Mass shootings stopped by armed civilians

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There are hundreds of examples of Mass shootings stopped by armed civilians. Those claiming that civilians don’t stop school shootings are either either ignorant, liars, or both. Period. So if you hear or read that claim, you can immediately consider the source discredited by their own dishonesty, bias or incompetence.

Lies, damn lies and statistics

The stats are hard to compile on what the exact ratio is.

There is 18.25 (Cops) versus 2.2 (Civilians) graphic, based on a Davi Barker @ Daily Anarchist article, with comments like he looked at 10 cases (and doesn't remember exactly where he got his data) and that's where the meme was created.

NOTE: I reposted the meme for popularity, and reference, NOT for accuracy

He admitted mea culpa, and he re-did the math, better this time -- and he shows his work, but it comes down to 14.29 vs. 2.33 looking at 100 cases. Yet, I'm still not impressed with his work. FBI study shows the average shooting is more like 5 people, so his 14.29 seems like he's cherry picking the biggest events -- or you could add a few atypical events (like Beslan Russia) to muck up the data.

The problems are that there's not enough data to get good samples, and for this kind of thing, where do you draw the cut-off? 1 is not a mass shooting -- but a person who is shooting at many people but is stopped by a civilian, is preventing an attempted mass shooting. Yet, a cop that shoots someone in that case, may not get flagged the same way. Are we sure that person was going to stop or not? There are also cases where the shooter was an off-duty cop (or ex/retired cop, or ex/retired military, etc) -- technically they were acting as a civilian, but some think that's law enforcement. Also what if they're secrataries or administrators at police stations? I trained cops in Martial Arts, does that make me part of law enforcement? It gets murky.

In the end, we know the money shot of the meme is true: armed civilians save lives. Period. Even if the numbers above (and ratio) are still bullshit. They're actually less bullshitty than most of the numbers made up or used by the Press.

So as much as I don't like his data, places like the Media and Politifact showed that they are worse.

Politifact is an embarrassment - When a a Republican Politician (Jim Rubens repeated the above meme, they did their usual hatchet job]. They could have stopped at the data is complex, and called it partly true (mostly false), and I'd have been fine. But they went on to quote from their own expert, who made up data worse that Davi Barker. He could only find 3 cases of DGU's stopping a mass shooting? I show dozens below without even trying. So Politifacts refutation numbers are even more bullshitty than Davi Barker's, because they pretend to be an authority/expert, and uses a source that didn't show his work.

Conclusion

In the end, the facts are that when seconds count the police (authorities) are 10-20 minutes away. Most cops are good people, but they can't be everywhere at once -- and there are more civilians than cops. A civilian CCW or Open-Carry person will sometimes be at the event, and will be able to stop/slow/distract the shooter sooner, and that will save more lives over just the cops. But we have no good way (that both sides will agree upon) to quantify exactly by how many lives.

Of course if it is you, or your family that is saved, it doesn't really matter what the exact ratio is -- just that important lives will be saved.

Examples

This is not a comprehensive list, by any means. This is a small sampling of press clippings over the years. DGU's (Defensive Gun Uses) are estimated to be between 500K and 3.5M times a year (I use the a median 1.5M number as close enough). Considering there are only around 10K murders, that means a gun is about 150x more likely to be used for good than for murder. If you factor out that 3/4ths of those murders are gang murders (with illegal guns in a few gun-controlled cities), the ratio of good guns to bad guns is even better in most of the nation.

