Las Vegas Killing – Would armed citizens, skilled with rifles, have saved lives?

Below is a post – 5 Gunfighting Myths Debunked By Massad Ayoob.

[Shasta Defense comment: It shows how armed citizens disrupted a murder spree  (Texas Clock Tower sniper shootings) – reducing the number of casualties].  The Ayoob post follows:


Ray Martinez, hero of the Texas Tower incident, credited armed citizens on the ground with stopping the murder spree.

I don’t mean to insult anyone, but this statement flunks the litmus test for cluelessness. By definition, if you were able to shoot him at that distance, he was able to shoot you at that distance.

In 1867, Dave Tutt opened fire on Wild Bill Hickok across the town square in Springfield, Missouri. Hickok carefully aimed his .36 caliber Navy Colt two-handed and shot Tutt through the heart, killing him. The ruling: Justified.

Fast-forward about a century to 1966. Charles Whitman began a murder spree by firing his scoped rifle from atop a 330-foot clock tower in Austin, Texas, killing people hundreds of yards away. When police .38s and buckshot proved impotent at that distance, private citizens on the ground returned fire on Whitman with hunting rifles and target rifles. Whitman was forced to take cover and stop shooting. Armed citizen Allen Crum then led Austin policemen Houston McCoy and Ramiro Martinez to the top of the tower. Crum fired the first shot of the encounter (which may have broken Whitman’s planned ambush of the officers), and McCoy and Martinez shot Whitman dead. Martinez later publicly credited the armed citizens with stopping the killing. They became heroes, not defendants.

Fast-forward again to Brownwood, Texas, in 2012. A man went berserk and began killing his neighbors. When the first responding officer arrived, the killer pinned him down with a .30-30 rifle. Armed citizen Vic Stacy shot the gunman from some 65 yards away with a Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver, wounding him badly enough that the officer could take control and finish the fight, killing the killer. Far from becoming a defendant, the heroic citizen was presented with a fine rifle by appreciative Texas Governor Rick Perry.

The Ayoob  article is HERE

Also, from

“Texas Tower shooting of 1966, also called University of Texas clock tower shooting, mass shooting in Austin, Texas, on August 1, 1966, in which Charles Whitman, a student and ex-Marine, fired down from the clock tower on the campus of the University of Texas, killing 14 people and wounding 31 others (one of whom died years later from complications related to his wounds). Earlier in the day, Whitman had killed his wife and mother. The incident was one of the worst mass murders in a public area in the history of the United States and the first to unfold “live” in the era of mass media. …”

“…After killing or wounding a number of others on the mall, Whitman trained his fire toward the businesses of distant Guadalupe Street, wounding or killing others as they innocently passed by or sought cover in fear. Alerted by a phone call only minutes after Whitman began shooting at the mall, police arrived quickly on the scene, and one of them became another victim, shot dead through a columned stone wall. Most of the event’s casualties occurred within the first 15 or 20 minutes of Whitman’s fusillade. As police began arriving in greater numbers, they were joined by private citizens (many alerted by the on-the-scene radio report of the incident as it occurred) who came armed with hunting rifles. The expanding fire from the ground forced Whitman to seek shelter behind the observation deck’s thick walls and limited his targeting ability by confining him to shooting through waterspouts. … ” (emphasis added).

“…As a result the assault that ended Whitman’s rampage came about haphazardly. Using stairs and the elevator, three police officers and an armed citizen (the university bookstore manager), acting largely independently, found themselves together on the 27th floor. Without a plan or any real coordination, all four men took to the observation deck in a successful attempt to surround Whitman, enabling policemen Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy to shoot and kill Whitman. After more than 90 terrifying minutes, Whitman’s murder spree had been brought to an end. Excluding his wife and mother, he had killed 14 people (including the unborn child) and wounded another 31 (one of whom would die some 30 years later after deciding to end the daily dialysis treatments necessitated by his wounds).”

And this account, from a person on the 26th floor of the tower (one floor below the gunman)  from

‘…There’s bodies in the stairs, bodies in the stairs,’” said Houston defense attorney Herb Ritchie, who was a student on the 26th floor of the tower that morning helping a professor with a research project. He, along with seven other people, remained trapped one floor below the gunman for the full hour and a half before the siege ended.”