An audit of mass shooting events finds that the ones stopped by police average twelve more dead than the ones stopped by citizens on the scene. Not that the police are bad at it, of course. They're just further away. When citizens are there who have the capacity to stop these shootings, the average death toll is only 2.3.

UPDATE: Interesting point raised by Glenn Reynolds. In response to a post by Volokh called "Do civilians with guns ever stop mass shootings?" he wrote, "Of course, if it’s stopped early, it’s never a mass shooting. . . ."

Turns out that the FBI definition requires four victims to achieve the "mass" standard. The average death toll when civilians stop it is 2.3. More, the author of that piece notes:
I found only one example of a shooter stopped by civilians who killed more than 3 people. Jared Loughner killed 6 people in Tucson, Arizona before he was tackled by two civilians. Maybe it’d have been less if one of those two men were armed.... If you compare the average deaths in a shooting rampage stopped by armed civilians to unarmed civilians you get 1.8 and 2.6, but that’s not nearly as significant as the difference between a proactive heroic civilian, and a cowering civilian who waits for police.
So, do civilians stop mass killings? Almost never -- since when civilians stop them, they usually don't rise to the level of mass murder, and thus don't end up in the same statistical category.


Ymar Sakar said...

Didn't people already this figure this out 6 years ago around the time of Ft. Hood 1?

Considering Waco and Ruby Ridge, which was before even then, that would mean several decades had already passed.

raven said...

Grim, did that number include the murderer?

Grim said...

No. You can read his methodology here. He is apparently a math enthusiast.