  • 2017 - Schlenker Automotive (Florida) - Robert Lorenzo Bailey walked into Autoshop and started shooting people (killing one, wounding another), when the manager (a CCW holder) shot back with his own pistol, hitting the shooter twice and stopping the rampage. More: WESH TV
  • 2017 - Sutherland, Texas Church Massacre - Devin P. Kelley shot 46 people in a Sutherland church, until Stephen Willeford shot him with his AR-15 and Kelly fled. Ultimately, crashing into a tree, and dying.
  • 2017 - Burnett Chapel (Tennessee) - Skimask wearing shooter (Emanuel Kidega Samson), bursts into a church and shoots 7 people (1 died), before the usher (Robert "Caleb" Engle) subdued him with his personal weapon.
  • 2017 - Zona Caliente (Texas) - James Jones killed the manager (Cesar Perez) of Zona Caliente, and was dispatched by anonymous CCW holder. Jones had two other loaded guns and two knives on him. Police thanked the shooter.
  • 2016 - Playoffz nightclub (South Carolina) - Man opening fire outside a nightclub hitting 3 before another patron with a CCW shot back, hitting him in the leg and stopping the spree.
  • 2016 - B & L Landscape Company (Florida) - After one unamed co-worker shot another employee of B & L landscape, a 3rd drew his gun and stopped the rampage from going further, or the criminal from leaving.
  • 2016 - Hamilton, Alabama - Jimmy Cooper (mentally disturbed individual) shot two people, but was stopped by an anonymous armed civilian (who helped shoot at and distract cooper). His role was downplayed by the media, but appears to be a critical factor in reducing loss of life.
  • 2015 - Conyers, Georgia (Bottle Shop) - Mass Shooter (Jeffrey Pitts) opens fire with assault style rifle, kills two, until open-carry bystander (Todd Scott) shoots back. Pitts flees, shoots his parents and gets killed by cops. Police called Scott a hero that saved lives. More: Channel13
  • 2015 - Chicago Uber Driver - Everardo Custodio began shooting into a crowd in Logan Square, Chicago -- when an uber driver with a CCW pulled his gun and dropped Everardo.
  • 2015 - Falah Barbershop shooting - 40 year old guy gets into altercation, pulls gun, opens fire. Passerby with CCW, runs in, and shoots the shooter dead, then runs away. (Later surrendered and was let go on self-defense).
  • 2015 - Los Altos Skate Park (Albuquerque) - 17 YO Jaquise Lewis killed one, had others pinned down and was shooting at them, when someone else shot him. It was a bit of a clusterfuck as many people were shot (and multiple people shot back). But in the end, the person that shot first was stopped by someone with a gun. (Which is better than the alternative).
  • 2014 - Doctor shoots armed patient in Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital - Richard Plotts shot his caseworker (dead), and wounded Dr. Silverman, who pulled his own a gun (in a gun free zone) and shot Plotts 3 times (survived). Plotts had 30 more rounds in his pocket, and was a likely rampage killer. Silverman was not punished for having a gun against Hospital policy, but the Press disapproved of his actions: Media, DelCoTimes
  • 2012 - Clackamas Mall - Jacob Tyler Roberts went on a shooting spree in a mall (killing 2, injuring 1), but CCW Nick Meli drew a weapon in site of Jacob, but did not fire (as there were people behind the shooter). The shooter ran into a hallway and killed himself. more.
  • 2012 - Early, Texeas / Peach House Gunfight - deranged man murdered two neighbors (and their 2 dogs) and was exchanging fire at a police officer, when Vic Stacy took a 56 yard shot with his pistol that took out the perp, because the cop with an AR-15 at 15 yards was about to get shot.
  • 2012 - Destiny Christian Center - Kiarron Parker tries to do a mass church shooting, only gets one before off-duty cop shoots back.
  • 2012 - Boiling Springs Baptist Church - Jesse Gates kicked in a church door with a shotgun. Aaron Guyton was a CCW holder and held Gates at gunpoint until the cops arrived. Gates claims he was only there to kidnap his kids and wasn't going to shoot anyone.
  • 2012 - Plymouth shooting rampage - William Allabaugh killed one and wounded another stranger, when Mark Ktytor (CCW holder) shot and dropped Allabaugh, ending the rampage.
  • 2010 - NY ATT Store - disgruntled employee goes in intent on killing 6 - off-duty cop takes him out.
  • 2009 - Golden Food Market - gunman tries to shoot several patrons and was stopped by a CCW carrier.
  • 2009 - College Park, GA- 2 armed men prepared to rape and kill 10 people, when one victim pulls a gun and prevents it.
  • 2008 - Winnemucca, NV - man kills 2, wounds 1, and was shot by CCW holder.
  • 2007 - Trolley Square shooting - lone gunman (Sulejman Talović), killes five bystanders (wound's 5 others), but off-duty cop fires at him and slows the murder rate until the cops arrive.
  • 2007 - New Life Church - Mass Church shooter stopped by church member with CCW. rings was stopped by the shooter being shot by a church member with a CCW permit
  • 2005 - Tyler Courthouse - David Hernandez Arroyo, Sr. opened fire with an AK-47 rifle, killing his ex-wife, and wounding his son. A CCW carrier (Mark Alan Wilson), shot at Arroyo and was killed -- but Arroyo fled (and was killed by cops). Wilson's actions likely saved lives.
  • 2002 - Appalachian Law School - stopped by two students with handguns.
  • 1999 - Santa Clara Gunshop - shooter declared that he was going to kill everyone, and was shot by armed civilian instead. List of intended victims found in shooters car.
  • 1998 Parker Middle School Dance - guy leaves suicide note, and killed one person (wounded three) until confronted by owner of facility with shotgun and held for 11 minutes until Police arrived.
  • 1997 - Pearl High School - vice principal Joel Myrick stopped with a Colt .45
  • 1995 - Muskegon Shooting - victim pulled a shotgun after being shot
  • 1991 (12/17) - Shoney's (Aniston, Alabama) armed robbers were herding 20 employees and customers into a large freezer when an armed patron shot the robbers. More: LAT
  • 1915 - Brunswick GA Mass Shooting - to show this is nothing new. Monroe Phillips killed 5 and wounded 20 with a shotgun, when a local lawyer grabbed a gun from a local hardware store and shot Monroe dead, ending the spree. 100 years ago, NYT

References