Whenever gun laws are pulled into the spotlight by unfortunate incidents, there begins anew the furious argument about whether or not if someone knowledgeable with a firearm and equipped with one were present the scene would have ended differently. Some people believe that it would have added to the lives lost and damages incurred, some others believe that a firearm carrying citizen could have in fact, saved the day.
This begs the question: How many dangerous incidents have been curbed by someone with a gun working for good?
Here are a few examples of civilians with guns actually saving lives.
10. In Chicago this year an Uber driver, with a concealed-carry permit, shot and wounded a gunman who opened fire on a crowd of people.
9. It isn’t recent, but in 1998 a 14 year-old student in Edinboro, Pennsylvania shot a teacher and several students at a school dance. The teacher was killed. Having left the dance, he was accosted by the owner of the dance hall who lived next door. The owner stopped him with the shotgun he kept at home. Doubtless, saving the lives of anyone else the student came into contact with.
8. In 2014 a patient shot and killed a psychiatric caseworker and wounded a psychiatrist in a Philadelphia area hospital. The psychiatrist used his firearm to take down the shooter. The police and county D.A. were in agreement that the doctor saved the lives of others in the facility that day. The shooter was carrying many unspent rounds and it is believed he would have killed or injured many more people had action not been taken.
7. Gunman in Philadelphia should think twice before opening fire. Earlier this year, after an argument, an area man began shooting up a barber shop. A man with a concealed carry put an end to the violence and again, the police stood behind his decision claiming that he probably saved a lot of lives.
6. In 2012 an altercation in Pennsylvania left one man dead and another wounded outside of a bar. When the assailant turned back towards the establishment brandishing his weapon, a bystander with a concealed-carry took him out. Authorities agreed that the man acted accordingly and curbed further violence from occurring that night.
5. In 2008 another incident at a bar was disrupted by a patron with a concealed-carry license and weapon. A gunman shot and killed two people and injured two others as the result of family feud. The patron killed the gunman and ensured that no one else would be wounded as a result of the gunman’s intent or attempt to escape.
4. 2012 also gave us an instance of a concealed-carry diffusing violence altogether. A church in South Carolina was interrupted by a gunman kicking in the door. A parishioner with a weapon pointed his firearm at the would-be shooter and subsequently disarmed him. It is unclear what would have happened otherwise.
3. A church in Colorado Springs was the scene of another instance of a church member saving lives. A gunman killed four people and was stopped by a woman carrying a firearm. She wounded the attacker who then took his own life. It was discovered later just how many lives were saved when authorities realized he’d arrived with more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
1. Lastly is the case of an assistant principal stopping a young man from continuing a murder spree in Mississippi in 1997. After stabbing and bludgeoning his mother to death at their residence a young man opened fire at his high school. He killed two fellow classmates and injured several more. Leaving the school allegedly enroute to the junior high school he was stopped by the assistant principal.