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A Reluctant Hero

A Reluctant Hero

Last Saturday Jason Falconer went shopping at the Crossroads Center shopping mall in St. Cloud, Minn., about 70 miles northwest of Minneapolis. He was carrying concealed because he’d long ago decided to take that responsibility, but he never expected he’d soon be confronting a terrorist. 

His resume is one that many in the media would rather ignore. ABC News and The New York Times, for example, have simply referred to Falconer as a “former police chief” of Albany, Minn., and an “off-duty police officer.” 

Falconer’s bio with firearms actually goes much deeper than his law-enforcement credentials. He is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor, and he owns a gun range and firearms training facility called Tactical Advantage LLC. He teaches firearms training classes and has helped teach classes on law-enforcement skills at St. Cloud State University, according to his company’s website. Falconer is also a member of the United States Practical Shooters Association, has placed well in many shooting competitions and is a competitive 3-gun shooter. 

Falconer is a good guy with a gun. 

Falconer is also a member of the United States Practical Shooters Association, has placed well in many shooting competitions and is a competitive 3-gun shooter.When we reached out to him by phone, Falconer told us, “As this is an ongoing investigation, I am declining to speak to anyone about this at this time.” He said he is being inundated with media requests, but that he really doesn’t want this story to be about him. 

Falconer was shopping when he heard screams and responded. He confronted a knife-wielding suspect who was dressed in a private security uniform. The man, Dahir Adan, was a 22-year-old Somali-born U.S. resident who was stabbing people and allegedly asking some if they were Muslim. 

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis said surveillance footage from a Macy’s shows Adan lunging at Falconer. Falconer then shot Adan. Adan went down, but got back up again and again as Falconer shot him a second and a third time. Adan died at the scene.

Adan had stabbed at least nine people in the attack and was set to continue his rampage before Falconer stopped him short.

Various news agencies, such as AP and NPR, have reported that an Islamic State-run news agency has claimed that Adan was a “soldier of the Islamic State.” But as this was being written, law-enforcement agencies had yet to find a conclusive link between Adan and the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, a few “mainstream news” outlets have broken out of their usual habit of ignoring the good-guy-with-a-gun part of the story. 

The Los Angeles Times reported: “Gun rights advocates have a new hero. Jason Falconer, a part-time police officer who killed an attacker wielding a knife Saturday at the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud, Minn., earned high praise from local officials as well as his own trending hashtag on Twitter.”Both news agencies then, however, went with the narrative that Falconer is an exception—a well-trained individual with a law-enforcement background.

Even CNN reported: “[Falconer] owns a firing range and firearms training facility called Tactical Advantage. He’s considered an expert in firearms training and education …. He’s a member of the United States Practical Shooters Association and has won medals in various shooting competitions.” 

Both news agencies then, however, went with the narrative that Falconer is an exception—a well-trained individual with a law-enforcement background. With quotes from officials and more, they propel the narrative that only people with such government training could possibly handle this situation. Falconer, goes their storyline, is an extreme example and therefore is not typical of the millions of American citizens who have concealed-carry permits. 

This is simply untrue, as armed Americans defend themselves from violent criminals many times each day. And while it is certainly true that anyone who carries concealed should utilize the classes taught all over the country by NRA-certified instructors and otherwise be responsible gun owners by learning to be safe and proficient with their firearms, this hardly means that they should have to take state-mandated training. Private citizens have long done this on their own. The “Wild West shootouts” anti-gun politicians and gun-ban activists like to claim will take place if free, law-abiding Americans are allowed to carry firearms simply haven’t occurred.

Meanwhile, Falconer is shunning the limelight. He only did what he had to do to save lives. A person with the integrity not to make the story about himself is also something the so-called “mainstream” media doesn’t understand nowadays. 

This is symbolic of the times. Today we think of a hero as someone who selflessly risks his or her life to save another, but the mainstream view is we shouldn’t see the person as being heroic outside of their selfless act or role. We’re not supposed to think of heroism as being premeditated, or as a complex figure struggling for justice or even as a noble characteristic exposed by tragedy. Today, we are taught that heroism is just a mad moment when someone forgot their own mortality long enough to save someone’s life. Today, we say a person is a hero when he rescues a child from a burning home or stops a sociopath, but nevertheless, the storyline from the mainstream has it that today’s average, non-government-trained men and women can’t be heroes, as they can’t be trusted to do the right thing in the throes of a desperate moment. 

To bring this back to the practical and selfless act Falconer did for his fellow citizens, shouldn’t we acknowledge that an average American citizen can also be capable of being the good guy or gal with a gun? The mainstream media push the narrative that only an employee of the government can do this, but the American experiment has always been about trusting average citizens with their rights, including their right to protect themselves, their loved ones and their fellow citizens. Taking away this basic trust and right would pluck the courage, the goodness, the heart out of the American experiment. We’d all become wards of the state, possibly even sheep for a Judge Dredd to manage.

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