Concealed Carrier Murdered Trying to Stop Mass Shooting

If you were there that day, would you have tried to stop this before it became a mass shooting? This is the kind of mass shooting attempt that doesn’t get into the statistics because it doesn’t meet the threshold for killing, but it nevertheless is sad and tragic. Joseph Wilcox should be remembered as a brave man, and we must learn Active Self Protection lessons from his death to redeem his murder.

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Original video of the mass shooting with details of the investigation and more:


What can CCW holders learn from this mass shooting attempt?


  1. Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. You don’t often get any advance notice of the last day of your life, but we see over and over that self-defense isn’t a guarantee of winning every fight you might be placed in. You want to be at peace with God and your loved ones, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today! Joseph Wilcox didn’t wake up this morning thinking he was going to try to stop a mass shooting and die, so learn the lesson from his death and be at peace today.


  1. Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Evil people do evil things, and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can. If you go read the link, this mass shooting was stopped by officers with guns who killed the first perp. (the second killed herself) Wilcox was willing to step in with great violence as well.


  1. Most attacks are perpetrated by men (source: for that) but that doesn’t mean that women are always safe. It does mean that statistically women are much less of a threat than men for violence. However, each person is an individual, and each individual must be considered for their unique threat profile rather than lumped into a category. Just because women are less likely to commit violent crime doesn’t mean that they are unlikely in a given instance to commit violent crime. In this mass shooting, it’s possible that Wilcox ignored the woman simply because he was so focused on the screaming and shooting of the man, but she also presented a lower threat profile as a woman.


  1. In a deadly force encounter, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training! I am not saying that there are a lot of classes on intervening in an attempted mass shooting, but the more training you have the more you will know whether you’d intervene or not. So train!


  1. Every person gets to decide who they are willing to protect. For some, their “flock” is only themselves and their immediate family. That’s an acceptable answer. For others, they are willing to protect their friends, coworkers, and extended family. For a few, it might mean being willing to protect anyone who is weak, powerless, and in need. Each of us must decide the size of our flock and have that decision firmly in mind when it is time to act. Kudos to Wilcox for having a flock big enough to try to stop a mass shooting in his area.


  1. We must never settle for being able to protect ourselves against a lone attacker because of how common multiple attacker engagements are. Rats travel in packs, so we must always be prepared to face multiple attackers! This mass shooting could have been stopped sooner if the second attacker was seen earlier, though of course I am not blaming him one bit for not seeing her in the chaos of a gunfight. Remember there is always the “unknown opponent,” as Skip Hancock and Lawrence Robinson have taught me over the years.


Attitude. Skills. Plan.


(music in the intro and outro courtesy of

1 reply
  1. Trissia
    Trissia says:

    Thank you. This information is so important. John, your commentary is the first I’ve ever seen like this. I love the advice about choosing your flock.


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