Tag Archives: Self-Defense

Recent examples of law-abiding gun owners defending themselves from criminals

American woman defending herself from an armed home invader
A woman defending herself from an armed home invader with her handgun

I’ve noticed that people outside America sometimes don’t understand why Americans are so committed to owning firearms. Well, first of all, it’s specified in our Constitution that we are allowed to keep and bear arms. And second of all, it’s not always feasible to call the police and wait for them to arrive when a criminal shows up and menaces us or our loved ones.

And I have an example from just last week from ABC local news.

Excerpt:

A robbery suspect was killed and a second ran away after a liquor store clerk opened fire in southeast Houston, police say.

The clerk opened fire during a robbery Wednesday night at Mike’s Liquor Store in the 8700 block of MLK Boulevard near Reed.

Houston police said that at least two armed suspects went into the store, where two employees were working at the time.

One of the employees had a concealed handgun license and got into a shootout with the suspects.

The robbery suspect who was shot managed to escape, but died a short time later just south of the store.

The suspect’s body was found by police, who put two and two together after receiving a call for a robbery at the store.

The employees were not injured.

Now, you might think that this self-defense stuff only happens once or twice a year, and the rest of the times guns are coming alive by themselves, and just flying around shooting children randomly. But actually, the number of defensive gun uses far outweighs the number of accidental deaths.

The Daily Signal had an article on this, with a bunch more examples from last month.

I just grabbed a few of my favorites from the article:

  • Feb. 5: A Nashville, Tennessee, woman was attacked from behind by a would-be purse thief, who proceeded to repeatedly slam the woman’s head into a wall when she resisted him. The woman’s husband heard her cries for help and came to her defense, firing his gun at the thief and causing him to flee.

  • Feb. 9: When three armed men attempted to rob a Little Caesars restaurant in North Fort Myers, Florida, a patron inside pulled his own firearm to defend other customers. One suspect was shot and the other two fled.

  • Feb. 12: A homeowner in Jackson County, Georgia, heard someone trying to break into her house through a window. She found a man standing outside and warned him not to come into the house. Nevertheless, the man broke the glass window, so the armed homeowner shot him.

  • Feb. 13: Sullivan County, Tennessee, Sheriff Jeff Cassidy praised the actions of a concealed carry permit holder who ended a deadly domestic violence incident at a dentist’s office. The armed citizen shot and detained an active shooter who killed his wife and may have planned to harm others in the office.

  • Feb. 20: A 79-year-old Commerce, Georgia, homeowner called 911 to report a burglary in progress after she heard someone breaking into her home. The burglar ignored her threats and came in through an upstairs window before police could arrive. The homeowner shot at the burglar, who was so scared that he hid in a closet until the police arrived.

  • Feb. 26: The Mobile County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office posted a Facebook video showing an armed local homeowner’s recent encounter with two would-be burglars. The burglars attempted to enter the occupied home in broad daylight, and were only deterred when the homeowner fired her handgun at them.

  • Feb. 28: Two men helped rescue a woman from a would-be kidnapper in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, after seeing her struggle to escape on the side of the road. After the two men stopped their car, one of them pulled out his handgun, prompting the suspect to flee. He was later apprehended and confessed to kidnapping the woman.

Daily Signal did the same thing for January, and I grabbed a few of my favorites for January, too:

  • Jan. 2: The security officer of a grocery store in Loomis, California, confronted a couple suspected of shoplifting. When one of them pulled a knife and tried to stab the security guard, a good Samaritan with a concealed weapons permit drew his firearm, stopped the confrontation, and held the couple at the scene until law enforcement arrived.

  • Jan. 9: An Arizona man awoke to the sound of four intruders breaking into his home. He flicked his lights on and off several times to warn the intruders that someone was home, hoping this would cause them to flee. But the intruders proceeded to smash windows and enter through the back door. The homeowner opened fire, hitting all four intruders and killing one.

  • Jan. 10: A Florida resident held an intruder at gunpoint until law enforcement could arrive. The man had broken into the garage and was in the process of filling his bag with the homeowner’s firearms and ammunition.

