Armed citizens can be part of the solution to mass shootings. David French writes:
After reading the FBI’s latest report on active-shooter incidents in the United States, two things are increasingly clear. First, the United States has a growing problem with actual or attempted spree killers. And second, armed and alert citizens can be part of the solution. […]
How do shootings end? The most common ways are exactly what you’d expect: The shooters kill themselves or flee, or the police exchange gunfire with the shooter and/or apprehend him. But a surprising amount of the time, citizens stop the killer, and an increasing percentage of those citizens are armed.
From 2000 to 2013, only five times did an armed citizen (who was not a police officer) exchange fire with the shooter. Three times the citizen killed the shooter, once the shooter committed suicide, and once the shooter was wounded. Fast forward to 2016–2017. In that time period, six armed citizens confronted active shooters. They stopped the shooting four times (in one case, the shooter fled to a different site and continued shooting, and in the other the armed citizen was wounded before he could stop the shooting).
The lesson? Armed citizens can make a difference, and as more Americans obtain carry permits, more Americans will be on-scene and able to react. Moreover, what’s missing from the data is any indication that armed citizens make the crisis worse. The stereotype of carry-permit holders spraying panicked gunfire is simply wrong.
[David French, “New FBI Data on Active Shooters Shows the Importance of Armed Citizens,” National Review, May 25]