Armed and Less Dangerous

As video clips of a recent shooting at a back to school event in Titusville, Florida called “Peace in the City” surfaced, Americans cringed in horror yet again. In the midst of this tragic event, an unidentified citizen rose to the occasion and took down a coward whose intent was to kill innocent people in attendance. This selfless citizen was licensed to carry his weapon. When the threat arose, he answered the call and shot the active shooter.

In February 2018, a Utah concealed carry holder stopped a potentially deadly attack on a Utah police officer. The conceal carry holder was passing by when he saw the police officer being attacked. He drew his firearm and stopped the assault on the officer. No shots were fired in this incident. The simple threat of the drawing the weapon was enough to stop the person from attacking the officer and the suspect was arrested (CBS 6 Man with Concealed..).

The incidents above are only two out of multitudes of examples of how conceal carry permit holders can either stop attacks altogether or prevent them from worsening. While one involved shots fired and one de-escalated with the act of drawing the weapon, in both scenarios the armed citizen hand an impact in protecting lives. While these scenarios alone convince many citizens to take action to protect themselves, historical data indicates that concealed carry permits have minimized and/or prevented numerous active shooter events.

In April 2018, the FBI released the 2016-2017 active shooter report that stated compelling evidence that armed citizens can and have had positive impacts on active shooter scenarios; however, the report is not inclusive of all gun-related crimes as a whole. The report defines an “active shooter” as an event where one or more shooters are attempting to kill or are killing in a highly populated area. The study analyzed the response from law enforcement as well as armed citizens and indicated 50 total active shooter incidents occurred in 21 states during the time of the study. The report indicated 11 active shooters were killed by police and 18 were apprehended by law enforcement. The report directly stated, “armed and unarmed citizens engaged the shooter in 10 incidents. They safely and successfully ended the shootings in 8 of those incidents. Their selfless actions likely saved many lives. The enhanced threat posed by active shooters and the swiftness with witch active shooter incidents unfold support the importance of preparations by law enforcement officers and citizens alike.” (FBI Active Shooter...)

Numerous reports of incidents combined with compelling data clearly define how armed citizens can do their part not only to protect themselves and their families, but they can have a significant impact on protecting other members of our society.

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