Jacksonville assailant found a soft target after security scared him away from the first

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Last weekend was a tragic one. A white supremacist attacked a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, FL, and took the lives of three innocent black people. He targeted them for no reason other than the color of their skin, and left some racist ramblings that are already getting spread around the Internet. (Note that there’s still no word on the Nashville assailant’s so-called manifesto, however.) As reported by CNN (archived links):


3 people dead after gunman targeted Black people in Jacksonville, Florida, officials say

Three people were killed Saturday in a racially motivated attack after a gunman targeted Black people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida […] 

“This shooting was racially motivated and he hated Black people,” Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said at a news conference early Saturday evening.

Waters said the shooter, who he described as a White man in his 20s, shot and killed himself after the attack. The suspect left behind what the sheriff described as three manifestos outlining his “disgusting ideology of hate” and his motive in the attack.

A later report by CNN (archived links) provided an important detail: the attacker first went to Edward Waters University, a Historically Black College/University (HBCU), and ran away from the possibility of an armed confrontation there: 

Prior to the shooting, the gunman had been turned away from the campus of a nearby historically Black university, Edward Waters University. There, he refused to identify himself to an on-campus security officer and was asked to leave, the university stated in a news release.

“The individual returned to their car and left campus without incident. The encounter was reported to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office by EWU security,” the school said.


The above report also says he had mental health issues:

The shooter was the subject of a 2017 law enforcement call under the state’s Baker Act, which allows people to be involuntarily detained and subject to an examination for up to 72 hours during a mental health crisis.

It’s very frustrating to write about yet another crime that has the same patterns as those we’ve seen before: 

  • a hateful person with an urge to take the lives of innocent people of another community
  • a history of disqualifying mental illness and instability
  • a secure target that the assailant avoids
  • a soft target that the assailant ends up attacking
  • an asymmetry of force between the sole armed assailant and unarmed victims
  • the assailant kills himself once he meets armed resistance. 

All these elements were repeated again in Jacksonville. The usual gun control groups still don’t get it.

That’s right. Crazies and crooks hate secure hard targets and love soft targets. Gun controllers still don’t get it and are demanding more gun control:


How do you identify and disarm hate? Clearly, gun control laws haven’t worked for “non-hate” violence; how do you take a failed framework and expand and re-apply that elsewhere?

Moms Demand Action’s Shannon Watts threw a nonsensical gratis parting shot at Florida’s permitless carry. The assailant in this case passed a background check to buy his guns. Even if Florida didn’t have permitless carry, the assailant would have passed a background check to acquire a carry permit. Lastly, the assailant used a rifle. Concealed carry permits are for handguns, not rifles.

There is a lot of stupidity out there on the gun control side. But that doesn’t stop them from spreading that stupidity and using that to take away our rights. That’s the gun control side’s entire game plan. Lie, lie, lie. Stoke outrage and anger. Leverage the raw emotions to go after everyone’s gun rights.


The lesson learned from the attack is in Moms Demand Action’s tweet: hard targets scare away attackers. Permitless carry helps ordinary people defend their lives, but only if ordinary people exercise those rights. 

Lastly, there’s absolutely no way on Earth anyone can ever “disarm hate.” It’s just not happening and the sooner the gun controllers realize it, the better. There’s an alternative to that I’ve written about before, and I will reiterate: #ArmLove because you’ll never #DisarmHate.

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