SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A story ABC 4 did back in April is now making national headlines. It’s all about how a man with a concealed weapon stops a knife attack. It’s spurring debate over gun control and vigilante justice, and has been views several hundred thousand times.
It's a day witnesses may never forget.
"He just started stabbing people and yelling," said Dorothy Espinoza, witness.
Back in April, a man with a knife stabbed two people outside the Smith's grocery store near 500 East and 400 South in Salt Lake City. But a regular citizen armed with a gun, stopped the man before he could find another victim.
"A guy pulled gun on him and told him to drop his weapon or he would shoot him. So, he dropped his weapon and the people from Smith's grabbed him," said Espinoza.
Although it happened three months ago, Friday, both the Drudge Report and nbcnews.com posted links of ABC 4’s online story to their websites. As of Friday evening it's received over 320,000 hits, and hundreds of comments.
One reader writes -
“Finally, some coverage of an armed citizen, protecting the people of the store, the customers and even the attacker in a way that is totally legal, and legitimate.”
And another –
“A baseball bat would have worked just as well.”
It's spurring more debate over the right to carry guns, and if regular citizens should take the law into their own hands. Gun lobbyist Clark Aposhian told ABC 4 he wishes more people would step up like this.
"When violent crime occurs law enforcement is not there to help you, and you need to act within seconds," said Clark Aposhian, gun lobbyist.
According to a national self defense survey, a citizen with a gun stops crime like this in America roughly 2.5 million times a year.
But if you ask gun control advocate Steve Gunn –
"Society is better off not allowing the carrying of concealed weapons," said Steve Gunn, gun control advocate.
Although an average citizen may have saved lives at the Smith's grocery store, Gunn said guns don't make America safer.
"There are many circumstances where guns act as an accelerant, they cause people to become more belligerent, more aggressive when someone has a gun," he said.