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A Challenge From the Peanut Gallery

Got a person in the comments who is an opponent of concealed carry, and he’s made a claim I’m wondering if it can be disproved. Here’s the claim:

And it remains true that no private citizen without law enforcement background has ever used a legally concealed weapon to stop a mass murder involving more than two deaths in progress.

Can anyone find an instance of this happening? I know there have been citizens with guns that have stopped mass murders, but we’re talking about the very narrow, specific incident of a individual citizen, with no law enforcement background, carrying a legally concealed weapon, stopping a mass killer. Note that guys like Dan McKown don’t count, because he didn’t stop the killer. Mark Wilson doesn’t count either, because he was in the home when he saw the incident unfolding, and was killed before he could stop the shooter. Neither does Jeannie Assam because she had a law enforcement background.

45 Responses to “A Challenge From the Peanut Gallery”

  1. Noops says:

    Tactical Wire has these as either stopped by single officer (off duty or on) or citizen.

    I’m too lazy to research which one of these are citizen, but you could probably find out quickly:
    Mall shooting in Kansas City Mo.

    Church shooting in Colorado Springs

    Trolley Square Mall shooting in Salt Lake City

    School shooting at high school in Pearl Miss.

    Santee California High School shooting

    Fairchild Air Force Base shooting

    El Cajon California high school shooting

    Dimebag Darrell concert shooting, Columbus Ohio

    Topeka KS domestic violence shooter incident

  2. Noops says:

    And seriously. Who cares? The odds are astronomical. I don’t carry, own, or train with weapons because I think this might happen. I do it because bad shit happens to good people, and I’m not talking about mass shootings.

  3. Ed says:

    1) Maybe, just maybe, this is because killings don’t get to beyond 2 deaths when an armed citizen is around.

    2) Most mass killings occur in “gun-free” zones, where law abiding civlians are unarmed.

    3) Just because it allegedly hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it won’t

    4) Perhaps, again just maybe, mass-killers are disuaded from mass-killing in places where people may be armed, and therefore go to the “gun-free” zone to carry out their wicked deeds instead. Therefore, there is not much of a sample size to judge, but armed citizens still protect others.

    Just maybe.

  4. Ian Argent says:

    The caveat “more than 2 … already in progress” rules out most events; as an armed civilian will likely prevent reaching that threshold.

    Would this person count the incident just this past year where an armed citizen stopped a robbery incident where the attackers were openly speculating about killing witnesses?

  5. Sebastian says:

    I’d be willing to settle for a situation that was clearly a mass shooting, but that the body count never got that high. For instance, a guy shooting randomly at a mall, and is stopped before the body count hits two. I mean, if we saw that happening, it’s not like we’d let the body count get up past two, and then stop the guy, because we wanted to be on record as stopping a mass shooting.

  6. Turk Turon says:

    Lotsa folks who carry say they have decided only to defend their own lives and those of their family. They will not draw to defend strangers or property. It’s a controversial subject. The other side considers them cowards, and they in turn regard their critics as “wannabe cops” or “mall ninjas”. Like I said, strong emotions on both sides. Famous instructor Clint Smith is one of those firmly on the “self and family”-only side of the debate.

    But stopping crimes in progress or public shootings is not really the core of what concealed carry is all about. And it should not be used as a yardstick for success.

  7. “Ed Said:
    1) Maybe, just maybe, this is because killings don’t get to beyond 2 deaths when an armed citizen is around.”

    Agreed. The question IMHO posed by Mr. Henricks is a logical fallacy.

    In most situations where an armed citizen is lawfully using their weapon to defend themselves or others, they are able to stop the aggressor in question BEFORE said aggressor has the chance to kill more than 2 people. Hence the reason why it’s so difficult to cite instances. Mass killers only become mass killers when no one in the immediate area, police, lawfully armed citizen, or otherwise, are capable of neutralizing the threat.

  8. Aaron says:

    Psssh, there are no black swans. Find me one swan that’s black in color that’s never been within a hundred yards of spray paint and who has never nested within a mile of a coal-fired power plant.

  9. Sebastian says:

    I don’t consider those people cowards, but I do think there’s a civic duty to intervene if you have the power to do good. I don’t think that means playing cop, but given the opportunity and means to stop a mass shooting, I think you have an obligation to those around you to stop it.

  10. Capt Caveman says:

    Hmmmm…. It’s a trick question. He’s asking you to prove a negative. A mass shooting that does not happen because a citizen with a weapon prevented it is not a mass shooting.