  • Jan. 23: Police responded to a 9-1-1 call from St. Louis, Missouri, resident who used his firearm to protect the other people in his home from three armed men attempting to force their way inside. One intruder was shot and killed on the scene while the other two fled.

  • Jan. 28: A woman arrived at her Campobello, South Carolina, home to find it being burglarized for the second time in just a few weeks. She shot one of the three intruders, while the other two fled the scene and were later arrested by law enforcement

It’s very important that law-abiding  people be allowed to defend themselves and their loved ones from criminals. And that’s why law-abiding Americans are so committed to being able to own firearms and obtain concealed carry permits.

Facts vs feelings in the debate on gun control vs self-defense

I found a splendid at the Daily Signal article that ought to be read by everyone who has an opinion about the conflict between gun confiscation vs self-defense.

Here are the 8 points made in the article, then I’ll comment on my favorite one:

  1. Violent crime is down and has been on the decline for decades.

  2. The principal public safety concerns with respect to guns are suicides and illegally owned handguns, not mass shootings.

  3. A small number of factors significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a gun-related homicide.

  4. Gun-related murders are carried out by a predictable pool of people.

  5. Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.

  6. There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.

  7. Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.

  8. Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.

Whenever we discuss gun violence, it’s very important to exclude suicides using a gun from the overall rate of gun deaths. Once you do that, you will find that the rate of violent crime has been declining as more and more law-abiding Americans have gone through the process to purchase a firearm for self-defense.

Let’s talk about the gun homicide rate and how the steady increase in firearm ownership has affected that. When you look at the graph below, keep in mind that two thirds of the homicide are suicides committed with a firearm.

Here is a graph:

Gun ownership up, gun violence down
Gun ownership up, gun violence down

The question I want to address is this: why would someone want to own a gun in the first place?

Here are the points from the list of eight points that are relevant to that question:

Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.

  • Switzerland and Israel have much higher gun ownership rates than the United States but experience far fewer homicides and have much lower violent crime rates than many European nations with strict gun control laws.
  • Higher rates of concealed carry permit holders are even more strongly associated with reduction in violent crime than are “right-to-carry” states. The probable reason for this is that “right-to-carry” studies often include “open carry” states, which have not been shown to correlate with more people actually carrying or even owning firearms. Rates of concealed carry permit holders are better indicators of the number of people who actually possess and carry firearms within a given population.

There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.

  • Homicide and firearm homicide rates in Great Britain spiked in the years immediately following the imposition of severe gun control measures, despite the fact that most developed countries continued to experience a downward trend in these rates. This is also pointed out by noted criminologist John Lott in his book “The War on Guns.”
  • Similarly, Ireland’s homicide rates spiked in the years immediately following the country’s 1972 gun confiscation legislation.
  • Australia’s National Firearms Act appears to have had little effect on suicide and homicide rates, which were falling before the law was enacted and continued to decline at a statistically unremarkable rate compared to worldwide trends.
  • According to research compiled by John Lott and highlighted in his book “The War on Guns,” Australia’s armed and unarmed robbery rates both increased markedly in the five years immediately following the National Firearms Act, despite the general downward trend experienced by other developed countries.
  • Great Britain has some of the strictest gun control laws in the developed world, but the violent crime rate for homicide, rape, burglary, and aggravated assault is much higher than that in the U.S. Further, approximately 60 percent of burglaries in Great Britain occur while residents are home, compared to just 13 percent in the U.S., and British burglars admit to targeting occupied residences because they are more likely to find wallets and purses.
  • It is difficult to compare homicide and firearm-related murder rates across international borders because countries use different methods to determine which deaths “count” for purposes of violent crime. For example, since 1967, Great Britain has excluded from its homicide counts any case that does not result in a conviction, that was the result of dangerous driving, or in which the person was determined to have acted in self-defense. All of these factors are counted as “homicides” in the United States.

Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.

