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Crime, Law and Justice

Gun Rights Advocates React To Mall Shooting

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Austin Jenkins NW News Network
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Preston Duprie with his hands on his AR-15 rifle says the Cascade Mall shooting might have ended differently if there had been an armed citizen nearby to intervene. Duprie attended a previously scheduled gun rights rally in Olympia on Saturday.

Gun rights advocates say Friday night's deadly shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington is an example of why law-abiding citizens should consider arming themselves and why malls and businesses shouldn't ban firearms on the premises.

“If there would have been a pro-Second Amendment person there that was carrying concealed or otherwise it might not have been five (victims) … It could have been different," said Preston Duprie of Tacoma who attended a previously scheduled gun rights rally Saturday afternoon at Washington's Capitol in Olympia. Many of the rally attendees, including Duprie, openly carried military-style rifles and pistols at the event.

 

Duprie also noted that many shopping malls are gun-free zones, a policy he thinks mall owners should reconsider.

 

Another rally participant named Mike, who didn't want to give his last name, offered a similar assessment. 

 

"My answer is, if anyone of those people had been armed they would have had a hundred percent better chance at stopping that attack, at defending themselves.”

 

Mike, who lives in Sammamish, added that he agrees people should be able to go to the mall and shop without fear of being shot. But he said bad things happen and compared carrying a gun to having a fire extinguisher or spare tire just in case.

 

Part of the impetus for the pro-gun rally at the Capitol was to demonstrate opposition to a proposed ban on military-style semi-automatic rifles and large capacity magazines recently proposed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

 

Supporters of stricter gun laws also spoke out after the mall shooting. "Gun violence is preventable and our communities deserve better," said Renee Hopkins, executive director of the Seattle Based Alliance for Gun Responsibility, in a statement. "[W]e remain steadfast in our commitment and actions to end the epidemic of gun violence tearing our communities apart."