FBI Data Proves Armed Citizens are the Best Defense Against Mass Shootings

The nice thing about data is that so long as it is dispassionately and fairly collected, it can tell you the truth about things. For example, you’re welcome to flap your arms in a partisan fashion and make demands all day long about how everyone should not use hair spray and we should all drive electric cars, but if the real data shows that the earth is cooling, well…

In the recent fervor over mass shootings, the FBI has released three separate reports, covering every mass shooting in the US from 2000 through 2017. It’s a treasure-trove of dispassionate data and it reveals some important facts that are relevant to the gun debate.

Jacob Paulsen did a deep dive into the FBI data at Concealed Carry. He found some facts that need to be delivered to every Member of Congress, stat! This is really, really good stuff and it confirms what a lot of us probably already knew in the backs of our heads.

The FBI reports covered 283 “mass shooting” events over an 18-year period. Mr. Paulsen found that armed citizens were known to be present at 33 of those events (11.7% of mass shootings). One thing we do not know from the other 250 incidents is whether there was an armed citizen who did not engage the shooter. Most of us realize that owning and carrying a gun is no guarantee that a person will actually use it in a shooting incident. So, it’s possible that gun owners may have been present at some other incidents but chose not to intervene.

First and most importantly: Out of the 33 incidents where we know armed citizens intervened, they had a 94.6% success rate in stopping the mass shooters. And by “stopping” we mean either, A) shot them, or B) got the drop on them and convinced them to stand down until police arrived. In 18.2% of events, the armed citizen definitely prevented further lives from being lost.

This statistic bears repeating because so many mass shootings have taken place in either gun-free zones or in places with minimal protection. For example, look at the recent shooting at a country music bar in California. The shooter began his attack by walking up to the single armed security guard and killing him. This left the rest of his victims, including six off-duty law enforcement officers, completely disarmed for the remainder of the attack. If one of those off-duty cops or just one citizen had been allowed to have a concealed weapon with them in California, the survival rate of everyone in the place would have skyrocketed, according to the FBI data.

Likewise, four people were just killed in a hospital in Chicago in some sort of domestic dispute. Hospitals in Illinois are state-mandated gun-free zones.

Another important takeaway from the data is this: Out of all of the incidents in which an armed civilian stopped a mass shooting from 2000 through 2017, zero innocent people were injured or killed by the armed citizens. This is important because gun-grabbers are always telling us that gun owners are likely to accidentally shoot their own family members or neighbors because we’re not trained professionals like the police.

It’s also significant because police, tragically, kill hostages a lot more often than most of us would like them to. The LAPD just killed two hostages in two separate incidents over the summer. One was the manager of a Trader Joe’s when the gunman, fleeing a high-speed chase, crashed in front her store. She was killed by cops in the ensuing shootout with the LAPD.

In another incident, a knife-wielding immigrant grabbed a poor lady on the sidewalk in the Van Nuys area. Four LAPD officers stopped him by shooting through the hostage’s torso a bunch of times. Armed citizens don’t seem to make that type of “judgment call” during mass shooting incidents. In a statement that didn’t exactly feel helpful, the LAPD remarked that it had been 13 years since the last time they had killed a hostage. Um… thanks?

You probably won’t be surprised by anything that the FBI data reveals, but it’s still well worth your time to see the facts that Mr. Paulsen has revealed. The numbers simply don’t lie: Private citizens are wildly successful at stopping mass shootings – as long as they’re allowed to be armed.

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20 Responses

  1. Combine mental illness data with NICS background check information.

    Institute nationwide mandatory uniform safety and handling training for ALL concealed weapon permits.

    1. Edmund, how about we just follow the Constitution as it is written, instead of letting the liberal communists erode our rights and freedoms to suit their agenda? There has already been far too many UNCONSTITUTIONAL gun laws implimenteed throughout America. Most, if not all should be rescinded.

