The Most Dangerous Mindset

It'll Never Happen Here

Or, to me. On December 3, 2016 at the Walmart on Highway 69 an allegedly disgruntled employee entered the store. She did so, however, in a manner which presented to those involved an immediate and substantial threat to all of those around her - it's a Walmart, so children, families, the elderly, employees, everyone. Reports indicate that an "alert citizen" reported this person to store managers, and told them about the rifle, knife and torch, he saw that she brought to the store.

The call went out for help, and help came - the Prescott Police Department deployed on scene in a manner befitting their profession and brotherhood. They worked to preserve life for all, and to end the threat. It worked, and no one - not a single person - was injured or killed! The accused is in custody (and constitutionally presumed innocent), and the community is again out and about, at Walmart and other near-by businesses. An alleged threat is now passed, and the community returned to it's "everyday".

At first, you may think it odd that an attorney, much less one that engages, at least in some degree, in criminal defense, would say such good things about local law enforcement. Maybe it is to some, but not to me because it's also the truth. We could go around and around about bad cops, but we could also do that with teachers, dentists, students, patients, and, dare I say it, attorneys . . . so, when that happens, we should have that conversation too. However, in this instance, here, in Prescott, on December 3, 2016 at the Walmart on 69, everything that we hope the police will do when a potential threat like this comes up, was done without loss of life. Ultimately, I don't think there is a better outcome than that when you consider "what might have happened".

This also is a maddening reality - to know that on any given day, in any given place, for any or no reason at all, my life, or those of my family members, could be instantly placed in immediate and unimaginable danger. It is even more maddening to hear the refrain that "it won't" or "it could never" happen here. I'd like to believe that this event will change that erroneous perspective for some. I know it won't for others. I know it doesn't change mine - it validates it. There is evil in the world (and good), and that evil is sometimes feet away (from what is good) - what will you do about it? I've already made my choice, and commit myself to that mindset - that I am the first and last line of defense for my loved ones, and perhaps, for those immediately around me. Therefore, I've taken, and will continue to take, steps in training, education and experience, to be aptly able to deploy whatever level of protection the circumstances require to end the threat.

So, finally, I offer my thanks to the "Alert Citizen" in this incident, and in countless others around the country that saw something, did something, and said something. May all of us ever be "alert citizens", and not lulled into a sense of false security because "it'll never happen here". It did, it'll happen again, be ready, be vigilant, wake up!