A young man was sitting with his girlfriend and her grandmother, enjoying food at the local mall’s food court and talking about their plans for the rest of the day. Suddenly, the young man hears gunshots and looks up, only to see an individual with a rifle taking aim at civilians around him. Without hesitation, the man tells his girlfriend and her grandmother to get behind him as he moves forward to engage. Within seconds, he has fired off 10 shots with his Glock, landing 8 on target, and ending the threat before it could get any worse.
If you think this is a work of fiction from a low-budget Hollywood action film, you would be wrong. This happened just last week.
The young hero is Eli Dicken, and he is 22 years old. When a shooter (whom I will never name) entered the Greenwood Park Mall, about 15 miles south of Indianapolis, he spent around an hour psyching himself up in the bathroom, according to CNN. When he emerged, the shooter thought he was going to engage in a slaughter that would enshrine him in the annals of history alongside other mass shooters whose names deserve to be forgotten as well. Instead, he encountered an example of the best that humanity has to offer in Eli Dicken (I will repeat his name as many times as I possibly can in this article), who engaged and eliminated the filth on the spot.
Before I continue, I want to take a moment to honor Pedro Pineda, Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pined, and Victor Gomez, who unfortunately lost their lives in the shooting. From all of us at RMGO and NAGR, our hearts and prayers are with their families in this undoubtedly difficult time. May God guide them through this hardship towards solace.
What Eli Dicken accomplished is no small feat; he nailed the trash pile with 8 out of 10 shots fired, under extreme duress, at 40 yards. ANYONE with any experience whatsoever in competitive or combative shooting will tell you that is impressive on a range day. To do that in a mall, with lives on the line, and with little to no margin for error? The hand of God himself must have been guiding those bullets. That is an unreal response. Simply put, Eli Dicken is a hero.
Today, America is embroiled in a crisis. No, not one of inflation, or abortion, or food scarcity, although those are all legitimate concerns. No, America is in a crisis of men. Particularly, strong men capable of heroic actions and powerful leadership. All the other problems present in our country are almost universally the result of our culture’s seemingly incessant push to demoralize, diminish, and denigrate the roles of men in our society. We have cultivated a population that admonishes the actions of heroic men as symptoms of “toxic masculinity.” It has reached the point that men are discouraged, and even attacked, for carrying with them the means to defend themselves and their families, something that has traditionally been the single most important role of a man. Now, we have a society that tells men these behaviors are inappropriate and toxic. (Which is complete and total BS if you ask me.)
Thank the Lord that He gave Eli Dicken the courage and fortitude to be the kind of man that values his potential role as protector. Since the news of the shooting and its results broke, reactions have been flooding the various sources of news media and social media. Naturally, Eli has been showered with praise by rationally minded individuals across the country. Greenwood Police Chief hailed Mr. Dicken as a hero, adding that, “many more people would have died last night if not for a responsibly armed citizen that took action very quickly within the first two minutes of the shooting.” The Governor of Indiana, Eric Holcomb, said he was grateful for the “quick, heroic actions taken by an individual citizen.” Every single outlet that is not expressly leftist has taken a similar tone. And yet, still, there are those that are criticizing Mr. Dicken.
On July 1st, Indiana officially became a Constitutional Carry state. Eli Dicken was carrying without a permit under this new law. Additionally, the Greenwood Park Mall was a “Gun-Free Zone.” If you’re a progressive, this means that Mr. Dicken was just as criminal as the shooter, as he should never have had a gun in the first place. For example, Justin Kollar, an award-winning journalist from nearby Bloomington, denounced the description of Mr. Dicken as a “Good Samaritan” and pointed out that it was against the Greenwood Park Mall’s no-gun policy. Others have said that Mr. Dicken obeyed the law “slightly longer than the mass shooter,” revealing that the brain rot associated with gun possession in America runs incredibly deep.
Shannon Watts, the founder of the progressive anti-gun lobbying group Moms Demand Action, jumped at the opportunity to condemn the actions of Eli Dicken. In a now-deleted tweet, Watts was confounded that there are those among us that see what took place as a result of the proper exercise of the Second Amendment. She said that Mr. Dicken had his gun “illegally” when he shot and killed the mass shooter. In her mind, the fact that the mall had a sign claiming to be a Gun-Free Zone™ should mean that Eli is also treated as a criminal. Never mind the fact that his weapon was only used properly and heroically and above all else, LEGALLY, her perfect world would have meant that law-abiding citizens like Mr. Dicken were unarmed. Thankfully, Eli does not allow cowards like Shannon Watts to deprive him of his right to bear arms.
The fact of the matter is that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. According to researcher Dr. John Lott, at least 94% of mass shootings take place in gun-free zones. The reason for this is simple: if your goal is to maximize destruction before you can be stopped, then you want to target places that have little to no potential for resistance. This was the reasoning behind the recent Buffalo shooter’s target and has played a major role in why schools tend to be targeted as well.
Perhaps more importantly, the amount of potential mass shootings that have been stopped by civilians with guns has led many to question the capabilities of the police, as well as how justified it is to rely solely on them for protection. On May 25, 2022, a man armed with a rifle attempted to fire into a crowd in West Virginia but was stopped by a woman legally carrying a firearm. On April 13th, in Phenix City, Alabama, two men stopped at a truck stop and opened fire, only for one of their targets to return fire using their own concealed carry firearm and end the threat.
And even right here in our own backyard of Arvada, Colorado, last June, John Hurley took heroic action and was slain while confronting a gunman that had opened fire in the Olde Town Square with the intent to kill as many civilians and police officers as possible. Without hesitation, he engaged with the shooter and ended the threat while sustaining fatal damage himself. These are but a few of the recent instances of good people with guns protecting innocent people
from bad guys with guns.
In contrast, the Democratic establishment in Congress is actively trying to remove your right to bear arms in self-defense. Cities all across the Front Range in Colorado are demanding that citizens abdicate their right of self-defense to local law enforcement. However, we should refuse this at all costs. As demonstrated in Uvalde, the police are unlikely to risk their lives when it is your children on the line. Mr. Dicken did in 20 seconds what over 300 officers took over an hour to do in Uvalde. At the Stoneman Douglas shooting, the on-site officer had a similar response to the first responders at Uvalde: running away from the gunshots and the screams of children to protect their own life. Yet, the progressive left would ask that you sacrifice your means of protection and allow these same law enforcement personnel to be the only obstacle between your family and a bad guy with a gun.
I do not bring any of that up to shame the police, though any good officer would agree that the men at Uvalde deserve nothing less. The reason I mention it is that we, as Americans, should be encouraging the good people amongst us to carry and act in the protection of our communities. No matter how much the left tries to demonize guns and civilians carrying them, we are constantly reminded that it is those very civilians with the same ‘evil guns’ that save lives and prevent worse tragedies.
The bravery of the sort displayed by Eli Dicken deserves more praise than we can muster. The right to bear arms is vital to the everyday survival of Americans, and we should never downplay how many lives have been saved by the presence of a “good guy with a gun.”
Thankfully, as the push to disarm the populace grows amongst Democrat politicians, it dwindles more every single day among WE THE PEOPLE. We can only hope that one day, all citizens across this country will have their Constitutional Second Amendment rights restored.
RMGO is actively working to make Colorado a Constitutional Carry state and to repeal dangerous “gun-free-zones.”