Massive errors in FBI’s Active Shooting Reports regarding cases where civilians stop attacks: Instead of 4.4%, the correct number is at least 34.4%. In 2021, it is at least 49.1%. Excluding gun-free zones, it averaged over 50%.

The shooting that killed three people and injured another at a Greenwood, Indiana, mall on July 17 drew broad national attention because of how it ended – when 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken, carrying a licensed handgun, fatally shot the attacker.

While Dicken was praised for his courage and skill – squeezing off his first shot 15 seconds after the attack began, from a distance of 40 yards – much of the immediate news coverage drew from FBI-approved statistics to assert that armed citizens almost never stop such attackers: “Rare in US for an active shooter to be stopped by bystander” (Associated Press); “Rampage in Indiana a rare instance of armed civilian ending mass shooting” (Washington Post); and “After Indiana mall shooting, one hero but no lasting solution to gun violence” (New York Times).

Evidence compiled by the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that the sources the media relied on undercounted the number of instances in which armed citizens have thwarted such attacks by an order of more than ten, saving untold numbers of lives. Of course, law-abiding citizens stopping these attacks are not rare. What is rare is national news coverage of those incidents. Although those many news stories about the Greenwood shooting also suggested that the defensive use of guns might endanger others, there is no evidence that these acts have harmed innocent victims.

The FBI reports that armed citizens only stopped 11 of the 252 active shooter incidents it identified for the period 2014-2021. The FBI defines active shooter incidents as those in which an individual actively kills or attempts to kill people in a populated, public area. But it does not include those it deems related to other criminal activity, such as a robbery or fighting over drug turf.

An analysis by my organization identified a total of 360 active shooter incidents during that period and found that an armed citizen stopped 124. A previous report looked at only instances when armed civilians stopped what likely would have been mass public shootings. There were another 24 cases that we didn’t include where armed civilians stopped armed attacks, but the suspect didn’t fire his gun. Those cases are excluded from our calculations, though it could be argued that a civilian also stopped what likely could have been an active shooting event.

The FBI reported that armed citizens thwarted 4.4% of active shooter incidents, while the CPRC found 34.4%. 

Two factors explain this discrepancy – one, misclassified shootings; and two, overlooked incidents. Regarding the former, the CPRC determined that the FBI reports had misclassified five shootings: In two incidents, the Bureau notes in its detailed write-up that citizens possessing valid firearms permits confronted the shooters and caused them to flee the scene. However, the FBI did not list these cases as being stopped by armed citizens because police later apprehended the attackers. In two other incidents, the FBI misidentified armed civilians as armed security personnel. Finally, the FBI failed to mention citizen engagement in one incident.

For example, the Bureau’s report about the Dec. 29, 2019 attack on the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, that left two men dead does not list this as an incident of “civic engagement.” Instead, the FBI lists this attack as being stopped by a security guard. A parishioner, who had volunteered to provide security during worship, fatally shot the perpetrator. That man, Jack Wilson, told Dr. John Lott that he was not a security professional. He said that 19 to 20 members of the congregation were armed that day, and they didn’t even keep track of who was carrying a concealed weapon.

As for the second factor — overlooked cases — the FBI, more significantly, missed 25 incidents identified by CPRC where what would likely have been a mass public shooting was thwarted by armed civilians. There were another 83 active shooting incidents that they missed.

There is no reason to think that the news media covers all the cases where civilians stopped attacks. And the farther back in time we go, the more cases we are likely to miss. The next table illustrates this bias. Using the 2014 to 2021 data clearly shows that 49.1% of active shooting attacks were stopped in 2021, 45.1% in 2020, and a declining percentage the farther back in time that we go. That pattern is consistent with us having a more difficult time finding cases that occurred farther in the past.

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New York Creates New List of ‘Gun Free Zones’ After Supreme Court Ruling

Governor Kathy Hochul today reminded New Yorkers that strengthened gun laws enacted following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the state’s century-old pistol permitting process take effect Thursday, September 1. The laws contain strengthened background checks and firearm safety and live-fire training for individuals seeking to obtain concealed carry permits; prohibit concealed carry permit holders from bringing their firearms into sensitive locations, including Times Square, bars, libraries, schools, government buildings and hospitals, among others; and require renewal or recertification of permits every three years. The Governor also announced a new Gun Safety Website to provide the public, gun owners, and gun dealers with a comprehensive information about all of the new requirements under state law.

“In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down New York’s century-old concealed carry law, we took swift and thoughtful action to keep New Yorkers safe,” Governor Hochul said. “I refuse to surrender my right as Governor to protect New Yorkers from gun violence or any other form of harm. In New York State, we will continue leading the way forward and implementing common sense gun safety legislation.”

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Good Samaritan Who Disobeyed “Gun-Free Zone” Stops Mass Shooter in His Tracks, Well Before Police Arrived

In Greenwood, Indiana, residents who visit the Greenwood Park Mall are not allowed to carry guns. This policy makes the mall an easy target for deranged psychopaths who wish to cause harm to others as they know their victims won’t be able to defend themselves. This is likely why a deranged psychopath chose the mall on Sunday and began murdering innocent people.

Three people were fatally shot and two were injured when a mass shooter opened fire inside the Greenwood Park Mall; and while this is certainly tragic — it could’ve been far worse.

As FOX 59 reports, last updated in April 2020, Simon Property Group states in its code of conduct that no weapons are allowed at their shopping centers. The group is the owner of the Greenwood Park Mall.

Fortunately for the folks inside the mall, a 22-year-old man from Bartholomew County decided not to obey the order to disarm himself before entering the mall. When the mass murdering psychopath began killing people inside, this 22-year-old hero pulled out his handgun and stopped the threat.

The Good Samaritan, as police called him, was a licensed concealed-carry permit holder. Despite the man disobeying the order, the police chief and the mayor are offering up their praises as his heroism and defiance likely saved countless innocent lives.

“The real hero of the day was the citizen that was lawfully carrying a firearm in the food court and was able to stop the shooter almost as soon as he began,” Greenwood Police Chief James Iso said.

“Someone we are calling the ‘Good Samaritan’ was able to shoot the assailant and stop further bloodshed. This person saved lives tonight. On behalf of the City of Greenwood, I am grateful for his quick action and heroism in this situation,” Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers said.

This mass shooting is just one of many mass shootings that have rocked the country in recent months and had this Good Samaritan not been there, it could have been one of the worst.

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