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New FBI data Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2016 and 2017

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by hso, May 19, 2018.

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  1. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/active-shooter-incidents-us-2016-2017.pdf/view
    See page 6 of the report

    Interesting statistics -
    16% stopped by citizens (8% by citizen use of firearms)
    22% killed by police
    26% committed suicide
    36% captured by police

    While we shouldn't overstate the role of the armed civilian lest we are easily countered by this information it is important to point out that in 8% of these active shooter incidents armed civilians stopped the shooter thereby saving lives.
     
  2. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    +1

    Sorry peacenicks, this kind of thing ain't stopping anytime soon. The only effective and realisticly feesible response to lethal gunfire is lethal gunfire.
     
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  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Careful with that. While 8% were stopped by armed citizens, the same percentage were stopped by unarmed citizens. The key is action and addressing the threat and in some cases you can talk the person down and in others you have to put them down.
     
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  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Absolutely right. While you MAY talk someone out of shooting you or others, the decision is in the hands of the criminal, not of the good guys.
     
  5. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Sure, try and talk an active shooter down. Good luck with that. I've been through some of the best active shooter training in the country. Trying to talk the shooter down was never mentioned as an effective strategy. Regarding locals where access to a firearm is not an option, explosive physical action and improvised weaponry can make the difference.

    Carry around some poppies to stick down their gun barrels while you're at it. Sorry, talking the shooter down is useless at that stage of the game. Waste of time.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
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  6. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    hso writes:

    I bet those numbers would change if the number of armed citizens present in such an encounter was closer to that of the number of unarmed citizens. The lack of armed citizens present keeps their success rate pretty much quashed. An eight-percent successful-interdiction rate is not very good, no matter who is performing it, but one of these groups is better equipped to improve that rate.
     
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  7. VoodooMountain

    VoodooMountain Member

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    The way I read those statistics I see that only 8% of active shooters were stopped by people Without guns.

    And likely a good part of that 8% involved more than 1 person rushing the shooter and/or the shooter not being as aware of his surroundings as he thought because life isnt a video game with a radar map and cheat codes...unless you count a gun free zone as a cheat code
     
  8. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    8% is pretty amazing when you consider that many of these events took place in "gun free" zones. I imagine that the numbers would be much higher if those target rich environments were eliminated.
     
  9. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Agreed.

    Particularly as the data presented showed unarmed civilians were equally effective as armed civilians in ending active shooter situations.
     
  10. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    What's your basis for saying that?
     
  11. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    If confronted by an active shooter I'd prefer to be in the armed group.
     
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  12. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    No, it only shows the number of unarmed civilians acting matches the number of armed citizens acting. It doesn't show relative effectiveness.

    To illustrate this, let's imagine that there was an armed citizen present in 8% the total number of shooting cases, and those armed citizens stopped ALL the shooting that occurred in their presence. That would be 100% effective.

    But there were UNarmed citizens present in 100% of the shootings and they were only able to stop 8% of the shootings. That would be 8% effective.

    Further study is indicated.
     
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  13. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Interesting point, but it can't be understated that a lot of these either didn't start or were wholly conducted in NON GFZs. Far too many people believe such events only happen in GFZs and that is FALSE

    Other interesting and/or mythbusting observations
    1 shooting was at a police station (people like to claim shootings never happen at police stations, this is just a most recent example). One of the police station deaths caused by friendly fire.
    17 times (34%) the shooter exchanged gunfire with citizens and/or cops, killing and wounding many. - This is contrary to the popular belief that such shooters are "cowards" and will crumple at the first sign of armed resistance. That they may be considered "cowards" is a meaningless consideration. The issue isn't one of cowardice, but whether or not these people will fight back and they often do!
    20 events in 2016 and 30 events in 17, a 50% increase in active shooting events as categorized by this study.

    It was noted that in 8% (n=4) of the incidents that the shootings were stopped by citizen use of firearms and that is cool, but it is not as cool as it sounds. Armed citizens attempted and/or engaged the shooters at least 7 times, not 4. However, the raw numbers don't really explain the stories and even at 8%, stop by citizen use of firearms is misrepresentative.

    In one event, the shooter just fled the citizen and continued shooting elsewhere (described in OP cited report as "Multiple Locations in Clearlake Oaks, California).

