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“The FBI looked at 160 active-shooter situations from 2000 to 2013 and found only one case where an armed civilian intervened to stop an attack that was underway. (And that civilian was a US Marine.) In 21 cases, an unarmed civilian interrupted the attack and restrained the gunman. In other words, unarmed civilians were far more likely than those with guns to stop an active shooting in progress.” – Samantha Michaels in New Research Confirms Guns on College Campuses Are Dangerous [via]

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  1. Ok , who else sees that photo above as an opportune moment to fight back and try to stop that guy(if you didn’t already have your gun)?

    • I see an opportunity to put a bullet in his kneecap. I’m guessing the odds of him then falling down and exposing his center mass for more perforation would be pretty high.

    • Almost all these shootings happen in zones where carrying is prohibited. Several happened in states where the whole state in virtually off limits to legal self defense.
      Kind of like saying water can make you wet.

      • You’ve got the point of the article. The reason 21 instances of unarmed people stopping the active shooter doesn’t mean they are more effective. It means no one with a gun was around. Anti’s spinning dat to fit their agenda!

        • But it is irrefutable that automobile passengers are more likely to be involved in a car crash, than people who do not ride in automobiles. Or, people who remain indoors are more likely to remain dry, than those who place themselves outdoors. Or, people who use guns are more likely to suffer a breakdown in firearm equipment, than people who do not use guns. Or people who are in a venue attacked by a mass shooter, are more likely to be shot than those who are not present during the attack.

          That sort of thing. Statistics don’t lie.

        • MJ is conflating “an active shooter is more likely to be stopped by unarmed victims” with “unarmed victims are more likely to stop an active shooter” and “unarmed victims have a higher probability of stopping an active shooter”.

          The first is a fact. The vast majority of shootings take place where people are unarmed. We could also say things like “an active shooter in the US is more likely to be stopped by an American”, because most people there will be Americans.

          The second goes from passive to active voice and adds ambiguity. Is it that they’re more likely to be the ones responsible? Or that their chances are higher?

          The third completely reverses the relationship A->B into B->A to make it look like being armed is pointless. Only one armed person stopped an active shooter (I guess the “if it saves just one life…” argument doesn’t apply to the pro-gun argument), so therefore being armed doesn’t help.

          I think there’s a reason one of the first big pushes by the statists was mandatory government schooling. In addition to teaching students to worship the all-knowing, benevolent state, they’re able to prevent students from developing the critical thinking skills that see through this sort of fallacy.

      • Exactly Don. Whenever someone makes claims about the lack of armed citizens accomplishing anything in these sorts of situations, my immediate thought is that this is part of the anti-gun hangover. That is to say, after decades of efforts to demonize gun ownership socially and through legal channels making it anywhere from difficult to next to impossible to carry, I find it disengenuous to claim armed citizens don’t stop active shooter situations. What is amazing that that there are as many cases as there are given the current circumstances.

      • Who knew that active shooters (as opposed to couch potato shooters) would pick places where they are least likely to meet armed opposition. Solution? Create more of these “gun free” places!

    • If you were unarmed, anchor the foot and put your shoulder into the side of his knee as hard as you can. That gunman is going DOWN!

    • Precisely. And let’s take the flawed thinking to its illogical conclusion. Let’s disarm all police officers and trust in the inherent good of mankind. LOL.

  2. No &%$!, Sherlock. “Active shooter” events, by definition are active because nobody has stopped the shooter prior to the arrival of LEO. When armed citizens intervene in an event, it ceases being – or never becomes – an “active shooter” event.

    • That’s an excellent statistical point. Depending on the categorization of their data, they’re either misinterpreting it or willfully misreporting a wrongful conclusion.
      I’ll let y’all decide which they’re doing.

      • I wonder, at how many of these incidents was an armed civilian even present? Later edit: I see many people made the same point below.

