Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Armed Citizen

Richie Chapman of Bowie, Arizona, did not know that in exercising his right to protect his property, he was also aiding in bringing a murderer to justice. Chapman was working at a Bowie RV store when a man entered and demanded all the money in the cash register. The man then pulled out a gun, prompting Chapman to draw his own gun and fire, hitting the robber. "If he had gotten a shot off, I would have been dead," said Chapman. The robber fled and was later apprehended at a local hospital. The man turned out to be Johnny Lee Williams, who was being sought in the kidnapping and murder of an East Texas Wal-Mart employee, Megan Holden. After being treated at the hospital, Williams was turned over to the FBI. (Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, AZ, 01/22/2005)

Gloria Turner remembers firing with one hand and dialing 911 with the other. Turner and her husband, Bobby Doster, had owned their grocery store for eight years and, although they were prepared for the worst, they did not expect it. But one evening, while the Turners were stocking their shelves, two teens walked in and demanded money. Turner recounts, "I was about to give it to them when the first guy said, 'You're not moving fast enough,' and pulls out a gun." The robber aimed at Doster and fired, missing him. When their attackers' gun jammed, the couple had enough time to retreat behind the counter and grab their own guns. A gun battle erupted in the store. When it was over, both robbers were dead. Sheriff Mike Smith said that the store owners would not be charged, adding that, "People have a right to protect their lives and their property." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA, 01/25/2005)

Note: One of the robbers attempted to murder Bobby Doster. The criminals were killed after failing to commit cold-blooded murder because he wasn't "moving fast enough." How in the world did the question of "Will the owners be charged?" even arise? I once heard a wonderful quotation I wish I could source. A reporter in California asked a sheriff's deputy if a homeowner who had defended his family would be charged with a crime (yes, California is that far gone). The deputy's response was delivered with a straight face, though I know not how, "Ma'am, the homeowner would be the victim. We try not to charge the victim."

Crawfordsville, Arkansas, resident Clarence Cochran operated a small store out of his home that he called The Neighborhood Store. But one night the neighborhood erupted in gunfire when two men entered Cochran's store with the intent to rob it. One of the robbers shot at Cochran, hitting him in the stomach. Despite the wound, the 80-year-old Cochran was able to retrieve his pistol and fire at both men, killing one. The other robber, identified as Antonio BAss, fled but was apprehended at a nearby hospital. He was charged with aggravated robbery. Deputies on the scene said Cochran was alert and able to speak to them, although he was airlifted to the hospital as a precautionary measure. (Evening Times, West Memphis, AR, 12/27/2004)

Dr. Wesley Parkhurst served nine months in Iraq, but it was only after returning home to Henryetta, Olahoma, that he found himself having to use deadly force. The physician stopped to help a woman who had been assaulted by her husband, Gary Wayne Britt. Though she asked to be driven to her mother's house, Parkhurst wisely drove to the police station after Britt twice rammed the doctor's car. Outside the police station Britt confronted Parkhurst and advanced on him, despite Parkhurst's loaded .45-cal. handgun. Parkhurst fired two shots, both of which struck Britt, who was listed in stable condition at an area hospital Parkhurst was not charged. (Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK, 01/12/2005)

As Clyde Colley looked down at th gunshot wound in his leg and then up at his wife, he decided that if he did not do something, they would both die. Almost two hours earlier, two men had broken into their Sandlick, Virginia home, shot Mr. Colley and ordered the elderly couple to get on the floor. As one of the intruders held the couple at gunpoint, the other ransacked the house. Finally, Colley said that he was not feeling well and needed to go lied own. This excuse gave him enough time to get his gun, which he fired twice, killing one intruder and sending the other fleeing nito the night. As their phone lines had been cut, Mrs. Colley was forced to run down the driveway and flag down help. Police later apprehended the surviving intruder, Mazel Sexton, and charged him with numerous felony counts. Colley was not expected to be charged in teh death of the intruder, who was identified as Hubert Howard, Jr. (The Dickenson Star, Clintwood, VA, 12/22/2004)

A Hollis, New Hampshire man was awakened one night to the sounds of screaming in his back yard. The homeowner, Donald Narkis, grabbed his gun and headed downstairs when he heard glass breaking in the kitchen. Narkis fired in the direction of the intruder, who, undeterred, continued to advance as he screamed and smashed furniture. Together with his armed daughter, Narkis ordered the intruder onto the floor, but the man wouldn't stay down. Narkis fired again, but the shot hit next to the intruder's leg. When police arrived at the scene, the intruder, identified as Peter Camplin, compliained, "that psycho tried to shoot me." Camplin, who had moved into the neighborhood only months previously, was found to have a significant amount of cocaine and alcohol in his system. (The Telegraph, Nashua, NH, 01/19/2005)

Armed citizen stories are taken from American Rifleman magazine. You may subscribe to American Rifleman by joining the NRA. "If you have a firsthand 'Armed Citizen' experience, call NRA-ILA PR/Communications at (703) 267-1193. Studies indicate that firearms are used over 2 million times a year for personal protection, and that the presence of a firearm, without a shot being fired, prevents crime in many instances. Shooting usually can be justified only where crime constitutes an immediate, imminent threat to life, limb, or in some cases, property. Anyone is free to quote or reproduce these accounts. Send clippings to: 'The Armed Citizen,' 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030-9400."

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