Gun control advocates often say they’ve never heard of any mass shootings that have been stopped by an armed citizen. And to be fair, there is a reason for that.
They don’t get reported.
The amount of coverage a mass shooting gets coverage is proportionate to how deadly it is: when the body count is low or non-existent, the media shows far less interest. In other words, we usually don’t hear about the times that gun owners have stopped a massacre for the very reason that they’re usually successful.
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So to help change the narrative, here are some examples of when someone with a legally held firearm either prevented a tragedy or kept one from getting worse. Feel free to spread them around.
A Colorado church was attacked by a heavily armed gunman in 2007; thanks to church member and security guard Jeanne Assam, he didn’t get far. “You cannot wait for SWAT when there’s an active killer. You you have to go in and take care of business immediately,” she said.
Another Colorado church shooting was stopped in 2012. The gunman began shooting in the parking lot and killed a parishioner before being shot by an off-duty police officer who was there for the service.
Also in 2012, an Early, Texas man was shooting at police when he was taken out by a local resident; the suspect had already killed two people and a pair of dogs. Police said the outcome could have been “a lot different” if the gun owner hadn’t intervened.
Three years later, an Uber driver with a concealed handgun permit stopped a mass shooting in Illinois.
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In 2017, an employee at a Florida auto shop put down a gunman who had just entered the business and shot two people.
A man armed with two guns and two knives stormed an Arlington, Texas bar in 2017, killing one person. Police said he “had the capacity to do much greater harm” when he was shot by a concealed permit holder, someone officers hailed as “a hero.”
In Titusville, Florida, an armed bystander shot a gunman at a back to school event. “We are extremely grateful that nobody else was injured in this incident,” said Deputy Chief Todd Hutchinson. “This suspect opened fire at a crowded public park, this could have been so much worse.”
An Alabama McDonald’s customer was also called a “hero” when he prevented a mass shooting in 2018.
Earlier in the year, legally armed citizens halted a mass shooting at a Walmart in Washington:
And in February of this year, a man opened fire at a Tennessee dental office, killing one staff member; he was shot by an armed patient. One witness told reporters, “You all wouldn’t be dealing with me right now if the hero hadn’t stepped in.”
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But it’s not just mass shootings that lawful gun owners have stopped. In 2012, a man stabbed two people at a Salt Lake City grocery store before he was shot by an armed customer:
Yet although lawful gun owners can stop massacres, they don’t always get the opportunity. States like New Jersey and Maryland make it almost impossible to carry a weapon, and so do large employers like Walmart. Officials claim that letting people arm themselves is dangerous, but the evidence shows otherwise.
In 2018 over 1.3 million Texans were licensed to carry a firearm. One was convicted of murder and another three were convicted of manslaughter, giving them a per capita murder rate of 0.29 per 100 thousand–far below the national average. The reality is that while people who carry guns legally rarely commit crimes, they do stop them.
It’s a fact more people should know.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.