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Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:41 PM

Do Armed Civilians Stop Mass Shooters? Actually, No.

5 cases commonly cited as a rationale for arming Americans don't stand up to scrutiny.

Appalachian School of Law shooting in Grundy, Virginia
Gun rights die-hards frequently credit the end of a rampage at the law school in 2002 to armed "students" who intervened. They conveniently ignore that those students also happened to be current and former law enforcement officers, and that the killer, according to police investigators, was out of ammunition by the time they got to him.

Middle school dance shooting in Edinboro, Pennsylvania
An ambiguous case from 1998, in which the shooter may well have already been done shooting: After killing a teacher and wounding three others, the 14-year-old perpetrator left the dance venue. The owner of the venue followed him outside with a shotgun, confronting and subduing him in a nearby field until police arrived. The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, who himself recently argued for more guns as an answer to gun violence, told me this week that one police source he talked to about this case said that it was "not clear at all" whether the kid had intended to do any further shooting after he'd left the building.

High school shooting in Pearl, Mississippi
Another case, from 1997, in which the shooting was apparently already over: After killing two and wounding seven inside Pearl High School, the 16-year-old perpetrator left the building and went outside near the parking lot. The assistant principal—who was also a member of the Army Reserve—ran out to his own vehicle, grabbed a handgun he kept there, and then approached the shooter, subduing him at gunpoint until authorities arrived.

New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs
In 2007 a gunman killed two people and wounded three others before being shot himself; the pro-gun crowd likes to refer to the woman who took him out in the parking lot as a "church member." Never mind that she was a security officer for the church and a former cop, and that the church had put its security team on high alert earlier that day due to another church shooting nearby.

Bar shooting in Winnemucca, Nevada
In 2008, a gunman who killed two and wounded two others was taken out by another patron in the bar, who was carrying with a valid permit. But this was no regular Joe with a concealed handgun: The vigilante, who was not charged after authorities determined he'd committed a justifiable homicide, was a US Marine.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/armed-civilians-do-not-stop-mass-shootings

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Arrow 58 replies Author Time Post
Reply Do Armed Civilians Stop Mass Shooters? Actually, No. (Original post)
Pale Blue Dot Dec 2012 OP
louis-t Dec 2012 #1
Recursion Dec 2012 #2
rustydog Dec 2012 #3
ThatPoetGuy Dec 2012 #4
bongbong Dec 2012 #22
Zoeisright Dec 2012 #24
bongbong Dec 2012 #34
Hugabear Dec 2012 #54
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #5
former9thward Dec 2012 #6
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #7
joeybee12 Dec 2012 #17
ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #8
bongbong Dec 2012 #23
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #27
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #9
sarisataka Dec 2012 #10
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #11
librechik Dec 2012 #12
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #14
librechik Dec 2012 #15
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #16
joeybee12 Dec 2012 #18
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #19
librechik Dec 2012 #26
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #29
librechik Dec 2012 #31
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #33
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #37
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #39
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #43
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #46
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #48
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #49
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #52
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #53
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #55
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #57
librechik Dec 2012 #20
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #21
librechik Dec 2012 #30
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #28
frylock Dec 2012 #36
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #32
librechik Dec 2012 #40
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #41
librechik Dec 2012 #44
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #45
librechik Dec 2012 #47
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #42
OneMoreDemocrat Dec 2012 #13
libdem4life Dec 2012 #35
bongbong Dec 2012 #25
bpj62 Dec 2012 #38
TheMoreYouKnow Dec 2012 #50
Drale Dec 2012 #51
Pryderi Dec 2012 #56
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #58

Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:47 PM

1. Conservative 'solutions' don't prevent anything.

They insist that action be taken only after the shooting starts. It's already too late.

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:48 PM

2. Reservists and off-duty cops were kind of the point, I thought

At least that's how I had understood the calls for allowing concealed carry in schools; that's mostly the people who carry.

I'm also confused by your apparent claim that reservists and security guards aren't "civilians".

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:50 PM

3. Only the last case cited has merit...IF you discount the shooter got the shots off

so nothing was prevented by being armed also.

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:57 PM

4. And yet each of these lies has been repeated, over and over, in the Gungeon,

and no amount of factchecking will stop the liars from trying their damnedest to continue spreading misinformation.

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Response to ThatPoetGuy (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:42 PM

22. The gungeon

 

Careful around them; they insist on any sane (AKA pro gun control) claims be proved and re-proved. They dismiss any evidence from the Brady Bunch. And they make outrageous posts with no evidence whatsoever. They love posting NRA Talking Points. They alert on you in a second for pretty much anything that they get annoyed with.

