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JPod cannot imagine how unarmed students or lecturers could fight back against a gunman engaged in a mass shooting. That, however, is exactly what happened at Monash University a couple of years ago. In that case, the shooter (another Asian) was tackled by an unarmed lecturer who was shot twice himself. He might not have suffered even those wounds had he been packing heat himself. A couple of items related to that story are reproduced below.
James Fulford writes: I honor Dr Gordon-Brown for his courage, presence of mind, and modesty.
Monash Newsline, 14 December 2005
Monash lecturer Dr Lee Gordon-Brown was today honoured at a ceremony in Parliament House where he received a Star of Courage— the highest honour in the Australian Bravery Decorations.
Dr Gordon-Brown was one of 17 people to receive bravery awards from the Victorian Governor John Landy.
The award recognised Dr Gordon-Brown's action during the tragic shooting incident at Monash's Clayton campus in 2003. He was hit by two bullets but managed to disarm the gunman.
Dr Gordon-Brown, who has lectured in econometrics at Monash University for 10 years, was humbled by the award.
"There wasn't time to think much at all but a lot of people were very impressive on that day. Most people that could help in some way did," he said.
"I think a lot of people when presented with the circumstances would have helped as much as they could."
Dr Lee Gordon-Brown and the others involved in subduing and disarming Huan Xiang, the alleged perpetrator in the Monash University shooting, have rightly been celebrated as heroes. According to paramedic Paul Howells, quoted in The Age: "The people on the floor at the time were just unbelievable. They definitely saved lives." But the implications of this seem to have been lost on Prime Minister John Howard and others seeking to use these events to call for more gun control.
As with most crimes, it was not the police who stopped the shooter from claiming more lives. Law enforcement activities and a police presence are obviously important factors in deterring crime, but they do not deter all crimes and they almost never stop crimes during their commission. As the tragedy at Monash indicates, the task of stopping crimes during their commission inevitably falls to private citizens. [More]