As more information emerges in the investigation of the weekend mall attack in Minnesota, one fact is emerging that the gun prohibition lobby will feverishly not acknowledge: Good guys with guns make a difference.
Much is being made by the mainstream press of the fact that the good guy in this case, Jason Falconer, is an “off-duty police officer.” But he’s also a private businessman, and reports say he is a part-time officer in a different jurisdiction. Essentially, at the time and place he fatally shot alleged mall slasher Dahir A. Adan, Falconer was an armed private citizen who owns and operates a business called Tactical Advantage Firearms Training in Waite, a community located just west of St. Cloud.
As increasing numbers of American citizens appear to be carrying concealed – and Falconer provides instruction to such citizens – the odds are increasing that other confrontations between bad guys and good guys will likewise go up. According to a recent study by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), somewhere in the neighborhood of 14.5 million Americans are licensed to carry.
Go the popular Google search engine and type in the words “Armed citizen stops robbery.” Almost instantaneously, there are more than 580,000 results.
For example, back on Jan. 20, the Alaska Dispatch News reported that an armed citizen helped detain a robbery suspect at the 5th Avenue Mall in Anchorage. Twenty-two-year-old Matthew Willhite, described as a chef at a Palmer pizza shop, held the robbery suspect at gunpoint while mall security handcuffed him.
Only a week earlier, two robbery suspects were shot by an employee at a T-Mobile store in Chicago. The two suspects had entered the store as though they were shopping, and then drew handguns. The armed employ drew his legally-licensed pistol and opened fire, hitting them both. Another employee called police. Both wounded bad guys were arrested at a local hospital.
Down in South Carolina this past June, a man pulled out a gun during an argument at a night club and fired several rounds, hitting three people. Another man who was licensed to carry drew and fired in self-defense, hitting the suspect in the leg. Sheriff’s deputies arrested the bad guy and the armed citizen reportedly cooperated and would not be facing charges.
According to the CPRC, during President Barack Obama’s administration, the number of concealed carry licenses and permits has soared nationwide. Just over 6 percent of the adult population is licensed to carry. In ten states, more than ten percent of the adults have permits or licenses, with Indiana in the lead at 15 percent. In the years from 2012 to 2016, the number of legally-licensed women has increased twice as fast as the number of legally-armed men.
Yet with all of this additional firepower, the number of homicides involving firearms has actually declined, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, from 8,874 slayings in 2010 to 8,124 in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available.