The Gun Controllers’ Eli Dicken Problem

By now, you’ve heard all about how “Good Samaritan” Eli Dicken stopped an active shooter at a Greenwood, Indiana mall, sending the bad guy to his eternal reward. The murderer killed three people and wounded two more before Dicken dropped him from 40 yards away.

Eli Dicken
Eli Dicken displayed impressive marksmanship in taking down the murderer at Greenwood Park Mall. (

⚠️ The opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and may not reflect the opinions of The Mag Life Blog or Gunmag Warehouse

Dicken’s impressive marksmanship scored eight hits out of ten rounds fired from his 9mm Glock. All done within 15 seconds of the shooter emerging from the mall restroom. From the holster. That’s fantastic shooting by any standard, especially when under extreme stress. Dicken’s grandfather taught him to shoot.

Excellent job, sir. I’m sure you’re proud of your grandson.

Greenwood Park Mall

Deserved Praise and Questionable Criticism

Dicken’s actions were lauded by Greenwood law enforcement and city leadership. Even the mall management company, who posted the “gun free zone” signs on their doors, expressed their gratitude. The wider gun community has also touted the incident as further proof that “gun free zones” are nothing of the sort and that the good guy with a gun saved the day. More on that later.

Greenwood, Indiana Police Chief statement on Eli Dicken
Greenwood Police Chief James Ison details how effective Eli Dicken was. (

First, I want to address the sickening hypocrisy of gun control advocates and their media disciples in the incident’s wake. They’ve demonstrated once again that the agenda rules the day. Nothing, not even a clear-cut example of an armed civilian saving lives, will drive them from their elitist perch. They even contest the Greenwood Police describing Dicken as a “Good Samaritan,” knowing full well the term’s common use. It’s a clear attempt to deflect.

Justin Kollar tweet complaining about the term "Good Samaritan" Eli Dicken


Shannon Watts — Moms Demand Action

Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts immediately tweeted, “I don’t know who needs to hear this but when a 22-year-old illegally brings a loaded gun into a mall and kills a mass shooter armed with an AR-15 after he already killed three people and wounded others is not a ringing endorsement of our implementation of the Second Amendment.”

Let’s break that down. First, regarding the initial question, no one needed to hear it. It makes no sense whatsoever, which Watts quickly learned when she was called out. Hard. She eventually deleted the tweet, but the internet is forever, meaning we can still see what she really thinks.

Shannon Watts tweet on Eli Dicken

Second, why bring up his age? A significant number of those called “gun grabbers” want to make 21 the legal purchase age. Whether calculated or not, the remark does call into question whether this and other persons would rather jump on the Michael Moore “age 25 train” and does nothing to belie what most believe to be their ultimate goal – confiscation – anyway. 

Third, Eli Dicken did not “illegally” carry his sidearm into Greenwood Park Mall. Those signs do not carry the force of law. The mall could ask him to leave if they noticed his gun, but that’s it. If he refused, only then would he be breaking the law. For trespassing. But when have the Mad Mommies, or any anti-2A activists, ever been particularly concerned with accuracy? 

Fourth, Watts appears to have a problem with Dicken taking down the murderer, despite already noting Dicken’s target had already killed three people. What should he have done, Shannon? Run and hide while more people died? That would have given you more fundraising and political capital, wouldn’t it? Damn that “Good Samaritan” for costing you an exploitable opportunity, right?

Finally, how would you “implement” the Second Amendment, Shannon? The language is clear and has been confirmed by better legal minds than yours. “Implementing” a legal standard implies that it is a government tool. Au contraire.

The Second Amendment is not “implemented” by the government. It is an implementation of Natural Rights designed to restrain the government. I realize that’s above gun controllers’ heads, but it’s no less true. “Shall not be infringed” is not a guideline. It’s a command from “Nature and Nature’s God.” That’s a Declaration of Independence reference. You might read it sometime, Shannon.

Shannon Watts — Part Deux

Not content with her first ill-considered but no doubt truthful tweet, Watts later came back with, “Sadly, the takeaway by most Indiana Republicans from this senseless, preventable shooting tragedy in Greenwood won’t be that we should do more to keep assault weapons away from mass shooters and out of the mall, but that we should arm more shoppers.”

Shannon Watts tweet on Eli Dicken

We can (or should) all agree that the incident was tragic. Appalling even. Three lives were lost, and many others were transformed forever. But Watts still can’t acknowledge the Constitutional elephant in the room. Eli Dicken was carrying legally and peaceably. He was no threat to anyone. Just like millions of other folks who carry. Those folks, by the way, are statistically less likely to commit crimes than serving police officers. The only person Dicken threatened that day was the murderer who decided to do evil.  But, once again, that doesn’t fit the narrative.