    • Another, I think more likely reason for the statistics being what they are than unarmed people being more effective in stopping active shooters, is that there just aren’t as many armed people walking around active shooter zones as there are unarmed people. People with CHLs are a minority any way you slice it, put the fact that there are so many “gun free zones” that mass shootings happen in, and of course you’re far more likely to get an unarmed person stopping an active shooter event.

      Any time anyone says “The statistics speak for themselves” politely tell them that’s bull*hit and statistics only tell you the raw numbers, and don’t tell you why the numbers are the way they are.

    • Actually, the most likely reason for the statistic is that concealed carriers tend to be law abiding citizens and active shooters tend to look for “Gun Free Zones”. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist or Nick Leghorn to figure the statistics on how many people are able to use armed response to the threat. It also explains why so many people, in deperation, are willing to attack even though they are not armed.

  3. And what is the ratio of unarmed ordinary people to armed ordinary people?

    BTW, Mother Jones, unless you are in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, active or reserve, you are a civilian. Cops are civilians.

    • And what is the ratio of unarmed ordinary people to armed ordinary people?

      That’s the rub. It’s the same argument used when they say “XYZ country has fewer ‘gun deaths’.” Primarily because they have fewer guns.

      Born and raised in Michigan, my favorite response is: There are also fewer automobile accidents on Mackinac Island than in Detroit.

      • For those of you who do not know, there are no vehicles on Mackinac Island. Only bicycles, foot traffic, and horse drawn equipment is legal on Mackinac Island.

        Caveat: I believe they might have vehicular firetrucks and ambulance/s on Mackinac Island. Even police are exclusively on foot or ride bicycles.

    • While I tend to agree with you on principle (i.e., it’s either military or civilian), my poking about in dictionaries has found that police and even firefighters have been considered non-civilians even though they aren’t in the armed forces. Confusing.

      An example from a person who is not on active duty with a military, naval, police, or fire fighting organization.

      My book dictionary says something similar.

      • When you look at the etymology of the word civilian, it originally included police and firemen. It’s only in the 20th century that the dictionary definition has morphed to exclude police/firemen.

        • Militarization of the police. The way BLM is going it is only a matter of time before firefighters will be responding in military surplus MRAPs converted to fire trucks.

          Although why exactly the would want to put out fires in neighborhoods where the residents shoot at them is a mystery to me.

    • Don’t forget that they almost always happen in Gun Free Zones. What’s the ratio of people illegally carrying a gun in a gun free zone vs. people not carrying a gun illegally in a gun free zone? Generally the only one with a gun is the shooter.

  4. How many of the attacks occurred in GFZ’s? All the way back to 2000? Some states hadn’t yet gone shall issue.

    Bullshit .gov funded study to get the results barry wants.

  5. “The FBI looked at 160 active-shooter situations from 2000 to 2013 and found only one case where an armed civilian intervened to stop an attack that was underway.”

    So armed civilians can stop an attack? Sounds great. It seems like from the above statement, more armed civilians are needed.

  6. Epic submission to the failure of logic by telling a lie again an again an again until citizens believe.

    Truth is you cannot get 10 people in a room to agree to anything much less coordinate an attack on a murderous gunman. When Mother Jones demonstrates unarmed citizen can disarmed a gunman using live ammo then I’ll believe.

  7. The stupid is strong in the comments section. And I can’t help but notice that all of the pro-gun comments have been deleted…..

  8. I guess we don’t teach statistical analysis to journalists any more.

    The article may as well have said Imperial surplus blaster rifles have never been used to conduct a mass shooting, either.

    If nothing else, given that (a) concealed carry permit holders tend to be more law-abiding than the general population, and (b) mass shooters tend to prefer doing their evil in “gun-free” zones, then (c) one would expect a much lower rate of firearms present in the hands of innocenta when a mass shooting happens. This much should have been obvious even if finding out the numbers is too much trouble.

