“Peace is an extension of war by political means. Plenty of elbow room is pleasanter and much safer.”
by Lazarus Long




"walls of the city" logo conceptualized by Oleg Volk and executed by Linoge. Logo is © "walls of the city".

you are your own first responder

Here is an interesting graphic for your weekend contemplation: 


And, no, I am not just pulling those numbers out of my ass; Davi Barker of The Daily Anarchist analyzed 29 mass shootings from 1949 forward and came up with that comparison.  Go ahead and take a look at his methodology; while I actually agree with the measures he took to ensure he was comparing apples to apples as much as possible, I still feel the sample size is a bit small to draw any serious, earth-shattering conclusions. 

That said, the notion that on-scene civilians can stop rampage shooters faster than the cops can only makes sense.  After all, those civilians are already present at the scene of the shooting, they are already aware of the pertinent details (like, say, who the shooter is and where he is), and they are only a scant few feet from the shooter, rather than miles.  Add to that the simple fact that the police have no duty or obligation to protect individual citizens, and the fact that more and more police departments’ standard operating procedures for spree/mass/rampage shooters seems to be “hold back until we have overwhelming force and then maybe move in and do something”, and the reason behind those wildly disparate numbers above suddenly become clear. 

I would, of course, stress that “makes sense” is not equivalent to “true”, but time will tell whether Davi’s hypothesis holds up. 

Tenuous though his conclusions may be, this question is an outstanding one for the “gun control” extremists, though: 

So, given that far less people die in rampage shootings stopped by a proactive civilian, only civilians have any opportunity to stop rampage shootings in roughly half of incidents, and armed civilians do better on average than unarmed civilians, wouldn’t you want those heroic individuals who risk their lives to save others to have every tool available at their disposal?

Citizens fighting back immediately rather than waiting around for police response seems to work out far better for the citizens, but when you compare armed self-defense to unarmed self-defense, the casualty numbers are 1.8 versus 2.6; given that one of the favorite arguments of anti-rights cultists is that “gun control” is worth it if it saves Just One Life, it would seem to me that encouraging law-abiding citizens to lawfully carry if they are interested in doing so could save Just One Life in rampage shooting scenarios as well (so long as you are willing to round up slightly). 

Furthermore, to take his point a bit farther, assuming Davi’s point is anywhere near accurate or in the ballpark, and given that anti-rights organizations across the board universally encourage people to not fight back (and have done so for decades) and instead wait for the police to arrive, well, that only substantiates my point that “gun control” extremists want firearm-related fatalities, does it not?  “Gun control” aids and abets violent criminals by rendering their prey defenseless, but encouraging people “give them what they want” and not to fight back goes beyond “aiding and abetting” into the realm of “encouraging”. 

Mass / spree / rampage shootings are unquestionably horrible things and those responsible for them should be punished to the utmost level possible (for example, the military is pursuing the death penalty in the case of the Fort Hood shooter, and rightly so), but the honest truth is that your odds of stopping them before they act are so stupidly small as to be unworthy of notice.  However, fighting back once the shooter has decided to act, and especially fighting back armed, seems to work out better in the end for you and most folks around you. 

So fight back.  If you are able and willing to carry a gun, do so everywhere you are legally allowed to.  If you do not carry a gun, understand that everything around you is a potential weapon, and learn, or at least consider, how best to employ it against someone attacking you.  And, finally, do not allow the Brady Campaign, CSGV, VPC, and various other anti-rights organizations to deprive you of arguably the best way to defend yourself and your family.

(Note:  I heartily disagree with the distinction between “police” and “civilian”; unless the police officer in question is a reservist or in some other way bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he is a civilian, just like you or me.  However, that is the terminology Davi used, and that is the terminology most news sources use, so that is what we are stuck with.) 

12 comments to you are your own first responder

  • Of course, it goes without saying that the plural of anecdote isn’t data, but the thing about these anecdotes that I find interesting is this: We are always assured that an armed citizen responding to these situations is far, far more likely to make it worse than make it better. We can point to a dozen or two cases where armed citizen intervention has improved the outcome, so the antis ought to be able to come up with several dozen, perhaps even hundreds if they are to believed (heh), instances where an armed citizen made things worse.

    The thing is, I am unaware of a single instance where a person responding to a spree shooter made things worse.

