17-year-old girl uses firearm to defend herself from burglar

Guns are for self-defense against criminals
Guns are for self-defense against criminals

My friend Terrell posted this story from Fox 59 local news.


A 17-year-old girl in Franklin Township is safe after a scary brush with a burglar at her family’s home on Knapp Road Wednesday.

Faith Shilkett was home alone around 2 p.m., when her dog Duke started barking. She walked out of her room and saw a man knocking on the front door.

“He was big. He was muscular. He looked like he could do damage if he got a hold of you,” said the teen. “I was scared if he got in, he could’ve hurt me.”

Faith then took off through the house to lock the other doors. When she did that, she got a glimpse of the man at a deck door. She says the man then went to the garage door and jiggled the handle, trying to get in, and even peered in the window. Faith then ran to her mom’s room and pulled out a gun.

“I stayed back here and I started yelling ‘I’m here. I have a gun. I’m going to shoot,’” she said.

Faith called for help and waited. She said she heard rustling in the garage and the man took off in a white van.

[…]Faith says the man was roughly six feet tall, white, and had brown hair.

Guns are a great equalizer for a contest between a 17-year-old girl and a 6-foot-tall man.

It’s very important that everyone remember what the second amendment is used for in the United States. The second amendment allows law-abiding people to purchase firearms in order to defend themselves from criminals.

Although there is opposition to gun ownership in certain circles, the academic literature is quite clear and decisive. Legal ownership of firearms reduces rates of violent crime. Whenever laws that allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms for self-defense, violent crime rates decrease. Whenever laws are passed that restrict law-abiding citizens from owning and carrying firearms for self-defense, violent crime rates increase.

The peer-reviewed research

Whenever I get into discussions about gun control, I always mention two academic books by John R. Lott and Joyce Lee Malcolm.

Here is a paper by Dr. Malcolm that summarizes one of the key points of her book.


Tracing the history of gun control in the United Kingdom since the late 19th century, this article details how the government has arrogated to itself a monopoly on the right to use force. The consequence has been a tremendous increase in violent crime, and harsh punishment for crime victims who dare to fight back. The article is based on the author’s most recent book, Guns and Violence: The English Experience (Harvard University Press, 2002). Joyce Malcom is professor of history at Bentley College, in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is also author of To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an AngloAmerican Right (Harvard University Press, 1994).

Upon the passage of The Firearms Act (No. 2) in 1997, British Deputy Home Secretary Alun Michael boasted: “Britain now has some of the toughest gun laws in the world.” The Act was second handgun control measure passed that year, imposed a near-complete ban on private ownership of handguns, capping nearly eighty years of increasing firearms restrictions. Driven by an intense public campaign in the wake of the shooting of schoolchildren in Dunblane, Scotland, Parliament had been so zealous to outlaw all privately owned handguns that it rejected proposals to exempt Britain’s Olympic target-shooting team and handicapped target-shooters from the ban.

And the result of the 1997 gun ban:

The result of the ban has been costly. Thousands of weapons were confiscated at great financial cost to the public. Hundreds of thousands of police hours were devoted to the task. But in the six years since the 1997 handgun ban, crimes with the very weapons banned have more than doubled, and firearm crime has increased markedly. In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, gun crime in England and Wales rose—by 35 percent for all firearms, and by a whopping 46 percent for the banned handguns. Nearly 10,000 firearms offences were committed.

[…]According to Scotland Yard, in the four years from 1991 to 1995 crimes against the person in England‟s inner cities increased by 91 percent. In the four years from 1997 to 2001 the rate of violent crime more than doubled. The UK murder rate for 2002 was the highest for a century.

I think that peer-reviewed studies – from Harvard University, no less – should be useful to those of us who believe in the right of self-defense for law-abiding people. The book by economist John Lott, linked above,compares the crime rates of all U.S. states that have enacted concealed carry laws, and concludes that violent crime rates dropped after law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry legally-owned firearms. That’s the mirror image of Dr. Malcolm’s Harvard study, but both studies affirm the same conclusion – more legal firearm ownership means less crime.

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