  9. I never completely liked the expression, “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” It’s not the only way, but it is the *best* way.
    For me the argument was never about the efficacy of non-LEO carried guns against mass shooters and other criminals. It was about having an effective tool with which to fight back – to have a chance and a choice to go resist, versus not resisting and dying, or resisting only with bare hands or improvised weapons.

  10. “The FBI looked at 160 active-shooter situations from 2000 to 2013 and found only one case where an armed civilian intervened to stop an attack that was underway.”

    The FBI didn’t look very hard then.

    New Life Church, December 9, 2007

    Golden Food Market in Richmond, July 13, 2009

    Early Texas Peach House shootout, July 29, 2012
    “Bailey said he thought it was the end of his life and the lives of the 10 people inside his apartment for a birthday party after two masked men with guns burst in through a patio door.
    “They just came in and separated the men from the women and said, ‘Give me your wallets and cell phones,’” said George Williams of the College Park Police Department.
    Bailey said the gunmen started counting bullets. “The other guy asked how many (bullets) he had. He said he had enough,” said Bailey.
    That’s when one student grabbed a gun out of a backpack and shot at the invader who was watching the men. The gunman ran out of the apartment.
    The student then ran to the room where the second gunman, identified by police as 23-year-old Calvin Lavant, was holding the women.
    “Apparently the guy was getting ready to rape his girlfriend. So he told the girls to get down and he started shooting. The guy jumped out of the window,” said Bailey.”

    Chickamas mall shooting, December 2012

    • Klakamas Mall is the location you were intending, I believe. That “citizen” got shot for his trouble because he thought he could hold an active shooter at gunpoint and talk him out of what he was doing. After shooting the CCW holder the shooter went to an inner passage and shot himself without continuing his shooting spree. Result.

      However, DON’T BE THAT GUY (now paraplegic). “When it’s time to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.”

      • Sorry, I meant “Clackamas” mall, in Portland, Oregon.

        “That “citizen” got shot for his trouble because he thought he could hold an active shooter at gunpoint and talk him out of what he was doing. After shooting the CCW holder the shooter went to an inner passage and shot himself without continuing his shooting spree.”

        Sorry, but you must be referring to another incident. This is the one I meant:—The-Full-S.html

        Nick Meli, the CCW hero of the story, pointed his handgun at the murderer but did not pull the trigger. Quote from the article: “Knowing he had an armed person in the mall and that this was no longer his gun-free zone, the gunman avoided the Macy’s Home Store and ended his rampage by fleeing to a service corridor and into the stairwell to the lower level. He then took his life, unbeknownst to everyone in the mall.”
        Nick Meli’s friend, Ashley said “”What Nick did and the actions he took saved lives. Whether he shot or not, he changed the situation and he is the reason nobody else was shot”.

        Our enemies in the media were only to happy to cover up an involvement of a CCW holder and focused their attention on another hero of the story, a Macy’s employee named Allan Fonseca, who led shoppers to safety.

  11. How many times did the FBI fail to intervene in an armed shooter / mass killer situation. [I mean per day].

    FU FBI STFU – we know you’re just trying to protect the one thing that matters, YOUR JOBS.

    and. . .

    T E L L C O M E Y T O P O P H I S H E A D O U T.

    Y’all look complicit, and POS.

  12. Bull f**king sh**.

    They are talking about 4+ death incidents. When an armed citizen intervenes, the average death toll is about 1 or 2. Arapaho high, Pearl high, appalachian school of law, Dr Silverman in PA, Clackamas Mall, and the list goes on…

    Not that anyone even trusts asshat Comey anyway.

    • New Life Church was 5 victims (over 2 days) or 6 including the shooter. I don’t have a clue how they can twist the truth that hard, but an earlier post claimed that only those situations where LE *arrives* with a shooter still killing people counts. New Life had the shooter dead by armed “civilian” action before cops got out of their chairs. Maybe that’s it, but if so the entire post is meaningless.

