The 15th post of the Armed Citizen is a bit of a milestone. The goal of these posts is to consistently demonstrate that lawful owners of firearms are saved from harm, often by the simple presentation of a firearm, far more often than whackjob criminals go out and commit atrocities with guns. The difference is the media loves to cover the whackjobs much more than the lawful citizens. In part, that's simply sensationalism to sell ads, but it's hard to argue against the fact there is an anti-firearm bias in the news that isn't justified by either statistics or anecdotal evidence.
When a man dressed in black approached a woman on the street, implied he had a gun and demanded cash, she initially tried the passive approach. Police say that although she had a concealed-carry permit and a revolver tucked away, she handed some money over and hoped the robber would leave. But when that didn't work, and fearing her life was in danger, the victim drew her revolver and pointed it at the robber, who ran away. According to a police officer, "She was in fear of her life, and she defended herself appropriately." (The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, AZ, 03/08/2006)
"I turned around and saw these guys come in with hoods over their faces," recalled Linda Lewis, a grocery store employee who lay down on the floor in fear of impending violence. "I thought we'd be next," she said, after hearing two shots. But what she heard was an armed citizen with a concealed-carry permit coming to the rescue. According to authorities, the suspects, one of them holding a pistol, approached the register and demanded cash. A customer waiting in line nearby pulled out a revolver and shot the armed bandit, causing him and his accomplice to flee in a sedan. (Tulsa World, Tulsa, OK, 03/19/2006)
Note: It's very frequent that the criminals think things are like what you see on television. If the criminal pulls a gun, he will be unopposed, get what he wants, maybe hurt someone, then leave. Only the police can come and stop him or investigate the crime. When that preconceived scenario is firmly dissolved, criminals seem to flee. This is an indisputable win for the lawful firearms owner. In this story, no one was killed, but he criminal was stopped, the business owner suffered no loss, and the criminal very likely will think twice about ever attempting this again.
A 75-year-old grandmother had problems with people trying to break into her home, which is why she bought a small pistol she fondly calls "the peacekeeper." So she was ready when, according to police, two teens came looking for trouble. The burglars could not see the woman, but with the assistance of a mirror, she observed them breaking into her door while she tried to dial 9-1-1. Once inside, the thugs found themselves face-to-face with the woman's pistol, and one look was all it took for them to flee. Police caught up with the suspects after a brief pursuit. (NewsChannel5, Cleveland, OH, 03/07/2006)
When Edward Lucas, Sr., checked to see why the neighbor's German shepherd was barking in the early morning hours, he found a man trying to break through his door. "I yelled, 'Get out of my house!' but he kept coming," Lucas said. "I was scared to death." The 63-year-old then grabbed a .22-cal. rifle and yelled for his girlfriend to jump out the window and call the police at a neighbor's house. According to police, when the intruder crashed through the door, Lucas shot at him at least four times. The assailant, who had 14 criminal convictions including seven felonies, died on the scene. (Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola, FL, 03/06/2006)
Note: As opposed to the "Scenario-driven" criminal above, hardened criminals seem to try to execute their plans no matter what obstacles they encounter. Many of these stories also involve drugs, which would help explain unreasonable insistence by criminals in the face of credible resistance by their intended victims. The loss of human life is a always a tragedy, but it is always better that a felon multiple times over should lose his life while trying to victimize someone than that the crime succeed, possibly with innocent loss of life. It is a sad truth that what the courts can not stop will sometimes only be stopped by a justifiable homicide. This indicates a problem with our system; situations should never come to that. Someone who has committed 7 felonies should never see the outside of a prison again, so an innocent citizen is never faced with the imminent fear of death that forces him to take a criminal's life and live with the very real psychological and often legal repercussions of that act. Even when the criminal does not survive to brutalize, the lawful citizen is often still made a victim. That also indicates a problem with our system.
A pregnant woman was lying on the couch in her home when she heard the mini-blinds on her kitchen door rustle. Police say the woman, whose 1- and 3-year-old children were also in the home, got up to investigate and found a man trying to break in. When she spotted him, he ran around the corner of the duplex to the front door and tried to kick it in. The woman warned the prowler that she had a gun. When he replied that he also had a gun, she shot at him and he returned fire. The intruder was hit in the chest and died on the way to the hospital. No one else was injured. (The Fayetteville Observer, Fayetteville, NC, 03/15/2006)
There can be no more basic nor noble instinct than that of a mother protecting her children. That this woman had to use deadly force is awful. That she saved her three children is a testament to the power and necessity of lawful self-defense.
Police were still investigating an odd string of events that ended with a home invasion. Witnesses said the intruder approached at least four homes, banging on and breaking windows and jumping over chain-link fences before breaking through Pete Frinks' front door. "It's scary that he would do this in broad daylight, knowing people are in the house," said a neighbor. Police say the man approached Frinks, who later described the intruder as acting "aggressively" and "irrationally." In fear of his life, Frinks grabbed a handgun and shot his assailant in the chest, killing him. (Florida Today, Melbourne, FL, 02/22/2006)
The manager of a cell phone store was behind the counter when two men brandishing pistols burst inside. Police say one would-be robber jumped over the counter and slammed the manager to the ground. A store employee tried to run, but she fell, and the crook behind the counter grabbed her arm and put a gun to her head. At that point, the manager grabbed his own handgun and shot the man holding the female employee, then shot the second robber as well. The suspects fled the store, but the manager identified one of them when he turned up at the hospital. (The Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA, 03/05/2006)
Want even more stories? Visit The Armed Citizen blog.
Other accounts of self-defense collected on this blog:
Shopkeeper Defends Himself and Employees,
2nd Amendment Saves a Pregnant Woman,
Armed Student Saves 10 People,
2nd Amendment vs. a Serial Rapist,
Crime Spree Stopped with the Simple Presentation of a Firearm.
Failures of Gun Control:
UK Government under reports gun violence to pretend their policies work,
Scotland holds a Summit on their Failed Gun Policies, Chicago's gun ban continues to fail,
Real Women's Rights (This one includes one of my favorite personal accounts),
Opposition to CA AB 2062,
Protecting Children through Gun Control?,
Futility of the Gun Banning Philosophy,
A Contrast to VA Tech.
Thoughts just prior to the release of DC v. Heller, with one of the best appellate court quotations ever.
Thoughts on publicized shootings: Shootings early in 2009, Alabama Shootings, Finland School Shooting. Remember: The only proven method to mitigate the disaster of a rogue criminal shooter is to have more first responders, e.g. CCW permit holders lawfully armed and on scene. These criminals do not respect "gun free" zones, but simply view them as target-rich opposition-free areas in which to slaughter innocents.
Why no one should support gun control.
Carrying a Firearm is an Inherently Civilized Act.
Right to Carry Statistics.
Does Violence Beget Violence?