In the wake of the atrocity that took place at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016, where a jihadi pledging loyalty to ISIS murdered 49 people and injured many more until he was finally slain by Orlando SWAT, realists all over the country pointed out that if Pulse had not been a gun-free zone, and if at least a few of the patrons had been carrying concealed handguns, they might have been able to stop the mass murderer and vastly reduce the toll of the dead and injured.

Anti-gun politicians and spokespeople didn’t like that idea at all. In the September 2016 edition of America’s 1st Freedom, Professor John Lott wrote, “While Donald Trump has called to end gun-free zones, Hillary Clinton, speaking in the aftermath of the Orlando, Florida, atrocity, dismissed the idea as ‘reckless’ and as evidence that her opponent is ‘temperamentally unfit’ to be president. Other Democrats have chimed in. President Obama, in his prepared remarks after the shootings at Pulse, announced, ‘The notion that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies common sense.’ Bill Clinton asserted that if someone had a permitted concealed handgun at the Pulse nightclub, ‘it is likely that more people would have been killed.’”

Thankfully, Professor Lott offered the truth: “But there are dozens of cases, most in the last five years, in which concealed handgun permit holders stopped mass public shootings. Last year, these cases occurred in such places as a busy sidewalk in Chicago; a volunteer fire department having a children’s day in South Carolina; a barbershop in Philadelphia; a store in Conyers, Georgia; and a street in Winton, Ohio. In not one of these cases did a permit holder accidentally shoot an innocent bystander. Nor did the police accidentally shoot these heroes upon arriving at the scene.” Let’s call these incidents cases one through five. Scroll through the gallery above to learn about six more cases where an armed citizen stopped a mass murderer.

You will find still more documented cases like these in my friend Chris Bird’s excellent new book “Surviving A Mass Killer Rampage,” which is available from I highly recommend it.

This article was originally published in ‘Combat Handguns’ February 2017. To subscribe, visit

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