LA Times: These Gun Laws Would Have Stopped All But One Mass Shooting Over the Last Five Years

The LA Times argues that tougher gun laws might have prevented 146 out of the last 167 mass shootings. (Photo: LA Times)

The LA Times published an utterly pointless article last week that posited the question: “How many mass shootings might have been prevented by stronger gun laws?

This isn’t even a question worth asking because we’ll never know the answer.  It’s a counterfactual.  

To unpack it a little more, what the paper contends is that if, starting in 1996, we had a ban on straw purchasers (funny, but we already do), a safe storage requirement, universal background checks, red flag laws, a widespread prohibition on so-called “assault weapons” all at the federal level 146 out of the last 167 mass shootings might have been prevented, including all but one shooting in the past five years.   

Nonsense!  There’s no way to know such a thing because that reality, that other possible world or parallel universe, whatever you want to call it, doesn’t exist.  What I’m getting at is these types of conversations aren’t helpful to their cause.  They get nowhere by making suppositions of realties that are nonexistent.

What is helpful, on the other hand, is to examine specific policies that show signs of thwarting mass killers.  Pro-gunners argue that the limiting factor in any mass killing is ultimately the time it takes for a good guy with a gun to arrive on scene and use force, including deadly force, to stop the attacker.  The shorter the time it takes, the greater the potential for lives to be saved.  

Best case scenario would be, therefore, to have good guys with guns in all places at all times.  No more gun-free zones. This way, should a gun-wielding or knife-wielding or ax-wielding (pick your poison) lunatic go off and start attempting to kill people, an armed citizen can immediately respond with force thus eliminating the threat.  

SEE ALSO: Store Clerk on Dead Robber: He made a ‘very, very poor decision in a state like NC, where everyone has guns’

There are no guarantees that it plays out that way.  That must be acknowledged.  The lunatic might kill a few armed responders before he is finally brought down. But, as most pro-gunners would argue, some resistance is better than no resistance.  And in any life-threatening situation, most reasonable people would rather have a weapon on their person as opposed to no weapon at all.  

But do good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns in the real world?  Where’s the evidence that armed citizen responders save lives and stop mass killers? 

Now, these aren’t open-ended hypotheticals. These are questions we can answer, objectively.  And, if you’re a regular GunsAmerica reader, you probably know examples where good guys took down an active shooter. 

By the numbers and to put things in perspective, armed responders including concealed carriers stopped 11.5 percent of active shooter incidents in the U.S. from 2000-2017, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center.  

We don’t have to go back very far in time to cite an incident.  The December 2019 attack at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas.  A psycho with a shotgun killed two churchgoers before a lawfully armed parishioner fatally wounded him. 

Lives were saved as a result of that man’s actions. And that man was able to respond in the manner that he did because Texas embraces one’s right to keep and bear arms. It empowers individuals to take responsibility for the safety of themselves and their loved ones.

The aforementioned gun control, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. It hampers one’s capacity to defend oneself and one’s loved ones while also having little or no effect on criminals. Why? Because laws — regardless of how cleverly they are crafted — don’t typically work on the lawless.

Even the LA Times admits as much in the article, writing, “There is no guarantee that these laws would be effective in stopping motivated killers from ultimately achieving their goal.” 

Point blank there are no guarantees with any solution to mass killings.  Because mass killers tend to plan ahead and are more cunning than your average hot-headed or drug-addled criminal, even armed responders may not at first succeed in preventing a massacre. 

That said, we have documented cases were good guys with guns have stopped mass killers.  The same cannot be said for gun control, especially not to the tune of 11.5 percent of active shooter incidents over the last two decades.  

More needs to be done to stop homicidal maniacs. But if we know now that at least 1 out of 10 can be thwarted by resistance from responsibly armed citizens, why aren’t we doubling down on this strategy? It seems infinitely more promising than creating more red tape that criminals ignore in the first place.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • C.A. March 9, 2020, 6:43 pm

    Gun Control…Looks like we need to ban Democrats from owning guns!