    The question you must ask him is how many mass shootings would of happened anyway if there had been an armed citizen there to stop it.

  11. Geesh… I wish I could remember shit… Wasn’t there a home invasion during a party (college students) about a year ago and ONE guy happened to have his piece in his backpack and killed both armed badguys. Not sure that one would count because the two dead were the badguys, but it sure sounded like they were planning on killing everyone. I remember them saying that the one BG asked the other if he brought enough bullets.

    Damn my short memory!!!

    Oh and Aaron: Lake Eola in Orlando Florida has a pair of black swans… or used to have them anyway (not sure if they still do). One of the damn things attacked my daughter years ago (she was 5) and my Mother about throttled the crap out of it. It was funny to see my mother, who most people know as the sweetest person around, going on the attack.

    s

    btw… Aaron, yes I understand that wasn’t a real question.

  12. Sir Limerick says:

    In the Pearl, MS high school shooting; assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieved a pistol legally stored in his truck and stopped the shooter after confrontation. Not sure what his carry permit status was or if he had any law enforcement background, but he certainly retrieved a legally concealed weapon and stopped a mass shooting in progress.

    One could make a sound logical argument that the shooting might have been stopped earlier had he not had to retrieve his weapon from his truck, but my experience with hair-splitters like that is that nothing meets the very narrow, cherry-picked scenario fits their argument from the particular (“nothing fits my very specific case of handgun defensive use…”) to the general (“there is no utility to carrying a concealed handgun…”). A better response is to ask for a validation of that scenario within the scope of the argument.

  13. geekWithA.45 says:

    Nu.

    The question is invalid.

    To qualify, an armed citizen would have to standby, until 2 or more died, and then engage.

    Alternately, he or she would have to have coincidentally arrived after the qualifying number of mortal wounds have been dispatched.

    Engaging an MPK before anyone had been killed would disqualify…to what end?

    Also, I recall non leo citizens engaging Charles Whitman alongside the cops.

  14. Retardo says:

    It’s trivial to find dozens of well-documented examples where CCW holders were able to prevent or stop violent crimes against themselves or against others. That is the answer to this guy’s question: Concealed carry can be proven to have done vastly more good than harm in the real world.

    What I assume Noops means by “who cares?” is that it’s irrelevant whether any of those “prevent or stop” incidents matched one particular arbitrary, contrived, highly-specific profile, and it’s a mistake to let your questioner derail the conversation by discussing it with him.

    This clown has got to exclude 99.9% of the available data from the discussion in order to set up a question where the answer will make his view look even halfway sane. Don’t let him change the subject like that. Mass murders are too rare to be statistically meaningful. Convenience-store robberies and carjackings are common enough for the numbers to mean something. Those numbers are the ones he wants to keep out of the conversation, because they prove him wrong.

  15. Retardo says:

    …which is not to say mass-murder numbers don’t prove him wrong, too (see Pearl, MS above); just that he’s hoping there are few enough incidents that his claims will remain unproven either way, rather than proven wrong. He may be dumb enough to think that not having been proven wrong just yet is the same as having been proven right.

  16. Turk Turon says:

    Retardo said:
    “This clown has got to exclude 99.9% of the available data from the discussion in order to set up a question where the answer will make his view look even halfway sane. Don’t let him change the subject like that. Mass murders are too rare to be statistically meaningful. Convenience-store robberies and carjackings are common enough for the numbers to mean something. Those numbers are the ones he wants to keep out of the conversation, because they prove him wrong.”

    Well said! You’re not retarded at all. Every time I see a criminologist on TV, asked by a reporter about “spree shootings”, the guy always answers, “Well, nobody studies them because they are so rare.” The reporter says, “Rare!? Why, it seems we cover them all the time!” And the criminologist responds, “The press covers them because of the shock value, but in a country of over 300 million people…”

    Actually, it occurs to me that he is asking for proof of two negatives simultaneously: 1) prove that this mass-shooting was stopped before it could happen, and 2) prove that the person who stopped it did not have police experience.

  17. Papa Foxtrot says:

    “Wasn’t there a home invasion during a party (college students) about a year ago and ONE guy happened to have his piece in his backpack and killed both armed badguys.”

    Happened in Atlanta earlier this year:

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/19365762/detail.html

    No mention of police experience.

  18. Papa Foxtrot says:

    Check the spam filter for the link to the Atlanta home invasion. Would have definitely been a mass shooting but for the concealed carry.

