September 5, 2023

The Truth About Good Guys With Guns

Defensive uses of firearms are a lot more common than the FBI would have us believe.

We thought the FBI had hit rock-bottom in 2020, when it actively denied millions of Americans the ability to cast an informed vote in the 2020 presidential election.

Indeed, had the “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity” folks not colluded with Twitter and Facebook to censor the New York Post’s bombshell story about Joe and Hunter Biden’s influence-peddling operations, Donald Trump would very likely be 31 months into his second term, we’d be energy independent, the southern border would be secure, Russia would never have invaded Ukraine, and no one would be grumbling about Bidenflation or Bidenomics.

As it turns out, though, the FBI’s disinformation operations aren’t limited to presidential elections. The bureau is also downplaying the importance of an armed citizenry. As Crime Prevention Research Center President John Lott writes at RealClearPolitics:

Up until January of 2021, I worked in the U.S. Department of Justice as the senior advisor for research and statistics, and part of my job was to evaluate the FBI’s active shooting reports. I showed the bureau that many cases were missing and that others had been misidentified. Yet, the FBI continues to report that armed citizens stopped only 14 of the 302 active shooter incidents that it identified for the period 2014-2022. The correct rate is almost eight times higher. And if we limit the discussion to places where permit holders were allowed to carry, the rate is eleven times higher.

This isn’t just a rounding error. These are hugely influential discrepancies. As Lott writes: “While the FBI claims that just 4.6% of active shootings were stopped by law-abiding citizens carrying guns, the percentage that I found was 35.7%. I am more confident that we have identified a higher share of recent cases, and our figure for 2022 was even higher — 41.3%.”

Lott’s research also illuminates the life-saving difference that the Second Amendment affords us. “The FBI doesn’t differentiate between law-abiding citizens stopping attacks where guns are banned and where they are allowed,” he writes, “but you can’t expect law-abiding citizens to stop attacks where it is illegal to carry guns. In places where law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry firearms, the percentage of active shootings that were stopped is 51%. For 2022, that figure is a remarkable 63.5%.”

There’s no magic formula here: More guns = more self-defense.

Sadly, the FBI isn’t the only government agency that’s been politically compromised. Last year, at the request of anti-2A organizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention removed from the CDC website its estimates of defensive gun uses. As Lott adds: “For nearly a decade the CDC cited a 2013 National Academies of Sciences report showing that the annual number of people using guns to stop crime ranged from about 64,000 to 3 million. The CDC website listed the upper figure at 2.5 million. Mark Bryant, who runs the Gun Violence Archive, wrote to CDC officials after a meeting last year that the 2.5 million number ‘has been used so often to stop [gun control] legislation.’ The CDC’s estimates were subsequently taken down and now lists no numbers.”

What Lott’s research indicates is that there are a lot more good guys with guns out there than the FBI and the CDC would like you to believe — good guys like Eli Dicken, the young man whose quick and heroic actions on a Sunday evening last summer stopped a massacre in progress at Indiana’s Greenwood Park Mall.

Perhaps most troubling is that Lottt has alerted the FBI to numerous errors in its reporting of defensive gun uses, but the bureau has refused to correct its numbers. Thus, Lott’s organization is keeping an updated list.

We have a serious crime problem in our country, and the FBI’s refusal to report accurately on defensive gun uses isn’t helping matters. Nor is the Left’s habit of reflexively calling our crime problem “a gun problem.” As our Mark Alexander has noted time and again, crime is a Democrat-induced culture problem, not a gun problem. “Criminals commit crimes,” he notes, “and until Democrats reverse course on the social policies that have devastated American families and communities for decades, the consequential violence will continue.”

True that. But, as Lott concludes, the FBI doesn’t seem to think we can handle the truth about how some of the most cold-blooded killers are being stopped dead in their tracks by good guys with guns.

“The FBI data on active shootings is missing so many defensive gun uses that it’s hard to believe it isn’t intentional,” Lott writes. “Errors can happen, but the failure to fix past reports shows a troubling disregard for the truth. The reality is that armed, law-abiding citizens are unsung guardian angels.”

Indeed. And we have our Second Amendment, which ensures our first human right of self-defense, to thank for these guardian angels.

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