    In 2001 a left wing radical democrat fired shots at the White House in a failed attempt to kill George W. Bush, President of the US.

    In 2003 Douglas Williams, a disgruntled democrat, shot and killed 7 people at a Lockheed Martin plant.

    In 2007 a registered democrat named Seung-Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people in Virginia Tech.

    In 2010 a mentally ill registered democrat named Jared lee Lloughner, shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 others.

    In 2011 a registered democrat named James Holmes, went into a movie theater and shot and killed 12 people.

    In 2012 Andrew Engeldinger, a disgruntled democrat, shot and killed 7 people in Minneapolis.

    In 2013 a democrat named Adam Lanza, shot and killed 26 people in a school.

    In Sept 2013, an angry democrat shot 12 at a Navy ship yard.

    In June 2016, Omar Mateen, a registered democrat and Muslim that pledged his allegiance to ISIS, shot 102 people in a Orlando gay night club.

    In June 2017, James Hodgkinson, a democrat, opened fire on Republican congressmen at a ball field in Alexandria, Virginia.

    In April 2018, Nasim Aghdam, a leftist PETA activist, opened fire at the YouTube building in California.

    In February 14th, 2018, Nikolas Cruz, a mentally disturbed young man, who authorities were warned about dozens of times, was a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla, killed 17, while the Browered Co. Sherriff hide out side. Cruz came from a Democrat family.

    In May 2019 two leftists, Devon Erickson, 18, and Alec McKinney, 16, who was listed on the court docket by the name Maya Elizabeth, a transgender, opened fire in a school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, injuring 8 and killing one.

    In July 2019 in a Southaven, Mississippi Waymart, Martez Abram a registered democrat, opened fire killing 2 and wounding 2.

    In July 2019 in Gilroy, California, 19-year-old Santino William Legan influenced by the book Might Is Right, a anti-capitalism, anarchist book by socialist author Ragnar Redbeard, heavily advocating egoist anarchism and Darwinism opened fire killing 3 and injuring 12 at a garlic festival.

    The shooter in El Paso—a socialist and registered democrat.
    The shooter in Ohio—a registered democrat.

    Gun control, which ONLY harms law abiding gun owners while it lets criminal run free. NO gun law has ever stopped a gun crime. Gun Free Zones have never stopped a school shooting. Disarming the law abiding does not stop crime! Democrats blaming guns for gun violence, is like a driver who ran a stop light, killing a pedestrian, and the city blaming the stop light manufacturer for the death.

  • Plunker March 9, 2020, 4:19 pm

    The 11% doesn’t include Law Enforcement officers (government-authorized armed citizens) who were needed to stop these killers. While pro-gun advocates can cite 11% of the mass killings over the last 20 years, how many can the anti-gunners cite that were stopped by UNarmed civilians? How about bystanders that were armed with pocket knives? Stun guns? How about mace or tear gas?
    Murder, assault, rape and armed robbery have all been illegal for as long as there have been laws. Making any guns illegal is nothing but an excuse to grab power from the country’s citizens by reducing their ability to resist tyranny – which is why the founding fathers saw fit to write a 2nd Amendment.

  • Bruce Stanton March 9, 2020, 10:31 am

    If ‘Maybe’ and ‘Buts’ were candy and nuts, the gun grabbers would have Christmas every day.

  • JonsOn March 9, 2020, 10:17 am

    The only way to stop mass shootings is to remove every single gun from the planet. Which as any person with half a brain knows that can’t be done. Of course if you could remove every gun a potential mass shooter would find another way to kill multiple people. I don’t see any law proposed or passed that would stop a killing. Gun laws are designed to stop the average citizen in some way and do nothing to the criminal. Also by looking at every gun law the left has proposed, passed or not it’s clear that their ultimate goal is power and control not the safety of you and me.

  • Chained March 9, 2020, 7:03 am

    “More needs to be done to stop homicidal maniacs”. Get rid of the CIA, they are behind most of the mass shootings in order to scare the middle class sheeple into crying for gun control—do it for the children oh my.

