Last Saturday, an active shooter got out of a silver sedan in front of a premium outlet mall in Allen, Texas and opened fire on people walking by. A single police officer who happened to be near by, was able to engage the suspect and eliminate the threat, but not before the suspect was able to kill eight people, and wound seven others.
It didn’t take long for all those jumping on the “ban assault weapons” bandwagon to come up with a new slogan – “where were all the good guys with guns? Where was your ‘well regulated militia?'”
But once again, opponents of gun rights and 2A are quick to react with such conviction while failing to speak from a place of experience.
So Where Were All The Good Guys With Guns?
We decided to do some research into the most notable mass shootings that have taken place thus far in 2023 because we were curious for an answer as well.
As for the Allen Premium Outlet Mall in Texas, according to the mall’s rules, it is a “gun-free zone”. Meaning regardless of whether or not you have a concealed carry permit, you are not allowed on the mall property with a firearm.
Rather than citing every incident here, I’ll let you, the reader, run through some of them linked below:
As I suspected, most of the locations where mass shootings have occurred in the last year, are not exactly places where law-abiding armed citizens are just casually hanging out with their feet up waiting for something to happen. The best example of this is the incident that took place at a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, TN in March where three students and three adults were shot to death by Audrey Hale.
I mean, let’s face it – armed citizens aren’t usually hanging out at a Christian elementary school, and while a bank, or a convenient store does run a greater chance of an armed citizen (customer) being present at the same time an active shooter is, the chances are slim.
Being a school, this is also a “gun-free zone” according to the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 passed by the U.S. congress to prohibit the possession of firearms in and around schools.
However, it’s funny how firearms opponents are so quick to forget…
Greenwood Park, Indiana Mall Shooting – Police Applaud Armed Citizen
On Sunday, July 17, 2022, 20-year old, Jonathan Sapirman walked out of a shopping mall restroom and opened fire in the middle of a food court. Within two minutes, he was able to kill three people eating dinner before Elisjsha Dicken, an armed citizen near by, was able to pull his concealed pistol and kill the active shooter.
According to ABC News:
“Our city, our community and our state is grateful for his heroism in this situation,” – Greenwood Mayor, Mark Myers
“I am 100% certain many, many more people would’ve died last night if it was not for his heroism,” – Greenwood Police Chief James Ison
So, while just one incident of when a good guy with a gun took out a bad guy with a gun, isn’t exactly statistically significant, this young gentleman, just happened to be in the right place, at the right time to eliminate a threat before even further death or injury could have occurred.
While this particular case was all over the news everywhere the next day and got the most media coverage in recent times, there have been other cases where an armed citizen has stopped an active shooter. I invite you to read:
While the concept of a gun-free zone isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks.
If you take the time to look at previous mass-shootings carried out by active-shooters, you’ll realize, that the suspect(s) are looking to cause as much death as possible. They don’t care about themselves, or what could happen to them, and in many cases, they’re looking for some form of twisted glory after they’re gone. Essentially, they have nothing to live for.
What is the most dangerous type of human being on this earth? A human being with nothing to live for and nothing to lose.
Now take that mentality and try to put yourself in the shoes of someone like that. Where are you going to go with a gun in order to cause as much death as possible?
You’re going to go to a gun-free zone first, because you know that there’s a good probability that there won’t be another armed citizen there and you’ll be facing little to no resistance.
In 2012, 24 year old James Holmes left his home in Aurora, CO, and drove past two movie theaters on his way to a third that was showing Batman: Dark Knight Rising. At that theater, Holmes, dressed in tactical gear, released tear gas grenades and began shooting into the audience with multiple firearms. Twelve people were killed and 70 others were injured, 58 of them from gunfire.
But why did Holmes drive past the first two theaters and select the third to carry out his reign of terror? He researched the theaters and found that the third theater proclaimed themselves a “gun-free zone”, where as the other two, could have easily had one, if not multiple armed customers inside.
So, are “gun-free zones” helping to prevent mass shootings, or inadvertently encouraging them? I’ll let you, the reader, decide.
Firearms Opponents Need to Educate Themselves Before Opening Their Mouths
Over the last two years, I have spent thousands of dollars taking basic and advanced firearms training and active shooter classes. Practical handgun clinics, 13-drills classes, advanced concealed carry firearms training classes – the list goes on. Some of them, I’ve taken multiple times and most of them have been taught by retired military and law enforcement professionals.
While I was under no requirement to take any of these classes (I’ll write a separate article about that coming up), I made the conscious decision that if I was going to own firearms, I was going to get as much training as possible in order to properly protect myself and my loved ones within the confines of the law.
Active Shooter Classes
While it’s hard to accurately reproduce an active shooter situation in the middle of a gun range, with a little bit of creativity from an instructor, you can learn some valuable lessons such as how to react during a stressful situation (the active shooter is present, multiple gun shots are echoing, innocent civilians are screaming in panic, your blood pressure, adrenaline and heart rate are all through the roof…), and in the middle of this, as the situation is rapidly changing, you have to quickly discern between innocent civilian, victim, or suspected threat.
But what the gun naysayers fail to understand is that even though I’m trained in basic and advanced firearms and active shooter situations, as a civilian, I am under no legal obligation to engage the threat, even though I may be armed.
My primary responsibility is my own safety and the safety of my loved-ones if they’re present.
If I choose not to engage the threat, I can help others escape the scene, help treat the wounded, and most importantly gather as much details about the suspect and the situation as possible, find a safe place, and report those details to law enforcement.
Remember, when law enforcement receives a call about an active-shooter situation – everything starts to move at warp speed for them. Depending on the details, they usually don’t know what kind of situation they’re walking into. Is there only one active-shooter, or multiple? Do the suspects have an accomplice near by who is armed and keeping watch or waiting in an escape vehicle? What does the active shooter look like? What are they wearing? What part of the building are they located in?
All of these are details that law enforcement needs in order to eliminate the threat as quickly and easily as possible.
Now, if I decide to take on the active-shooter – I’m faced with a similar situation as law enforcement. If I haven’t seen the suspect, what do they look like? Where are they located? Is there one or multiple active shooters? Is the active shooter wearing body armor? If they are, my job at putting that suspect down, just got much harder if all I’m carrying is a 9mm pistol, concealed. Instead of aiming for center-of-mass, I now have to aim for the head because just about all body armor will easily stop a 9mm round.
If the active shooter is wearing body armor and moving quickly, my target just got a lot smaller.
Depending on the room(s) or layout of the property where the active shooter is located, what is behind or beyond the active shooter?
While this may seem like a stupid question to ask, keep in mind that as a gun owner, I am legally responsible for every single round that I discharge from my firearm. If I attempt to apprehend an active shooter, fire, miss, and kill an innocent person behind them, I am now guilty of manslaughter.
Even though my intent was to eliminate the active shooter and save lives, in the process, I took an innocent person’s life. Not only will I be facing manslaughter and negligent use of a firearm charges, I’d probably be looking at a host of law suits coming from the victim’s family.
If I’m shot and killed by the suspect, what happens to my family? If I’m the soul source of income for my household, how will they survive?
So for those of you jumping on the “where were all the good guys with guns” bandwagon, maybe you should ask yourselves – the following questions before asking where all the good guys with guns are as an anti-gun argument:
Have I taken any formal firearms training by a certified professional?
Have I taken an active shooter class?
Do I know the gun laws in my state as well as others?
If your answer to those three questions is “no”, then:
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt” – Abraham Lincoln