    In another, the citizen had drawn his gun and was attempting to engage the shooter when the citizen was gunned down, shot through both legs (Houston 2016). The citizen never managed to fire.

    One of those armed citizens, a firefighter who possessed a permit, did not use his gun to stop little 14 year old Jesse Dewitte Osborne. The firefighter tackled the shooter. https://www.independentmail.com/sto...-next-accused-killer-jesse-osborne/711610001/ In fact, it was originally thought that the firefighter was unarmed at the time of the event (because apparently his gun did not come into use) http://www.wyff4.com/article/firefi...down-of-shooting-suspect-sheriff-says/7147424 So yeah, he was armed, but the gun is really a non issue and should not be considered as part of the 8% of armed citizens dealing with shooters because the gun had nothing to do with the incident. So 8% is really an overinflated number.

    In another incident of citizen use of firearms, Rick Whited was shooting at cars on the highway about a half mile from Gateway Canyons General Store. Two armed security officers from GCGS were the first to respond, exchanged shots with Whited, and subdued him. http://kdvr.com/2017/07/30/report-o...way-sheriff-urges-people-to-shelter-in-place/ So yeah, they weren't cops, but they were armed professionals, just your average Jane or Joe Blow citizen.

    In this incident, the citizen use of a firearm is somewhat questionable. Unarmed Robert Engle attacked the church shooter and during the struggle, was pistolwhipped, but also during the struggle, the shooter shot himself in the chest. Engle then ran outside and got his own gun from his car, returned and held the down and out shooter at gunpoint.
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nashville-church-shooting-robert-caleb-engle-emanuel-samson/ https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/25/us/tennessee-church-shooting-hero-trnd/index.html So while a gun did come into play, it was AFTER the shooter had been brought down in a fight with the unarmed Engle because the shooter shot himself in the chest.

    Next is the Sutherland Springs Church shooting where our citizen with a valid permit purported stopped the incident by his use of firearm. This is dubious. The shooter at Sutherland Springs was leaving the church, on foot, headed back to his car, when he was engaged by the citizen. Don't get me wrong, the citizen did quite well, but the church shooting was over. He engaged, shot, and ultimately helped play a part in the death of the shooter (who committed suicide after being wounded by the citizen) and is to be commended, but the did NOT stop the church shooting.

    Schlenker Automotive shooting - great response by manager and employee to shooter who started shooting up their business from the parking lot

    So before we pat ourselves on the back for armed citizens stopping active shooter events so often, bear in mind that the data are not nearly as good as they sound. I only see 3 events where the shooter was stopped by citizen use of firearms and 1 of those involved armed security guards, 1 involved a citizen stopping the shooter AFTER the church shooting, and 1 involve self defense of a business by the owner and employee. In one case, the fireman was armed, but tackled the gunboy and did not use a gun to stop the event. In another case, the shooter was stopped when he shot himself in the chest while fighting off an unarmed usher. In one case, the would be citizen hero just got shot, certainly not stopping the attack. And in the last case, a vendor defended himself and the shooter just moved to another location, the shooter not being stopped either.
     
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  14. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    hdwhit writes:
    That's one way of looking at it.

    It shows that an equal success rate overall was achieved by both groups (unarmed and armed citizens.)

    However, since unarmed citizens grossly outnumber armed citizens at such encounters, (and the number of such encounters at which they alone are present outnumber those at which armed citizens are present), if their intervention capabilities were indeed "equally effective", they should have a much higher success rate.

    That's just another takeaway, another way of looking at it. Statistics can mean pretty much whatever you want them to.
     
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  15. boom boom
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    boom boom Moderator Staff Member

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    The report is what it is--an attempt to generalize some findings that might be of use to agencies and the public. They should be viewed as probabilistic aids, not deterministic. What we can say from the data is pretty limited but still useful, one--the use of firearms to end mass shooter events by "civilians" is greater than zero. Out of the events studied, civilians used both "non-firearm" and "firearm" tactics to end the event. Police ended the majority of the events studied either by capture or lethal force against the perpetrator. A significant number of these events studied were ended by the suicide of the individual.

    There are some other pertinent details--at least three of the events appear to be straight up terrorism--eg. Orlando, Las Vegas, Dallas buried in the anecdotes among other things.

