Averted Seattle Mass Shooting Shows You Don’t Need A Gun To Stop Assailant


Gifts are pouring in for Jon Meis, the engineering student being credited with stopping a mass shooting at Seattle Pacific University last week, says the Christian Science Monitor. Aaron Ybarra, a 20-something with a history of mental illness, is in custody for the shooting rampage, which left one man dead. The shooter entered the university with a shotgun, and when he paused to reload, Meis pepper-sprayed him and subdued him. Ybarra was not a student at the school; his attorney said he suffers from delusions.

Meis’s act of heroism stands out for how he stopped the shooter. The gun lobby has argued that armed and responsible citizens are an important way to stop mass shooters. The FBI has tracked 104 mass-shooting events from 2000 to 2012. In 16 percent of the cases, the suspect was either subdued (14) or shot (3) by victims before law enforcement arrived. Fighting with a shooter is the last thing you should do if caught in a mass killing, says the Department of Homeland Security. It recommends fleeing, hiding, or fighting, only as a last resort. An agency video shows people using a fire extinguisher, a belt, and a chair to fight an attacker. “Act with aggression. Improvise weapons. Disarm him. Commit to taking the shooter down no matter what,” the video says.

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