  13. “… unarmed civilians were far more likely than those with guns to stop an active shooting in progress.” – Samantha Michaels

    Since unarmed civilians vastly outnumber armed civilians in public (something like 25 to 1 in general), this is exactly what we should suspect.

    Now add the fact that active shooters frequently attack locations where it is “illegal” for people to be armed, and it is even less surprising that armed people rarely stop active shooters.

    Sheesh. This isn’t rocket science people.

  14. Now remember, this is the FBI we are talking about. couldn’t fine a wet noodle in a bowl of wet noodles. I guess that most of these crimes were in a “Gun Free Zone” .

  15. Yeah, okay ! This is just as bad as our employee H/R workplace violence-active shooter video we had to endure…Our workplace had the most bizarre Liberal Progressive Safety politics video I’ve seen in a longtime. Tells employees its against company policy to even have a pocket knife ; “because it’s an assault weapon.” But, along comes the active shooter vid with a guy with a shotgun sweeping the building looking for targets (unarmed sheeple.). Then a group gets cornered while hiding, and a very patriotic voice states :” It’s your right to defend yourself, and you must be prepared to stop the attacker to save your life …And that of your fellow co-workers!” So, this vid shows the group of now cornered employees discussing a plan of attack against the guy armed with a shotgun…I swear to god this wasn’t a comedy! It Shows the personnel arming themselves with—-“with flip-flops, scandals, scissors, and ballpoint pen ! Then they all jump out on this guy yelling like a group of kids on recess !!! And of course, they wind up tacking this compliant actor , they subdue him, disarm him and tie him up like in Hollywood !!! ” Myself, and 4 other employees— “two that actually have concealed carry licences” , brokeout into hysterical laughter ! Okay, flip-flops! What are u people thinking! Other employees were okay this is silly…!-Does anyone in H/R actually have self-defense training, or real life combat experience?!!! The vid ended with the personnel escaping the building…The narrator stating in a firm patriotic voice: “You must exit the building with your hands up, and surrender to the police! Make sure you have nothing in your hands! Follow police commands!” (Thank God the Liberal Progressive Safety police arrived on site with their “Firearms”! Special Privileges and Extra Rights through job title only !!! ) How PC…….

  16. Well golly all those dead happy folk in the Orlando nightclub terrorist slaughter didn’t need a gat. Just some gumption…I guess I won’t be going for that pain-in-the-azz CCL in Illinois then.

  17. War is Peace
    Freedom is Slavery
    Ignorance is Strength

    OPSEC would be proud of MotherJones and those who penned the linked article!

  18. “In other words, unarmed civilians were far more likely than those with guns to stop an active shooting in progress.”

    Flawed causation is super flawed. How many incidents were initiated in ‘gun free zones’, ergo places where a victim was actively discouraged from carrying? How many of these instances occurred in states that discourage gun ownership or carry by policy?

    But wow. Good job in tailoring your conclusion to incidents already favoring anti-gun environments while mother jones actively mines the morons who believe the face value of their statement.

  19. Here’s the rub:

    The Antis choose to be unarmed. Key word being: choose.

    But when they try to force everyone to be unarmed, that’s moronic. No one that is pro-2A is trying to force people to carry firearms.

    That’s the difference. Arm up if you want. But don’t complain when you or your loved ones die because you choose to be a victim. GROW UP and live with your decisions.

  20. Today, only 10% of the adult population has a carry permit so yes, it far more likely that if a shooter is stopped by a non-LEO he will be unarmed. That”s a big duh Smedley.

    • Approx 320 million people. Approx 13 million (unconstitutional) permission slips equals closer to 4% or population ABLE to carry concealed, even less those who actually do on a regular basis, much less in GFZs.

      • The base is all non prohibited adults over the age of 21. That comes down to about 10% of the eligible population.

