Meet America’s No. 1 Lawful-Carry Hero

posted on October 6, 2022
hero statue
Illustration: Gary Locke

As of July 17, 2022, Americans who are tired of being told that there is no such thing as a “good guy with a gun” have been able to respond to the charge with just two words: Elisjsha Dicken.

Elisjsha Dicken is the 22-year-old Hoosier who halted a mass shooting at a mall in Greenwood, Ind., just 15 seconds after it began. Having realized what was happening, Dicken drew his 9 mm Glock, told his girlfriend to take cover, steadied himself against a post and reportedly took the murderer down from a distance of 120 feet. Eight of his 10 shots hit their target, and while he moved in to ensure that the killer had been neutralized, he helped to evacuate the area with his other hand. Had he not been there, the local police department confirmed, “many more people would have died.” The difference, per the local chief of police, was “a responsible armed citizen that took action very quickly.”

Of course, Dicken was more than just quick. He was calm, effective and brave. Among the words that Greenwood’s authorities used to describe his actions were “responsible,” “proficient” and “tactically sound,” which matters a great deal, because if one were to take at face value the rhetoric offered up by America’s gun-control movement, one would assume that the tens of millions of civilian concealed-carriers in the United States were incapable of being any of those things.

In that respect, Elisjsha Dicken is not only a hero; he is a walking myth buster. By his actions, he proved once again that responsible concealed carriers not only exist, but also that they are willing to intervene when evil rears its head; he proved that it is possible for the citizenry to be “tactically sound” without first joining law enforcement or the military; he proved that a single person armed with a handgun is able to prevail against a murderer armed with a rifle; and he showed that there are clear benefits to the constitutional-carry system that Indiana had adopted just two weeks prior to the incident in which Dicken intervened.

Since the incident, many of America’s most-prominent gun-control groups have attempted to spin all of this away. Declining to mention Dicken at all, the Brady Campaign noted on Twitter that “this tragedy comes after Indiana repealed its requirement for a permit to carry a handgun in public, which went into effect July 1.” Chronologically, this is true. But, when one looks closer, one learns that it makes precisely the opposite case from the one that Brady is trying to make. Because he used a rifle—and because he broke every law on the books, including the ones that outlaw murdering innocent people—Indiana’s adoption of constitutional carry had no effect on the murderer whatsoever. But this case does show the benefit of more law-abiding Americans being able to defend themselves and others, which is exactly why Indiana adopted constitutional carry this year. The entire point of constitutional carry is to eliminate the burdens on lawful concealed carriers, so that more “good guys with guns” are around to protect the public.

As ever, the divide in our gun-control debate lies between the people who believe that criminals are likely to obey the laws and the people who understand that is ridiculous. No law could have prevented the murderer from attempting to kill people at the Greenwood Mall, but all manner of laws could have ensured that, when he did, there was nobody there to fight back. Thankfully, Indiana’s laws ensured the opposite—and, when called upon to do just that, Elisjsha Dicken stepped up to the plate. 


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