Civilians and Active Shooters

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So you are sitting, chilling out in your home when you hear gunfire outside. When you pop your head out you see one of your neighbors hiding behind a tree taking pot shots with a rifle. Its then you notice that the person he is popping off at is a police officer barricaded behind his patrol car. What do you do?

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Well this isn't a scenario, it really happened last month in Early, Texas. Charles Ronald Conner, the neighbor with the rifle, had just shot and killed a couple in their 50s over a dispute about dog scat. Witnesses say that Conner even stood over the couple's bodies and delivered kill shots once they were down. It was shortly after that police arrived on scene and Conner took them under fire.

The outcome

The man sitting in his home and responding to the hail of gunfire was 66-year old Vic Stacy. Stacy retrieved his personal weapon, a .357 Magnum revolver of an undisclosed type and tried to do what he could to help. From an amazing distance of 50-yards, Stacy fired six rounds at Conner and hit him four times. With Stacy distracting Conner, the officer from behind cover engaged and ended the threat with another two well-placed rounds. Stacy was praised by the local sheriff who said, "...the main consolation on this is I think he helped save the officer's life, kept him from driving into an ambush."

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The trailer park gunman was a classic active shooter on a rampage and more than likely would not have stopped on his own accord. An Active Shooter incident is when one or more subjects participate in a shooting spree, random or systematic with intent to continuously harm others. (Source: U.S. Army Military Police School, Active Shooter POI)

Civilians vs. Active Shooters

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In 2010 firearms trainer Ron Borsch extensively studied 40 active shooter cases in the United States and overseas. His findings were startling in the fact that he could document that "About 70% of these killing sprees were "aborted" (ended) by third-party intervention, without which the death toll undoubtedly would have been higher." By third-party intervention he meant by civilians-- not law enforcement. Armed and unarmed regular people stopped these sprees. By students and teachers, garbage men and secretaries who decided that it was their time to act. In these cases, the civilians were instant responders. The study goes on to state that, "Of the total aborts, two-thirds were by armed or unarmed civilians, initially taking action alone the overwhelming majority of the time."

So take from that there is a risk in doing something, but the greatest risk lies in doing nothing.
Good shooting, Vic.

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September 24, 2012  •  12:57 AM
Arm yourselves with this information, my friends! Load it into that magazine in your mind where you keep your high-velocity counter-arguments to the blather of the ignorant Hoplophobes (weapon-haters) that you encounter. You may not convince the hater, but for every zealot there are a multitude of of undecided people who will respond to a logical and well-substantiated position with favor. We need those people to favor our stance on firearms legislation and attitudes and rational, documented statements will do much more than bellowing insults. So load this story up with all the other positive examples of firearms and shooters doing good for society; they are the jacketed-hollow-point plus P's of our cause!
September 24, 2012  •  07:09 PM
Great article. Re-posted and shared with pride. well done!
September 24, 2012  •  08:17 PM
Here in Kalifornia, he'd be in jail. Defending yourself is frowned upon. Owning a gun, let alone being a firearms enthusiast, makes you a baaad person. (Sigh)
September 26, 2012  •  12:14 PM
My wife and I were just debating this very topic. She felt that since I'm a CCW holder and she knows I always carry, that I may get involved in just such a scenario. I told her that each situation would determine my course of action but I carry to defend myself and the lives of those around me. She felt the police or another armed citizen may mistake me as the bad guy when they see me with a weapon. That is just the chance I will take to try and do the right thing in a given situation. Will I go looking for that situation? No but if I find myself in such a situation I would feel compelled to act. Nice article and something we should all ponder.
September 30, 2012  •  12:22 PM
With civilians seven times more likely to hit their target in a shooting incident than a police occifer, it may not only be absurd to wait, and wait, for law enforcement to come pick up the pieces but counterproductive on so many levels as well. Anti-gun Mayor Bloomberg's NY's Finest recently gave us a great example. Let's go through the numbers: two veteran cops, they fired 18 shots, one dead perp, they hit him seven times, nine wounded innocent bystanders!

Sorry, but we, including society as a whole, can't pin our hopes on below average citizens whether they be uniform-wearing union members or gang members wearing colors.