  • In 2013, President Barack Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess existing research on gun violence. The report, compiled by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, found (among other things) that firearms are used defensively hundreds of thousands of times every year.
  • According to the CDC, “self-defense can be an important crime deterrent.” Recent CDC reports acknowledge that studies directly assessing the effect of actual defensive uses of guns have found “consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”
  • Semi-automatic rifles (such as the AR-15) are commonly used as self-defense weapons in the homes of law-abiding citizens because they are easier to control than handguns, are more versatile than handguns, and offer the advantage of up to 30 rounds of protection. Even Vox has published stories defending the use of the AR-15.
  • AR-15s have been used to save lives on many occasions [list omitted by WK]

Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.

  • Noted criminologist John Lott found that, as a group, concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law-abiding people in the United States. The rate at which they commit crimes generally and firearm crimes specifically is between one-sixth and one-tenth of that recorded for police officers, who are themselves committing crimes at a fraction of the rate of the general population.
  • Between 2007 and 2015, murder rates dropped 16 percent and violent crime rates dropped 18 percent, even though the percentage of adults with concealed carry permits rose by 190 percent.
  • Regression estimates show a significant association between increased permit ownership and a drop in murder and violent crime rates. Each percentage point increase in rates of permit-holding is associated with a roughly 2.5 percent drop in the murder rate.
  • Concealed carry permit holders are often “the good guy with a gun,” even though they rarely receive the attention of the national media. Concealed carry permit holders were credited with saving multiple lives [list omitted by WK]

So, I think that those points provide a very necessary balance for the “ban guns” crowd. Gun ownership is a vital part of a free citizen’s right to self-defense. People who want to discuss gun confiscation vs self-defense need to be aware of the way guns are really used by law-abiding people to protect themselves and their families.

Husband uses legally-owned firearm to rescue wife from two armed criminals

Pew Research: reported defensive gun usage
Pew Research: reported defensive gun usage

The mainstream media, and the culture at large, seems to spend a lot more time talking about multiple victim public shootings. But they ignore the times when legally-armed law-abiding citizens defend themselves from criminals. Here’s an example of what that looks like, reported from KHOU Houston local news.

Excerpt:

Investigators said it all started when the man’s wife pulled into their driveway Tuesday night. Then the two armed suspects jumped out and tried to rob her.

First, they took her purse, and then they tried to force her into the house. However, that is when her husband showed up.

He heard the commotion from inside, grabbed his gun and ended up exchanging gunfire with the intruders.

Fortunately, the couple weren’t hit, but one of the suspects was hit in the head, police said. The other suspect took off running.

Police said the injured suspect was taken into surgery.

As for the couple, one can only imagine what was going through their mind when this was all over. Hopefully, they’re able to find some peace of mind this morning, knowing they’re OK.

Now, imagine you are the husband and you wake up to find two armed men in your home, holding your wife hostage. The police are minutes away, even if you could make the phone call while the criminals waited patiently for you to do so. In this situation, what sort of remedy would be offered to you by people who want to confiscate your legally-owned firearms? What could they offer you that would rescue your wife and yourself, and prevent your house from being burglarized? I actually know progressives who hate gun usage so much that they actually don’t believe in an individual’s right to defend himself, his family and his property. There is this strange desire to try to “make peace” by surrendering to the most angry person in the room. Some progressives are really like this. They just don’t believe that violence (or even the threat of violence) is ever the answer to dealing with evil. Progressives want to disarm you, but they don’t want to do a think to make criminal activities harder for criminals.

The truth is that progressives often live in gated communities and have armed security. They want to be safe, but they don’t care about YOUR safety.

Gun ownership up, gun violence down
Gun ownership up, gun violence down

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.

I think that peer-reviewed studies should be useful for assessing gun control vs gun rights policy. 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, which shows that the 1997 UK gun ban caused violent crime rates to MORE THAN DOUBLE in the four years following the ban. But both studies affirm the same conclusion – more legal firearm ownership means less crime.

