A recent episode of ABC’s “The Rookie” put a law-enforcement officer and a legally armed citizen in a tense debate over what should be done in a robbery situation.
“Why aren’t you doing anything?” asks the citizen. The officer refuses to intervene. The armed citizen then decides to do something. Despite his best intentions, the armed citizen’s actions manage to get himself and another civilian shot by the machine-gun wielding robbers who then escape.
“Leave it to a good guy with a gun to really screw things up,” the officer later says.
Reality, however, tells a different story for armed citizens.
The 2021 National Firearms Survey, conducted under the supervision of Georgetown professor William English, found that there are roughly 1.67 million defensive gun uses a year, most of which take place without the armed citizen firing a shot.
Unfortunately, “The Rookie” isn’t the only show trying to portray lawfully armed citizens as a problem in society. “Law & Order,” “Blue Bloods,” “FBI: Most Wanted,” and other shows have recently labeled armed citizens as “vigilantes” and “idiots,” or contrived a plot that involves an armed citizen making matters worse.
“[T]elevision shows have begun to demonize concealed-carry permits,” wrote Dr. John Lott, founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC).
Data from the CPRC shows that more-than-21-milllion Americans carry concealed, and that these individuals are among the most-law-abiding citizens in the country.
Unfortunately, many Americans are unaware of just how common defensive gun uses are, or how safe armed citizens typically are. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually suppressed a study that shows this. And, as politics is downstream of culture, it’s important to call out these untrue narratives when they are presented.
The NRA maintains the Armed Citizen column to highlight just how prevalent defensive gun uses are.