By Rob Morse | Slowfacts
Guns save lives. You wouldn’t know that from reading your newspapers or watching TV. If you only get your news from the mass media and popular entertainment, then you might think civilian gun ownership cost lives. Here is the important news you didn’t see. I showed you that guns save lives, but I’m going to go a step further.
Armed civilians stop mass murder.
There. I said it, and now I’ll show you that it’s true. First we’ll look at the collected data and then review some of the many examples. Sure, you can invent all kinds of possible problems that armed citizens might face, but this is what we saw over the last two decades.
Jacob Paulsen did a great job reviewing and expanding the FBI data on mass murder collected since 2000. If you think back, then you’ll remember that almost everything changed since the millennial celebration. The children who grew up with 24-hour-news have become adults. Today, they get news updates every minute on their phones. Over the same period, the number of people who legally carry a firearm in public surged from one million to 30 million citizens. There were also 283 mass murder attempts during that time. Armed civilians were present in 33 of those attempted mass murders. That is consistent with the number of concealed carriers in the general public.
Armed citizens were only involved in 11 percent of the mass murder events,
but when armed citizens were present,
they stopped or reduced the severity of the event 94 percent of the time.
That is fact, not fantasy.
If statistics don’t move you, then here are some recent examples.
First Example- Last week, a dad was at McDonalds for some fast food with his two teenage boys. The store was closing for the day and the doors were locked as the family finished their meal. When they were done, the store manager unlocked the door so they could leave. An armed and masked robber pushed his way into the store and started shooting. Customers ran outside as the employees locked themselves into the walk-in refrigerator. The armed dad shot back and wounded the robber. That stopped the attack. The store employees called the defender a hero.
The robber had a criminal record for drug use and illegal possession of a firearm. A judge had revoked the robbers bail a few days earlier.
That is important news, but it is equally important that you know another story. Five years ago, the anti-gun group Moms Demand Action asked McDonalds to impose a ban on people legally carrying a gun in their stores. Who would have protected innocent people and stopped the attacker if the good guy was disarmed?
Second Example- A “Peace in the City” rally was giving away school supplies and backpacks at the end of the summer. The event took place at a city park in Florida and was attended by over 200 people. A fight broke out at the basketball court, and a man started shooting into the crowd. Another attendee at the rally saw the attack and moved toward the attacker. The defender drew his firearm and shot the attacker. The defender had his concealed carry permit and carried his firearm legally. The attacker did not. Local police called the armed defender a hero.
Also in Florida, the Democrat candidate for governor said law abiding gun owners should be banned from city parks. Will that save innocent lives, or cost lives?
Third Example- This week, a racist murderer tried to enter a black church during a weekday service. Fortunately, the doors were locked. The murderer then went to a nearby Kroger supermarket where he killed two strangers, a black man and black woman. The murderer was chased away from the Kroger parking lot by a white man who was armed that night. The defender traded gunfire with the murderer, and the murderer ran away. The defender was also a concealed carry holder and was carrying his firearm legally.
Four years ago, the anti-gun group Moms Demand Action asked Kroger to impose a ban on people legally carrying a gun in their stores.
These examples are only a small sample of the thousands of legal self-defense events that happen every day. Statistics may touch our mind, but these real life examples touch my heart. I’m grateful that these ordinary citizens were extraordinary when we needed them. We need more people like them. I’m also grateful because these ordinary citizens had the defensive tools they needed to save lives. Like I told you, Guns save lives.