many rounds that they fire miss the target altogether. I would pit the skills of any private sector trained civilian against a police officer, with an equal number of hours. The “specialized training” focused on today deals more with liability avoidance than with stopping a killer. And let’s not forget that even the most skilled and aggressive HRT unit will still have to get there, whereas the intended victim is already there.

3). The NRA acts as if anyone who carries a gun will automatically know what to do should they encounter an active shooter. Are you kidding? I find that incredibly naive, but also very disrespectful to the law enforcement profession of which I was a part of for over 15 years.

And yet you assume that anyone that has a badge would. You know in your heart that such is simply not true. I find that presumption to be arrogant. Which will stop the killer best?  Armed Irreverence or Marginally Skilled Arrogance?

4). I know private citizens who want to carry a concealed weapon have nothing but good intentions. Let me please make that clear. But to assume that the extensive training cops receive will automatically “download” into the brain of a an untrained civilian at the touch of their gun is ridiculous and foolish, and that belief could get a good person who means well, killed.

You are assuming that “Police Training” is automatically superior to anything a lowly civilian would get. I am here to vehemently disagree with you on that. Now if you are comparing some low rent CCW class done on a Saturday afternoon by some 300 pound chain smoker to a police academy class, you are right. But by the same token, one cannot compare a tier one training program specifically designed for the “on scene” armed civilian with anything short of a full on SWAT school.

5). I don’t want anyone associating me with the NRA. No offense, but I don’t. I can’t tell you how many times men from gun rights organizations have contacted me, asking me to join their public speaking circuit or asking me to be their spokesperson to represent the cause for the “private citizen to bear arms”.

Actually I don’t really care for the NRA either, but they seem to have the right people by the ba…necks so as to keep stupid laws from becoming a reality. To me they seem not extreme enough but there it is.

6). When I told these men that I was not a civilian, but a well-trained police officer, they all insisted it would be better if I not say that I was a police officer so they could use me to further their cause. Sorry, but I don’t compromise the truth for anyone or anything. I was a very well-trained police officer from an excellent and very aggressive police department. And the reason I successfully (successfully, meaning I didn’t get killed nor did anyone else) shot and killed the gunman at New Life Church is because of that very reason.

Jeanne, with all due respect, I have read a full debrief of the New Life Church event from an insider, and there was absolutely nothing that you did that could not have been done by someone else whom God placed on that spot. The bad guy finished himself off after your shots…or so I am told.

Gallant, courageous, accurate? Absolutely. But something only a highly trained cop could have done? No…sorry.

7). No, I never once had active shooter training, but my other training taught me that neither did I need to wait for SWAT. God bless SWAT, but don’t wait for them because more people could die if you do.

And yet you ask men, women, and yes…children now, to wait for the highly trained officer (and one that will run to the fight rather than away) to magically appear on scene in some tactical deux et machina? Nope…you are asking for two standards and your argument does not hold water.

8). And I don’t believe private citizens need assault rifles. Think about it. Do you really need an assault rifle? For what reason? For dove hunting? Deer hunting? No. You don’t need one. Let them be used only by the police and military.

I think you need to re-examine some of that police training you wave about…specially that first part where you swore something about the Constitution. Grab up that document…I would be happy to send off a copy if you like. Then scroll down to the amendments. Pay particular note to the second one.

I don’t need an assault rifle, even though I own several dozen. But I do want them. It is nobody’s business, including yours, what I need or do not need. That “need” thing is a hallmark of the communist’s argument. I suggest some further study. I will tell you what we really do not need…a socialist government in the USA telling anyone what to do…or its enablers.

9). The emotion and anger from some of the gun rights guys at the thought of them not being able to buy assault rifles anymore kind of reminds me of someone taking a baby rattle out of a baby’s hand. The baby doesn’t need it. It doesn’t really serve a purpose other than for the idea of ownership, but since it was taken, the baby throws a fit. I’m not trying to be disrespectful. I’m just saying what comes to mind when I see the emotional reactions of some regarding the very thought of having this particular kind of weapon taken off the shelves. These are obviously the weapons of choice for the cowardly, psychotic mass shooters. Keep them off the streets and take them off the shelves of gun stores.

Wow. You discuss emotion and anger being a point of the gun community arguement, yet your argument is filled with anger and unreasonable – almost hysterical – emotion. “These are obviously the weapons of choice for the cowardly, psychotic mass shooters.”

So our soldiers fighting for ungrateful people in Iraq and Afghanistan, the SWAT guys you so kindly ask God to bless, and even people like me and my students are “cowardly, psychotic mass shooters”? Really?

No Ms. Assam, you are wrong on so many points. What I see is a poor woman who was given a chance at redemption by God now siding with the ranks of Mordor in the push to move America to the left. No thank you.

Gabe Suarez