do weapons carriers stop mass shootings?

On Friday, on the Lars Larson show, Lars had some segments which were interviews of authors. I am not sure if Friday’s show was live or if it was recorded from previous shows.

Lars was interviewing a woman who claimed she had a list of mass shootings and that good guys with guns had not stopped a single one.

It turns out that Eugene Volokh a law prof who writes a blog series published in the Washington post has had one or two columns including a dozen or more examples of mass shootings stopped by those with concealed weapons.

However, the way that the term is worded means that some of Volokh’s listed examples don’t qualify!

Here is why:

mass shootings may be defined as a shooting that actually kills 4 or more people or mass shootings may be defined as a shooting that actually kills 3 or more people.

In most of the examples given by Volokh, the concealed carrier killed or wounded the evil-doers before the wrongful deaths done by the evil-doers got to 3 or 4!

So, if you create a list of shootings in which at least 3 persons are shot–and killed–by the evil-doer (or hacked to death by a sword or machete), you are intentionally excluding dozens of examples in which a carrier helps stop the crime in progress.

Consider a parallel case. Jon Meis the hero of SPU in 2014 regularly carries pepper spray as a way of his being prepared for some emergencies with some kinds of evil or mental disorder. Meis stopped the madman-shooter named Ybarra; he disoriented the guy and took him to the ground and disarmed him.

At the time that Meis took Ybarra down, Ybarra had killed one and wounded two and was reloading in preparation for killing others. Later he said to police or others that his first killing was fun and gratifying.

So, a carrier with pepper spray (rarely carried by men for self-defense, who usually carry either guns or knives) stopped a shooting at 1 death, before it got to 2 or more.

Did Meis stop a mass shooting? Yes he did, but the “mass shooting” doesn’t make the official list because it was stopped before the death count got to 3!

One of the examples given by Volokh is like this, and there are others. Invaders break into a party and rob the people and then start talking–to each other–about raping the women and killing them all. In the process, while the invaders are careless and distracted, a Marine in attendance is able to get to his book bag, draw a weapon, and shot and mortally wound one of the invaders. The death count to the partygoers is zero.

There are lots of stories like this one, and they commonly do not make the national news.

By requiring that a “mass shooting” be 3 or more dead people killed by the evil-doers, you would be excluding a bunch of cases in which a weapons carrier stopped evil before the deaths got to 3.

Note that the FBI has studied mass shootings and in their study, by their listing,
you have an average death toll by the evil-doer when the evil-doer is confronted by an armed civilian and an average death toll when the evil-doer is stopped by the arrival and confrontation by police. And, in those situations in which the evil-doer is confronted or shot by a carrier, the average death toll by the evil-doer is less, on average, than it is when the evil-doer is stopped by confrontation with the police.

That is even if you have a minimum number of dead people shot by the evil-doer to qualify as an active shooting.

And, a lot of instances of mass shootings take place in environments where carry is prohibited and there are a lot of carriers who disarm themselves and leave the gun in the car before entering the mall or restaurant or movie theatre. Some movie theatres now will search some of your belongings, if you are bringing a pack or bag of certain size. Different states have different laws about where a carrier can carry. Some states in the past forbade a carrier from having a weapon in a restaurant that served alcohol, which is broader than the prohibition on carrying in a bar or place that makes more than 50% of its profits from the sale of spirits. Qdoba, Twin Peaks and the RAM and others sell alcohol in all the restaurant, but RAM and Twin Peaks also have a special section called the bar. So, a state with laws on concealed carry might prohibit the carrier from being in the restaurant as a whole, or in the bar section only, or, from drinking, or whatever it has chosen.

Carriers have discussed the search policies of some theatres . . . one theatre chain will search your bag but not search “you” and some carriers carry weapons anyway and some do not in that theatre situation.

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