Delicate Flowers.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #22)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:45 PM

24. That group should be banned.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:08 PM

34. Have you heard

 

I have read more than one post from Liberals saying they did a little digging around "underground" gun-humper websites and found many people bragging about going on Liberal websites and impersonating Liberals.

Pretty sure a lot of that goes on in the gungeon - which I am proudly banned from, BTW.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:00 PM

54. Doesn't surprise me one bit

Every now and then you'll see some gungeoneer spouting some other non-gun related right-wing stuff on here. They tend to be a little more careful than your average short-term troll.

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:59 PM

5. In the cited to stories ...

The question is raised as to whether the stopped shooter had intended to continue shooting is answered by the fact that they left the building in which they were shooting.

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:05 PM

6. You are trying to have it both ways.

Most mass shootings take place in "gun free" areas where law abiding civilians do not carry firearms. Sandy Hook was gun free, the mall in Oregon was gun free. In Colorado where the guy shot the movie goers he picked the one theater which was gun free out of seven that were showing the Dark Knight. Even at Ft. Hood the shooter picked a building which was gun free.

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:12 PM

7. Most of the cases cited

 

Took place I buildings where legally armed citizens aren't allowed to carry a self defense weapon in the first place.

I doubt many shootings will be stopped by civilians in places where they can't carry a gun.

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:24 PM

17. And yet you conveniently ignored that people did have guns at these places...

Read the whole thing, not just your NRA-sponsored response.

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:18 PM

8. The unanswered question is if civilian ownership of firearms for self defense saves lives overall

Problem is that there are no metrics on it one way or the other. The Defensive Gun Use numbers used by both sides do not have an honest statistical basis. Both sides spin, but the data is just not there.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:44 PM

23. LOL

 

> Problem is that there are no metrics on it one way or the other

Really? I guess those "wretched socialist countries" like Germany & France aren't good examples of what gun control can do.

At least for gun-humpers.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:47 PM

27. Given That Fire-Arm Suicides Out-Number Fire-Arm Murders, Sir

It is very hard to make the case owning guns saves lives....

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:22 PM

9. Why these days I call them NRA anecdotes

Like all anecdotes they got a grain of truth. (Somebody with a weapon did something) but not what is claimed.

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:23 PM

10. It can be debated in these cases

that the shooter was done. OTH at what point would you like someone to stop them, after one more shot or the one after that?

Training of those who stopped the killers is irrelevant. In none of these situations was the armed civilian an on duty LEO. They were all citizens by any definition of the word. Even in the New Life Church case IIRC, the security officers were volunteer positions.

I would ask you to explain why you identify the non-regular Joe as a vigilante? As the homicide was justifiable would that not negate such a label?

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:32 PM

11. Mass shootings? No, at least not often.

Then again, mass shootings don't happen often, either...not compared to the thousands and thousands of "conventional" homicides every year. Yet somehow the former are supposed to be the impetus for sweeping public policy change. It doesn't really make any rational sense, but emotional reactions seldom do. These are legitimately emotional times, following such an appalling tragedy, so it's not hard to understand why coolly rational threat prioritization isn't occurring. That is why some people say "now is not the time" to be making such policy decisions.

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:35 PM

12. so one or maybe a couple of examples placed against 30,000 yearly gun deaths

where's the balance? Oh clearly their should be more guns!

what BS.

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Response to librechik (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:59 PM

14. With 300 million guns in the country

 

One would expect there to be at least a few million gun deaths right? Where is the balance? How many of those 30,000 gun fatalities were justified?

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:15 PM

15. I guess you know the answer to that--almost NONE were justified.

That was the point of the original post. All the so-called examples where guns supposedly helped didn't even happen. You guys are grasping at straws.

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Response to librechik (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:21 PM

16. The OP is about stopping

 

Mass murder, how many of your 30,000 gun death number represents justifiable death such as simple cases of self defense? I was forced to shoot an intruder to save the lives of my family, I see that as a 100% justifiable gun death. Are you following me here?

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:25 PM

18. 12 posts and we're supposed to believe your story?

Fat chance...go and try and post another NRA meme

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:36 PM

19. I guess that means you don't want to answer my question either

 

How many of the 30,000 gun deaths were justifiable? Isn't that a fair question to ask even if you choose not to believe me for some odd reason?

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:47 PM

26. I believe the correct answer is "heartbreakingly few." But you tell me how many

you think were justified. The suicides? The wife murders? The accidental deaths?

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Response to librechik (Reply #26)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:53 PM

29. So you have no facts at all, just

 

A number? I don't think any of your examples of justifiable deaths but I do think that self defense gun deaths are very much justified. I'm just wondering what makes up that 30,000 number.

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:57 PM

31. so you refuse to answer your own question. What is YOUR number of justifiable deaths?

