Eleven Fewer Dead People
A deep dive on the Greenwood Park Mall shooting shows a clear path to even fewer dead people than that
On Sunday July 17, 2022, some dork with two rifles and a handgun attempted to shoot up the Greenwood Park Mall food court in Greenwood Indiana. In the span of only fifteen seconds he was shot eight times by private citizen Elisjsha Dicken, an 80% hit rate from forty yards with a double stack nine millimeter handgun, whereupon the dork decided to flee to the bathroom and do us all the favor of dying there. We have much to unpack about this instance, but five key points with mathematical backing show a clear path to saving hundreds of future lives, and further show why the media doesn’t want to save them. Let’s begin.
A Tom Brady Moment
This was a seriously impressive feat of shooting. Dicken has no military or police experience and was taught to shoot by his grandfather. The local news agency WTHR approached several instructors who attempted to replicate the shot, and were able to come generally near to replicating it a range of twenty-five yards. Pistol ranges only go out to twenty five yards. Dicken put eight out of ten shots on target in fifteen seconds at almost double the maximum pistol range distance, completely unprepared, jacked full of adrenaline in a situation that would make most untrained shooters panic, facing an opponent with a rifle designed for that engagement range. This shot was heroic beyond imagination, and the gun community is tremendously impressed. As Douglas Jefferson of NAAGA said in a private channel, “That’s a B-8 drill at almost twice the distance and only 1.5 times the time.” It stresses the need for anyone who carries a firearm to train for the scenarios in which they envision using them, but it also highlights the more important point that even shooters without formalized training can save dozens of lives, as long as they happen to be carrying when something like this happens. Which brings us to the next point.
Gun Free Zones Almost Killed Eleven People
Rampage killings are only stopped by two things, the police or private citizens. Three people died in this shooting. When we perform a true analysis of “rampage killing” statistics, we find that rampage killings stopped by police carry an average of 14.29 casualties, whereas rampage killings stopped by citizen responders carry an average of 2.33 casualties. The average police response time to a 911 call is eleven minutes. Mr. Dicken responded to this shooting forty four times faster than the average police response time, saving (by averages) 11.29 lives in the process. These are facts.
This entire engagement transpired in a gun free zone. If Mr. Dicken had followed the rules on the sign, then 11.29 additional people (by averages) would be dead. The gun free zone sign did not deter the shooter, and eleven people in that food court owe their lives to the fact that Dicken also ignored the sign. This is indisputable.
Permit Carry Laws Almost Killed Eleven People
Dicken didn’t have a permit to carry his firearm, because he currently doesn’t need one. Up until July 1st of this year, Indiana prohibited concealed carry of firearms by anyone without a license. The state’s “Constitutional Carry Law,” which means no permit is required to carry a firearm, only went into effect this month. Seeing how Dicken did not have a carry license prior to the law going into effect, it’s likely that without the law he wouldn’t have been armed, and 11.29 additional people (by averages) would be dead.
While the local Greenwood Police Department has been glowing over the efforts of Mr. Dicken, the Indiana effort to pass this law was opposed most publicly by law enforcement officials, such as Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter who testified against it. If Doug Carter had gotten his way 11.29 additional people would be dead. This is indisputable.
This cartoon from the Washington Post doesn’t even begin to describe the contrast between these two rampage shooting incidents. Not only did the Uvalde police response do nothing for almost an hour, they actively prevented multiple private citizens from responding on their own. They were very specifically acting as a security detail for a rampage shooter. They arrested parents to prevent them from entering the building. They even intercepted one police officer whose wife was dying in her classroom, disarmed him, and escorted him off scene. A more accurate version of this political cartoon would have 376 police officers surrounding the rampage shooter on a pile of bleeding yet not yet dead bodies, with their backs to him preventing citizens from saving the pile of injured people from dying. That is not an exaggeration.
The official inquiry into Uvalde is not complete as of the writing of this piece. It could be that the Uvalde failure was due to chicken shit cops. It could be due to the fact that all government of all kinds moves at the speed of molasses infused mud. It could be some secret tinfoil hat conspiracy. It could be something else, or some or all of the above. We don’t know. But what we do know is response time differences matter, and we know that 11.96 people are saved when the cops aren’t involved, 11.29 in this case.
I am not someone who lives in fear of rampage shootings. I understand the statistics, which show that these things are as rare as shark attacks, and I do not live in fear of sharks. But some people do live with this fear, because different people have different risk tolerances. It seems to me that some people who live with this fear have some significant overlap with ACAB (“all cops are bastards”) messaging. If you are a rational person within either or both of those groups, and compare Uvalde to Greenwood, you must conclude that absent a non-existent magic gun evaporation fairy the best alternative is ubiquitous citizen concealed carry. This is indisputable.
Mass Media Social Contagion
HWFO has discussed at length how media organizations such as Vox and CNN make millions of dollars by pushing freakoutery for clicks, and how their rampage shooting coverage approach increases the incidence of rampage shootings by one third because of copycat effects which are mathematically shown to be media driven. As of July 20th, CNN.com had nine articles about the Greenwood Park Mall shooting, including one opinion piece devoted to “debunking” the idea that good guys with guns can stop rampage shootings even though one just did. Currently they have two hundred and twenty nine articles about Uvalde. That’s twenty five times more coverage.
I will not claim that CNN’s stated goal is to glorify rampage shooters, but that’s the exact effect CNN’s behavior has in the mind of a potential rampage shooter. If CNN reversed its behavior and gave twenty five times more coverage to Dicken instead of Uvalde, then the psychological effects would dampen rampage shooters instead of inciting them. This very rampage shooter may have been spurred on by CNN’s behavior, and CNN gets 30% more rampage shootings to farm for clickbait money because of their behavior.
If the United States were to string together three consecutive incidents of rampage shooters getting plugged by private citizens within seconds, as happened in Greenwood Park Mall, and CNN were to give each of them the sorts of coverage they give to Uvalde, the rampage shooter dorks would be too scared to try it. They’d stay in their basement playing XBox instead of shooting people, and the second order effects of constitutional carry would exceed 11.96 saved per incident, because there would be fewer incidents. CNN not covering rampage shootings at all would reduce rampage shootings by one third. If they elevated coverage of failed rampage shootings stopped by citizens, they’d probably reduce them by an additional third.
But they don’t want to do that, because they’re hemorrhaging money. They need as many of these things to transpire as possible to make their bottom line. They are beholden to Moloch, trapped in a cycle that gets people killed, and the only way I can figure out of this cycle is to produce a lot more citizen shooters like Dicken.
The only way out is to shoot our way out and it’s CNN’s fault.