  • Vincent Brady March 9, 2020, 6:56 am

    This article type of thinking is called superstitious thinking. The mass murders of school children were actually very rare until the passage of the No Gun Zone law in 1990. Many anti-gun supporters choose to overlook the importance played by the No Gun Zone Law which actually supports the massacre of children, teachers and others. This law “enables and guarantees a successful mass shooting every time” by making everyone in the public school system absolutely defenseless. This law also guarantees the shooters’ safety since they alone have weapons! Politicians passed this law and created the public school mass shootings by knowingly removing all safeguards protecting the children. This law does not apply to private schools and there have been no mass shootings at private schools in the same 30 year time period (1990 to 2020). What is important is that after each shooting nobody did anything to prevent future mass shootings because anti-gun supporters went about blaming the wrong cause of the shootings. In their zeal, they seemed to forget that for 200+ years prior, mass school shooting were almost unheard of. This was due to the mere possibility of armed resistance endangering the shooter. This law guaranteed the shooters’ safety! By allowing armed security or volunteer armed teachers back into schools the mass carnage will end.

  • Jesse H Scott III March 9, 2020, 6:48 am

    Guess they forgot that while mass shootings make for good press, they are a tiny fraction of gun related deaths.

  • lalalib March 9, 2020, 6:27 am

    we should only allow democrats to be shot that law would solve everything

  • Will Drider March 7, 2020, 10:31 pm

    How many murders (single through mass numbers) have been stopped by criminal or gun Laws? NONE. This is why the gun grabbers push the Red Flag Laws. Every single Red Flag confiscation has some initial report of a physical threat of harm to someone. Even though its a one sided Hearing held by a Judge that wants to be reelected and will always error innsupport the requester. and THAT give them an accountable number to wave around as “Proof strict gun Laws save lives.”.

    If a person challenges another to fight, that’s no longer a physical fight threat it a threat to a persons life: Red Flags get waved and the guns are confiscated. Its worse that a poptart-gun being pointed in first grade with a Zero gun tolerance policy.

  • Ricky B. March 7, 2020, 2:09 pm

    Counterfactual, hey? Good word, ain’t heard that one before… I like it!

    As a big fan of the 2nd amendment & the proud owner of lots of awesome guns, I’m extremely sympathetic to most arguments against gun control. The only one that I have a really hard time getting behind is the argument against universal background checks… Don’t get me wrong, I understand the argument against this kind of measure well (i.e. there is no way to do this without providing the federal government with a centralized list of all guns and all gun owners) and I certainly wouldn’t like to be on such a list. However, I personally have never purchased a gun without submitting myself to a background check to provide the seller with reasonable assurance that I was not legally prohibited from owning the gun they were fixing to sell me.

    How about we enact the requirement for the background check at the federal level but then move the responsibility for performing the checks away from the feds and make it the responsibility of the individual states? There has just got to be a way for us to do a better job of ensuring that nut jobs don’t have access to guns without trampling all over the rights of all other law abiding US citizens… I mean you don’t have to be a freaking bleeding heart liberal to be disgusted by how many completely random mass casualty events are perpetrated in this country by individual nut cases who should have never been allowed to own a gun in the first place!

    • BiggieBlue March 9, 2020, 5:59 pm

      While I understand your hypothesize, I find it hard to accept the concept in that of all of the mass shootings, that I am aware of there has not been one case where any laws, on any books, would have prevented the shooter from carrying out their carnage. There are tons of laws on the books, many in extremely restrictive areas, California, Chicago, Detroit, are examples in the US, but then there is Japan, England, Mexico, Venezuela, and the mass killings in most of these countries is well above the US.