  19. markofafreeman says:

    Geez, man, I haven’t even read many of the comments here, but the challenger sure is doing his best to narrow the results with his criteria. To me, armed citizens stopping, deterring, decreasing the body count are enough of a reason for citizens to be armed, regardless of the weapon or the carry mode. The Texas A&M shooter, for instance, was deterred in part by citizens armed with rifles shooting back.

    And, frankly, if it’s a right, it’s a right. We can talk about the statistics, and I’m not suggesting we don’t. And I think the statistics will be on our side, anyhow. But my RKBA, concealed or not, is not dependent on how many non-LEO background-conceal-carry-citizen-stopping-mass-killers-with-handguns we can identify. Even if that number is currently zero.

    I don’t carry specifically stop mass killings. I carry to protect myself, and others if necessary. I am armed because I am a free man, not a serf.

  20. Mad Saint Jack says:

    What happened to “if it just saves one life”? CCW has saved plenty.

  21. Peter says:

    Why are you feeding this troll?

    Even if you had the data he’s demanding, which is a contorted mess of make-believe, he’s not going to change or amend his position.

    I know you’re trying to be ‘reasonable’, but before you extend that sort of courtesy, you should hold out for a good faith expression of the same first.

  22. BC says:

    I love this kind of thing. It’s like the Biblical inerrantists who claim that the Bible is without error… if you define ‘error’ in such a way as to exclude anything that a critic of inerrancy might bring up.

    “Provide for me an example of a civilian without law enforcement background using a concealed weapon to stop a violent crime in progress involving two or more victims!” May as well add, “Under a full moon on the second Thursday in November, where the victims were wearing ten-gallon hats and clown shoes,” for all that it would prove.

  23. Ian Argent says:

    The atlanta incident was the one I remembered as well

  24. 3legdog says:

    Seriously, who cares? What does it matter? Why waste your time?

    You search and search… and the moment you find an example, the slimy gun bigot (or health.gov supporter, or whatever) will change the rules of the interaction. In this case, probably upping the ante to “*three* deaths in progress”

    Facts are lost on people who are ruled by emotion, who have no self-worth and whose world-view puts them at the bottom of the food chain. Better to pity them and get on with your life.

  25. For crying out loud, that’s a specific circumstance. For that scenario to play out, there has to be two dead bodies already. Wonder how many would-be mass murderers got one between the headlights before they reached mass murderer status?

    I’m for concealed carry (being a TX CHL holder), but I seriously doubt anyone with a CHL has ever stopped an Australian child killer with a hat on in a McDonalds from under a blanket with half the lights on while the restaurant was out of fries.

    And if you can’t provide that circumstance, then all concealed carry should be outlawed, all guns confiscated, dumped into a rocket and shot into the sun.

    Srsly.

    tweaker

  26. OrangeNeckInNY says:

    Wasn’t there an attempted mass murder recently at an off-campus house where college students were having a party and several gunmen burst in, but before they could kill anyone, one of the party guests grabbed his legally owned pistol in his backpack and saved the lives of all those people at the party?

  27. January 16, 2002. Peter Odighizuwa. Stopped by two armed students.

    1997, Luke Woodham, Pearl High School. Killed 3 people. Stopped by Assistant Principal Joel Myrick, who was armed.

    Now, who cares if the person who stopped the attack has a law enforcement background or not? Because when these shootings take place, they sure seem to happen in “Gun Free Zones” a lot of the time…

  28. JKB says:

    It seems that if the CCW holder in this incident had police training it would be mentioned

    http://dustinsgunblog.blogspot.com/2008/05/nv-mass-shooting-stopped-by-ccw-permit.html

    Thomas Glenn Terry doesn’t appear to have had police training when he stopped two robbers who had herded 20 people into the cooler. True only the criminals were killed in that incident but once they move you into the back, your about to die.

    http://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?ID=1446

  29. Mad Saint Jack says:

    OrangeNeckInNY,

    Yes you are correct Sir.

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/19365762/detail.html

  30. gator says:

    I’m sure the Brady Bunch has some stats regarding mass killings involving more than 2 deaths. No doubt they’ve redacted any and all references to intervention by armed, private citizens.

  31. Sendarius says:

    Aaron wrote:

    Psssh, there are no black swans. Find me one swan that’s black in color that’s never been within a hundred yards of spray paint and who has never nested within a mile of a coal-fired power plant.

    Give me five minutes and I can show you DOZENS.

    The city of Perth, Western Australia is built on the banks of the Swan River.

    The Swan River was so named because it is the home to hundreds and thousands of BLACK swans. The State flag has a black swan on a yellow ground inset on the Australian flag.