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:07 PM

33. Five In Eight of Them Are Suicides, Fella

Own many guns yourself?

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #33)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:18 PM

37. Only enough to protect my life

 

And my family, just as I should. Any problem with that?

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:30 PM

39. And You Face Such Danger With Such Grace And Calm, Sir

The insouciance with which you take off time from standing sentry to type on your key-board, for example, even though in just those moments of inattention, they could be closing in....

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:13 PM

43. When life becomes a fairy tale I'll treat it like one

 

until then I'll continue to live it the smartest and safest way possible. One day maybe I'll be wealthy enough to buy a house next to your ivory tower and be able to afford personal security guards so that I can spend more time on line making fun of people for stating an opinion.

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #43)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:23 PM

46. Damn, Fella, You Are A Funny One....

I live in Chicago....

You have never killed a man. You have never even struck another adult. I seriously doubt you are even capable of kicking a cat...

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #46)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:36 PM

48. I can't help but feel sorry for you Hoss

 

Let's hope you do better at your sideline psychic job than you are at picking a safe place to live.

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #48)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:38 PM

49. Feel Free To Keep Trying To Amuse Me, Sweet-Heart

When creme-puffs masquerade as hard rolls, it is tons o' fun.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #49)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:51 PM

52. Sugar britches if my comments thus far have intimidated you enough

 

that you can't help but reply with more and more weak attempts at insults I can clearly see why guns scare you as much as they do. If I were terrified of inanimate objects that pose no real threat I might act similarly to the way you're acting too.

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #52)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:57 PM

53. Thank You For The Laugh, Fella: You Are A Pearl Beyond Price, Indeed You Are

Can hardly wait for your next effort to bring a smile to my face....

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #52)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:07 PM

55. Now You be Sure And Have Something Fresh Waiting For When I Get Back From the Store, Fella

Going out to get stuff for meat-loaf. I will be relying on a sturdy four-year old girl to ward off the dangers of life in our city from my weary old bones. I feel reasonably confident we will return safely, but the promise of more comedy from you waiting will sure help morale out there on the streets of fire....

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #52)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:20 PM

57. So Disappointed, Sweetie; Perhaps You Can Have Something More When The Meat-Loaf Is Done?

We just got back in. The return trek was the worst. There we were, and we came face to face with...a bunny. And then, out on the sidewalk, there was the mother of a child my grand-daughter has played with in the park; she spoke to us! How we made it through I will never know....

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:37 PM

20. ok. You killed somebody to protect your family?

You're the expert. You tell me how many were justified. Besides yours, of course.

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Response to librechik (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:41 PM

21. I didn't throw out the number

 

You did, I'm just wondering the math behind the number you gave? What's the source?

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #21)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:56 PM

30. actually that's a ball park figure journalists have been using

it changes from year to year ranging between 9 and 25,000--also statistics get confused because not all gun deaths are crime related and the lower crime figure gets used by gun advocates.--my recent read of this:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-12-18/american-gun-deaths-to-exceed-traffic-fatalities-by-2015

stuck in my head, I guess. But I wasn't trying to be math accurate--This is my feeling from a lot of sloppy reading.

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:49 PM

28. Of Course You Were, Sweet-Heart....

You big, bold, hunk 'o man, you....

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Response to TheMoreYouKnow (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:14 PM

36. i killed a man once just for snoring too loud

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Response to librechik (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:58 PM

32. You're conflating mass shootings with all gun homicides, including suicides.

The OP topic was mass shootings, which account for between 60 and 125 deaths per year (there's a big variance because it's a very small data pool: mass shootings are very, very rare). the figure you cite is for all gun-related deaths, including suicide, the largest category by a pretty good margin. What would citizen intervention in spree killings possibly have to do with suicides?

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:42 PM

40. easy access to a reliable method of death.

among other things.

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Response to librechik (Reply #40)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:48 PM

41. I don't disagree...

...but that still doesn't mean that people defending against spree killers can be validly "placed against" 30k gun-related deaths in terms of analyzing balance. it's a category error.

I do agree about easy access, though. One thing spree killers and suicides have in common is mental health issues. I want to see steps taken to make it more difficult for people with these issues to obtain weapons.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #41)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:17 PM

44. agree-and mental health assistance must be easy to access too

so proud of my governor in Colorado announcing yesterday an overhaul of the state's mental health system, including many 24 hr walk in clinics. That will help!

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Response to librechik (Reply #44)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:21 PM

45. Yes!

In fact, I consider repair of our mental healthcare infrastructure to be one of the more compelling arguments for nationalizing the entire healthcare system.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #45)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:34 PM

47. absolutely!

and training programs with free tuition for psychiatric workers working with special needs kids should be on the way too, in my dream universe.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:52 PM

42. It Is Really Not That Difficult, Ma'am

Pretty standard cost/benefit analysis stuff.

