Joe Doakes from Como Park has a question that’s occurred to me as well:
I don’t have time today to look this up, maybe some of your readers do?
I’m getting the feeling the media is under-reporting a crucial element in the shooting stories: what stopped the killer?
Is it correct the most recent school shooter stopped killing when he was confronted by a cop with a gun? The cop didn’t shoot him, the kid killed himself, but the cop with the gun was the motivator? You ran the story about the CCW guy in the shopping mall – same result.
Mother Jones magazine claims armed citizens only stopped mass murders 1.6% of the time. Slate Magazine on-line points out some of that is how you count it (it’s not a “mass murder” until there are already four dead) other studies disagree.
Here’s the question: regardless of WHO was holding the gun that stopped the killing, is it correct that the killing continued until SOMEONE with a gun confronted the killer?
The NRA’s Armed Citizen column is devoted to proving from real-life experience that the mere presence of a gun in the hands of a good citizen can prevent crime, without a shot being fired. Are they right?
If so, wouldn’t more good guys holding guns be better?
That one occurred to me when discussing the Portland shooting on December 11. As we reported earlier this week, a man with a rifle started shooting at the Clackamas Mall in Portland. He fired over sixty shots, and miraculously killed “only” two people. At some point, his AR15 jammed – reports vary, and it may or may not have been well before the time he was confronted by an armed citizen with a carry permit and a handgun. He apparently fled, and shortly thereafter shot himself.
But notwithstanding the fact that he fired sixty shots, and could have fired a lot more, just watch; it won’t be called a “mass shooting”, because “only” two died.
Because he was deterred by a citizen with a gun. That the left will studiously avoid calling a hero for ending a mass shooting because it won’t be shown as a mass shooting in the stats. Because the citizen prompted it to end before it became a mass shooting.
It’s a Catch 22, although in this case, it beats the alternative.
At any rate, there’s a list of mass shootings, and would-be mass shootings, that’ve been stopped by citizens – not police – with guns:
- The Pearl, Mississippi school shooting, where a teacher grabbed a gun and stopped the two shooters.
- The Appalachian Law School shooting, where a would-be mass-murderer was stopped by a couple of armed students.
- A robbery that was devolving into a mass-shooting in Virginia was stopped by a CCW permittee.
- This interesting incident in Texas recently
- An episode in Richmond, VA in the nineties where a shooter who intended to copycat the Luby’s Cafeteria massacre (in Killeen, TX) was stopped after killing one person, by another citizen with a legal handgun.
- Allen Crumb, who helped in the counterattack on Charles Whitman, the U of Texas Clock Tower shooter, was an armed civilian with a borrowed rifle who’d been deputized on the fly. Some would say “Crumb was a veteran”. He was a veteran of the Air Force. Go ahead, veterans, especially all you USAF people; tell us how much Close Quarters Battle training the Flyboys get. About the same as any civilian.
- The New Life Church shooting spree in Colorado Springs in 2007, ended by Jeanne Assam.
- This episode in Texas, where an armed man killed a mass shooter (and died, himself); it’s generally aggreed he saved several lives in the process.
- And, as mentioned above, the Clackamas Mall shooting, which was stopped by a man with a legal permitted firearm.
Eugene Volokh also has a list with a few more as well as a few repeats from my list.
Now, if you look at most of these incidents, most of them aren’t “mass shootings” – because most of them were stopped before they topped that magic “four dead” threshold.
Which is what we want. Right?