  • While the antis are digging up old dumb talking points like “AR-15s aren’t used for hunting “, as thousands of hunters are preparing their rifles for hunting season, I can’t recollect the last time I heard one of them bleat “if it saves just one life…”.

    I think that cat is well out of the bag, and they’re doing their best to inform the acolytes to keep clear of that hot mess.

    Oh and whatever that holster is the H&K is in (I can see the belt clip), it looks like total garbage!

  • As to the civilian/officer terminology, I dont tend to fight that one as much. In a sense, its the difference between sworn officer and non-sworn citizen. The other reality is that we have no other apt term. Non-Police or Non-LEO is appropriate, but slightly cumbersome- its better to define something by what it IS than what it is NOT. In the long run, its a fairly small discrepancy.

  • rickn8or

    “…unless the police officer in question is a reservist or in some other way bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he is a civilian, just like you or me.”

    Clap! Clap! Stomp! Stomp!
    Thank you!
    ATCS, USN, (ret.)

  • MAJ Mike

    When seconds count, the police are minutes away. Need we say more?

  • […] posted “no guns” and filled with unarmed people unable to fight back. Who are the blood dancers? Who are the ones that turn tragedy into a […]

  • @ LC Scotty: Outstanding point! I cannot think of a single instance wherein a responding citizen made the situation worse, which really calls into question the endless bleating of anti-rights cultists regarding exactly that.

    And, I mean, seriously, how hard is it to figure out who the perpetrator is when he or she is the one doing the shooting?

    @ Weer’d Beard: The “if it saves one life” meme still arises periodically on the Twitters, for what little that is worth.

    And, yeah, no disagreement on the holster, but I did not build the image :).

    @ Wolfman: Honestly, it is a fairly substantial discrepancy. Military members are not only bound by the same civil laws that all other Americans are bound by, but they are also subject to all of the various clauses of the UCMJ, and the lawful orders of their superiors all the way up to the Commander in Chief. On the other hand, police officers do not seem to be bound my much of anything, these days, and when they do something wrong – intentionally or not – they will just claim qualified immunity and, at worst, be sent home without pay for a few days.

    Unfortunately, these days, the police definitely are a different class of people, separated from the “average” citizens, but they are assuredly neither military nor non-civilians.

    @ rickn8or: Separated SWO LTjg here, so I might be a bit twitchy about it too ;).

    @ MAJ Mike: Well I need to say more. Apparently ;).

  • […] won’t find particularly surprising. The methodology is a little casual, and I agree with Linoge that a couple of terms could have been better chosen but that last is just knee-jerk nit-picking on […]

  • @ Linoge:
    Per the twitter comments, are these the useful idiots, 0r the paid shills.

    We know the useful idiots will say the truth, they want to ban all guns, and if we don’t agree they want us executed by a “Progressive” government.

    But the paid shills have their agenda and talking points, seems they have gotten away from the “If it saves one life” crap, especially when we have record high gun ownership, a serious recession, record high unemployment AND record low crime.

    Seems that in the past when unemployment was high and money was tight, crime skyrockets.

  • As far as I know, once anyone shoots back at a spree shooter there are never additional victims from that incident. I don’t think that police are actually worse than license holders-their problem is that a policeman’s gun typically has to arrive from somewhere else in a squad car, while an ordinary citizen’s gun is either already there or doesn’t get involved. That gives the shooter several more minutes without effective opposition.

  • […] Linoge I feel the sample size is a bit on the smaller side but there are a couple of reasons for that. […]

  • @ Weer’d Beard: Eh, I would not worry about too many of the Twits being paid shills… more often than not they are simply ignorant people who have bought whole-heartedly into the fallacious propaganda of the hardcore “gun control” extremists, and are operating under the mistaken assumption that “gun control” will indeed solve the world’s problems. That said, “if it saves one life” is simply a natural outgrowth of the entire superficial gist of “gun control”, in that it is supposed to reduce crime and save lives across the board. It is just that the hardcore cultists have realized the comparing of lives ostensibly saved by “gun control” against those saved by armed self-defense is going to be a losing calculus for them in general.

    @ Sevesteen: That seems to hold true except in the cases where the shooters in question are wearing legitimate body armor. Davi mentions the Tyler, Texas incident, and the shooting in California decades ago comes to mind as well.