5 Times A Lawfully Armed Citizen Stopped A Would-Be Mass Shooter In His Tracks


Without fail, every time there is a mass shooting (outside of the weekly shootings in Chicago, Baltimore, and other cities with strict gun control), leftists immediately politicize the tragedy and use what should be a time for families and communities to mourn as an opportunity to push their failed policy agendas.

In addition to their morally bankrupt response to such incidents, those politicians regularly ignore a simple fact – we know how to deter mass shootings. We must empower peaceable Americans to be armed in order to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.

Consider this: Since 1950, 94% of mass shootings have taken place in gun-free zones compared to just 6% in non-gun-free zones. The proof is in the numbers — the presence of lawfully armed citizens has an impact.

Don’t believe me? Here are five instances where such citizens stopped would-be mass shooters in their tracks.

1. West Virginia Woman Stops Party Shooter

Just this past May, in gun-friendly West Virginia, a woman attending a birthday-graduation party killed a would-be mass shooter using her lawfully concealed handgun

The assailant, a 37-year-old man, had been told to slow down earlier in the evening when driving through the apartment complex where the party was being celebrated. He returned later with a rifle and opened fire on dozens of partygoers. But before he could kill — or even injure — a single person, the concealed carry holder drew her weapon and engaged the shooter, fatally wounding him and saving countless lives.

2. Good Samaritan Stops Colorado Shooter

In June 2021, 40-year-old Colorado native John Hurley was shopping in an Army-Navy surplus store in Arvada, Colorado, and heard gunfire outside. He drew his lawfully concealed handgun and ran toward the noise. Once outside, Hurley saw the gunman in the Arvada town square and fired six rounds from his handgun, killing the shooter. 

Because of Hurley’s quick and decisive action with his lawfully carried concealed handgun, the would-be mass shooter’s plans were thwarted and an untold number of innocent civilians were saved. Sadly, Police Officer Gordon Beesley was killed by the gunman, and Hurley himself was killed by an officer responding to the shooting.

3. Grain Complex Employee Stops Workplace Shooter

In October 2021, a man who was fired from his job at a grain complex in Nebraska returned to the facility with a handgun and opened fire at his former coworkers. An employee working at the complex immediately responded, grabbing a shotgun that was stored in the company office. The employee engaged the would-be mass shooter, gravely wounding him. Two employees were killed, with one passing away at a local hospital after sustaining injuries. Another employee survived their injuries, and countless others were spared any harm because of the lawfully armed employee’s quick and decisive action. 

4. Man Stops Active Shooter at Arkansas Apartment Complex

In May 2021, a 26-year-old man opened fire at an Arkansas apartment complex, firing upwards of 93 rounds. The shooter was allegedly yelling at the residents to come outside. One resident, Wallace West, woke to the sound of gunshots and went out onto his balcony to see what was happening. He saw the shooter firing into the apartment of his neighbor Lois Hicks, who sadly was killed.

In response, West went inside, grabbed his bolt-action rifle and went out on his balcony to stop the threat. He missed his first shot, and the active shooter fired back. West went back inside, chambered another round, went back onto the balcony, and shot and killed the shooter. West’s actions prevented countless other residents from losing their lives that day.

5. Volunteer Church Security Stops Texas Church Shooter

One of the most well-known examples of a citizen stopping a would-be mass shooter is Texas’ Jack Wilson. A trained firearms instructor, Wilson was a member of the West Freeway Church of Christ voluntary security detail in December 2019 when a would-be mass shooter entered the church and opened fire. 

The shooter killed two members of the congregation before Wilson sprang into action. Wilson fired a single round, hitting the attacker in the head and immediately ending the incident — all within about six seconds from start to finish. Without Wilson’s quick response, who knows how many people could have lost their lives that day.

And these are just a few examples of the many defensive gun uses by peaceable citizens. In a 2013 study, the CDC found that “[d]efensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence.” The CDC estimated that defensive gun uses number between 500,000 to more than 3 million per year.

In fact, concealed carry permit holders are one of the most law-abiding segments of the United States. A report from the Crime Prevention Research Center in 2018 explained, “In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at one-sixth of the rate at which police officers are convicted.”

So next time a gun control activist tells you the answer is stricter gun laws, just know that the real answer is empowering peaceable Americans to be able to lawfully carry firearms to defend themselves and their communities.

Cody J. Wisniewski (@TheWizardOfLawz) is a constitutional attorney who litigates issues across the country related to gun rights and the natural right of self-defense. 

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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