More Americans trust a good Samaritan armed with a gun to stop a mass shooting than police officers or federal agents, according to a Convention of States Action and Trafalgar Group survey of Americans.
The new survey found that the more Americans believe that their best protection in a mass shooting situation is a nearby armed civilian, rather than police officers or federal agents. Respondents chose armed citizens as the best protection by 41.8% to 25.1% for local police and 10.3% for federal agents. About a fifth people chose none of the above – 22.8%.
Democrats and Republicans differed widely on who each believed best able to protect them during a mass shooting. A plurality of Democrats, 33.9%, picked none of the above. Local police came in second with 31.4%.
Republicans, on the other hand, trusted an armed civilian far more than local police or federal agents. Of the GOP respondents, 70.4% said they trusted an armed civilian most to protect them and their families. Just 1.6% of GOP respondents said that federal agents were in the best spot to protect them.
The pollster surveyed 1,078 likely general election voters from July 7-10, with a margin of error of 2.9%.
The results of the survey were published Monday, a day after an armed civilian shot and killed a mass shooter in a mall in Greenwood, Indiana. The incident took place after the poll was taken, but may buttress a plurality of Americans’ belief in armed civilians.
A 22-year-old man, Elisjsha Dicken, was hailed as a hero on Sunday after he shot and killed a mass shooter in Greenwood Park Mall. The gunman, armed with a rifle and handgun, killed three and wounded two more within 15 seconds of his first of 24 shots, according to authorities. Dicken, who was at the mall shopping with his girlfriend, pulled his own handgun and engaged the shooter. The police, mall, and others hailed him as a hero for his decisive action.
The poll also took place after a highly-watched law enforcement debacle took place in Uvalde, Texas. Law enforcement waited roughly an hour before engaging with and killing a mass shooter at Uvalde Elementary. Before a team of Border Patrol agents killed the gunman, the shooter killed 19 children and two teachers.
A report released over the weekend detailed the missteps of local police during the tragedy. The report, researched and written by Texas lawmakers, said that the local police “failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety.”