      So the only advantage the government, Federal, State , & Local has in implementing stricter gun laws is to eventually remove all guns from the citizens, kind of like what has happened in Venezuela, and a defenseless society cannot defend themselves. So the Second Amendment of our Constitution is our only defense against tyranny. The Ultra Liberal leftists and the Socialist have already openly stated that they intend to take our Second Amendments rights away. Want to see proof just look at what the Virginia State Government has been doing, and are planning on doing.

  • Andrew N. March 6, 2020, 7:20 pm

    We need to bring back Unicorns. In the land of Unicorns, there was no violence, just rainbows coming out of everyone’s asses. I’ll take that world any day over ours, with it’s mass shootings and random violence. Until we can bring the Unicorns back, I’ll keep my firearms close at hand, hopefully ready for whatever evil comes my way.

    • Ricky B. March 7, 2020, 2:33 pm

      Sorry bro but I don’t think anybody is even pretending the number of completely random mass causality events perpetrated by individual nut jobs in America is NOT remarkable in comparison to the rest of the world… If you don’t find this at all concerning, you and I just aren’t the same.

      There are plenty of valid reasons for violent conflict between groups of people who don’t like each other and it’s the reason that war has existed since the beginning of time. We can debate individual root causes of violence between people who don’t like each other all day long. The completely random mass slaughter of civilians by an individual nut case for no known reason at all isn’t something that even existed until fairly recently in human history though… While this phenomenon is certainly NOT something we have a complete monopoly on over here in the US, there is no other developed country on this planet that has as many of these type catastrophes as frequently as we do!

  • John Boutwell March 6, 2020, 10:43 am

    You are the only person on the planet that really has your personal safety at heart and your job is to defend yourself, unless you have bodyguards.

  • trebor March 6, 2020, 10:31 am

    If more gun laws will prevent shootings, crime, Chicago would be the safest city in the nation.

  • Andy March 6, 2020, 10:29 am

    And restricting all vehicles to only being able to drive at 65 mph will prevent 95% of MVA!

    • Ted March 7, 2020, 8:12 am

      I would add that if you had a way to PREVENT DISTRACTED DRIVING, that you would prevent most accidents from happening !

  • ~ Occams March 6, 2020, 10:06 am

    Pretty hard to make a law for citizens to stop a government-scripted event. Which is WHY they do them; to make new laws and ban more weapons.

    But as long as you all keep reading and watching MSM, and think you’re getting the truth, well……you’re getting exactly this because you believe their lies and these events.

    ‘HEY! I SAW IT ON CNN/FOX/MSNBC/HANNITY, so it’s REAL, pal! You’re just a conspiracy theorist!’

    ‘chip…..chip…..chip’

  • Ti March 6, 2020, 9:02 am

    Talk about time you’ll never get back. LA Times is the definition of the waste of carbon! PERIOD!

  • krinkov545 March 6, 2020, 8:58 am

    Dust your passport off, pack up the luggage, take a trip to Mexico in cartel controlled territory and report back of how wonderfully the severe and strict Mexican national gun laws work. Be sure not trip over any body piles.

    • deanbob March 6, 2020, 10:22 am

      …or take a look at some of the many guns that they have compliments of Obama and Eric Holder’s Operation Fast and Furious (OFF)! As far as I know neither Obama nor Holder NEVER apologized to US border agent Brian Terry’s family for the OFF gun responsible for that death.

  • R Rey March 6, 2020, 8:52 am

    We already have the most restrictive law on the books. “It is Illegal to commit Murder”. That didn’t work, so what makes these idiots think laws against gun possession will work instead.

  • Huapakechi March 6, 2020, 8:44 am

    Do you ever wonder about the mental stability of those who dream up these impossible statistical projections?

  • michael March 6, 2020, 7:32 am

    Whatever happened to 2A ? Has anyone seen it lately ? lol It seems the English language is one that’s hard to decipher. Shall Not Infringe.

  • Scott Boura March 6, 2020, 7:02 am

    There is an old saying……… “if there is a will there is a way”

  • Bobs your uncle March 5, 2020, 6:35 pm

    Want to stop a large amount of crime? Make it illegal to be a victim.

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