Police have now identified Elisjsha Dicken as the 22-year-old who stopped a mass shooting Sunday evening at an Indiana mall. At 5:56 p.m., a 20-year-old attacker exited a mall bathroom and began shooting a rifle into a food court. Three people were killed. Two others were wounded, including a 12-year-old girl. Yet it’s horrific to imagine how much worse this could have been.
The attacker, whose name we won’t give more notoriety, had several magazines and over 100 rounds of ammunition. He’d spent two years practicing at a firing range. But police said that Mr. Dicken swiftly drew his own pistol and engaged. He was at the mall in Greenwood, south of Indianapolis, shopping with his girlfriend, and he was legally carrying his weapon. Police recovered 24 rifle rounds, plus 10 from Mr. Dicken’s handgun.
Thanks to his quick action, the mass shooting ended within seconds. “I will say his actions were nothing short of heroic,” said Greenwood Police Chief James Ison. “He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun, was very proficient in that, very tactically sound, and as he moved to close in on the suspect, he was also motioning for people to exit behind him. To our knowledge, he has no police training and no military background.”
That is one great advantage of market systems in a complicated world. Anyone who thinks a cause-and-effect relationship exists between two variables, and that he could make a profit by utilizing that relationship, can put that belief to the market test, and what works better can be revealed by that process. But government agencies are typically monopolies, neither subject to the market test of profitability nor facing the potential of bankruptcy (other than in the moral sense). This opens up a far greater possibility of public policies being implemented with the absence of a reliable understanding of the cause-and-effect mechanisms in play. Thomas Sowell characterized the difference as “replacing what worked with what sounded good,” as illustrated by the fact that “In area after area–crime, education, housing, race relations–the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them.”
Here’s a headline from the news section of today’s Wall Street Journal: “Covid-19 Complication Among Children Fades in Latest Wave of Virus.” (DBx: And keep in mind that, even at its worst, covid never posed much of a risk to children.)