The sequence of events that led to the end of the Greenwood Park mall shooting in Indianapolis show that the armed bystander, 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken of Columbus, Ind., who fired the shots killing the attacker, reacted just 15 seconds after the shooter opened fire.
According to the Greenwood police, Dicken was shopping with his girlfriend when the shooter emerged from the mall restroom and opened fire. Within 15 seconds, Dicken told his girlfriend to hit the floor and advanced on the shooter, firing as he moved. While firing, he motioned for bystanders to get behind him, all the while still advancing and still firing.
When the shooter turned around and tried to return to the restroom, Dicken shot him several more times, ending the nightmare.
As you can probably guess, not everyone sees Dicken as a hero. But the young man proved something vital about concealed-carry laws.
Elisjsha Dicken’s heroism represented a one-stop rebuttal to a whole host of the most popular anti-concealed-carry talking points. Figures such as Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut are fond of insisting that the idea of the “good guy with a gun” is a “myth” or “a gun industry fiction.” But Elisjsha Dicken is not a myth. Activists who hope to prohibit modern sporting rifles are fond of contending that those weapons are far too powerful to be countered by civilians carrying handguns. But, by taking on a killer who had an AR-15 with just his 9mm Glock, Elisjsha Dicken proved them wrong.
Certainly, it would be foolish to suggest that everyone would have the presence of mind and the raw courage to confront an armed man in the last place one might expect to be confronting an active shooter: a consumer mall. But Mr. Dicken proved it can be done, and that’s got to be worth something.
Critics of America’s “gun culture” are fond of proposing that only the police or the soldiery have the training and temperament to stay calm and effective during a crisis. But, in the space of a few terrifying seconds, Elisjsha Dicken managed to realize what was happening, to instruct his girlfriend to stay low, to hit the shooter from a distance of 120 feet, and then to move further toward the danger to ensure that the threat had been neutralized and to gesture the shooter’s would-be victims to safety. Describing the incident, the local chief of police described Dicken as “responsible,” “very proficient,” and “very tactically sound.”
What response could there be from gun control advocates? As it turns out, some groups simply ignored Dicken’s heroism as if it didn’t exist.
In a telling statement, the Brady Campaign not only ignored Dicken’s heroism completely, but implied that Indiana’s concealed-carry laws had been to blame for the attack that he brought to a close. “A gunman shot and killed 3 people and injured 2 others at a mall in Greenwood, Indiana,” the group wrote. “This tragedy comes after Indiana repealed its requirement for a permit to carry a handgun in public, which went into effect July 1.” In isolation, these sentences are accurate. Their implication is not. Indiana’s decision to repeal “its requirement for a permit to carry a handgun in public” had no effect on the “gunman” who “shot and killed 3 people and injured 2 others,” because that gunman used a rifle to carry out his spree. But it did affect the hero, Elisjsha Dicken, who did not have a carry permit and who was thus able to carry his gun lawfully only because Indiana had rendered its permits superfluous.
Although the Greenwood Park Mall is supposed to be a gun-free zone, the owners of the mall didn’t seem to mind Dicken’s intervention.
“We grieve for the victims of yesterday’s horrific tragedy in Greenwood. Violence has no place in this or any other community. We are grateful for the strong response of the first responders, including the heroic actions of the good Samaritan who stopped the suspect,” the mall’s management said in a statement.
Mr. Dicken’s actions prove the efficacy of having an armed populace. Those who wish to prove otherwise now need new talking points, as the old ones aren’t operational anymore.