AP: “Rare in US for an active shooter to be stopped by bystander”

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

AP.

A bystander’s decision to shoot a man who opened fire at an Indiana mall was a rare occurrence of someone stepping in to try to prevent multiple casualties before police could arrive.

Police on Monday praised the quick actions of 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken, an armed shopper who killed 20-year-old Jonathan Sapirman after Sapirman killed three people and wounded two others at a mall in the Indianapolis suburb of Greenwood.

“Many more people would have died last night if not for a responsible armed citizen,” police Chief Jim Ison said Monday, repeatedly calling Dicken a “good Samaritan” and his response “heroic.”

It isn’t common for mass shootings to be stopped in such fashion. From 2000 to 2021, fewer than 3% of 433 active attacks in the U.S. ended with a civilian firing back, according to the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University. The researchers define the attacks as one or more people targeting multiple people.

It was far more common for police or bystanders to subdue the attacker or for police to kill the person, according to the center’s national data, which were recently cited by The New York Times.

In a quarter of the shootings, the attacker stopped by leaving the area, similar to what happened during the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, where seven people were killed.

“There’s been this statement: ‘The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.’ That’s factually inaccurate because of the word ‘only,’” said Adam Lankford, a criminal justice expert at the University of Alabama who has written books and research papers about mass shootings.

And on and on the commentary drones.

To begin with, definitions are important.  Self defense events happen every day in America, whether at home or out and about.  I write on firearms and 2A rights, so I bypass chances to pen something else on self defense events literally every day to focus more on the mechanical and materials engineering of firearms, ammunition performance, method of carry, training, and the things that interest me.  The author has subdivided his topic as best as he can in order to make his most convincing case.  He has neglected literally thousands of cases of interest.

But even then, is he correct?  Maybe not.

UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh wrote in the Washington Post on April 20, 2015: “Have civilians with permitted concealed handguns stopped such mass shootings before?”  We provided Volokh with a list of such cases, which he used.

Below, we have collected news stories on more cases of permit holders stopping mass public shootings with their handguns (we separately collect cases where concealed handguns are used to stop other crimes).  There is no reason to believe that this list is comprehensive, given how little media coverage is devoted to these heroic acts.  In addition, we make no attempt here to list here the vast number of defensive gun uses in general that are reported daily in the US.

Permit holders stopped some mass public shootings that gained extensive news coverage, but only a few stories mentioned that it was a permit holder who stopped the attack. The stories frequently get other facts wrong.

The researchers list more than sixty times permit holders have stopped likely mass shootings in public.  I judge a few of them to be not applicable for various reasons, but that doesn’t negate the force of the copious data.

The author at AP did a lousy job of research, but then, that has become the standard for the legacy media.

To be sure, none of this has anything to do with God-given rights.  If a mass shooting can theoretically occur, and a carrier can theoretically stop it to prevent loss of life to himself or others, then it’s wise to carry and he or she certainly has the right to do so regardless of whether bogus research demonstrates that the result will be statistically insignificant.  What’s statistically insignificant to the writer is significant if you have a firearm trained on you as a potential victim.

This just all goes to show how absurd most reporting is.  Thus, unless the source is about some new firearm, some new ammunition or a ballistic test of older ammo designs for comparison, methods of maintenance, and the mechanical aspect of firearms, I’m not likely to link any legacy media source unless it’s to lampoon them or call out error.  And I won’t go behind a paywall even to do that.

That’s about all the legacy media is good for these days.  Some writer (and editor) actually thinks he’s earned his pay today for that tripe.


Comments

  1. On July 19, 2022 at 5:01 am, Wes said:

    Apologies for the placement; not sure how to mention this other than through comment. Thought you might enjoy perusing the letter written by the Missouri AG to FBI Director Wray, which tells them to pound sand RE inspecting MO county Sheriff’s CCW permit records:

    https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/2022-7-13-ltr-fbi.pdf?sfvrsn=5fbbdf7_2

    It seems AG Schmitt may also be seeking a MO Senate seat. Too bad; his current role as AG seems to be doing better than getting lost in a DC group of being just another writer of “strongly worded letters.” Anyway, his letter is pretty darned good.

  2. On July 19, 2022 at 8:33 am, GWB said:

    Definitions are important: Most of those “mass shootings” – one or more people targeting multiple people – are gang-related or drug deals gone wrong. (They would also include family murder-suicides, I think.) They happen in areas that most people try to avoid, in situations that most people try to avoid. And that’s not what most people think when they hear or read “mass shooting”. Most people think of a random occurrence – that is, one where you’re already avoiding the dangerous places and feel moderately safe, and you’re not being targeted because of your criminal affiliations or actions.

    I think the percentages are much higher when you limit “mass shootings” to those sorts of events.

    Another statistical issue they (I think purposely) fail to account for: how many of the mass casualty events take place somewhere that a good guy with a gun can’t be? Naturally, there won’t be a “good civilian with a gun” if the place prohibits guns and concealed carriers are carefully following the law.

  3. On July 19, 2022 at 9:08 am, George 1 said:

    It is important to remember that nearly everything the media puts out is a lie. “Very rare occurrence.” Lie!

  4. On July 19, 2022 at 9:34 am, Kick Ass said:

    Colorado tells us the Hero who shoots the criminal is in more danger of getting ‘mistakenly’ shot by the cops than them targeting the criminal..

  5. On July 19, 2022 at 11:18 am, GWB said:

    On July 19, 2022 at 9:34 am, Kick Ass said:
    It really tells us that you should be smart and not touch the perp’s weapon unless you’re sliding it further away from a still breathing bad guy, and that you should ideally holster your weapon before the cops get there, if you can. They don’t know who the bad guy is. (Also, if you are the one on the phone with 911, describe yourself and let them know you are the good guy and if you still have a gun in your hand.)

  6. On July 19, 2022 at 2:10 pm, Gary Griffiths said:

    Part of the problem is, it is impossible for an armed citizen to stop a mass shooting. Here’s why: If the shooter is stopped before three victims are shot, it is, by definition, not a mass shooting. If the shooter is not stopped before three victims are shot, then by definition, the citizen did not stop the mass shooting. Liberal logic at it’s finest!

  7. On July 19, 2022 at 2:54 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @Gary,

    What a great point of logic! I wish I had said that.

  8. On July 19, 2022 at 5:48 pm, Ozark Redneck said:

    Thanks @Wes for posted the AG Schmitt’s letter to the FBI. I think he should stay as AG and not run for Senate, as he is doing a good job. With all the crap coming down from the ATF, we need someone gutsy to fight for us. Thanks Herschel, that is why I read this blog everyday, there is always something new to learn from Herschel or one of the readers!

  9. On July 20, 2022 at 11:35 am, David said:

    The other factor here is when a concealed carry holder intervenes it often means the number of victims is not as high as waiting for police. In that situation it doesn’t make the list of “mass shootings”.

    I saw another analysis that said if you look at just the incidents that don’t occur in gun-free zones, 46% of mass shootings end because of intervention by a civilians.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Second Amendment and was published July 18th, 2022 by Herschel Smith.

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