Seattle Pacific University Shooting – How Do You Stop Evil?

Seattle Pacific University Shooting – How Do You Stop Evil?

Yesterday, there was a shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University, a private Christian college in Seattle.  (Disclaimer: I have many friends who are alumni of this university, and one good friend who is a professor there.)  From the ongoing investigation, here is what is publicly available so far:

The gunman, identified by KIRO-TV as 26 year old Aaron Ybarra of Mountlake Terrace, WA, walked into Otto Miller Hall (the engineering sciences building) just after 3 pm, armed with a shotgun and a knife.  As of this writing, where the shotgun came from is unknown.  He shot at least two students critically and injured two others before a volunteer student “building monitor,” Jon Meis, a senior and engineering student, who was manning the front desk of the building, pepper sprayed Ybarra while he was attempting to reload the shotgun and tackled him.  With the help of other students, Ybarra was restrained until police arrived.

One of the critically injured students, a 19 year old man, was pronounced dead at Harborview Medical Center (Seattle’s Level 1 trauma hospital).  The other critically injured student has been identified as 20 year old Sarah Williams, whose condition remains critical.  Two other men were also transported to Harborview with non-life threatening injuries (although one of them reportedly did sustain a gunshot wound).

When news of the shooting and campus lockdown first broke yesterday afternoon, the news reports and rumors flew like mad in the media and in social media.  At one point, one local news outlet reported 7 shot and injured and TWO gunmen involved.  Breaking news in an active criminal investigation is always full of errors, as we continually are reminded any time a major news event occurs.

But that, however, doesn’t stop our good old friends at Moms Demand Action and their fearless leader, Shannon Watts, who tweeted and these gems yesterday.

Let’s deal with her second tweet.  Jon Meis was a volunteer manning a front desk.  He is getting married in two weeks, according to media reports.  And according to the profile written about him in The Seattle Times, he is a devout Christian who was willing to sacrifice himself to save others.  That same profile says that he likes to carry mace with him “because he likes to be prepared wherever he goes.”

Now, I’m not going to tell anyone who doesn’t wish to carry a gun to carry one.  That completely depends on the individual’s comfort level.  But I would have felt completely safe with Jon Meis having a gun and defending his fellow students if he had chosen to carry one.  Wouldn’t you?  But let’s not forget that the ACLU has advocated banning pepper spray for use in schools by police, or just by police in general.  There are those out there who would have even taken that away from Jon Meis, and many states and cities regulate and ban its use.  But the important part really isn’t how Meis was armed.  The important part is that he was, in Shannon Watts’ word, “brave.”  He ran toward the danger.  He was brave and courageous and heroic.  He saved many lives.  Would he have done that without any weapon at all?  He may have.  Fortunately, we didn’t have to find out.

And now, the first tweet.  MY GOD.  One young man is dead, one young woman is fighting for her life, the details of the shooting are still being gathered and processed, and Shannon Watts and her ilk decide to make it a political rallying cry.

Here, Shannon, are a few things KIRO-TV has learned about the shooter.

The 26-year-old gunman, Aaron Ybarra, was obsessed with the Columbine High School shootings and had even traveled to the Colorado site where two student gunmen killed 15 and injured another 21 fellow students in April 1999, police sources told KIRO 7.

Ybarra was not a student at SPU where the shootings happened about 3:25 p.m. Thursday. In a statement Thursday night, police said they had “not found any connection between the suspect, Seattle Pacific University or any of the victims.”

Please tell me how banning guns on college campuses would have prevented this crime, Shannon.

It wouldn’t have?  Funny, that was what you were pushing yesterday.

That’s the thing about criminals – THEY DON’T OBEY THE LAWS.

We have yet to learn about the background of Aaron Ybarra, so who knows what we will find.  All I can say is, someone so obsessed with Columbine that they actually make a pilgrimage there is not a mentally stable person, if that police report is indeed true.  Ybarra has also reportedly confessed to police that he had been planning to “shoot up a school” for a long time.

Shannon Watts, how do you stop an evil person from committing murder?  The short and sad answer is that – you can’t.  Evil will always find a way to steal, kill, maim and destroy.  Remember, Ybarra also had a knife.  Remember that Elliot Rodger stabbed his first three victims to death.  Evil found a way there, and he had a gun he didn’t use at that moment.

This is the whole problem with the Moms Demand Action group.  They are so focused on the gun being used that they forget there’s a person who has to use it.  They want to ban guns without fixing broken people or keeping evil ones away from innocents.  They are so hung up on their #gunsense that they’ve lost all common sense.

In this imperfect and broken world, there are only a few ways to stop evil people.  Yesterday, Jon Meis managed to do it with pepper spray.  I refuse to be stripped of my right to use a gun.

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  • Dana says:

    I’d point out here that the weapons with which Mr Yberra was armed weren’t the ones which the gun grabbers (supposedly) want to ban; he had a shotgun (a hunting weapon) and a knife.

    You know what Mr Yberra achieved? Notoriety! Like the late Elliot Rodger, another nobody, we now all know his name. My first guess is that Mr Yberra was attempting another spectacular suicide, but didn’t succeed in getting himself killed by police.

    Now that he’ll (probably) have the rest of his miserable life to contemplate his actions, behind bars, maybe he’ll finally come to the conclusion, “Man, I wish I hadn’t done that,” but that won’t bring back his victims.

    • LaurieD says:


      Great post! My son is a student at SPU and knows Jon, the amazing young man who used the pepper spray to stop the gunman. There are no easy answers to any of this madness. I certainly do not have the answers. The right to bear arms is just that, our right. There is, sadly, no way to “legislate” a crazy or disturbed individual. Rifles, or hunting weapons, are much easier to acquire than semi-automatics. My heart aches for the family and friends of the sweet soul who lost his life, the other victims and the entire SPU community.

  • Xavier says:

    Once I’m elected, every high school student will be required to attend 6 weeks of basic training at a military base. No one will be forced to purchase or own a gun, but competent firearms handling and accuracy will be required to receive a high school diploma. Instilled with the confidence and responsibility of handling firearms, trained students will be subsidized should they wish to purchase their own weapon and carry it, with a student license, at school. A trained student who carries an approved firearm daily in school will qualify for a reduction in tuition or other incentives.

    Thank you for your vote.

  • Roman says:

    “Seattle Pacific University Shooting – How Do You Stop Evil?” The existence of evil in the world and never knowing where and when it may confront you is the reason I carry a concealed self defense firearm. Usually a Glock 23. I also do not go to “gun free” areas unless absolutely necessary.

  • Xavier says:

    1) You can’t stop evil, but you can limit the damage it does.
    2) The anti-gun zealots are as evil and insane as the shooters.
    3) If you can’t carry a gun, have an alternate weapon or two.
    4) Take action quickly: either fight or flight, don’t wait.

  • Xavier says:

    And this just came in on Breaking News:

    Police say Seattle Pacific University shooting gunman had more than 50 rounds of ammunition; planned to kill as many people as possible before taking his own life – @DeLeon_Times

    One student’s quick thinking apparently saved a lot of lives.

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