One of the common mistakes I see anti-gun advocates making is to use the metric of all “gun-related deaths”. First of all, this completely ignores the effects of hand gun ownership on violent crime, as we’ve seen. Take away the guns from law-abiding people and violent crime skyrockets. But using the “gun-related deaths” number is especially wrong, because it includes suicides committed with guns. This is the majority (about two thirds) of gun related deaths, even in a country like America that has a massive inner-city gun violence problem caused by the epidemic of single motherhood by choice. If you take out the gun-related SUICIDES, then the actual number of gun homicides has decreased as gun ownership has grown.

For a couple of useful graphs related to this point, check out this post over at the American Enterprise Institute.

(Graphic is from Pew Research 2017, page 43)

Facts vs feelings in the debate on gun control vs self-defense

I found a splendid at the Daily Signal article that ought to be read by everyone who has an opinion about the conflict between gun confiscation vs self-defense.

Here are the 8 points made in the article, then I’ll comment on my favorite one:

  1. Violent crime is down and has been on the decline for decades.

  2. The principal public safety concerns with respect to guns are suicides and illegally owned handguns, not mass shootings.

  3. A small number of factors significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a gun-related homicide.

  4. Gun-related murders are carried out by a predictable pool of people.

  5. Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.

  6. There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.

  7. Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.

  8. Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.

Whenever we discuss gun violence, it’s very important to exclude suicides using a gun from the overall rate of gun deaths. Once you do that, you will find that the rate of violent crime has been declining as more and more law-abiding Americans have gone through the process to purchase a firearm for self-defense.

Let’s talk about the gun homicide rate and how the steady increase in firearm ownership has affected that.

Here is a graph:

Gun ownership up, gun violence down
Gun ownership up, gun violence down

The question I want to address is this: why would someone want to own a gun in the first place?

Here are the points from the list of eight points that are relevant to that question:

Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.

  • Switzerland and Israel have much higher gun ownership rates than the United States but experience far fewer homicides and have much lower violent crime rates than many European nations with strict gun control laws.
  • Higher rates of concealed carry permit holders are even more strongly associated with reduction in violent crime than are “right-to-carry” states. The probable reason for this is that “right-to-carry” studies often include “open carry” states, which have not been shown to correlate with more people actually carrying or even owning firearms. Rates of concealed carry permit holders are better indicators of the number of people who actually possess and carry firearms within a given population.

There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.

  • Homicide and firearm homicide rates in Great Britain spiked in the years immediately following the imposition of severe gun control measures, despite the fact that most developed countries continued to experience a downward trend in these rates. This is also pointed out by noted criminologist John Lott in his book “The War on Guns.”
  • Similarly, Ireland’s homicide rates spiked in the years immediately following the country’s 1972 gun confiscation legislation.
  • Australia’s National Firearms Act appears to have had little effect on suicide and homicide rates, which were falling before the law was enacted and continued to decline at a statistically unremarkable rate compared to worldwide trends.
  • According to research compiled by John Lott and highlighted in his book “The War on Guns,” Australia’s armed and unarmed robbery rates both increased markedly in the five years immediately following the National Firearms Act, despite the general downward trend experienced by other developed countries.
  • Great Britain has some of the strictest gun control laws in the developed world, but the violent crime rate for homicide, rape, burglary, and aggravated assault is much higher than that in the U.S. Further, approximately 60 percent of burglaries in Great Britain occur while residents are home, compared to just 13 percent in the U.S., and British burglars admit to targeting occupied residences because they are more likely to find wallets and purses.
  • It is difficult to compare homicide and firearm-related murder rates across international borders because countries use different methods to determine which deaths “count” for purposes of violent crime. For example, since 1967, Great Britain has excluded from its homicide counts any case that does not result in a conviction, that was the result of dangerous driving, or in which the person was determined to have acted in self-defense. All of these factors are counted as “homicides” in the United States.

Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.

  • In 2013, President Barack Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess existing research on gun violence. The report, compiled by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, found (among other things) that firearms are used defensively hundreds of thousands of times every year.
  • According to the CDC, “self-defense can be an important crime deterrent.” Recent CDC reports acknowledge that studies directly assessing the effect of actual defensive uses of guns have found “consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”
  • Semi-automatic rifles (such as the AR-15) are commonly used as self-defense weapons in the homes of law-abiding citizens because they are easier to control than handguns, are more versatile than handguns, and offer the advantage of up to 30 rounds of protection. Even Vox has published stories defending the use of the AR-15.
  • AR-15s have been used to save lives on many occasions [list omitted by WK]

Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.