The shooter’s actions were senseless. We agree on that too. But was it “preventable?” The scumbag passed the background checks. Watts has advocated for waiting periods. Would that have helped? Nope. He had his guns for over a year.

But what about the 21-year age limit? The murderer was only 20. It might have kept this guy from buying his guns when he did. Maybe. We don’t know. But when you start raising the age for exercising a Constitutional right, you have to consider everything else attached to a specific age. Raise the draft and enlistment age along with it. Raise the voting age. You don’t get to pick and choose. Rights are not discretionary, as several states are finding out in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Bruen Decision.

Diagram of the Greenwood Park mall Food Court showing relative positions of Eli Dicken and the murderer
This diagram of the mall’s food court shows the relative positions of Eli Dicken and the murderer he stopped. (Legally Armed American YouTube Channel)

We also agree that mass murderers are bad people, and none of us wants them to have guns of any type. But how do you do that, Shannon? Well, we already know how you would do it. But let’s look at that phrase: “We should do more to keep assault weapons away from mass shooters and out of the mall.”

I’m open to suggestions about how to identify these murderers before they strike. Open mental health records to the NICS system? Better be ready for lawsuits about violating privacy laws. Open juvenile records, especially since the murderer in Indiana had a juvenile rap sheet? Great, but you’ll likely get pushback there too. I’m open to that one, though. Red flag laws are a discussion unto themselves. But they have major problems.

Gun controllers love to say that no one knows who the next mass shooter will be, so, therefore, guns must be removed from the equation. That’s one of the problems with red flags. They remove guns but leave the supposedly dangerous person to his own devices. Never mind the problems associated with punishing millions of people for crimes they never committed and never will. The truth is you can say that about all criminals. Every career criminal has a first time. And how do you justify punishing people for what they might do? Do you plan to ban cars because the driver might drive into a crowd and kill someone? That does happen, you know.

What about punishing those criminals instead of letting them walk? Better yet, how about we look at what causes people to do terrible things? I’ve harped on this ad nauseum, but why don’t we ask why kids are pumped full of psychotropic drugs simply for being kids? Yes, some children have real challenges that require treatment. But often it’s merely trendy. What about addressing the decline, or even deliberate destruction of the nuclear family? How does the crippling lack of strong father figures play into everyday violence?  Why won’t we acknowledge that ongoing violence is often a socio-economic problem, not a gun problem?

Greenwood Park Mall Food Court
The view across the food court as Eli Dicken would have seen it. The murderer had just emerged from the restroom across the way. (Legally Armed America YouTube Channel)

Lastly, how about we stop giving these losers the attention they so desperately crave? The next active shooter is already looking at how famous his predecessors have become. The social media age has created a “look at me” culture. Killing a dozen people gets your face plastered everywhere. To some disturbed people, that’s a good trade. That’s why I won’t say the Greenwood Park Mall shooter’s name here. He deserves NO publicity. Let’s stop giving it to him and others like him.

Keeping “assault weapons” out of the mall. I think we’ve firmly established that murderers don’t give a rat’s ass about “gun free zones.” In fact, we know they seek them out. Next.

No one is “arming more shoppers.” What we want, and what the Indiana legislature and governor did, was enable more shoppers to arm themselves if they so choose. Shannon wants her followers to believe pro-gun people want everyone to go strapped. That would be great, assuming everyone wants to do that. But they obviously don’t. We merely want folks who desire to arm themselves to be able to do so. That’s it.

uninformed tweet
Here’s an example of someone who has swallowed the gun control narrative.

Watts said more in the same vein, but you get the picture. You’d think someone who says she wants to stop “gun violence” would be glad Eli Dicken did just that. But she’s not. Oh, I’m sure she’s glad more people didn’t die, but she can’t stand that an armed citizen stepped up and did the job. The “good guy with a gun” that supposedly doesn’t exist. But Shannon Watts isn’t the only one wringing her hands over Eli Dicken.

Kris Brown — The Brady Campaign

You know the Brady crew has to speak up. After all, they’ve been trying to take our rights for a long time. I don’t know what their official moniker is these days since they’ve changed it so many times. But remember they were first called Handgun Control Inc. Their goals haven’t changed, and have even expanded, but their messaging is more nuanced. Gun control became “gun safety.” Crap like that. It’s still about control.

