Good Samaritan or Armed Vigilante?
Whenever a legally armed citizen stops a criminal from taking lives, or taking more lives, the anti-gun zealots do two things. First, the try to bury the story in the media and social media so the rest of the nation doesn’t hear about it. Second, when burying it doesn’t succeed, they minimize what happened, attack the legally armed citizen and attempt to show how stopping the threat was the worst, most dangerously irresponsible thing to do.
So is the case of the Greenville Park Mall shooting. A despicable excuse for a human being went to the mall with two rifles and one pistol. Emerging from the restroom, he began shooting at people in the food court. Within 15 seconds, a legally armed citizen who was shopping with his girlfriend, engaged the shooter from 40 yards away, hitting him with the first shot. He then closed in and neutralized him with eight of the ten total rounds fired, all while motioning for people to exit behind him. In the end, three people were killed, and two more injured not counting the deceased gunman. This legally armed citizen was carrying without a “permit” due to Indiana’s very recently enacted Constitutional Carry law. Even more remarkable was the fact he did not have a law enforcement or military background and had no formal firearms training. He learned to shoot from his grandfather.
Once the story was out, there was no burying it so anti-gun extremists put Plan B into effect. They attacked the good guy.
They disputed the fact that the armed citizen was legally carrying a firearm by noting the mall has a “Code of Conduct” which lists: No Weapons.
When the police and public began calling him a Good Samaritan, they began circulating the origin of the term and noting it was from a Bible passage describing how someone stopped and helped another person who was injured. Because of this it is unconscionable to describe someone who took a life as a Good Samaritan.
They called the legally armed citizen a “vigilante” because he shot and killed the gunman and didn’t let the police handle the situation.
They said the legally armed citizen put everyone in the mall in danger by having a gun battle with the shooter.
They claimed defensive gun use is extremely rare and that their data shows that “criminal carry” laws (what the anti-gun zealots call Constitutional Carry) “increase gun crime and gun homicides in the states where they’re passed.”
It’s times like this when a Luke Skywalker quote is appropriate. Every word of what you just said was wrong.
In Indiana, there is no criminal violation for carrying a firearm on private property in violation of a Code of Conduct. If discovered, the property owner can only ask the person to leave. Failure to leave on demand is trespassing.
But let’s expand on that a bit. Gun free zones, places which have signs saying no weapons allowed or a Code of Conduct forbidding the carrying of “weapons” are, and always have been the location of choice for mass murderers. Be it malls, schools or workplaces, 98% of all mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have occurred in a “Gun Free Zone”. The reason is painfully obvious. Law abiding citizens are expected to obey the rules not carry a firearm in them. But murderers have zero problems carrying a gun and killing in a Gun Free Zone. The fact that these Gun Free Zones do NOT screen 100% of the people coming into them and do NOT provide armed security or law enforcement within them makes it easy for murderers to kill unopposed.
Let’s not forget the words of the Wauwatosa, Wisconsin Mayor following the November 21st, 2020 shooting at the Mayfair Mall that left eight people injured. “Mayfair has a strict no-gun policy. If the shooter had complied with that policy, no one would have been hurt yesterday.”
Side note: Even the Greensville Park Mall commended this armed citizen: “… We are grateful for the strong response of the first responders, including the heroic actions of the Good Samaritan who stopped the suspect.”
Attacking the term Good Samaritan is just a straw man argument from the anti-gun zealots. Since the original Samarian only helped by rendering aid vs. taking a life to save many others, no modern day legally armed citizen who uses a firearm can be considered a Good Samaritan. Personally, I find it painful to think someone spent time coming up with that.
This legally armed citizen did not seek out someone to punish without legal authority, he responded to a threat to his life and the lives of innocent people all around him. It was self-defense, not a vigilante inspired gun battle that risked the lives of others. Had this legally armed citizen not intervened, how many would be dead waiting for the law enforcement response? Is this what they would have preferred? Sadly, the answer to that question is yes since a high body count helps them pass more gun control.
The anti-gun zealots are always trying to restrict an individual’s right to self-defense in this country. Even though the United States Supreme Court has ruled the Second Amendment DOES include this right, they’d prefer nobody except a tightly controlled, severely restricted and defunded law enforcement be able to use it.
Following the example of the United Kingdom, the Canadian Prime Minister recently declared: “No one in Canada has a right to defend themselves, their family, or their property with a firearm.” How long before they start saying that in the United States?
And finally, is defensive gun use rare? Not really. Firearms are used by everyday people around our country at a rate of 3:1 over felonious use, to the tune of approximately three million per year. In most of these incidents, the firearm isn’t even fired. Simply demonstrating the ability to be able to adequately defend yourself against a criminal is often enough to stop the crime in its tracks.
It’s also important to note the anti-gun zealots always claim Constitutional Carry laws will turn American cities into the wild, wild west and there will be blood running in the streets. Yet each and every time Constitutional Carry is signed into law, violent crime goes down and public safety goes up.
The FBI (yea, those guys) recently put out their metric of armed citizens stopping active shooter incidents at 4.4%. Except, they missed quite a few shootings and defensive uses. The real number is conservatively around 14.6%. Whether this was intentionally done to help drive a political narrative or simply incompetence, it’s best to take anything that comes out of the former premier law enforcement agency in our country with a massive grain of salt.
There’s one more thing I’d like you to take away from the Greenville Park Mall shooting and that’s the lack of focus on the gunman. Why? Because he was stopped quickly and effectively, we aren’t obsessing about every stupid detail about this psychopath. No stories about his pathetic life, how misunderstood his family says he was, or his horrific body count. Most people wouldn’t be able to recall his name, just as it should be.
Why? Because a hero named Elisjsha Dicken was there to stop him. The focus has been on the young man who had the skills and mental discipline to put a stop to the killing as soon as it started.
What do you think will deter the next mass shooter at a mall, school or workplace? A no weapons “Code of Conduct” policy with a little plastic window sign saying “Gun Free Zone” and a disarmed rule obeying population, or the realization that a legally armed citizen might be there to shoot you when you try to start killing people?
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