90 Miles From Tyranny : Armed Citizens Are Successful 94% Of The Time At Active Shooter Events [FBI]

infinite scrolling

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Armed Citizens Are Successful 94% Of The Time At Active Shooter Events [FBI]

The FBI has published 3 reports that collectively detail active shooter events from 2000-2017. The first report covered events from 2000 to 2013, the second covered 2014-2015, and the third and most recent covered 2016-2017.

It is important to note that the FBI has no specific system in place for finding and cataloging active shooter events. They manually search for and include them in their reports the same way anyone else might Google it which of course means there is room for error particularly in missing events that should have been included.

The FBI definition of an Active Shooter event is: “One or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.”

A few important distinctions about the FBI definition of Active Shooter include:

  • A firearm must be used by the attacker. This then means they have not included incidents like the armed citizen who saved a woman outside the GM building in Detroit from a stabber or the man who was stopped by a CCWer in a Smiths Grocery store in Salt Lake City when he was stabbing shoppers at random.
  • Domestic incidents are not included. The FBI feels that an Active Shooter event has to be one in which the attacker is endangering strangers not only their own family members.
  • Gang-related violence is excluded also.
  • For the FBI to define an incident as an Active Shooter incident both law enforcement personnel and citizens have to have the potential to affect the outcome of the event based upon their responses to the situation.

So Is The FBI Data Complete?

Within the Active Shooter definition used by the FBI, it is broad enough that there are likely a large number of incidents that are being missed by the FBI. The Crime Prevention Research Center has taken the lead after each report has been published to identify events that should have been included that were missed. In some of those cases, the FBI has acknowledged their error but still never updated the list of events.

Lott found that there was a greater tendency to miss events from the first decade (2000 to 2010) than in more recent years. This is at least in part to the changes in technology and news reporting. In 2014 when the FBI did their first report it would have been difficult to search for and find Active Shooter events from the early 2000s. Lott suggests there may also have been some intentional bias in not reporting on some earlier events in order to show a greater increase in incidents over time.

So, for our own report that follows, we have included all of the FBI data but have also added a number of incidents that the FBI missed which were identified by the CPRC. Of the 282 Active Shooter events in our data pool; 247 of them come from the FBI's original reports while an additional 35 identified by the CPRC have been added. I carefully reviewed each of those 35 incidents to make sure they meet all the FBI Active Shooter criteria.
So What Does the Data Show?

This first chart simply shows the number of active shooter events over time. We believe the first 10 years or so reported are likely under-reported by the nature of how the data was compiled, but regardless one could arguably suggest that Active Shooter...

Read More HERE