Has a civilian ever stopped a mass shooting?

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(KPLR) – The other day I did a commentary on how no armed civilian has prevented a mass shooting in the U.S. in the past three decades. A lot of so-called second amendment advocates out there have short fuses and my email inbox exploded. As usual, gun proponents are long on fury and short on facts.  For example, they say a shooting at the Appalachian school of law in Virginia was prevented by armed civilians in 2002. Nope. They were all law enforcement officers taking courses. By the time they got to the shooter, he was out of ammunition.

Other claims they make similarly fail. A 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, Mississippi left two dead and seven wounded. The assistant principal, an army reservist, pulled a handgun and held the shooter until cops came. This was after he was done shooting and had left the building. The same story with a 1998 Pennsylvania middle school dance shooting. The gunman was 14. The dance venue owner held him for police using a shotgun, but after the shooting was done and the kid left the building.

In 2008 Nevada gunman killed two and wounded two more in a bar. Another bar patron shot and killed him. An armed civilian to the rescue? Nope. The man who killed the shooter was a United States Marine.  In 2007, a gunman at a Colorado mega-church killed two and wounded three. He was shot in the parking lot after the shooting was done. And the armed civilian who shot him, turned out to be a church security guard.

Look. The point is simple. No armed civilian has prevented a mass shooting. Shading the facts and trying to make pro-gun points by twisting the truth is not the way to convince anybody of anything. But in a lot of cases, that's the only ammunition the far out fringe of the gun rights movement has.

I'm Charles Jacoand that's Jacology.

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Email: charles.jaco@tvstl.com

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