Armed Citizens Don't Count

matthew's picture

Recently, Mother Jones published a widely-circulated study suggesting that armed citizens have never stopped any mass shootings in the USA. It's important to know how these things are counted, though. If the shooting doesn't boast a sufficient number of deaths -- at least four dead -- then it just doesn't count. That's a lot of mass shootings that just don't count as such.

Let's take a look at what else doesn't count.

  • The San Antonio Theater Shooting doesn't count because the armed citizen who stopped it was an off-duty cop, hired security for the restaurant, and despite multiple rounds fired only one person besides the shooter died.
  • The Trolley Square shooting doesn't count as an armed citizen stopping it because he was also an off-duty cop.
  • The Clackamas Mall shooting doesn't count because the armed citizen never actually fired his weapon.
  • The Santa Clara shooting doesn't count because an armed citizen prevented it from reaching the required minimum of four victims.
  • The Frontier Middle School shooting doesn't count because the teacher wrestled the shooter's own gun from him.
  • The Pearl High School shooting doesn't count because the body count was only three when the vice-principal stopped him, and the vice-principal never fired a shot.
  • The Appalachian School shooting doesn't count because the body count was, again, too low, plus students "tackled" the shooter. The fact two other students were pointing loaded firearms at the shooter? Doesn't count.
  • The Tyler Texas shooting doesn't count because the armed citizen was the only one killed when he returned fire. Insufficient body count, and really, the citizen got what was coming to him for getting involved, right? He doesn't count.
  • The Arvada, Colorado shooting doesn't count because it took place in two separate places, with individual body counts of two apiece. Plus, the shooter killed himself; the fact he had already been severely wounded by an armed parishioner doesn't count.
  • The Tucson, Arizona ("Gabby Giffords") shooting doesn't count because even though one of the citizens who tackled the shooter was armed, he didn't draw the firearm.
  • The Aurora, CO "Church Shooting" doesn't count because the shooter only killed one person before being killed in turn by an armed parishioner.

Mother Jones, you're absolutely right. Armed citizens don't stop mass murders because, well, apparently armed citizens simply don't count.

And for my fellow armed citizens, we've learned an important and valuable lesson from Mother Jones. Next time:

  1. Ensure you are not a current or former police officer or military veteran. If you get involved, you won't count. Perhaps you should just walk away.
  2. Wait until the murderer has killed at least FOUR innocent people before drawing your sidearm. If you get involved too early and save innocent lives, you won't count.
  3. Ensure you fire at least one shot -- even if it is not required to subdue the shooter -- so that your tally counts.

Unfortunately for Mother Jones, I can count. There's no way I'd stand idly by so that their counts could finally stand up to scrutiny.

Matthew P. Barnson


EDIT: A mutual friend brought up that I apparently missed an article quite similar to my blog entry. Apparently, I agree with Ann Coulter on an issue.

EDIT: I hereby license this work under the Creative Commons "Share and share alike" license. Basically, it's yours to share, but attribute your modifications.


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daniel's picture

Ann Coulter's back?

As a long time reader, Ann Coulter brought back some memories :-). Hard to believe that the big Ann discussion was 7 years ago.

weed's picture


I miss the discussions we used to have here. We need to get back into it again.

My $.02