    2. Mr. Ludde, how about MANDATORY TRAINING and licensing of EVERYONE responding to articles like this one? Mandatory licensing and training for anyone wishing to WRITE OR RESPOND TO ANYTHING in a public forum. How does that suit you ?

  2. You missed the example, 10 to 20 years back when a fellow shot his X-boss (after being fired) in the Empire State Building. As he left the building he put his 45 in a brief case. Some workmen on an overhead scaffolding yelled to police on the street. A large number of police drew down on him and started shooting. He ended up dead but 16 civilians went to the hospital with gun shot injuries and none of them were 45 cal.

  3. If we had any faith that the “mental sciences” were even close to being a science this might be OK. But, the current success rate of educated shrinks is poor. If we actually trusted them we could contain all mentally ill people in safe locations. But, if we don’t trust them 100% how can we put such an important right in their hands? Since they have no facts to deal with the question is whose opinion do we go with. I would be OK if we made”Trump Derangement syndrome” grounds for incarceration but I think this might look to much like what happened in Russa / USSR? Differing political views could get you dumped into a mental hospital.
    I really don’t want some non-elected progressive liberal shrink deciding such important details of my life. How about we get the shrinks to identify those least likely to commit mass murder and require them to all be armed for the protection of those we are not sure of?

  4. Guns don’t kill people, PEOPLE kill people. A good guy with a gun can at least try to stop a bad guy with a gun. Our Constitution is loaded with intelligence should anyone care to read it instead of basing everything on “feelings” as libtards are want to do. The second amendment should be read in its entirety, not cherry picked. The wisdom in it will astound you, especially the anti-gun insane leftists, but of course none of these will read, they just listen to the left and let their uninformed “feelings” overload their brains.

  5. Keep is right. Follow the Constitution.
    Who would decide what people seeing a doctor should not have guns?

    Who’s morals? A politicians?

    People have to operate the gun in order for it to operate. It is a choice made by a person. Punish the person who does the crime.

    I believe in Our Constitution, Bill of Rights and the 10 Commandments

  6. Let’s not over look the fact that NY and other eastern states To control the population in the mental hospitals emptied beds by sending boarderline crazies to the Central Valley of Ca $100 and a bus ticket to Fresno or Bakersfield so they could be rid of the problem And these are the people they want to take our Due process and our guns Who’s really Crazy here

  7. I always carry, in my state we’re allowed to carry open , witch I do ! Also a retired Army Veteran, A oath is for life , I will defend all those I can , even that I would face death myself ! My 2th Amendment right is important to me as any other ! I’m the NRA you’re safes place !

  8. The problem with MOST gun laws, especially the gun laws these Socialistic politicians are trying to jam down the throats of the American people, is that everyone of these laws are only designed to hurt/disarm “legal, law-abiding gun owners!”

    Nothing, not one word in these proposed gun laws will STOP these disgusting mass shootings! If a serious investigation of all of these past mass shootings were conducted, the guns are NOT the most common issue in these shootings! The single most obvious issue in most everyone of these horrible shootings, is that the individual who squeezed the trigger had some form or problem with mental illness! Yet these idiots we call our so-called “representatives” refuse to deal with our nation’s mental illness issue. These corrupt politicians rather devote their time to making gun laws that will only punish ‘legal, law-abiding gun owners!” It’s as if these ANTI-Gun politicians were afraid of the law-abiding citizens of our country.This is pure Socialism trying to destroy our Second Amendment Rights. These Socialists are attacking our Free speech, our gun rights, every thing that makes us a FREE country, these SOCIALISTIC politicians are NOT working for the American people, they are 100% working against the American people and our Constitution!

    1. You are right, Frank. We don’t have a “gun violence” problem in this country, but we do have a “human violence” problem. I firmly believe that only a sick mind will intentionally attempt to harm or kill an innocent human being. And I believe that same sick mind will use whatever tool is available to make good on its intention. Removing firearms does not stop this sick mind. More focus needs to be placed on mental health.

