FACT CHECK: 69 Mass Shootings Have Been Stopped By Armed Civilians

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By John Paluska, Founder of The Washington Gazette

At least 69 mass shootings have been stopped by armed civilians since 1990, data collected by the Crime Prevention Research Center shows. This flies in the face of the media (examples here, here, and here) arguing mass shootings are caused by lack of gun control. The truth is, armed civilians stop mass shootings regularly, and one major way to dampen the amount of mass shootings is to allow people to carry guns wherever they go.

One recent example of armed civilians stopping a mass shooting was in February, when an armed robber drew his weapon at a gun range. After killing two people, armed civilians spring into action and killed him before he had a chance to kill others. 

These instances where a good guy with a gun stopped mass shootings are corroborated by a 2018 analysis of FBI data, which reveals that armed civilians are 94% effective at stopping would-be mass shooters. This dispels the "innocent victim" myth that the media likes to use to explain away the massive number of mass shootings stopped by armed civilians. 

So why aren't more mass shootings stopped by armed civilians? Because the shootings often take place in gun free zones, where armed civilians obviously cannot draw their guns because there aren't any. A 2019 study by the Crime Research Prevention Center found that 94% of mass shootings happened in gun free zones

Even though 94% of mass shootings happened in gun free zones, the Crime Research Prevention Center has found that roughly 1 in 6 mass shootings were stopped by an armed civilian who was legally carrying a handgun. 

Another reason the "good guy with a gun" notion is true is because, according to surveys with convicted felons, 40% decided not to commit a crime because they thought the victim had a gun. Additionally, more than 1 in 3 convicted felons had been "scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim." This shows that guns do regularly stop crimes in progress and even may stop premeditated crimes from occurring.

All this data shows that shooters are regularly stopped by "a good guy with a gun" despite what the media claims, and blaming lack of gun control for mass shootings is deeply misguided. To stop more active shooters, allowing citizens to carry guns would be the best solution.

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  1. Wow, I'm more shocked that this ass hat had the audacity to use the word "regular" when describing something that happens about twice a year.

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mass_shootings_in_the_United_States

  2. 69 shootings stopped since 1990.
    Mass shootings in America, per wikipedia:
    2018: 322
    2019: 434
    2020: 614
    2021: 126 so far in 4 months.
    Using JUST the 1696 mass shootings from those 4 years gives us a stop rate of about 4.6%. The actual percentage will be lower if you factor in the 27 years from 1990-2017.

    Which means over 95% of shootings are NOT stopped by a gun-toting civilian.
    This is all assuming you believe the numbers from the 'Crime Prevention Research Center', a nonprofit founded in 2013 by John Lott, author of the book “More Guns, Less Crime.” Biased.

    1. The numbers you refer to are not what Wikipedia actually says is a mass shooting.

      For instance, Wikipedia's ow mass shooting pages for 2019-2021blatantly state: "This is a list of mass shootings in the United States that have occurred in [year here]. Mass shootings are incidents involving multiple victims of firearm-related violence. The precise inclusion criteria are disputed, and there is no broadly accepted definition."

      They continue:

      "Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group that tracks shootings and their characteristics in the United States, defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people, excluding the perpetrator(s), are shot in one location at roughly the same time.[4] The Congressional Research Service narrows that definition, limiting it to "public mass shootings," defined by four or more victims killed, excluding any victims who survive.[3] The Washington Post and Mother Jones use similar definitions, with the latter acknowledging that their definition "is a conservative measure of the problem," as many shootings with fewer fatalities occur.[5][6] The crowdsourced Mass Shooting Tracker project has the most expansive definition, of four or more shot in any incident, including the perpetrator.[7]"

      Wikipedia's list does not actually track mass shootings, which our article is about. It tracks anything gun related with multiple victims. They count any gun incident that is recorded, regardless of whether it is a mass shooting or not, so long as more than one person is injured. This is apparent if you browse their chart.

      Now, according to the FBI themselves, there were 277 active shooter incidents from 2000-2018. Of those incidents, roughly 1 in 6 people had a gun and subdued the shooter, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center's browsing of reports of the incident that were published in multiple media outlets.