Crime & Public Safety

CITIZEN VOICES®

Do armed citizens prevent mass shootings?

Jun 13, 2018

A gunman in Oklahoma City recently shot and wounded 3 people at a restaurant before being killed by two armed civilian bystanders. Some have pointed to this incident as proof that armed citizens can be part of the solution to gun violence. Others say improperly trained citizens may do more harm than good and hinder law enforcement in doing their job.

Read more about issues related to guns in New Hampshire

“Would having more armed citizens help prevent mass shootings?”

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page May 29, 2018

133 citizens responded101 citizens believed more armed citizens prevent mass shootings36 citizens do not believe more armed citizens prevent mass shootings18 citizens commented on related questions or issues

What Participants Said

Yes: 101 citizens believed having more armed citizens helps prevent mass shootings.

  • “The time it takes for officers to show up to a situation like this means that hundreds could be killed. Arm the good guys. Gun laws only effect [sic] regular citizens that follow the law.”
  • “NH has some of the most relaxed gun laws and still remains one of the safest places in the country to live.  Live free or die.  Trust your fellow citizen, stop relying on the law to defend yourself.”
  • “The time it takes for officers to show up to a situation like this means that hundreds could be killed. Arm the good guys.”

No: 14 citizens did not believe having more armed citizens helps prevent mass shootings.

  • “If an increase in gun ownership helps prevent mass shootings, why do we have any at all?  Gun sales sky rocket after every shooting and yet the number of shootings continues to increase also.”
  • “No. … Proof is every other developed country in the world.”
  • “I really don't want to go into a public place and wonder which of the gun toting patrons is the one who is going to open fire. More guns in public will just make people stay home.”

Other: 27 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included broader issues related to gun control:

  • “We already have permitless carry and some of the least restrictive gun laws in the country. Yet, NH doesn’t have a gun violence problem. Fix the people problem and you fix the violence issues.”
  • “Our country has been full of guns since before 1776.  Nothing new.”
  • “We have to [sic] many gun controls and none are enforced.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology

Comments

Chuck Malias
- Manchester

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 9:48am

Comment: 

One of the comments from a participant who voted 'yes' is "trust your fellow citizen, stop relying on the law to defend yourself.”

I have absolutely zero trust in my fellow citizen. Just look at how we treat each other on the roads - distracted, aggressive driving with little regard for anyone's safety. I also saw a study that reported on average, a child dies every other day due to gun accidents.

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