Five Good Guys, Two With Guns

The FBI designated 27 “active shooter” situations in 2018. 10 of them, they called “Mass Shootings”.

So keep that in mind as you look over the stats from the FBI’s annual report on active shooter situations.

“The FBI has designated 27 shootings in 2018 as active shooter incidents.”
“10 of those 27 met our definition of a mass shooting”

Now, remember – in most states that allow civilian carry of firearms, maybe 2% of the population has a permit to carry; in permitless (“Constitutional”) carry states, I’d suspect the total carrying might be higher, but I’m going to also suspect the subsets of people willing to undergo the hassle and responsibility of carrying and the subset willing to go through the hassle and red tape of getting a permit are pretty close).

That’s about one person in fifty. Maybe more in some places; I’d imagine a pretty fair share of people in rural Wyoming, Kansas or even Minnesota might have a firearm on nor near their person much of the time. Definitely less in other places – California, Illinois, or any school, federal office or posted business.

Keep that in mind with this next set of stats:

In 5/27 incidents, citizens confronted the shooter. 3 of those 5 were unarmed and were successful in ending the shooting.
In 2 of those 5, armed citizens possessing firearms permits exchanged gunfire with the shooter.
In one of those incidents, armed citizens shot and killed the shooter (oklahoma)

So 2% of the population might have a firearm – but they were able to intervene in about 6% of active shooter situations last year – successfully in both cases:

It’s also worth noting that the other three episodes involving civilians included a wounded teacher subduing shooters. He was in an environment where 0% of the population could be legally armed. Salute.

16/27 happened in a business, 5/27 happened at schools (4 HS, 1 middle school)

It’s worth noting that nine of the episodes at businesses occurred in places where the public had access -including both episodes where armed civilians intervened. That’s 22% – not that percentages carry that much weight with numbers this small.

The other seven occurred in non-public parts of businesses; it’s not stated in the report how many were posted or otherwise no-go for law-abiding civilians

As to conclusions?

I stress – this next bit was written by the FBI. Not the Gun Owners Caucus. Emphasis added:

“As in past years, citizens were faced with split-second, life-and-death decisions. In 2018, citizens risked their lives to safely and successfully end the shootings in five of the 27 active shooter incidents. They saved many lives. Given this reality, it is vital that citizens be afforded training so they understand the risks they face and the options they have available when active shooter incidents are unfolding”

Since we’re assessing risk – all of the deadliest episodes – the Stoneman Douglas and Santa Fe NM schools and the Sutherland Springs Texas school shootings – took place in “gun free” zones where 0% of the people can lawfully be armed.

6 thoughts on “Five Good Guys, Two With Guns

  1. … there he goes again, using facts and stuff in the context of gun control. And the worst part is that the left doesn’t want to confi-, er, buy back *all* guns, just the semi-autos and revolvers. Especially, the semi-autos; no one needs them for anything. Not even hunting.

  2. I’m glad to see a law enforcement agency explaining how few “active shooter” situations there are, and admitting the value of armed citizens in ending them. Thanks for point it out, Mitch.

  3. Yet, Mitch, the saying goes, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” Here three guys w/o guns stopped the “bad guy.”

    Looking at the FBI crime data, they noted the most successful form of resistance to armed robbery was by an unarmed person simply making noise. By contrast, having a gun was only about as effective as having a knife and was far less effective than just shouting. So, again, good guy w/o a gun worked and as shown here, worked better.

  4. Pen,

    Got a pointer to that survey?

    Because on one level, that’s true – in fact, the RKBA community knows this. Criminologist Gary Kleck noted that 92% of defensive gun uses – including mine, in 19988 – involved no shots fired.

    But you’re talking armed robberies, while the report deals with mass shootings. They are very different situations, and not remotely comparable…

    …except that the presence of armed resistance, or even the potential for it, often ends both.

  5. most successful form of resistance to armed robbery was by an unarmed person simply making noise

    So, it is necessary to be unarmed people to make noise? Huh.

  6. Regarding Pen’s comment, there is the proverb that a lot of burglars don’t want to go into an occupied house, and that’s why dogs and making noise can be effective.

    That said, when a burglar does decide to go into an occupied house, we know a priori that something else is at hand. So it’s a nice comparison of apples and oranges, and about as meaningful.

    Along other lines, one of the best noises to make when a burglar breaks into your home is the “ka-chink, ka-chink” of a shotgun racking a shell into the chamber. It is also a nice two second IQ test for the burglar, often followed by a Darwin Award if he fails said IQ test.

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