Ed Schultz: "We've Never Had a Civilian Stop a Shooting"

Posted: Jan 11, 2013 9:25 PM

Yeah, he really said this:

Where did he get this idea? Jack Coleman over at NewsBusters thinks the claim originated from a Mother Jones article written in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, but Schultz doesn’t source the statement. The Mother Jones report states: “In the wake of the slaughters this summer at a Colorado movie theater and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, we set out to track mass shootings in the United States over the last 30 years. We identified and analyzed 62 of them, and one striking pattern is this: In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun.” (According to the criteria used in their research, a mass shooting is when the "shooter took the lives of at least four people.")

When armed civilians or off-duty police officers are present in active shooter scenarios they respond quickly—usually preventing the situation from becoming a mass shooting.  For example, in 2007, former police officer Jeanne Assam volunteered to work security at her church in Colorado and prevented a mass shooting:

There was also the recent incident of a gunman opening fire at the Mayan Palace Theatre in San Antonio just days after the Connecticut shooting. An off-duty cop stopped the gunman.  

Of course, there are other examples of “civilians” preventing mass shootings. Mark Hemingway over at The Weekly Standard provides more examples:

-- Winnemuccas, Nev., 2008: Ernesto Villagomez opens fire in a crowded restaurant; concealed carry permit-holder shoots him dead. Total dead: Two. (I'm excluding the shooters' deaths in these examples.)

-- Appalachian School of Law, 2002: Crazed immigrant shoots the dean and a professor, then begins shooting students; as he goes for more ammunition, two armed students point their guns at him, allowing a third to tackle him. Total dead: Three.

-- Santee, Calif. 2001: Student begins shooting his classmates -- as well as the "trained campus supervisor"; an off-duty cop who happened to be bringing his daughter to school that day points his gun at the shooter, holding him until more police arrive. Total dead: Two.

-- Pearl High School, Mississippi, 1997: After shooting several people at his high school, student heads for the junior high school; assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieves a .45 pistol from his car and points it at the gunman's head, ending the murder spree. Total dead: Two.

-- Edinboro, Pa., 1998: A student shoots up a junior high school dance being held at a restaurant; restaurant owner pulls out his shotgun and stops the gunman. Total dead: One.

Believe what you will, Mr. Schultz, but it’s more accurate to say that "civilians" have prevented more mass shootings than “gun-free zones” have.


H/T: NewsBusters

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