      But the left ultimately wants complete control over the citizenry of the United States. They know they can’t fully succeed as long as we are well armed. They spread their propaganda for more gun control laws knowing that if they can effectively render the 2nd Amendment virtually useless (or even repeal it), they can then do whatever they want with the rest of our Constitution in their apparent quest for socialism.

      Why else do they “believe” a firearm is the only inanimate object that is capable of murder? Do they ever blame the automobile for deaths? If an arsonist sets an apartment building ablaze and kills several innocents – does anyone cry for more fire control? Matches or accelerants control? No – In every other means used to commit murder (knives, baseball bats, hammers, etc.), the murderer is blamed. But when a firearm is used, it is the gun.

      Politicians know quite well that only law-abiding citizens are affected by more gun control laws. They also know violent crime won’t decline with more gun control – in fact they know it’s highly likely crime will rise as criminals become more emboldened. Stopping violent crime is not their primary concern. In fact, more crime and an unarmed populace, makes the citizens more dependent upon the government – the cornerstone of socialism.

  9. Everyone did a wonderful job of supporting the 2nd. I really don’t need to add much.
    I do have a thought on mental illness being a factor for deciding whether or we should allow someone to have a gun. I say let them have them. At the same time remove all the unconstitutional gun control laws, deprogram the general population to appreciate those that go through the trouble of conceal carry and make sure there are no ridiculous gun free zones where none of these “crazies” will have free rein to shoot at will. Then we’ll see how many innocent people lose their life before a multitude of conceal carry people open up on them. Just like with criminals, the crazies are at risk with an ever increasing number of responsible armed citizens.
    Also, Lenin said “The goal of socialism is communism.” So, it’s okay to call socialists by their true title.
    The Dems/Communists have the same, predictable pattern where they will make a gun law that only addresses a small group of people like the “crazies.” Then they redefine the term to include political dissidents as “crazies.”

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  11. All well thought out comments, the gun is not the issue, people are the issue, why is that such a difficult subject for politicians, well it’s because most are really socialist!

  12. I would love to see open carry in my state without being stopped every block by police, because some “concerned” citizen has a panic attack…can’t even carry a long gun without being scrutinized…

  13. What we have is MORAL DECAY!
    Gang Members and Career Criminals, and drug addicts are NOT “Clinically Insane”… and IF we could just Lock Up every person that ever lost their temper, or was ‘bullied’ in school, or got mad for getting Fired, or hated their ‘Ex’ after a divorce … we would have Half of America in Prisons and “Insane Asylums !!
    When our entire ‘Society’ abandons morals…and we praise Movies and Video Games that ‘kill’ the Most People — often Cops and Soldiers are ‘nothing but prize targets or meaningless victims — and Killing someone seems the easiest way to become a ‘Celebrity’ … and the Killer becomes “Famous for who has the Largest number of faceless victims!
    It is the PEEK of STUPIDITY to think a person that intends to KILL people will give One Thought to a sign that says “Gun Free Zone”…other than to be HAPPY that their potential VICTIMS are all UN-ARMED and DEFENSELESS!
    “Like shooting Fish in a Barrel”… and no more regard for their victims than someone would have for those fish!

  14. The Founding Fathers wrote meany letters to each other in determine the reason for their words in 2A. Not one of them felt that they had to address the right to defend LIFE, LIMB, and PROPERTY with any arm available. That was a given.

    The question was how do we assure that the government does not become abusive and that the people have the ability to take back the government WHEN that happens.

    Remember that the Founding Fathers owned rifle, pistol, bow, battle axe, musket, saber, MORTAR and CANNON. They personally owned such! They even warned us NOT TO TRUST THEM! Now go and read 2A. It does NOT address pistols nor rifles (muskets). Instead is states ARMS. Arms are ALL inclusive, not just limited to the governments idea of what THEY want us to have.

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