Mass murderers v. armed citizens
I’ve seen this said today, most recently by Kevin who notes:
having more people armed in a situation like that is a recipe for more innocent deaths, not less.
There is a definite lack of data regarding mass murderers v. armed citizens. I can only think of two instances where such a confrontation occurred:
1 Tyler, Texas: Shooter on the loose. Mark Wilson hears the noise and grabs a gun. He intervenes and saves the life of one man (who turns out to be the shooters’ son). He also drew fire from the murderer and likely saved more lives. Sadly, Mr. Wilson was murdered on the scene.
2 Tacoma, WA: Brendan “Dan” McKown was delivering a bank deposit for Excalibur Cutlery, a mall gift store, when gunshots scattered shoppers at noon in Tacoma. Dan McKown was an armed CCW holder. Witnesses state that McKown stood about 20 feet from the gunman when he faced him and drew his own pistol before being shot. Whether he spoke to the gunman is unknown. “Our understanding is that Dan drew his weapon and confronted the gunman,” his stepmother, Beverly McKown, said during a news conference Tuesday at Tacoma General Hospital. ďDan is always one who believed in protecting people and he put his life on the line for other people,Ē McKown’s father said. ďHis actions and the actions of others like him may have prevented additional casualties by confronting the aggression and possibly changing the gunmanís action early in the conflict.Ē
Those are the only two cases I know of where a would-be mass murderer was confronted by an armed citizen. And, in both cases, the death toll was likely minimized. Given a choice, I like those odds better than lined up and shot.
3 Update: Make that three. I forgot (courtesy of Mr. Burnside), about Pete Odighizuwa. He’s the man who killed three innocent people at the Appalachian School of Law. But was likely stopped by two armed students who had to run to their cars to get their guns. There’s some dispute as to what caused Pete O. to surrender because he was also out of ammo.
4 Update 2: Another, via comments, was the Utah mall shooting:
An off-duty police officer having an early Valentine’s Day dinner with his wife was credited Tuesday with helping stop a rampage in a crowded shopping mall by an 18-year-old gunman who killed five people before he was cut down.
He was off duty. Good thing he disregarded the mall’s no gun policy that day. And another one:
Vice Principal Joel Myrick held his Colt .45 point blank to the high school boy’s head. Last week, he told me what it was like. “I said ‘why are you shooting my kids?’ He said it was because nobody liked him and everything seemed hopeless,” Myrick said. “Then I asked him his name. He said ‘you know me, Mr. Myrick. Remember? I gave you a discount on your pizza delivery last week.”
I still like these odds. Anyone got more?
And, since I’m laying odds, think any of these will be pointed out in the press in their coming discussion of gun control?
6 another: A knife-wielding grocery store employee attacked eight co-workers Friday, seriously injuring five before a witness pulled a gun and stopped him, police said.
7 Allen Crum, an armed citizen, was deputized when Charles Whitman climbed a tower and started shooting people. Read Mr. Crum’s account here. He used a borrowed rifle.
8 Kenneth Gage.