How Open Carry Laws, Not Gun Control, Prevented a Mass Shooting

22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken, who stopped the shooter.

A 20-year-old man carrying a rifle and pistol had planned to commit a mass shooting in an Indiana mall. A bystander killed him with a gun in less than 15 seconds.

The shooter had been in the bathroom planning the attack for over an hour. Within fifteen seconds of shooting into the mall’s food court, he killed three people, injured two others, and was shot and killed.

The hero is 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken. He had no prior police training, no military background, and was only taught to shoot because of his grandfather. Dicken fired off ten rounds within seconds of the shooting, hitting the shooter eight times 40 yards away.

  • Because of stories like these, Americans trust armed civilians more than police to stop mass shootings.

New laws allowed him to carry legally. A recent trend of pro-2A legislation has led many red states like Indiana to stop requiring permits for carrying. It’s the only reason he could legally carry.

A critical part of the story: The mall where the shooting occurred was a “gun-free” zone. For many, it’s evidence of how ineffective “gun-free” policies are. The zones prohibit law-abiding citizens—that could protect others—from concealed carrying. Those intent to harm, like the shooter, have no reason to abide by these rules.