Robert Cole and his wife, Pam, had just started to doze off one evening when they heard breaking glass and their motion detector alarm as it went off. Then Cole heard someone in the living room. "I woke my wife up and told her we had someone in the house, and she told me to grab the shotgun," he remembered. Police said he peered out the bedroom door and saw a man in the living room holding a fire extinguisher. "I was worried he was going to hurt me or my wife so I [fired] one round of No. 6 shot," Cole said. Police arrested the wounded suspect and an alleged accomplice nearby. This wasn't Cole's first act of armed citizenry. He was involved in an incident that appeared in this column in December 2004. (North Channel Sentinel, Pasadena, TX, 01/07/2004)
Through the magic of the internet, here's that incident:
Robert Cole, a former sheriff's deputy and current NRA member, knew that senior citizens are a prime target for theft, so he was always prepared for the worst. He and his wife, Pamela, had just pulled into a parking spot at the local grocery store one day when an unknown man approached them. As Cole walked to the passenger side of the truck to open the door for his wife, the man came closer and demanded his wallet. "It looked like he had a sawed-off shotgun underneath a towel," said Cole. "I reached in my back pocket to make it seem like I was getting my wallet, but I pulled out a handgun and threatened to shoot him." At that point, said Cole, the suspect pulled the towel off, revealing not a sawed-off shotgun, but two locking pliers positioned to look like a shotgun. The suspect then claimed he was a police officer, but he and his driver eventually fled the scene. Cole said that this was not the first time he and his wife were almost robbed and that they 'wanted to warn senior citizens' of what can happen. (The Sentinel, Houston, TX, 07/22/2004)
A man allegedly burglarized a vending machine and fled from police in his vehicle. The suspect cracked his axle but continued to drive away. He stashed the car near an elementary school, which was placed on lockdown as police scoured the area. "As they were searching the area, they heard a pop," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson. The sound they heard was the report of a nearby homeowner's shotgun. The suspect entered the home and demanded money and car keys. In fear of his life, the homeowner fired his shotgun, killing the suspect. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 01/27/2010)
Police said that shortly after midnight three men broke into a home seeking money and drugs. There were no drugs in the home, but there was a .22-cal rifle-and an 11-year-old boy trained in its use. The boy leapt to the defense of his mother and sister. One of the intruders shot the boy, slightly injuring him. The boy returned fire, seriously wounding a suspect and causing the men to flee the home. Police found all three intruders nearby. The wounded man was airlifted to a hospital and will be charged after his release. (San Antonio Express-News, San Antonio, TX, 01/20/2010)
Anti-gun activists would have you believe any children in a home with guns will find the firearms and kill themselves or friends with them. Children trained in responsible use of firearms don't seem to do that. This boy also demonstrates an important principle of ownership and use of guns: learn how to aim or what you have is an expensive club.
Early one morning, a Ventura, California man dialed 9-1-1 after spotting two alleged prowlers in his backyard. Unfortunately for the homeowner-but perhaps more unfortunately for the two prowlers-the suspects forced open a locked door and entered the home before police arrived. The homeowner, armed with a handgun, fired upon the suspects. They fled the home. Police apprehended one of the suspects in the driveway suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The other suspect, also believed to be wounded, was still being sought at press time. (Associated Press, 01/26/2010)
When a neighbor knocked on Lawrence Sanderson's door and informed him someone was trying to steal Sanderson's privately owned fire truck, he phoned police, grabbed his handgun and went to the scene. Meanwhile, police said the intoxicated suspect started the truck, put it in reverse and slammed into the back of the garage, causing an estimated $300 in damage. The truck stalled and the suspect tried to restart it as Sanderson approached. Sanderson ordered the man and gunpoint to get out of the vehicle and lie on the ground. Police arrived and arrested the suspect shortly thereafter. "[Sanderson] holstered his gun as soon as our guys got there," said Montrose, Colorado, Police Cdr. Gene Lillard. (The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Grand Junction, CO, 01/26/2010)
Michelle Cornelsen was working at her coffee shop when a teenager approached, drew a gun, and demanded money. Cornelsen, a 31-year-old firearm enthusiast who's been hunting since she was a young girl, was confident in her ability to defend herself. When another customer approached, the suspect hid his gun. Cornelsen took advantage of the opening, drawing a 9mm Kel-Tec. She aimed it at the suspect and said, "You leave now." He quickly complied. Cornelsen phoned police, and a deputy who'd coincidentally just bought coffee from her made a quick U-turn and arrested the suspect. (Coeur d'Alene Press, Coeur d'Alene, ID, 12/30/2009)
Two or three men forced their way inside a home. The intruders were wearing ski masks and gloves, leaving little doubt as to their malicious intent. To protect his wife, cousin and 1-year-old daughter, the homeowner quickly retrieved his handgun and opened fire on the intruders, who returned fire. One intruder died after being shot multiple times. At least one accomplice fled the scene and is still being sought. The homeowner was slightly injured in the assault, but will recover. (Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Corpus Christi, TX, 12/31/2009)
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.
Carrying a firearm is an inherently civilized act.
Right to Carry Statistics.
Does Violence Beget Violence?