“Violence shattered a wintry Saturday morning at a popular suburban mall here when a gunman shot and killed two employees of a skateboarding shop, sending panicked shoppers into hiding,” wsj.com reports. “The suspected gunman was later found dead near a shotgun and ammunition, police said. His victims were a man and a woman, both in their 20s, Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon said at a late afternoon news conference.” “Later” as in two minutes after the police received the first 911 call alerting them that an active shooter was on the premises. Two minutes . . .
Enough time for the shooter to kill two people with a shotgun. Apparently, he had “a great deal of ammunition.” How many more people could he have killed in 120 seconds? Plenty. How long would it take an armed civilian to stop a shooter from taking innocent life? That depends on a number of variables. But without any immediate ballistic intervention, even a two-minute response time isn’t enough. Ipso facto. And that’s in a mall that’s prepared for just such an event.