When someone shoots back towards a spree shooter, the spree is over, with no more unarmed victims getting shot. I have been unable to find a single exception to this. It isn’t always the defender’s bullet that ends the spree–sometimes the shooter suicides, sometimes he surrenders.
I would edit Sevesteen’s comment to start, “When someone provides effective resistance against a spree shooter…,” as the shootings at the Unitarian Universalist church here in Knoxville indicate that you do not necessarily have to shoot back at a spree shooter to stop him or her, but the sentiment remains the same – spree shooters continue shooting people until they either kill themselves, or someone forcibly stops them. I cannot think of a single instance wherein someone went on a shooting spree, and then escaped, never to be heard from again.
A rational human being’s response to this information is to realize that the quickest way to reduce deaths from a spree shooter is to respond with that force as soon, as quickly, and as decisively as humanly possible. Unfortunately, the police simply cannot be everywhere, and even when they are, their response times can frankly suck. On the other hand, armed citizens acting decisively and quickly have a demonstrated history of drastically truncating, if not outright ending, shooting sprees: at the Appalachian Law School, two lawfully-armed citizens ended a shooting spree mere minutes after it started; in Tyler, Texas, Mark Wilson saved a child’s life by shooting and distracting the spree shooter (though Mr. Wilson was murdered by the shooter for his interference); in Winnemucca, Nevada, an anonymous man decisively ended a spree shooting while the murderer was reloading; the list goes on and on.
So which makes more sense? Wait for a police reaction that could take anywhere between 10 and 60 minutes to come, resulting in anywhere between 1 and 30 additional deaths, or realize that armed citizens at the scene of the incident stand at least a non-zero chance of delaying, if not outright terminating, the spree shooting?
Me, I am all about saving lives… it is unfortunate that the anti-rights nuts cannot honestly claim the same.