  21. A study by the feds who can’t find the felony mishandling of classified material when it is poured into their lap and they are practically drowning in it. No surprise they can’t find the gun in the gun free zone where virtually all active shooter incidents occur. Of course this is the FBI that has been thoroughly corrupted and managed by the Obama inJustice Department

  22. 1. How many armed victims were present at these ‘mass shootings’ and how many unarmed victims?
    Anybody care to bet that the ratio is far lower than 1:21, and the rare armed victims did far more individually than the many unarmed victims?

    2. How were the ‘mass shootings’ selected for study?
    I can think of a few successful armed defenders offhand, Pearl High School assistant principal Joel Myrick, Appalachian law school students Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross, and Jeanne Assam of the New Life Church.
    Those four add up to more than one, if I know my math at all.

    • The dates chosen exclude the 1997 Pearl High School Shooting, but the other two incidents and three armed defenders I mentioned are in the date range used here.

      Or is Assam the only one who counts because she was the only one who was allowed to be in possession of a firearm at the beginning of the crisis (the others had to run to the parking lot to retrieve guns from cars).

  23. Wow! Thats an amazing conclusion. In completely unrelated news, did you know most olympic skiers tend to be from mountainous reagions with lots of snow? And, did you know that people with two arms play guitar at a greater frequency than those with only one?

  24. Here is the article’s first “take away” paragraph. How are they counting “mass shootings” if they get these numbers as relates to “gun-free” zones? Only ten percent of shootings were in “gun-free” zones?

    “Advocates for looser gun laws have popularized the idea that armed criminals are more likely to attack in “gun free” zones where nobody can fight back against them. Colleges that ban students from carrying weapons are consequently more dangerous, according to proponents of campus carry laws. But this theory is not supported by data, the Johns Hopkins study found. From 1966 to 2015, only 12 percent of 111 high-fatality mass shootings in the United States—at college campuses or elsewhere—took place in “gun free” zones, and only 5 percent took place in “gun restricted” zones, where security guards were armed but civilians were banned from carrying weapons. Another analysis, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, drew similar conclusions: Only 13 percent of mass shootings from 2009 to 2015 occurred in gun-free or gun-restricted zones. What’s more, allowing people to carry concealed weapons has been connected with an increase in violent crime, according to researchers at the Brennan Center for Justice. They noted a 10 percent average increase in violent crime in states that adopted right-to-carry laws.”

    • It’s exactly the result you can expect when the people collecting the data are the same people who determine the definition of “mass shooting” that includes any situation anywhere that has 4 or more victims, even if they are spread over a whole city or county but part of a continuous criminal act. And includes BB guns and paintball guns as weapons? They keep using that term “active shooter”. I don’t think the term means what they think it means.

  25. “The FBI looked at 160 active-shooter situations from 2000 to 2013 and found only one case where an armed civilian intervened to stop an attack that was underway.”

    How many of the 160 situations were in Gun-free zones? I’m guessing around 159.

    Meanwhile we have a dozen or more well-documented events where an armed civilian intervened before it escalated to a mass shooting.

  26. There’s an IQ test for Mother Jones writers. If you have an IQ, you fail. If you’re as dumb as a pound of salted lox, you pass.

  27. Challenge complete: Defeat Mass Shooter While Unarmed.

    Rank up: Mall Ninja Elite

    Unlocks: Bragging Rights. Open your own Dojo. Unlimited fresh underwear.

    No, seriously, what mass shooting was this? It was a group that disarmed and captured Jared Loughner….

  28. This is how people “lie”with statistics. Of course un-armed civilians are much more likely to stop an attack. There are simply more opportunities for them too. First off there are usually more unarmed people in any given places than armed people. Secondly active shooters are likely to attack groups of unarmed people.

    To really undersrand how much more ( or less ) likely to stop an active shooter having a gun makes an individual we wild have to have and look at different data. We would want to look at the number of active shooters attempting to shoot armed civilians. Then we would look at the success rate of those armed citizens vs the success rate of those unarmed. Example if you have 10 active shooters with 10 potential victims each that’s 100 people. If 2 potential victims are armed and 1 shooting is stopped by an armed civilian the odds are 1 in 2. If one of those 98 also stops a shooting the odds for unarmed civilians is 1 in 98. Of course the odds from the perspective of the shooting stay the same.