    See: http://www.creativespirits.info/ozwest/perth/images/00-104-25_PerthBlackSwan.jpg

  32. Weer'd Beard says:

    I wonder if Mr. Henricks will grace us with his presence now?

  33. Knotthead says:

    I was just looking for a reference to the College Park incident that OrangeNeckInNY referenced. This one counts in my opinion. More than two would have died otherwise.

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/19365762/detail.html

  34. MicroBalrog says:

    PResto:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29525131/

    Terrorist with bulldozer. Civilian with pistol. Civilian wins.

  35. workinwifdakids says:

    Even if this guy hadn’t narrowed the debate so far as to be ridiculous, you can disprove what he’s trying to imply:

    Until recently, it was true that no commercial aircraft had ever landed in the Hudson, so it was pointless to train for water landings.

  36. Hyman Roth says:

    Not 2 deaths prevented, but still shows the importance of civilian gun ownership:

    http://www.theshootist.net/2009/01/one-man-got-involved-perry_12.html

  37. Aaron says:

    Sendarius and Stuart the Viking – Nice tries, both. But, like the question in the original post, I demand that all of my irrational, semi-sensical conditions be met. The swans YOU mentioned were probably spray-painted and/or covered in coal dust.

    Until you can prove to me that they WEREN’T, then I’m going to disregard all evidence, stick my fingers in my ears, and sing “lalalala there are no black swans lalala”.

    In all seriousness: yes Swans can be black, I know. They can also be total dicks. I got bit by a couple (all of them white) when I was going to school in Norwich. They’ve totally infested the River Yare like big, elegant rats.

  38. j says:

    Define Mass murder. Open carry, Richmond, VA July 19, 2009. Story is in the Richmond Times Dispatch Newspaper. An armed male attempted to rob the Golden Food Market. The store owner was wounded just because the robber wanted to shoot someone. An armed citizen stopped the robber from killing the store owner and other (6 or 8)patrons from being killed or shot by challenging the robber. One newspaper story had the shoppers lined up execution style. Everyone is convinced, including cops, there would have been people killed if the armed citizen wasn’t there. Why is this arbitary “2 must be killed” on the way toward a mass murder? This story is the perfect answer. It’s better because no one was killed because of the intervention of the armed citizen. He shot the robber once, took away the fire arm, and called police.

  39. Sendarius says:

    Aaron,

    You wrote:

    In all seriousness: yes Swans can be black, I know. They can also be total dicks. I got bit by a couple (all of them white) when I was going to school in Norwich. They’ve totally infested the River Yare like big, elegant rats.

    … big, ELEGANT RATS?????

    They must have been still on the water. Get those vicious, picnic-stealing avians on land, and they move more like three-legged drunken hippopotami. :)

    … and the BLACK swans are worse! (Can I say that? I mean without causing someone, somewhere to have a mental melt-down.)

  40. Weer'd Beard says:

    And Mr. Henricks, while still prattling like a fool on the referring thread has avoided this one like the plague.

    A wretched existence these trolls must live, as when they open their eyes reality disappears.

  41. Aaron says:

    Sendarius:

    They did prefer to spend their time in the water. All the better to launch sneak attacks on unsuspecting passersby…

    Also, “… and the BLACK swans are worse! (Can I say that? I mean without causing someone, somewhere to have a mental melt-down.)”

    I’m pretty sure that’s racist. The PC police will be along shortly with cuffs and leg-irons. Just another sad case of those domestic terrorists and their race-inspired hatred. Tsk tsk tsk…

  42. Newbius says:

    Sebastian,

    The question’s premise is a false option. In almost all cases where a mass shoting occurred, the victims were either disarmed by company policy, property rules, or State or Federal Law. Usually, the only published exceptions to these rules and laws defines the only ones allowed to carry in these environments as Law Enforcement personnel.

    The questioner is setting you up…

    A better question should be: “How many mass shootings occurred before the Gun Control Act of 1968 was enacted, compared to after?” Most areas of victim disarmament became so after that onerous legislation (nearly identical to the Nazi Gun Control Laws of 1938) was passed. I would bet (and I haven’t got the time to research it right now) that the vast bulk of mass shootings happened AFTER 1968, and were nearly non-existent prior to that. Excepting, of course, gangland shootings over turf during Prohibition.

    Does your questioner wish to take this one on?

  43. Mark Henricks says:

    Put up or shut up.

  44. TCK says:

    “Mark Henricks Said,
    November 24th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Put up or shut up.”

    Truly a modern Cicero.

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