Good Samaritans With Guns Make the World Safer - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Good Samaritans With Guns Make the World Safer
Reporting on the Greenhood hero (NBC Nightly News/YouTube)

Anti-gun activists often ask, “Why should anyone be allowed to carry a firearm in public?” Well, recent events in Greenwood, Indiana provide yet another example of how armed, law-abiding citizens can make the world a safer place.

Last weekend, a 20-year-old brought 3 firearms and over 100 rounds of ammunition into an Indiana mall and opened fire in a food court, killing 3 people. The scene was tragic. But if 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken, a legally armed bystander, hadn’t been carrying his Glock, things would have been a lot worse. Dicken shot the gunman and put a stop to the threat. Greenwood Police Chief heralded Dicken’s “heroic” actions, stating that “many more people would have died… If not for a responsible armed citizen that took action very quickly…”

Dicken isn’t the only Good Samaritan with a gun that we’ve seen in the last year. There have been multiple instances of legally armed bystanders neutralizing an active shooter. In 2021, according to FBI data, 4 active shooters were killed by armed citizens. And in May of this year, when a convicted felon began firing a rifle at a crowd in Charleston, West Virginia, a woman shot and killed the gunman with her pistol before he could injure a single person, saving possibly dozens of lives.

Someone already willing to shoot innocent people is willing to go the extra mile to obtain firearms. Criminals can get their hands on guns just like they can drugs or other contraband. As a result, we are all safer when law-abiding citizens are allowed to be armed.

But, in the days immediately following the Indiana mall shooting, media outlets have been quick to stress that instances of armed civilians neutralizing active shooters are rare, citing data from the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training at Texas State University (ALERRT). According to the ALERRT data, of the 464 active shooter attacks between 2000 and 2021, only 24 were stopped by armed civilians shooting the gunman. This ostensibly sheds doubt on the circulating aphorism “good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns.”

Despite the insinuations of mainstream media, it is nearly impossible to draw meaningful conclusions about occurrences as rare as active shooter events — the data set is just too small. And this data does not tell us, for example, how many of these active shootings occurred without a legally armed civilian present. Until the recent SCOTUS ruling in NYSRPA v. Bruen, it was incredibly difficult in certain states to obtain a license to carry a handgun, meaning there were fewer “good guys” carrying guns.

However, that may be changing. The SCOTUS ruling requires states to offer an objective path for their law-abiding citizens to legally carry firearms, and some states have relaxed their permit requirements as a result, leading to more concealed carry permit applications. Maryland, for example, relaxed their requirements following the SCOTUS ruling and has since seen a 700 percent increase in applications for concealed carry permits.

In constitutional carry states, which now total 25, those who can legally own a handgun are permitted to carry without needing any sort of license. Indiana, where Elisjsha Dicken just stopped an active shooter, became a constitutional carry state on July 1st.

More Good Samaritans with guns means a safer world for everyone. After all, criminals with violent intentions are going to carry guns regardless of the law. Law-abiding citizens should be empowered to carry handguns in public.

Benjamin Ayanian is a contributor for Young Voices, a PR firm and talent agency for young, pro-liberty commentators. His writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Yahoo News, and more. His Twitter is @BenjaminAyanian.

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