People who urge possession of fire-arms claim defense of self or others in crisis as a positive good coming from wide-spread possession of fire-arms. Many claim, in the wake of mass killing incidents, that armed civilians at the scene would have prevented the killings. Therefore, it is reasonable to investigate the ration of lives saved by fire-arms possession, and the sub-set of lives saved by their possession in mass killing incidents, with the number of lives lost owing to possession of firearms. You will certainly be unable to produce numbers of lives saved, either in the general or the specific case, by fire-arms possession, which come close to the number of lives lost owing to possession of fire-arms.

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:42 PM

13. I guess a lot of it is being at the right place at the right time...

 

with a weapon.

Problem is, you can't tell before-hand when someone is going to start shooting...you have to wait until someone is shot at to know it's happening.

I'm not sure that one can actually stop it from happening at all, but one could certainly put a stop to it sooner; if met with armed resistance they may not be able to keep killing...kinda why police carry weapons and such.



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Response to OneMoreDemocrat (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:12 PM

35. What is the hardest to say, is that there is a lot of fate involved.

Guns internally in elementary school? Most elementary teachers I have known, would not have a gun, let alone go to shooting ranges to learn with proficiency how to shoot someone in heart, or be responsible for it. You'd see an exodus of teachers. Even police sharpshooters make mistakes. It would have to be so securely locked down, that the time to retrieve it your back would be to the potential shooter and could endanger the kids.

Another matter people are missing in this "arm the school personnel", is that I'm not even sure a school could get liability insurance for teachers packing heat. The potential for lawsuit is very great. Back to the hired Security Guard.

Also, we absolutely Do Not Know that Nancy Lanza's guns were not locked up. He, of course, knew she had access and might have been the reason she was killed. He was an adult male and if he had snapped, they have tremendous physical power.

Nor, can you just get kids institutionalized when they misbehave...lots of barriers. The hairdressers had chilling insight into a mostly comatose kid/ Mother-son relationship situation from years prior. He was pretty much out to lunch as they described him...I'm guessing heavily medicated for years. That could also be why he reportedly couldn't feel pain.

New information is that she was going to admit him to an institution. That is the equivalent of a battered spouse threatening to leave with the kids. (either gender) It is the time of highest danger.



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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:46 PM

25. The Delicate Flowers are back to their normal gun BS

 

They waited a few days for Newtown to cool off, and now they're back in force posting NRA Talking Points.

What a dreary bunch of cowards & Delicate Flowers.

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:18 PM

38. Training Training Training

With the exception of the owner of the dance establishment in PA everyone of the other "civilians" has had some sort of formal training in the use of firearms in a tactical enviorment. 2 were trained by the Army 1 by the Marine Corp and the last was a frome police officer. The military trains you for 8 weeks in boot camp and then continues to train you in your M.O.S. Law Enforcement does the same thing. It helps the soldier or officer identify friend or foe in a hostile enviorment.

Before I move on let me say this, I do believe in the 2nd amendment, however I also believe that there should be regulations and how manyand what type of guns you can buy and where you can take them. I am tired of the CCP people telling me and others that we are violating thier rights by telling them that we dont want guns in the movie theatre or at the resturant or bar or at the mall. First of all those are private establishments and your "Rights" stop at the door. Secondly unless you have been trained by the people mentioned above I dont want your ass anywhere near me if the shooting does start because you are just as likely to hit an innocent person as you are to hit the gunman. Go back to your gun range and go back to playing Call of Duty in the basement. The botton line is you didnt stop any of thes massacres and you aint gonna stop the next one. Sorry for the rant.

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:39 PM

50. After reading this article for a third time I'm impressed

 

at how many times these "evil death machines" were used to stop mass murderers in their tracks. Maybe a few of them had past experience handling a weapon, I'm not sure why that negates their story but logic isn't really important when you're trying to make an anti-gun point I guess.

This article proves that guns are in fact pretty damn effective at stopping a shooting spree, bravo to the author.

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:46 PM

51. There is only one shooting spree that was stopped by a civilian

Thats the "Honey-Bee killer" in Northern Illinois/Indiana. It was total luck that the guy got the chance to take this guy out before he killed anyone else as well.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-05-09/news/ct-met-honeybee-killer-20110509_1_orland-park-tanning-salon-honeybee-shooter-gary-amaya/2

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:13 PM

56. NRA new movie, "Escape from Elementary School"

with Snake Plisken

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Response to Pale Blue Dot (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:26 PM

58. Jeanne Assam was a hero

Her actions saved many lives. Her actions also led directly to her being outed and slandered and libeled by the very people she saved. They continue to cyberstalk her to this day.

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