As the number of civilians legally carrying firearms continues to grow, stories of lawful defense have occurred with increasing frequency. Several recent incidents illustrate the different ways that such confrontations begin — and how they can end.
Last month, a man entered a McDonald’s across the street from Princeton Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. According to local news station WBRC, “A masked man entered the restaurant when an employee opened the door for a father and his sons to leave. The masked man then opened fire in the restaurant. At that point, the father began shooting at the masked man.”
The armed good Samaritan sustained life-threatening injuries but is expected to fully recover. One of his sons is also recovering from injuries. According to WBRC, “The masked gunman died from wounds suffered during the incident.” All in all, a good outcome.
The bottom line in this case is that a potential mass shooting was thwarted by a legally armed civilian. Note also how this case proves the validity of the old saying that, sometimes, “Timing is everything.” Had the good Samaritan father left the restaurant only a few minutes earlier, he might not have been able to stop what could have been a massacre similar to the horrific Pennsylvania synagogue shooting.
CBS affiliate WIAT later reported, “The investigation is still ongoing, but based on the preliminary information, the father won’t face any charges.” We would certainly hope not.
In another case, FOX affiliate Q13 News reported that a Washington State man with a knife attacked a woman at the Seattle Center. The woman, who is the attacker’s partner and mother of their 4-year-old child, was sent to Harborview Medical Center after she was stabbed multiple times.
According to Q13 News, after witnessing the attack, an armed bystander chased after the suspect, backing him down until another man pepper-sprayed the suspect. The police arrived and subsequently tased and arrested the attacker.
What is most interesting to us is the incredible restraint that the armed citizen showed, even as the knife-wielding suspect continued to advance toward him. Instead of shooting, he continued to try to get the man to drop the knife. Video of the incident can be seen at:
As is the case in the vast majority of civilian defensive gun uses, no shots were fired, and no bystanders were harmed. But tragically, the woman who was stabbed later died of her injuries.
These incidents illustrate how responsible the vast majority of us who legally carry are. This is something we have endeavored to make clear to the public since the beginning of the carry movement. This reality is also something the media often either ignores or goes out of its way to actively bury.
Finally, just last week, Scott Beierle walked into a yoga studio (of all places) in Tallahassee, Florida, and started shooting — killing two women and wounding several others. An unarmed customer, Joshua Quick, bravely attempted to disarm the shooter, giving others time to escape. Beierle regained control of his gun but then turned it on himself.
Kudos to Quick, but had someone been armed, things might have turned out differently. This is why we promote everyday carry (EDC) whenever, and wherever, it is legally possible to do so. Be responsible. Be vigilant. Be aware. Be prepared.
There is no “safe space” in today’s world.