    These are rare events, statistically speaking and are a subset of the much larger dataset of confrontations where firearms might be an option to end the confrontation. If you were training for such an event as an armed civilian, these events would really be not much different than if you were training for being assaulted individually by an armed individual. For example, from prior event reporting, most shootings occur within a short distance--7 yards--and use handguns. However, some assaults do use longarms and occur at longer distances.

    If you read the anecdotal evidence at the end of the mass shooting report, it would appear that some events likely occurred at close range while others did not. The extreme events in Dallas and Las Vegas where someone basically decided to act as a "sniper" at long distances would be unlikely to be terminated by a "civilian" with a handgun. In a similar fashion, the anecdotes have a number of examples where the thug was shooting on the move--under such conditions, it is very unlikely that a civilian would choose to chase the individual perpetrator to effect a citizen's arrest to "end" the event nor would a civilian be likely to engage when their direct threat ended such as someone shooting at moving cars as several in the dataset indicated. The best solution for a civilian appears to be driving away from the fire, not stopping to engage. Most civilian firearm training emphatically emphasizes that individuals should not try to act as "police". Thus, we should not be surprised that civilian takedowns are much less in these events than those ended by police who more or less have a duty to do so.

    In a similar vein, I suspect that the number of civilians holding perpetrators at gunpoint to terminate an armed assault are much less than those who let the perp flee. For the citizen, the conflict is ended--for the police--it is open until terminated by an arrest. This indicates different success strategies for individuals versus official actions of law enforcement. Often then the police would be credited with the arrest and end--does that mean that "civilians" are not effective in "ending" those conflicts on beneficial terms. I think not.

    Thus, a key controlling variable would be whether or not law enforcement officials were involved in the conflict--without law enforcement, civilians have only a few options-attempt to flee or engage whether armed or not. Under most training for civilians, the emphasis is to only engage with a firearm if necessary--e.g. in the gravest extreme, otherwise, legal issues can arise-for example hurting a third person not involved in the effort, mistakes in ascertaining the situation such as an undercover cop executing an arrest, and whether a successful escape is possible.

    We also do not see the other side of the coin. The data presented only indicates where the event happened--if an armed civilian stops the perpetrator before a "rampage" can begin--the potential future victims will not be reflected in this report. Thus, the report may actually underestimate effect of civilian owned arms or other actions in preventing future killings. Such a methodology was used by Gary Kleck to estimate via a number of analyses that defensive gun usage often does not get reported to law enforcement--he came up with totals in the millions per year and just this year reestimated the issue with new data indicating that his original estimate was on the low side.

    Now, we get to the practical applications. What is clear is that firearms owned by civilians present at mass shooting events "CAN" end the event if the civilian involved chooses to engage and the probability is greater than zero whether it is 1/8 or 1/16, etc. Now, as an armed civilian, if the firearm you carried had the possibility of saving your life in such an event as even let's say conservatively 1/25 (4 percent of the time). Would you do so? In addition, the firearm might also be used to prevent ordinary assaults/robberies where the odds are statistically greater that it might end the assault. Thus, each individual has to make the calculus of whether to do so.

    Notice we engage in this sort of decision every day whether or not to wear a seatbelt. The likelihood of being involved in a crash is relatively minor over the short run for average Joe or Josephine and the further introduction of airbags lessens the risk a bit more than in older vehicles. In some rare cases, a seatbelt might actually be a contributor to the death or injury of an individual. These are examples of rare events. However, most individuals rate their life and well being far greater than what might be considered economically efficient and wear the seatbelt after being provided gory information of what might happen if you do not.

    Reports and statistics should be looked at as information to reduce uncertainty--it is unrealistic to expect perfect information and absolute certainty as to what an individual or even law enforcement agency should do. It should be looked at instead as a method of improving your odds for a favorable outcome. Just like if you do not buy a lottery ticket-you do have a certainty of not winning the lottery. If you do not possess a firearm during a mass event, then you will certainly not be able to use one (absent taking away the other guy's) to end the event. Each person will solve this problem differently.
     
