By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- The disarmists are claiming that the police did not respond to the shooter in Colorado Springs because the State has open carry rights, as do 45 states of the United States.
From R Bruce Magee, a commenter on kpbs.org:
This past weekend. a man was seen wandering a Colorado Springs neighborhood brandishing a heavy weapon. Recognizing the man as a neighbor, a woman called 911. The dispatcher told her the police couldn’t do anything about the man due to the state’s Open Carry Law. Within a few minutes of that phone call, the man had shot and killed three innocent people and was headed downtown.
Except that is *not* what happened. Here is what the caller, Naomi Bettis said happened. From gazette.com:
Naomi Bettis first called 911 when she saw her neighbor carrying a rifle and a gas can outside his house.
The gazette is a bit off on what happened as well. After listening to Naomi Bettis’ call, it is clear that she saw something amiss, because a window was broken in the business below the apartment, and the suspect was carrying gas cans into the building, and was repeatedly going upstairs into the apartment and then back down into the business. She had first noticed him and the suspicious activity 10 minutes earlier.
She told KKTV and our partners at the Gazette that she was angry with the way the dispatcher handled her first call because the dispatcher cited an open carry law.
Naomi Bettis said when she first called 911 from Prospect Street to report a man carrying a gun and two cans of gasoline, the dispatcher was quick to tell her that Colorado is an open carry state.
Police released the call Wednesday. In it, the dispatcher does cite the open carry law, but it was more than two minutes into the call while the dispatcher was still taking down all of the information.
After one minute of talking to Naomi Bettis, the dispatcher upgraded the call to “possible burglary in progress”. From kdvr.com:
The emergency response technician created a call for service of a suspicious person which started as a priority 3 and was upgraded to a priority 2 after speaking with the reporting party for one minute. The call was upgraded to a possible burglary in progress call.
Police clarified that a Priority 2 level call describes a situation classified as critical “with potentially dangerous circumstance but no apparent imminent life threat.”
According to the Colorado Springs Police, the ERT stayed on the phone with the caller for over two minutes and “acknowledged that Colorado is an open carry state but stated we (the police department) would keep the call going because the behavior of the person with the gas cans seemed suspicious.”
At the time, all officers were already responding to other calls, the closest officer responding to a threat to human life, while the Prospect call was still regarded as a threat to property at the time.
Before an officer could be dispatched to the initial call, the reporting party called back to report that the man had returned and shot a victim on a bicycle, Myers.
It would be several more minutes before police shot the rampage shooter. During that time, Matt Abshire had seen the shooter and had followed him, relaying to the police where he was. If Matt Abshire had been armed, he might well have been able to engage the shooter and stop him from further murder. If Naomi Bettis had been armed, she might well have been able to stop the shooter after he shot his first victim.
What this case illustrates is that the police cannot be everywhere; that response time is easily minutes; and that the people on the scene [the real first responders] are those best placed to respond in a timely manner.
The police acted responsibly and well; the open carry law did not hinder them in the least. But people on the scene, who saw what was happening, had to wait on the police to resolve the matter, because they were unarmed.
c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.