Last week, a 22 year old man stopped a well armed mass shooter in a shopping mall in Greenville, Indiana. The evil bastard who decided to perpetrate this act of violence went into a bathroom near the food court, armed himself with an AR-15, walked out of the bathroom and started shooting.

Eli Dicken, a 22 year old Indiana resident, was carrying a 9mm handgun concealed. Within 15 seconds of the first shot fired, Dicken told his girlfriend to get down, gained a position of cover, took aim and fired 10 rounds at the attacker, hitting him 8 times. This hero was physically and mentally prepared to act in the face of extreme violence. He was also lucky that he had enough time and distance to put his plan into action. He saved countless lives because he was ready.

Carrying a gun is no guarantee that you will be ready when you are called upon for the fight of your life.

We have also learned that this young man was not the only citizen carrying a concealed handgun. The first victim, who was shot and killed immediately after the attacker exited the bathroom, was armed. What he did not have was the time to react. Even though he was prepared by having his gun, luck put him right outside that bathroom door as the shooter began his attack.

Carrying a gun is no guarantee that you will be ready when you are called upon for the fight of your life. It improves your chances of being able to fight back, but it’s not the only element of your preparation. Developing a mindset that will help you employ extreme violence at a moments notice, learning the skills of observing your environment, identifying potential and active threats, deciding to act, and putting your plan into action and having the mentality of a protector are all part of the preparation. There will always be the element of luck as well, and luck can count in a fight. But you can’t count on luck.

I want to acknowledge the 3 victims who died in this horrific event. While we celebrate that there was someone ready, willing and able to act to protect himself and everyone else, we still mourn the loss of life due to the evil that was unleashed that day. We wrote before about understanding that evil and preparing for it in a previous blog article.

This attack demonstrates many of the principles we talk about in our Free Concealed Carry Classes, and the principles that we train around in our Defensive Shooting courses. We have a responsibility to be as prepared as possible if we carry life and death tools on us.