  16. Moparnut

    Moparnut Member

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    Active shooters and mass shootings remind me of Coffeyville and the Daltons. The citizens had two things that seem to be unrepresented in most of the modern U.S. One is they were armed and two, they had the will to fight. I think the will to stand up to an aggressor is the most important thing. Being armed is secondary, but not necessary. The report does seem to show that fighting back can slow, make an attacker retreat or at least change tactics, in most instances. Sadly, I personally believe the will to fight (or maybe the will to live?) has been lost in our society. Just my 2cents.
     
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  17. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    Active shooter means they're already shooting and probably already shot someone or tried. I guess it might be hard to figure out if they have already shot someone but if they are shooting it's most likely at people, not target practice.

    Someone else can try talking a shooter down, I'll pass.
     
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  18. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    I think they were just tired of bank robbers. Back in those days if they took your money it was gone. They shot the he** out of those boys. I think we are moving in that direction again. I'm just real tired of these mass shooters and I think a lot of other people are also.
     
  19. Moparnut

    Moparnut Member

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    I should have also remembered the UoT shooter in the 60's. Citizens came together to at least aid the people in distress. I believe one of our moderators was there on that day. Maybe he can shed some light on what his thoughts are of active shooters. We also have a member who was at Virginia tech during that shooting as well. Maybe he can do the same.
     
  20. Swifty Morgan

    Swifty Morgan Member

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    Sometimes numbers hide more than they reveal.

    How many of the people who "stopped" shooters without firearms did so only because they didn't have firearms? Did any have firearms and choose to take the risk of not using them? How many of the shooters who stopped would have stopped regardless of being talked to? How many people tried to talk shooters down and failed? Many criminals can't be discouraged because they love hurting people. Many find sick acts of violence and cruelty sexually arousing, and they think about these things later when they masturbate. Trying to talk them out of violence is like trying to talk Charlie Sheen out of snorting coke.

    Looking outside the report, is it "successful defense with a firearm" if a criminal goes to someone else's house because he knows you're armed, and you never find out he considered you as a target? I believe it is. I would prefer that to using a firearm to protect myself in any other way.

    If a shooter is in your house or too close to get away from, and you have a gun, is there any way to rationalize talking instead of shooting, especially if unarmed people are relying on you to keep them safe?

    I might try to talk to a shooter if I were alone. I'm old, I expect to go to heaven, and no one here on earth cares if I die. I could see trying to talk to a criminal, purely for religious reasons. If I were younger and had a wife and kids hiding in their bedrooms, praying I would be able to save them, I would shoot to kill, just like swatting a wasp. I would not do it for myself. I would do it for them.

    I feel like having a gun is best. If you have a gun on you, you can still talk to a murderer instead of shooting him, but if you don't have a gun, and the murderer won't listen to you, you are out of resources.
     
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  21. RPZ

    RPZ Member

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    Or it just wouldn't happen in the first place. They don't happen in gun saturated open carry places AT ALL.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  22. captain awesome

    captain awesome Member

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    I would like to see that cross referenced with % of citizens that carry every day. that might be enlightening to some of the antis.
     
  23. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Well, that WAS my point. If there were armed citizens in 8% of the cases, and in each case the shooter was stopped that would be 100% effectiveness.
     
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  24. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

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    Reading this makes me look at it a different way. If 16% were stopped in some way before help arrived or the shooter decided to call it quits, then 84% were allowed to go on for a period of time they should not have been. By the time the police arrive in most cases, is the shooter not already mostly done as well?

    That to me means that 84% of these shootings were in some way not able to be dealt with by the people being victimized. I wonder how many were in gun free zones and had to leave their legally permitted weapons in the car? No saying what would have changed, but you will never know.

    My choice of statistics that will never be displayed is how many people in the situation had the legal ability to carry, and therefore maybe assist, taken from them. That statistic would help point out how many were possibly worse than they needed to be.
     
  25. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    That has been my point on these statistics from the get-go.

    1. There was not an armed citizen present in ALL circumstances -- probably not even in most circumstances.
    2. There WERE unarmed citizens present in all circumstances.

    Therefore the judgement that since the percentage of stops by armed and unarmed citizens (8%) shows equal effectiveness is false.

    I suggest if we had better data we would see that in almost all circumstances where there was an armed citizen, he was able to stop the shooter.
     
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