    In the USA only about 2 percent of civilians are regularly carrying. And in some places that is much higher and lower. Say Conroe tx in a western wear outlet vs manhattan in an elementary school. .

  29. In 21 cases, an unarmed civilian interrupted the attack and restrained the gunman. In other words, unarmed civilians were far more likely than those with guns to stop an active shooting in progress.
    That’s because an active shooter is far more likely to encounter unarmed civilians than armed ones, since active shooters seek out unarmed targets. It has nothing to do with unarmed people being more effective at stopping an active shooter than an armed one.

  30. Even if it were true . . . How many times has the mere presence of a firearm prevented a mugging, or a stabbing, or any of the other scenarios that are violent but are not mass shootings? In a mass (active) shooter scenario the bad guy(s) already have the drop on you (ambush). It is very difficult (though not impossible) to mount a defense after that. However, there are many scenarios w/ significant differences that increase the odds of an armed civilian protecting his/her life and possibly the lives of others.

  31. Studies show that a larger number of civilians with CPR training save lives than medical professionals with CPR training. Therefore we conclude that medical professionals should not have CPR training.

    As usual, Mother Jones’ logic is flawed. Perhaps they are writing this in California or Colorado.

  32. Easy logical fallacy. It only prooves that in the 160 incidents the FBI reviewed more unarmed people were present than armed people. There is no rate of armed people that died in an attemp to save themselves nor is there a rate of cvw holders that tried to stay put and no use their gun (which i wouldn’t consider a failure at all, better have the opportion not to draw than not having the option to draw at all). It only underlines that gun free zones are murderzones and that more armed responders should be present.
    And as we know there were ccw holders stopping crimes. The night club in South Carolina comes to mind, or Falconer and the Minnesota mall. Basically any defensive gun use.

  33. Somebody needs to retake Statistics. Actually, somebody probably never took it to begin with.

    Somebody needs to retake High School Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus so that they have the pre-requisites to take Statistics.

  34. Missing details (that provide a clearer picture):

    How many total ASI (active shooter incidents) in that period?
    How many ASI where no one fought back?
    How many victims? How many victims in situations where people fought back vs those where they did not?
    How many ASI did victims have a weapon but didn’t fight back?
    How many of the total ASI occurred in gun-fee zones?

    This story isn’t about guns, it’s about fight or flight/human nature. Maybe some couldn’t fight back because they were shot before being able to do so. The scenarios were all different … maybe the environment/location, number of people, number of shooters and time elapsed from beginning to end led to different opportunities for people to fight back … or not.

    This is a stupid, cherry picked presentation of facts designed for simpletons with no critical thinking skills to consume.

  35. This crap of course is gun grabber agitprop. Bulls**t. The reason few ‘active shooters’ are stopped by armed
    civilians is because they make a conscious deliberate effort to commit their crimes in places where guns are
    banned. Like schools, most places of employment, night clubs, Kalifornia, Illinois, much of the east coast….
    this isn’t rocket science. Criminal shooters gravitate to places where they know they will NOT be opposed by
    an armed citizen.

    • True, but it works. Look at the gun control measures on the ballot in four states today. Yes, they are anti-gun to begin, but every win rejuvanates them…then it spreads. Bandwagon effect is not to be ignored.

      (spell check no longer works for me, so I refuse any responsibility for poor penmanship (keyboardmanship?)

  36. I wasn’t aware that carrying a gun made me responsible for stopping bad people. Being at or near an active shooter doesn’t change that fact that I have a responsibility to my family and no one else. The only way I’m stopping an active shooter is if he is between me and the door. Enough with the oorah bullshit. The presence of an armed citizen does not equal the presence of a hero. Nor should it.


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