May 30, 2018

FBI Data Shows More Armed Citizens Are Stopping Attacks

Active shooter incidents have increased, but so have the number of armed citizens stopping them.

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. That’s not news, but a recently released report from the FBI sheds more light on data surrounding “active shooter” incidents. The FBI classifies an “active shooter” as “one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.” The report found that incidents of active shooters have been on the rise — 2016 through 2017 saw 50 attacks, while there was only one incident in 2000. And through 2013, the most active shooter incidents in a single year was 20. Clearly, this is becoming a growing problem.

Meanwhile, gun-control activists conflate the increased number of active shooter incidents with the growing number of Americans who have embraced their Second Amendment rights. Gun-ownership numbers have increased over recent years, which leftists say suggests that the growth in violent crime is due to the availability of firearms. But an important statistic that is often ignored or outright suppressed by much of the mainstream media is the number of times armed citizens have prevented or ended an attack before greater damage could have been done.

The FBI report shows that as these active shooter incidents have increased, so too have the number of times armed citizens have acted to end the attack. Just last week, an armed citizen shot and killed a would-be mass shooter as he opened fire on patrons at an Oklahoma restaurant. Thankfully, only the assailant was killed. As National Review’s David French notes, “The lesson? Armed citizens can make a difference, and as more Americans obtain carry permits, more Americans will be on-scene and able to react. Moreover, what’s missing from the data is any indication that armed citizens make the crisis worse. The stereotype of carry-permit holders spraying panicked gunfire is simply wrong.”

And unlike the false and ignorant message propagated by anti-Second Amendment activists like Parkland “survivor” David Hogg, the NRA does more in helping Americans take responsibility for protecting themselves and others than does any of his anti-NRA boycotts. Evil people act in evil ways, irrespective of the tools available to them.

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