U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- I research news stories of civilian self-defense. These important events receive relatively little media coverage. We had some important cases in just the last few weeks. I’ll give you the details, but first let me explain why these stories are important to understand.
Timeline- There are about 20 million citizens licensed to carry a concealed weapon in public. Per person, there are more armed civilians in states like Indiana and Alabama than in states like New Jersey and California. On average, an armed civilian is much closer to you than the police. That matters when time is critical.
Violent attacks come as a surprise.
“Bang.” What was that? Was it a gunshot?
“Bang” That guy is shooting people. What should I do?
Most people run. Some armed defenders will move toward the gunfire and stop the attacks. That is what good guys do.
If you are a disarmed civilian then you run until you feel safe. You call the police a few minutes later once you’ve regained your wits. The average police response time is twelve and a half minutes from when you make the call. In the meantime, the murderer may shoot at will until he is confronted. The police may, or may not, advance on an armed gunman. On average, there are another 12 victims if we wait for the police to arrive.
It is the victims we don’t see, the dozen who were saved and who never make the news, that makes these such important stories.
The news media isn’t in the business of telling us about what didn’t happen. They are biased to sell fear and outrage. They sell emotion, not information. If you doubt that claim then please consider this.
Which is a more important for you to know, the news stories with many people shot or the stories with many people saved? Which story will receive days of attention and which will receive a few seconds of coverage?
There is also a second type of bias at play. It is subtle, but I can think of several recent instances when there were several independent civilian defenders who responded to the same violent attack. Each defender acting alone. They all converged on the attacker. One of the defenders shot first. The others become invisible to the news media in that moment.
In fact, these armed defenders are out there with us. They are concealed rather than invisible. Here are the two recent events I had in mind where multiple “invisible” armed civilians stopped an armed attacker.
Louie’s Grill & Bar, Lake Hefner, Oklahoma City, OK- At the end of May, a mentally ill man walked into a lakeside restaurant. He complained of hearing demons in his TV and from his computer. The murderer walked inside the restaurant and shot three strangers, a mother and her two young daughters. Patrons ran and hid. The restaurant is posted as a “gun-free” zone so there were no armed defenders inside. Two of our invisible defenders ran to their cars and got their guns. They followed the attacker through the restaurant and shot him. They did not shoot each other.
Walmart store, Tumwater, WA- In the middle of June, an armed criminal carjacked a 16 year old girl. Some news reports describe the young woman as having been shot while other reports say she suffered only minor injuries. The criminal drove the stolen car to a nearby Walmart. He walked inside the store and shot a display case several times. The shoppers fled from the store and ran into the parking lot. The criminal carjacked a second person outside the store. This time, we know the criminal shot the owner of the car. News reports say that armed civilians converged on the criminal and shot him. Conflicting reports credit two defenders while some reports indicate there were as many as three armed defenders. Later news reports said that one of the armed defenders got a medical kit from their car and applied first aid to the seriously wounded victim of the carjacking. The victim survived the attack.
One of the armed defenders was in the store parking lot with his family. Like many other examples, this looked like an ordinary afternoon. There was no sign that trouble was on the way. These defenders chose to go armed anyway and saved many innocent lives as a result. You could do that too.
I thank those of you who carry concealed. You may be invisible to the media, but you clearly made a difference here.
About Rob Morse
The original article is here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.