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.)