Private Gun Carriers’ Self-Defense Against Public Shooters
Mass shooting incidents—or incidents that looked like they might have become mass shootings—often lead both to some calling to try to limit would-be killers’ access to guns, and others calling to try to increase the number of law-abiding people who can have guns easily available for defensive purposes. Both kinds of calls in turn lead to practical skepticism:
- Can we really effectively stop people who are willing to deliberately plan to violate laws against murder, just by adding more laws against gun possession or carrying?
- And can we really expect ordinary citizens to stop would-be murderers?
Whatever your answer to these questions, it seems to me that they are good questions to ask. Optimally, they would be answered through careful data analysis, but good data on such matters is often hard to get. And sometimes, even some specific illustrations can be helpful (whether specific illustrations of shootings or of citizens stopping the shootings).
Because of that, I thought I’d offer a story from a couple of days ago; it’s been long enough since the shooting that at least some of the initial factual uncertainty is likely to have been resolved. From WCHS-TV (see also the Associated Press); there’s also a video of an interview with the chief (starting at about 1:10):
Police said a woman who was lawfully carrying a pistol shot and killed a man who began shooting at a crowd of people Wednesday night in Charleston.
Dennis Butler was killed after allegedly shooting at dozens of people attending a graduation party Wednesday …. No injuries were reported from those at the party.
Investigators said Butler was warned about speeding in the area with children present before he left. He later returned with an AR-15-style firearm and
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