The mainstream media has picked up on a story of a heroic armed citizen being heralded as “a good Samaritan” for shooting and killing a gunman who opened fire inside a Greenwood, Indiana mall. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s better late than never for such left-leaning media outlets as ABC, NBC, People magazine, the Today Show, the Washington Post and others reporting what gun owners have known forever: the best — and ofttimes only — way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with another gun.
Yesterday, a man with a rifle managed to kill three people inside the Greenwood Park Mall. But then, a 22-year-old man used a firearm he was legally carrying concealed to shoot the gunman and end his killing spree. Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison told reporters following the incident:
The real hero of the day is the citizen that was lawfully carrying a firearm in that food court and was able to stop that shooter almost as soon as he began.
Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers echoed this sentiment:
This person saved lives tonight. On behalf of the City of Greenwood, I am grateful for his quick action and heroism in this situation.
Events like this one happen every day in America, but because they don’t fit the narrative of liberal gun control activists, they rarely get the attention mass shootings do. Instead of advocating for ways by which citizens can empower themselves, rather than wait around as sitting ducks for the police to show up, the left-wing media habitually uses tragic events as a political platform by which to trumpet for more gun control. Stories of armed citizens brandishing their weapons to deter a criminal are also not as sensational as a mass gunman killing innocent people, and, to borrow an analogy from crime prevention researcher John Lott, “Airplane crashes get news coverage, while successful take-offs and landings do not.”
In addition to ignoring stories that don’t suit their political agenda, in reporting instances of gun violence, these outlets also almost always overlook a key fact. In every incident that comes to mind, a bad guy with a gun is always stopped by a good guy with a gun: a policer officer and/or an armed citizen disarms the shooter either by shooting him or threatening to do so, or a police officer and/or an armed citizen threatens to shoot the gunman and the gunman saves them the trouble by shooting himself. Any way you slice it, a gun is involved in stopping the evildoer from carrying on his carnage.
The media is treating the Greenwood incident as something of a novel occurrence, but the CDC estimates defensive gun use to tally between 500,000 and three million cases each year. The Heritage Foundation maintains a Defensive Gun Use Database and reports the wide range in the estimated number of defensive gun use cases is because “most defensive gun uses are never reported to law enforcement” (gun users may find it unnecessary and/or detrimental to involve police), and because of the discordant way surveys are worded. Nonetheless, an average of eighteen national surveys found there are at least two million cases of citizens using firearms legally to defend themselves each year, and the CDC itself has noted:
Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals.
People who think the presence of guns make society more dangerous have no idea how many guns are in their vicinity at any given moment. There are more guns than people in America, yet our crime rate is insanely low outside of places with the strictest gun control (Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore). Responsibly armed citizens are key to a safe nation. The FBI knows this; in a 2018 report, the agency recognized the “selfless actions” of citizens who “likely saved many lives” by engaging with active shooters, supporting “the importance of preparation by law enforcement officers and citizens alike.”
Mass shooters know how effective armed citizens are in diffusing incidents, which is why 98 percent of the time, they carry out their crimes in so-called “gun free” zones. And millions of Americans — a record-number of females and minorities — are buying firearms for the first time. And it’s not because guns don’t work to prevent and stop crime.