Skip to comments.Do Civilians Armed With Guns Ever Capture, Kill, or Otherwise Stop Mass Shooters?
Posted on 12/15/2012 7:57:59 AM PST by marktwain
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 thats 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 havent heard even one such example.
Naturally, such examples will be rare, partly because mass shootings are rare, partly because many mass shootings happen in supposedly gun-free zones (such as schools, universities, or private property posted with a no-guns sign) in which gun carrying isnt allowed, and partly for other reasons. Moreover, at least some examples are contested, because it might be unclear as youll see below whether the shooter had been planning to kill more people when he was stopped. But here are instances that I have seen, not counting killings stopped by people who were off-duty police officers (or police officers from other jurisdictions) at the time of the shooting.
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 couldnt 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 Ive seen are unclear when he was confronted by the dance hall owner James Strand, who lived next door and kept a shotgun at home. Its 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). Its 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 hadnt 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 dont know. In what fraction would interventions prevent more killings and injuries, as opposed to capturing or killing the murderer after hes already done? We dont know. In what fraction would interventions lead to more injuries to bystanders? Again, we dont know. Finally, always keep in mind that mass shootings in public places should not be the main focus in the gun debate, whether for gun control or gun decontrol: They on average account for much less than 1% of all homicides in the U.S., and are unusually hard to stop through gun control laws (since the killer is bent on committing a publicly visible murder and is thus unlikely to be much deterred by gun control law, or by the prospect of encountering an armed bystander).
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.
Of course, when a mass shooting is stopped by an armed citizen, there are not as many victims. Critics can always claim that it is then not a "real" mass shooting.
Hollywood and the MSM created these monsters, and now Hollywood and the MSM will blame the tools, not the cultural wreckage they wrought. Let's turn the focus back around where it belongs.
Seems like there was one at a Georgia college (Law school maybe) some years ago where someone went to his car and got a gun and killed a potential mass killer.
Thanks for posting!
I have tried, lately, to remind people of what happened in Kennesaw when they *mandated* a firearm in every household.
An *immediate* drop in violent crime of more than 85%.
Entertainment has a way of coaxing the lowest common denominator out of people, but again people also have the ability to refuse entertainment It takes two to do that tango.
I don’t buy the games and movies angle by themselves. You or I wouldn’t behave any differently after playing thousands of hours of violent games.
Now combine them with liberal indoctrination coming from the schools where “reality” has become a subjective concept and you have a recipe for disaster.
Its also important to note that our parents probably didn’t allow us to watch very violent movies or play the games. We were expected to make those decisions for ourselves as adults.
At a local high school, an armed deputy shot an armed would be intruder stopped at the restricted entry point
Yahoo has this story on their site saying that a motive has not been found for the killings.
Crazy people don’t need motives. They make one up in thier crazed minds.
And Kennesaw really was only a “strong suggestion.” It was easy to opt out as conscientious objector. Anyhow, robbers felt it wise to move on to easier pickings.
I think you can up your confidence level on #4.
The guy shot a couple of people in the parking lot and was stopped by being shot on his way into the church.
What do you think he was planning to do in there? Pray for forgiveness?
A well-placed shot at the head of a crazy artist from Austria would have stopped a mass murder.
But then again, he made sure there were strict gun laws in place to protect his sorry....uh protect the children. Yeah, that’s what it was!
The same MSM that would scream “hate” in a new york millisecond.
Travis, where is that cartoon drawing showing the dead laying around, where guns are bad? I need it for my facebook page, thanks.
Islamic terrorists are already seeing a prime opportunity here, this school shooting was one person, terrorists will no doubt plan on several dozen school shootings across America.
All they need is a political map to see where schools are in a blue zone.
Either take your kids out of school or arm the school, no middle ground allowed here. Evil has struck and is about to strike again.
Mr. Hitler and Austria — it took two to tango.
Yep. While the population doubled, too.
There is something else that has changed the culture. They don’t lock up crazy people. The do-gooders claimed that these people would be okay on the streets if they would just take their medications. Well, they don’t usually take their medications because they think they are okay without the drugs.
Do you think the LCD will refuse the elixir or violent, cruel entertainment?
