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Armed Citizen Who Stopped Mass Shootings?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by BBDartCA, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. BBDartCA

    BBDartCA Active Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    The terrible tragedy in Oakland California yesterday brought up a question today ... can anybody cite situations where somebody was starting or involved in a mass shooting and was stopped by an armed civilian?
  2. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Senior Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    Morgan County, Alabama
    IIRC several school shootings were terminated by either students or teachers/professors who interdicted with a firearm, which they usually had to retrieve from their automobiles.
    The exact details I don't recall.
  3. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    The attempted mass shooting at New Life Church in Colorado Springs a few years back.

    The attempted mass shooting at the Appalachia law school was stopped by two students with guns.
  4. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Aug 4, 2008
    eastern Massachusetts
    I'm surprised the NRA doesn't keep a running tally for easy reference. Oh, well, here's another: A principal and his gun

    There might not be many more. This article by Glenn Reynolds only lists the ones we've already mentioned (maybe one more if you count an off-duty cop as an "armed citizen"), and he's pretty thorough.

    Please understand also: if an armed citizen stops a murderer after he has shot just one person, well, that's not going to show up as a mass shooting, is it? There remains therefore the possibiity that armed citizens have prevented more mass shootings than they have stopped.

  5. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Senior Member

    Mar 7, 2006
    Part of the problem is that those who want to be successful in mass shootings go where others are not armed. I haven't heard of any mass shootings at a gun range, police convention or other event where people are likely to be armed. So, because law abiding people obey the law, the chances of someone preventing a mass shooting are much lower.
  6. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    The other issue is that a would-be mass shooter who gets drilled by an upstanding citizen before he has the chance to complete his rampage isn't going to make national headlines.

    If Seung-Hui Cho had been put out of commission after his first or second victim, none of us would have ever heard his name. He wouldn't even have risen to the level of infamy required in order to be featured on one of those godawful true crime shows that run on 3rd rate cable channels.
  7. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Senior Member

    Jan 4, 2012
    Loveland, Colorado
    That is a similar reason you rarely hear of robberies of gun shops when they are open.
  8. Tango57

    Tango57 New Member

    Mar 7, 2012
    You are trying to prove a negative and that can't be done.

    One can prove how many things have happened because of.... But not how many haven't happened because of....

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk when i should have been doing something useful
  9. HGM22

    HGM22 Active Member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Wasn't there a lady in Texas I think who stopped a shooter at Church?
  10. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    CO Springs, not TX
  11. ConstitutionCowboy

    ConstitutionCowboy member

    Mar 15, 2006
    An acquaintance of mine stopped a mass shooting in a South Africa church - with a snub nose 38! He was up against terrorists with full autos and grenades!

    Here's my bona fides. His name is Charl van Wyk.

  12. critter

    critter Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    southeast AR
    An assistant principal stopped one in Pearl MS several years ago. Went to the car and got his gun.
  13. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Senior Member

    Jun 14, 2008
    SouthEastern FL
    Trolley Square incident in SLC, Utah. An off-duty officer from a neighboring jurisdiction was carrying, against mall policy, when a shooter opened fire. The officer engaged the shooter and kept him pinned down until on-duty LEOs arrived. In the end, the shooter had killed five and woulded four more, before he was killed.
    In another incident at the Tacoma Mall in Washington, an armed citizen attempted intervention, but was shot and paralyzed himself. Another armed citizen also deployed his weapon, but withheld fire over the concern of hitting innocents. The suspect went on to take hostages, but eventually released them and surrendered to police (one of very few who ever did; statistically, more than 90% of mass-shooters take their own lives when cornered by armed resistance, either by their own hands, or by forcing police to kill them.)
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  14. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Participating Member

    Oct 15, 2010
    Some years ago we had a mass shooting at a machine shop in the Miami area (if memory serves this was late seventies) when an employee shot down almost all of his co-workers then left to head for other targets with his shotgun (his family and others). A stand up citizen cancelled his ticket but not with a firearm... Our shooter was actually on his bicycyle headed for more targets when the citizen deliberately ran him down with his car and killed him. It took quite a few hours that day until the real story came out since the citizen didn't want to admit what he'd done, even though he was absolutely justified. His actions cut the threatened death toll in half but only came after the guy had killed almost all of those at the machine shop.

    Never a dull moment down here... that's just one of the reasons I try to spend as much time back in the Everglades as possible.
  15. mortablunt

    mortablunt Senior Member

    May 1, 2011
    There's the famous Appalachian School of Law example.
    There's the UT Tower shooting, but civilians only kept the guy distracted.
  16. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Dec 24, 2002
    Forestburg, Texas
    Several have been stopped by unarmed people as well. I put together the following list as a result of discussion on being unarmed and defenseless in "gun free" zones. Lots of shootings are stopped by unarmed people tackling the shooter as happened recently in AZ with Loughner. He wasn't stopped in a gun free zone, but nobody stopping him had a gun until a late arriving carrier helped keep him pinned down, but never drew his own gun.


