By: José Niño

Last week, Chicago police confirmed that a Good Samaritan with a gun prevented a potential mass shooting from occurring.

On July 4, a gunman shot and killed a woman and wounded two others. According to a report by the Chicago Tribune, police officers were notified about a shooting that took place late that night. When police arrived at the scene, four people were wounded by gunfire.

Upon surveying the crime scene, however, law enforcement discovered that among the wounded was the gunman who initiated the crime. An armed civilian — a 49-year-old man with a concealed carry license — saw the attack and immediately intervened by shooting the gunman in the arm and the hip.

Sadly, the gunman was able to kill a woman in this exchange, while the two other individuals who were wounded were rushed to a hospital close by where their conditions were stabilized. The assailant was taken to a hospital nearby and later placed in custody once his condition was stabilized. He would later be charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault, and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Overall, this violence was not isolated. The Fourth of July weekend was particularly violent in Chicago, with 100 residents being shot and 17 killed during this wave of criminal activity. This is a rather pedestrian occurrence in the Windy City at this point, which is notorious for its high crime rates.

Leftists like Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot quickly blame guns and abstract concepts such as “systemic racism” for her city’s deadly state. Lightfoot’s comments on the matter completely ignore Illinois’ strict gun control laws and Chicago’s questionable policing strategies.

Nonetheless, this situation embodies the utility of having a right to bear arms. Guns aren’t just for hunting. They’re useful to keep despotic governments in check and for self-defense when public order breaks down.

Defensive gun cases have been quite prominent in the last three decades as more Americans have acquired concealed carry licenses and are able to defend themselves and their property thanks to laws that allow people to use lethal force in self-defense.

According to research that criminologists Dr. Gary Kleck and Dr. Marc Gertz conducted in the 1990s, there are approximately 2.2 to 2.5 million cases of firearms being used in self-defense on an annual basis. Of the cases they analyzed, Kleck and Gertz found that handguns were used in 1.5 to 1.9 million instances.

All things considered, an armed, law-abiding population can serve as a check against crime and greatly limit the carnage of would-be murderers. As they say, the best answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.