Do Civilians Armed With Guns Ever Capture, Kill, or Otherwise Stop Mass Shooters?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Wehrwolfen, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Wehrwolfen
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    Wehrwolfen Senior Member

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    Do Civilians Armed With Guns Ever Capture, Kill, or Otherwise Stop Mass Shooters?​



    By: Eugene Volokh
    14 December, 2012|


    Backers of laws that let pretty much all law-abiding carry concealed guns in public places often argue that these laws will sometimes enable people to stop mass shootings. Opponents occasionally ask: If that’s so, what examples can one give of civilians armed with guns stopping such shootings? Sometimes, I hear people asking if even one such example can be found, or saying that they haven’t heard even one such example.

    1. In Pearl, Mississippi in 1997, 16-year-old Luke Woodham stabbed and bludgeoned to death his mother at home, then killed two students and injured seven at his high school. As he was leaving the school, he was stopped by Assistant Principal Joel Myrick, who had gone out to get a handgun from his car. I have seen sources that state that Woodham was on the way to Pearl Junior High School to continue shooting, though I couldn’t find any contemporaneous news articles that so state.

    2. In Edinboro, Pennsylvania in 1996, 14-year-old Andrew Wurst shot and killed a teacher at a school dance, and shot and injured several other students. He had just left the dance hall, carrying his gun — possibly to attack more people, though the stories that I’ve seen are unclear — when he was confronted by the dance hall owner James Strand, who lived next door and kept a shotgun at home. It’s not clear whether Wurst was planning to kill others, would have gotten into a gun battle with the police, or would have otherwise killed more people had Strand not stopped him.

    3. In Winnemucca, Nevada in 2008, Ernesto Villagomez killed two people and wounded two others in a bar filled with three hundred people. He was then shot and killed by a patron who was carrying a gun (and had a concealed carry license). It’s not clear whether Villagomez would have killed more people; the killings were apparently the result of a family feud, and I could see no information on whether Villagomez had more names on his list, nor could one tell whether he would have killed more people in trying to evade capture.

    4. In Colorado Springs in 2007, Matthew Murray killed four people at a church. He was then shot several times by Jeanne Assam, a church member, volunteer security guard, and former police officer (she had been dismissed by a police department 10 years before, and to my knowledge hadn’t worked as a police officer since). Murray, knocked down and badly wounded, killed himself; it is again not clear whether he would have killed more people had he not been wounded, but my guess is that he would have. ​

    So it appears that civilians armed with guns are sometimes willing to intervene to stop someone who had just committed a mass shooting in public. In what fraction of mass shootings would such interventions happen, if gun possession were allowed in the places where the shootings happen? We don’t know. In what fraction would interventions prevent more killings and injuries, as opposed to capturing or killing the murderer after he’s already done? We don’t know.

    Still, people have asked for examples of some shootings in which a civilian armed with a gun intervened and brought down the shooter — so here they are.

    Read more:
    The Volokh Conspiracy » Do Civilians Armed With Guns Ever Capture, Kill, or Otherwise Stop Mass Shooters?
     
  2. Dick Tuck
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    Dick Tuck Board Troll

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    For every life saved by an armed civilian, I would guarantee many more would be killed in cases of road rage or family arguments.
     
  3. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    Irrational gun-haters believe those who stopped the murderers are just as evil as the murderers themselves.
     
  4. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    ...based on nothing at all.
     
  5. Dick Tuck
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    Based on FBI Uniformed Crime statistics. States with the highest percentage of handgun ownership also tend to have the highest rate of gun crimes. Look it up yourself, moron.

    FBI — Table 4
     
  6. C_Clayton_Jones
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    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

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    Legally irrelevant, one is not required to justify the exercising of a Constitutional right.

    Just as a woman is not require to ‘justify’ contemplating an abortion by documenting its medical necessity.
     
  7. NYcarbineer
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    NYcarbineer Diamond Member

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    Up until yesterday, Adam Lanza was just another armed citizen who might have been able to stop a crime one day.
     

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