    No doubt that the reason there are so many shooters stopped by unarmed people is that there are so many unarmed people present in the general population, no-gun zone or not. We get less armed citizens stopping mass shootings, in part, because we have less armed citizens than unarmed.

    Apparently, you haven't looked very hard at mass shootings, locations, etc. There have been several attempted mass shootings at police stations, but either the shooter didn't have many targets or was shot by cops before racking up numbers to qualify the shooting as being "mass." Police stations are often locations of considerable violence and often are places of shootings. The fact that so many people are armed does not stop people from trying to shoot others inside the police stations. And while there haven't been a lot of mass shootings at gun ranges, only an abysmally small portion of the population goes to gun ranges. If you think about it, there haven't been too many mass shootings at Radio Shack stores either despite having more customers than gun ranges and Tandy's employee policy of no guns.

    Police station shootings...
    Detroit, MI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsHcQdX9_dc 4 officers injured, gunman killed

    McKinney, TX police station shooting http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/08/17/texas-gunman-launches-assault-on-police-station/
    Idaho http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18766089/

    See post #73 for more...

    None at gun ranges. Sure, that may be true, no mass shootings. Then again there aren't that many gun ranges and gun ranges are often located in more remote areas. There are several individual shootings, murder-suicide, and way too many suicides, but no mass shooting/murders that I can find.

    It is a bit of a myth that people conduct mass shootings where they don't expect to encounter armed resistence. Generally, there are two types of mass shootings. There are those where the shooting returns to a location where there has been a problem (often their workplace or place where they have had bad experiences) or somewhat random/unrelated locations. In the case of the former, it doesn't matter if the workplace has a policy or not against guns, that is where the problem is and where the shooter expects to take revenge. As it turns out, a tremendous number of businesses have no-guns policies, but the shooter doesn't pick the business location for the shooting because of the policy, but because it is the location where everyone s/he dislikes is located together. The latter seems to be a matter more of convenience and doesn't seem to correlate one way or another with expected resistence.

    So when you have a guy that gets fired from the post office, does he drive to a gun unfriendly state and go onto a college campus and start shooting people because he chances for killing more area greater in a gun unfriendly state and at a gun free location with a lot of people? By and large, no, this is not what is done. Pissed off people tend to go back to get retribution from those that have made their lives less than wonderful. For most of these shooters, their goal isn't to kill a lot of people as much as it is to kill a lot of people that caused their problems. This seems more of the norm.

    There are exceptions, of course. Charlie Whitman killed strangers, but also family first. Silvia Seegrist went on a shooting spree at a mall where it could be said she had some unpleasant experiences, but she didn't seem to be after anyone in particular. She was mentally incompetent (or whatever the correct terminology is for someone who can't fully understand what they are doing).

    John Hinkley is another bizarre example. He definitely went to shoot at a location where he expected there to be armed people and managed to shoot 4 including Reagan before being taken down by folks who were armed, but not by their weapons. And of course, he was insane and his target choice wasn't Reagen specifically, but the President. Apparently he had stalked Carter previously but had failed to act.

    When you look at some of the notable instances where armed civilians have stopped shootings, often is the case that they are not typical generic civilians.

    Who were the guys who responded with guns at Appalatia State? Students who were police officers. Not only did the retrieve guns from vehicles, but one also retrieved a ballistic vest and cuffs.

    That church shooting in Colorado? The person who stopped the shooting was an armed security guard (voluntary, but presence for the purpose of providing protection) who was a former cop.

    Tyler Courthouse/Square? Mark Wilson responded and was killed, but apparently wounded the shooter who then fled the scene. Mark Wilson wasn't your normal Texas CHL person. He was a firearms structor who taught self defense and CHL courses and had been an owner of a gun range.

    As noted, Trolley Square in Utah was stopped by an off duty officer.

    Some, like in the Pearl, MS school shooting, the principal who retrieved a gun from his vehicle was not a cop or firearms instructor.

    Once again, you aren't looking very hard and on top of that, in the grand scheme of retail businesses, gun shops are fairly rare.

  17. The War Wagon

    The War Wagon New Member

    Mar 10, 2012
    da' 'BURGH
    I immediately thought of this one as well!

    There were two brothers at a high school out west (Washington, Oregon?) a few years back, who TACKLED & DIS-ARMED a classmate who brought a .22 rifle and was in the cafeteria either threatening OR shooting classmates. The older brother took a round but lived. They stood out to me, because one was an Eagle Scout and the other was also a Boy Scout, and their dad wore an NRA Lifer hat to the news conference a couple days afterward. :D
  18. JellyJar

    JellyJar Participating Member

    Aug 29, 2009
  19. darkhelmet

    darkhelmet New Member

    Dec 26, 2010
  20. The-Reaver

    The-Reaver Active Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Wait....there was a shooting in California?....I thought California had strict gun laws.... I don't believe it....what your telling me is....the bad guy ( criminal type ) got a gun anyway...and did the unthinkable.

    Jeeze and I had hope in ************'s laws.

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