Or as likely, feel as charmed by the prospect as by the prospect of dancing in the sewer. No earnest advice to stop it would be needed.
Another thread just mentioned a shooter @a Birmingham hospital. Shot three people, he was killed by an armed security guard.
That’s the one, thanks again
Not a good idea to copycat Connecticut in red state, red neck, Alabama. Where they at least dare to have guards with guns, if not more.
Jeanne Assam is probably the best & most recent example, although your average person would not be as well trained as she was.
There was this time I attached ACME rockets to roller skates........
I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the title, but there was also a book with statistical analysis on where there is more gun violence—in gun free cities and states, or in states which allow citizens to carry. The statistics are pretty clear.
Albeit the 32 homicides in Chicago this year are not ‘mass shootings’ however, leave people just as dead. Titillating Sit coms or music video with sexy themes with half clad people or showing leather jacked foul mouth tough women and men killing “the enemy” as role models or car ads showing reckless driving etc. etc. are all complicit in this amoral culture we live in where life is dirt cheap and people made even cheaper....some how this must affect the minds of those on the edge. Cleaning up that exposure might help some....
I know a lot of people here do not like Rudy; however, when he took over as Mayor of NYC he cleaned up what was once a cr@p filled toilet bowl with no running water.
Everyone hated him, especially the unions. He cleaned up the streets, locked up the crazies, removed the homeless from the streets, made NYC a clean safe place.
Now NYC is becoming what it once was, prior to Rudy.
Actually, I’ve seen a lot of violent game addiction, up close and personal.
Almost always hitting far-left, liberal adults and youngsters. To get “turn” at the game could lead to fistfight, sometimes. Very weird.
Chicago sees that many killings in a hot weekend... whaddya mean this year?
A good point in this article is that most times these mass shootings take place in a gun free zone. The shooter knows he is not going to be thwarted.
How many mass shootings have we ever had in a Pro Bass or a Cabela’s store? Safest place in the world to be. Half the customers are CC.
Politically correct euphemisms are offered up to confuse facts.
Another consideration is that if a civilian stops a shooter early, it’s difficult to know whether or not a mass shooting was averted. And since it’s a non-event, the media won’t cover it.
Not even the vague “the killer was angry.”
There is a danger in becoming estranged from the normal, in this case normal concepts of courage and bravery. There can come a temptation to embrace a perverted form of it laden with the smell of evil. Why do we have more kids that like to play Grand Theft Auto than who aspire to be good cops or soldiers?
Add to this the reality that getting a concealed carry permit in some areas of our nation is next to impossible, and it's spitting in the face of reality to try to do a fair study on the ability of concealed carry to actually make a difference.
If people in the office yesterday had been armed, this shooter would have faced opposition. I defy anyone to explain how these people were safer without guns.
John Lott ‘More guns, Less crime’ reported that ccw laws reduce the number and degree of spree murders.
Thanks. I borrowed that figure -— very impressive.
Donutman, the liberal idea so often is to create this little cloistered peacenik utopia, bereft of any possibility of hazard, let alone the need to think about it. Which often seems to be perking along well until it gets visited by the real world.
1966, University of Texas. Charles Whitman climbed the 28 story university tower and began shooting people.
Soon citizens on the ground grabbed their rifles and returned fire.
An off duty deputy sheriff and two civilians climbed the tower and ended the rampage
49 were shot before the sniper was killed.
Today the police would have spent hours clearing the area (and maybe arresting those that fired back) and then assemble a hundred men swat team before they decide to drop a bomb on the tower killing the shooter as well as destroying the building.
The death toll would have been much higher
It is interesting but the next story on FR after this one is about a hospital in Birmingham where the shooter wounded three before being shot to death by an armed person. So add this to the list.
I can point out it could have something to do with a lying usurper who not only once won an election through fraud did it again, and he is a loyalist to Islam. And very soon wants to make it a crime to criticize Islam, in effect is pushing the culture of embracing Islam and its culture, an evil corrupt culture that is just the kind of dark cult many would turn to, because its “cool”.
Blame Obama, may be illogical but we cannot keep on putting band aids on a brain tumor for America.