1 Dead in Potential Mass-Shooting as Two Responsible Gun Owners Open Fire in SC Barbershop

22 January 2016, Columbia, South Carolina

Two “Law Abiding Citizens” opened fire during a potential mass-shooting in a Columbia’s Next Up Barber & Beauty Salon, killing one man and possibly wounding another after “feeling threatened” by two men who walked into the barber shop.

The store was packed with about 20 men, women, and children just before 7PM on Friday as everyone went to get their haircut for the weekend.

According to police, two masked men entered the barber shop carrying a pistol and a shotgun and demanded that everyone turn over their money, menacing the customers and staff with their firearms and getting becoming increasingly agitated.

Owner Elmurray “Billy” Bookman (pictured left) and an unidentified customer in Bookman’s chair were having none of it. The customer, whose draw was probably camouflaged by the barber’s cape draped over him, opened fire on one of the assailants and was soon joined by Bookman, who shot at the other man.

Police eventually arrived and one of the robbers was transported to the hospital, where he died. The other attacker got away, but is believed to have been wounded.

Neither the defenders nor the other innocents were injured during the fight.

This episode is an illustration of the principle of Readiness.

Everyone was just hanging out, minding their own business, waiting to get their hair cut and perhaps chatting with other customers or playing with other children.

Contrary to what the fearmongers would have you believe, nobody in there was standing around with their hand on their piece just praying for an attack. No law-abiding citizen wants that. All we want is to live our lives, free from harassment by those who would do us actual harm to make a few bucks the easy way.

(It’s strange, though, that this story about at least one minority gun owner defending his business and customers wasn’t covered by ANY of the major networks, isn’t it?)

Readiness is not paranoia. Good Situational Awareness is not paranoia.

All we want you to do is to actually engage with the world instead of ignoring it in favor of your phone. Look around you. Stop and smell the roses. Say Hi to people.

And trust your instincts. Unless you actually ARE a Law Enforcement Professional, you usually don’t have any obligation to stop crimes and going out looking for them can sometimes BE a crime.

Just relax and live your life. But be ready.

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