The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has been taking a lot of heat over the last few years. Much of that criticism towards the FBI has to do with allegations of the politicalization of the agency.
In other words, many people think that the FBI is no longer primarily about actually enforcing laws but are, instead, being used to push a political agenda onto Americans. At taxpayer expense, of course.
Even if the overall agency isn’t currently serving a political end, there are pretty clearly some in power there who value their politics (always left–leaning, imagine that) over their oath of office. It’s disgraceful when it happens.
(And if you’re one of those who wants to pretend that it’s not happening, the recently released Durham report should crush that delusion. No matter what your political leanings, the report made it absolutely clear that government agencies, including the FBI, intervened in areas outside of their legal scope of responsibility for political reasons. That’s bad for every American of all political persuasions, except, maybe, those who stand to personally gain from that intervention.)
But the FBI isn’t just being weaponized against political conservatives and libertarians who are simply trying to hold back government overreach. No, the FBI may be wandering into outright propaganda territory and trying to control the narrative on some issues.
Or, maybe, it was simply a statistician’s mistake. You decide.
What we’re talking about here (no surprise, since you’re on this site) is in reference to guns, gun violence, and guns used for personal protection and to resist tyranny. Specifically, we’re talking about the FBI’s statistics about how often civilians stop active shooter incidents. From our friends over at the Crime Prevention Research Center:
Evidence compiled by the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that the sources the media relied on undercounted the number of instances in which armed citizens have thwarted such attacks by an order of more than ten, saving untold numbers of lives. Of course, law-abiding citizens stopping these attacks are not rare. What is rare is national news coverage of those incidents. Although those many news stories about the Greenwood shooting also suggested that the defensive use of guns might endanger others, there is no evidence that these acts have harmed innocent victims.
The FBI reports that armed citizens only stopped 11 of the 252 active shooter incidents it identified for the period 2014-2021. The FBI defines active shooter incidents as those in which an individual actively kills or attempts to kill people in a populated, public area. But it does not include those it deems related to other criminal activity, such as a robbery or fighting over drug turf.
An analysis by my organization identified a total of 360 active shooter incidents during that period and found that an armed citizen stopped 124. A previous report looked at only instances when armed civilians stopped what likely would have been mass public shootings. There were another 24 cases that we didn’t include where armed civilians stopped armed attacks, but the suspect didn’t fire his gun. Those cases are excluded from our calculations, though it could be argued that a civilian also stopped what likely could have been an active shooting event.
The FBI reported that armed citizens thwarted 4.4% of active shooter incidents, while the CPRC found 34.4%.
Two factors explain this discrepancy – one, misclassified shootings; and two, overlooked incidents. Regarding the former, the CPRC determined that the FBI reports had misclassified five shootings: In two incidents, the Bureau notes in its detailed write-up that citizens possessing valid firearms permits confronted the shooters and caused them to flee the scene. However, the FBI did not list these cases as being stopped by armed citizens because police later apprehended the attackers. In two other incidents, the FBI misidentified armed civilians as armed security personnel. Finally, the FBI failed to mention citizen engagement in one incident.
That article continues:
As for the second factor — overlooked cases — the FBI, more significantly, missed 25 incidents identified by CPRC where what would likely have been a mass public shooting was thwarted by armed civilians. There were another 83 active shooting incidents that they missed.
The article also mentions that the FBI’s statistics undercount how many active shootings would have been stopped and, therefore, how many lives would be saved by even more widespread legal gun ownership because law abiding citizens in gun free zones and areas with heavy gun control aren’t carrying firearms to counteract criminals who are shooting. So, of course, there are fewer active shooters stopped in those areas.
And that’s not to even mention how many single–target shootings would have been stopped if the victim could have legally carried a firearm to scare off the attacker.
So, do you want the real numbers, the ones that aren’t biased by intentionally leaving out context like gun–free zones and other gun control nonsense which increases the number of deaths of innocent people? Here it is, from that same article:
Between 2014 and 2021, citizens stopped 104 out of 204 potential or actual mass shootings where we could identify that guns were allowed in the area. So 51% of attacks were stopped by people legally carrying concealed handguns. Again, the most recent data is most accurate, and for 2021, 58% of the attacks were stopped in areas where people were clearly allowed to carry.
The numbers indicate If we didn’t have gun-free zones, we would have more people stopping these attacks.
Again, for all the anti–2A people who think that we should depend on law enforcement to stop active shooters, here’s something from that same article:
But many in law enforcement disagree. In March 2013, PoliceOne surveyed its 380,000 active-duty and 70,000 retired law enforcement officer members. Eighty-six percent of members believed that casualties from mass public school shootings could be reduced or “avoided altogether” if citizens had carried permitted concealed handguns in those places. Seventy-seven percent supported “arming teachers and/or school administrators who volunteer to carry at their school.” No other policy to protect children and school staff had such widespread support.
So, no, it’s not just “gun nuts” like you and me who are advocating for more widespread legal carrying of firearms. It’s law enforcement wanting that, too (at least, police, if not the FBI’s statisticians), because they want to save lives.
The data, when you look at it context, is absolutely clear: legal gun ownership and legal carrying of personal firearms reduces the number of people injured and killed in active shooter incidents.
Or, to put it simply, legal gun ownership and legal carrying of firearms saves lives. Period. End of discussion.
And these folks in the government bureaucracy and in the mainstream media who keep arguing for things that make the world more dangerous for the average person need to be held accountable for their actions, removed from office, and replaced with people who actually care about the truth over their personal agendas.