Top Pro & Con Arguments
Armed civilians are unlikely to stop crimes and are more likely to make dangerous situations, including mass shootings, more deadly.
None of the 62 mass shootings between 1982 and 2012 was stopped by an armed civilian.  Gun rights activists regularly state that a 2002 mass shooting at the Appalachian School of Law in Virginia was stopped by armed students, but those students were current and former law enforcement officers and the killer was out of bullets when subdued.  Other mass shootings often held up as examples of armed citizens being able to stop mass shootings involved law enforcement or military personnel and/or the shooter had stopped shooting before being subdued, such as a 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, MS; a 1998 middle school dance shooting in Edinboro, PA; a 2007 church shooting in Colorado Springs, CO; and a 2008 bar shooting in Winnemucca, NV.  Jeffrey Voccola, Assistant Professor of Writing at Kutztown University, notes, “The average gun owner, no matter how responsible, is not trained in law enforcement or on how to handle life-threatening situations, so in most cases, if a threat occurs, increasing the number of guns only creates a more volatile and dangerous situation.” Read More