  • Noted criminologist John Lott found that, as a group, concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law-abiding people in the United States. The rate at which they commit crimes generally and firearm crimes specifically is between one-sixth and one-tenth of that recorded for police officers, who are themselves committing crimes at a fraction of the rate of the general population.
  • Between 2007 and 2015, murder rates dropped 16 percent and violent crime rates dropped 18 percent, even though the percentage of adults with concealed carry permits rose by 190 percent.
  • Regression estimates show a significant association between increased permit ownership and a drop in murder and violent crime rates. Each percentage point increase in rates of permit-holding is associated with a roughly 2.5 percent drop in the murder rate.
  • Concealed carry permit holders are often “the good guy with a gun,” even though they rarely receive the attention of the national media. Concealed carry permit holders were credited with saving multiple lives [list omitted by WK]

So, I think that those points provide a very necessary balance for the “ban guns” crowd. Gun ownership is a vital part of a free citizen’s right to self-defense. People who want to discuss gun confiscation vs self-defense need to be aware of the way guns are really used by law-abiding people to protect themselves and their families.

Armed support officer ends attempted school shooting in Maryland

Gun ownership up, gun violence down
Gun ownership up, gun violence down

The mainstream media is using naive students like sock puppets to push an anti-self-defense agenda. I saw a clip where one of the children was explaining that armed teachers or security guards would not prevent school shootings. Instead, the solution being suggested by those on the left is to ban all semi-automatic weapons – which would mean confiscating nearly every firearm used for self-defense against criminals by law-abiding citizens.

So, does having an armed security guard on staff work?

Here’s a story from the Daily Caller:

The Great Mills High School student who injured two others Tuesday morning was stopped by the school’s armed resource officer.

According to St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron, the school resource officer (SRO) fired a round at the shooter, who fired a round in return. The shooter is now dead, Cameron confirmed Tuesday morning, and an investigation will determine whether the SRO’s bullet struck the shooter.

The incident is now over, though the shooter managed to injure two students. One of them is in critical condition in the hospital, Cameron said. The SRO was not injured during the incident.

In fact, almost all mass shootings happen in “gun-free zones”, where there are no armed security guards.

Economist John Lott explains:

Since 1950, more than 98 percent of public mass shootings in America have taken place where citizens are banned from carrying guns. In Europe, every mass public shooting in history has occurred in a gun-free zone. And Europe is no stranger to mass public shootings. In the past eight years, it has experienced a per-capita casualty rate 50 percent higher than that of the U.S.

With permit holders preventing dozens of mass public shootings in recent years, it is unsurprising that killers try to avoid resistance.

Last year, a young Islamic State sympathizer planned a shooting at one of the largest churches in Detroit. A FBI wiretap recorded his reasons for picking the church: “It’s easy, and a lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church. Plus it would make the news.”

These killers might be crazy, but they aren’t stupid. Picking defenseless targets means being able to kill more people. A long list of killers explicitly have stated this reasoning, including the 2015 Charleston, S.C., church shooting, the 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., and the 2015 attack in San Bernardino, Calif.

[…]In March 2013, 86 percent of police officers surveyed by PoliceOne, the 450,000-member private organization of police, said that casualties would have been prevented if legally-armed citizens had been able to carry guns in places such as Newtown and Aurora.

[…]Last summer, professor Gary Mauser and I released a survey of all economists and criminologists who had published peer-reviewed empirical research on firearms.

[…]By 66 percent to 32 percent, economists and criminologists answer that gun-free zones are “more likely to attract criminals than they are to deter them.”

Allowing some teachers to voluntarily train and arm themselves would be a deterrent to school shootings. But this is not the solution that the leftist gun-grabbers are looking for. They don’t really want to solve the problem of school shootings. They just want to confiscate all legally-owned guns and abolish self-defense completely.