Can Armed Citizens Stop Mass Murders & Spree Killers? Absolutely

Last night in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a 45-year-old Uber driver began what appears to be an utterly random killing spree. He shot eight people at three locations over the course of six hours.


Predictably, people on both sides of the gun control debate quickly took to social media to vent their opinions about the crime spree even as it was on-going, despite the lack of facts known at the time.

I noticed many supporters of gun control belligerently opining that the shooting proved that “good guys with guns” failed to stop the attack.

In the three attacks that made up the spree, it does not appear than any of the victims nor nearby bystanders were concealed carry permit holders carrying a firearm. This isn’t particularly surprising, as concealed carry permit holders represent less than four-percent of the population, and the vast majority of concealed carry permit holders do not carry their firearms on a regular basis.

The question of whether a concealed carrier could have stopped this spree killing remains, and we do have reason to believe that the answer is “yes,” based upon both past data where citizens with firearms stopped mass killings, and simulations run by multiple law enforcement agencies. Supporters of gun control may not like the answers, but the simply fact of the matter is that it is almost always a “good guy with a gun” that forces a mass killer or spree shooter into either surrendering, shooting it out, or committing suicide. 


After looking at real-world data (especially after Columbine), law enforcement and counter-terrorism experts radically changed at how they approached handling an active mass killing or spree killing scenario. The old containment-based strategy simply did nothing to help those potential victims near the suspect. Engaging the suspect rapidly and with overwhelming force consistently has the best results.

The video above, “Active Shooter Response Advice,” is from Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics. Sage Dynamics is one of several firearms trainers who realized that citizens and individual police officers need to be able to engage active shooters as rapidly as possible to engage the threat and save lives.

Could a concealed carrier have saved lives in Kalamazoo last night?

Quite possibly. Watch the video yourself and come to your own conclusions.

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