Town Square: Analyzing data to answer your questions on guns

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COLUMBIA - As part of our viewer survey on gun control in the wake of the Orlando shooting, many of our respondents asked the same questions so we decided to explore those questions in depth. (For more of our coverage, read: Viewers share opinions about gun laws, Orlando shooting and In depth: Two viewers talk at length about gun control regulations)

1. Have civilians with guns used them to stop mass shootings in the past?

The FBI reports that in 160 active shooter incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013, civilians with guns were able to stop the shooter in five of those instances. That is about 3 percent of the total incidents. 

In roughly 13 percent of instances, civilians were able to stop the active shooter without the use of weapons.

Joe Gilbert, an instructor at Target Masters in Columbia, said he believes in the right to carry a gun, but proper training is necessary. 

"You need to touch it, you need to manipulate it, you need to train," Gilbert said. 

Gilbert said that by carrying a weapon in public, a person could be putting themselves at risk from an attacker. 

"So if I'm reading my phone, if I'm looking and texting, not paying attention, I kind of look like prey. Predator is going to say there is an easy guy," Gilbert said. 

2. What weapon was used in the Pulse Night Club shooting?

The Orlando Police Department initially reported the gun used in  the shooting was an AR-15 assault rifle. However, the gun actually used was a Sig Saucer MCX. 

The guns vary in that the MCX has a bullet design that mimics an AK-47 and a quicker reload time. 

Similarities do exist between the two guns. The weapons are both highly portable, customizable and extremely accurate.

According to, a gun safety advocacy site, between 2009 and 2015 roughly 11 percent of U.S. mass shootings involved an assault weapon like an MCX. 

Jim Hill, a firearms instructor at Target Masters, showed KOMU 8 News some of the commone misconceptions about guns and what constitutes an assault rifle. Watch the complete interview: