We’ve been discussing what appears to be a slight trend toward robberies, including one murder, happening at Pennsylvania Game Commission public ranges. There’s a few things about the latest case involving a murder motivated by robbery that I think are interesting to ponder. Here’s what I would think:
- The guy was shot from a distance, meaning he probably didn’t see it coming. My feeling is that it’s next to impossible to defend against someone willing to kill you for your gun — or rather someone who has made a conscious decision he will murder to get it.
- The guy probably met his killer, who would have needed to get close to get a look at the gun. I can’t imagine if you were going to commit murder to get a gun you wouldn’t want to make sure it was worth enough to justify the risk. I know criminals think differently than normal people, but most of them still understand risk and reward. I would also wager the murderer knows something about guns.
- It’s going to be very difficult, unfortunately, for the police to track down this bozo. There’s unlikely to be any witnesses. Their best bet is if he tries to fence the rifle, which I would imagine he would, because the motivation would presumably be money. The rifle is unusual enough that it’s going to be hard for him to fence discretely.
- The buddy system seems dubious in value if this guy is shooting from a distance as a sniper. Your buddy is unlikely to notice where the shot comes from, and will probably end up just as dead as you if he doesn’t act quickly, and his actions are unlikely to help you. If this murderer is posing as another shooter, a buddy would likely be a significant deterrent, since the shooter would pretty immediately be under fire from your buddy after shooting you (notice you still probably get shot)
- I’m unsure about whether he’d have been shooting as a sniper from concealment. It would seem easier to show up at the range with a gun as a shooter, and wait for the guy to go downrange. Reason being you can get a look at the gun, and keep a good eye on your victim. Downside is if someone else shows up, there’s a witness who saw you.
- I believe if this guy gets away with it, he will do it again. You have to be pretty twisted to do something like this. The money will be good, and this bozo obviously has no regard for someone’s life at all. Hopefully the unusual nature of the weapon will get him caught when he fences it.
All in all this is a very scary situation, because I can’t see an easy way to defend against it. You can carry to the range, but I’m not sure that’s going to help you. Certainly can’t hurt, but this robber/murderer has a pretty scary MO. I would imagine the only way to defend against it would be to have police constantly watching and patrolling around the range. Maybe this is one of those cases where having body armor and a trauma plate would be a significant advantage! Perhaps the Mall Ninjas are smarter than we thought!