Anyway, Brady president Kris Brown put out this defiant tweet after Eli did his thing: “Here’s what we’re not going to do: continue to uplift the NRA myth of the ‘good guy with a gun.’ Let me clear: If more guns made us safer, America would be the safest country in the WORLD. We need sensible gun laws, not vigilante safety nets.”

Kris Brown tweet

Wow. Looks to me like the good guy with a gun “myth” was just proven to be a real thing. Like Zeus showing up and saying, “How y’all doing?” I expect Brown has also chosen to ignore the CDC report that estimated at least 2.5 million defensive gun uses every year. You know, the study the Obama Administration commissioned and then buried when they didn’t like the results. We also know the media has traditionally ignored such stories, probably because there isn’t enough blood and there’s no political hay to be made.

“If more guns made us safer”…blah, blah, blah. Like it or not, Americans have traditionally owned guns. Lots of them. That horse left the stable a long time ago. Fortunately, Americans have also traditionally been independent-minded, despite current efforts to the contrary.

Benjamin Franklin famously wrote that those who would trade liberty for safety will lose both and deserve neither. I fully concur with the learned Dr. Franklin. I also agree with Thomas Jefferson’s assertion that he preferred the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude. If you don’t think disarmament is part of a larger plan, then you aren’t paying attention. Not that I think Kris Brown or Shannon Watts particularly wants to lord it over anyone, though they might. I think they’re merely useful pawns to push the agenda.

Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson
I think Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson had it right. (Shutterstock)

“We need sensible gun laws, not a vigilante safety net.” Ah yes, “sensible.” “Commonsense.” “Gun safety.” Whatever their current catchphrase is. Have you ever noticed that only one side gets to decide what “sensible” or “commonsense” means? Never mind about “gun safety.” Pro-gun people know a lot more about that. “Gun safety,” as I noted before, is code for gun control.

And vigilantism, despite Brown’s purposeful mischaracterization, does not apply to self-defense. Vigilantism is an inherently offensive action, meaning it is already illegal. Just look at the minutiae of your state’s self-defense laws, and you’ll see the difference. It’s a calculated falsehood from an activist whose job depends on gruesome murders leading the news.

But, again, accuracy isn’t the goal, is it, Kris? Better to push out the deliberately scary lie, knowing the media will parrot it about, right? After all, you can’t fundraise on the truth, can you? Nor can you acknowledge that Eli Dicken was indeed the good guy here. Once again, if people arming themselves leads to a drop in crime, you’d be out of a job, wouldn’t you?

So, What Does it Mean?

First, the gun control activists have shown their hand. They are not interested in saving lives. If they were, Eli Dicken would be universally hailed for his courageous and skilled takedown of a deranged murderer.

Watts and Brown, echoed by media figures across the board, have not done that. They can’t do that. Recognizing what Dicken did undermines their narrative so badly they would lose much of what credibility they enjoy among the like-minded. Honestly, I believe their ideal outcome at Greenwood Park Mall would have been Dicken killing the murderer but also hitting and killing a few bystanders. That would have been gold for them. But he didn’t and they can’t stand it.

Ever since Wayne LaPierre said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” the gun controllers have made disproving that statement their primary goal. Only then can they justify disarmament.

Response time meme
Even the Greenwood Police, who did their best, took 11 minutes to arrive at the mall. (fromtheguncounter Instagram)

But there’s a problem. Every violent actor throughout history has been stopped by good guys applying equal or greater force. Or the direct threat of equal or greater force. Every. Single. One. Whether those good guys were cops, soldiers, civilians, or whatever, that’s what stopped it. I have real issues with Wayne LaPierre, but he absolutely nailed that one.

What it comes down to is who do you trust? The Supreme Court has ruled that the police have no legal duty to protect anyone from violent criminals. Now, obviously, many cops do just that and they deserve recognition for it. But you also have the Uvalde situation. Even at Greenwood Park Mall, it took the police 11 minutes to arrive on scene, despite their best efforts. What would have happened in those additional 11 minutes had Eli Dicken not been armed?

Think about that. And think about whether Shannon Watts, Kris Brown, Mike Bloomberg, Michael Moore, and all the rest really have your best interests at heart. I know what I think.

William "Bucky" Lawson is a self-described "typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast". He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things, as he says, "here and there". A featured contributor for Strategy & Tactics, he likes dogs, range time, and a good cigar - preferably with an Old Fashioned that has an extra orange slice.

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