The shooting last week at the mall in Clackamas, Oregon has been overshadowed by the tragedy that unfolded Friday morning at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. In Oregon two innocent human beings lost their lives, but perhaps the carnage would have been worse if not for Nick Meli, who has a concealed carry permit and was in the mall when the gunman opened fire. Meli pulled his weapon, but did not shoot the gunman because there were bystanders who could have been injured. The gunman saw Meli, an armed citizen, and rather than shoot more innocents he pointed his weapon at himself.
“He was working on his rifle,” said Meli. “He kept pulling the charging handle and hitting the side.”
The break in gunfire allowed Meli to pull out his own gun, but he never took his eyes off the shooter.
“As I was going down to pull, I saw someone in the back of the Charlotte move, and I knew if I fired and missed, I could hit them,” he said.
Meli took cover inside a nearby store. He never pulled the trigger. He stands by that decision.
“I’m not beating myself up cause I didn’t shoot him,” said Meli. “I know after he saw me, I think the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself.”
We don’t know how many lives Meli may have saved by pulling his weapon and making the shooter aware that he wasn’t the only person in the mall with a gun. But something tells me the left won’t be giving Meli any medals. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them demand he be prosecuted. But it’s quite possible that Meli saved lives that day.
We need more law abiding, level headed citizens like Meli walking among us, not fewer of them.