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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The Guns of Binghamton

From CNN.Com, Police Defend Response to Mass Shootings:

Authorities defended the timeliness of police response to Friday's massacre at an upstate New York immigration services center as funerals were set to begin Sunday for two of the 13 slain.

"No decisions by the police had any bearing on who died," Broome County District Attorney Jerry Mollen told reporters Sunday.

The first officers arrived at the American Civic Association about three minutes after the first emergency calls were made Friday, according to a timeline by the Binghamton Police Department.

Officers did not enter the building for about 40 minutes, police said.

"No one was shot after police arrival, and none of the people who had been shot could have been saved, even if the police had walked in the door within [the] first minute," Mollen said. "The injuries were that severe."

I am sure (or hope) there will be a full investigation as to the 40 minutes delay but the question that quickly comes to mind is how did the police know without entering the building that none of the people who had been shot could have been saved? From the media accounts I have read, there was no police presence, no officers or equipment, inside the building until the SWAT team entered after those 40 minutes. So how were they so sure without the ability to eyeball the victims?

Everytime there is one of these shootings, there are the inevitable calls for furthering restricting private control of firearms (yes there is the 2nd Amendment but there are ways around that.) These calls are predicated on the assumptions that not only is it better for law enforcement agencies to have these weapons than private individuals, but that those enforcement agencies are able to protect us and willing to put their lives on the line to do so.

The reason why you still see people, more than 7 years after the fact, wearing "FDNY" hats and shirts is because on that September day all of those New York firemen looked up and saw their death in those burning buildings and went in anyway.

I hope, really hope, that the Broome County DA was right but I still don't how they came to that conclusion until it was too late.