11 more cases in which responsible gun owners saved lives

By Amy Swearer | The Daily Signal

In recent weeks, several instances involving the reckless use of firearms dominated national headlines. In one case, a Georgia man tragically lost his life when armed civilians crossed the line between defensive necessity and vigilantism.

But such headlines tell only one side of the story. Every day, many law-abiding and responsible Americans use their firearms lawfully to defend their lives, liberty, and property.

In fact, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded in 2013, almost every major study on the issue has found that Americans use their firearms in lawful self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times a year.

Dominic Thackray/Wikimedia Commons

Women are the fastest-growing consumer segment in the hunting and shooting industry. One reason for the rise is the need for self-defense against criminals.

These instances of proper defensive gun use provide an important but often unreported counterbalance to the national conversation.

For this reason, The Daily Signal has been publishing a monthly series highlighting some of the news stories of defensive gun use that you may have missed—or that might not have made it to the national spotlight in the first place. (Read accounts from 2019 and 2020).

The lawful defensive uses of guns below represent only a small part of the many stories we found last month. You can explore more examples by using The Heritage Foundation’s Defensive Gun Use Database, an interactive map that allows users to find recent defensive gun uses from all over the country quickly and easily.

  • April 2, Wolf Creek, Oregon: A homeowner was forced to defend himself with his firearm after confronting a man who was firing guns on the homeowner’s property. The intruder—who previously had been convicted of attacking a family member with a samurai sword during an argument—threatened the homeowner. Police said the homeowner acted in lawful self-defense when he shot and killed the man.
  • April 4, Chicago, Illinois: A doorbell camera captured a homeowner’s incredible defense against two armed, masked men who brazenly tried to rob the residence in broad daylight. The video shows that when the homeowner answers the door, two would-be robbers force their way inside. A struggle ensues off-camera, and the homeowner is next seen chasing down and fighting with one of the intruders on his front lawn. When the homeowner returned inside, police said, he found the second intruder pointing a gun at his wife and children. The homeowner retrieved his own gun from a safe, then shot and killed the assailant in defense of his family.
  • April 8, Asheboro, North Carolina: A homeowner, leaving for work, discovered that two of his vehicles had been ransacked during the night. As he went back inside to alert others in the house, he heard noises inside the garage and grabbed his firearm to investigate, police said. The homeowner discovered an intruder sitting in the front seat of one of his cars. He held the burglar at gunpoint until police arrived.
  • April 11, Fredericksburg, Texas: A woman came to her fiancé’s defense by shooting and killing an intruder who had brutally assaulted him in the couple’s home, police said. The woman begged the intruder to stop as he beat her fiancé and put him in a chokehold, but to no avail. As her fiancé began to lose consciousness, the woman retrieved a handgun and fatally shot the intruder.
  • April 17, Gaffney, South Carolina: When a homeowner asked a man to leave his property, he became irate, pulled out a handgun, and threatened the homeowner. The homeowner retreated, grabbed a rifle from inside the house, and again told the man to leave. The intruder then opened fire on the homeowner and five others, including a small child, police said. He fled when the homeowner defended himself and his household with the rifle. Police later arrested and charged a suspect.
  • April 18, Fairfield, Connecticut: A homeowner, awakened by his barking dogs in the early morning, was confronted by a machete-wielding intruder. He fled when he realized the homeowner was armed, police said.
  • April 20, Sacramento, California: A robbery suspect led multiple law enforcement officers on a chase through two counties, at times driving the wrong way and endangering other motorists. The suspect eventually crashed the car and ran through a residential neighborhood. Police said he approached an elderly homeowner sitting on his back patio and the homeowner, fearing for his life, shot and wounded him.
  • April 22, Las Vegas, Nevada: Local prosecutors determined that a concealed-carry permit holder acted in lawful self-defense when he shot and killed a man who fired a gun at him. The permit holder and a woman were eating fast food in a parking lot when the man, apparently angry over a failed gun purchase earlier in the day, randomly chose to vent his frustrations on them. Police said the man began shooting at the permit holder, who hid behind a trash can and returned fire with at least 11 rounds.
  • April 24, Lexington, Kentucky: A man who was the subject of active arrest warrants for robbery and domestic violence broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home and opened fire on those inside, police said. An armed resident returned fire, killing the ex-boyfriend and ending the threat long before police could have arrived.
  • April 24, Des Arc, Arkansas: Two inmates at a county jail attacked their guards, stole their keys, and escaped. Authorities captured one inmate within minutes, but the other—in jail on capital murder charges—was on the run for more than eight hours, police said. When the escapee finally was captured, it wasn’t by law enforcement but by armed citizens who found him hiding in an abandoned car.
  • April 29, Yoder, Colorado: A couple relied on the Second Amendment to defend themselves from four armed attackers who police believe mistook the couple’s legal hemp farm for an illegal marijuana operation. Hundreds of rounds reportedly were fired in a shootout, and the four intruders eventually fled.

It’s true that gun owners sometimes overstep the lawful bounds of the Second Amendment, and the failure to act responsibly with firearms can have devastating consequences. But it’s equally true that, for countless Americans, the lawful defensive use of firearms has been the only thing standing between them and the devastating consequences of crime.

Whether it’s a woman rescuing her fiancé from certain death, or armed citizens unexpectedly helping to end a cross-county manhunt, it’s clear that the right to keep and bear arms plays a vital role in promoting public safety and protecting individual rights.

Image courtesy of Dominic Thackray/Wikimedia Commons
Spread the love

One thought on “11 more cases in which responsible gun owners saved lives

  1. The below is taken from Judge ROGER T. BENITEZ United States District Judges decision regarding the un Constitutional California magazine ban,the judge thought it so important that it is at the top of his written decision.


    As two masked and armed men broke in, Susan Gonzalez was shot in the chest. She made it back to her bedroom and found her husband’s .22 caliber pistol. Wasting the first rounds on warning shots, she then emptied the single pistol at one attacker. Unfortunately, now out of ammunition, she was shot again by the other armed attacker.

    She was not able to re-load or use a second gun. Both she and her husband were shot
    twice. Forty-two bullets in all were fired. The gunman fled from the house—but
    returned. He put his gun to Susan Gonzalez’s head and demanded the keys to the
    into the home of a single woman at 3:44 a.m., she dialed 911. No answer. Feng Zhu Chen, dressed in pajamas, held a phone in one hand and took up her pistol in the other and began shooting. She fired numerous shots. She had no place to carry an extra magazine and no way to reload because her left hand held the phone with which she was still trying to call 911. After the shooting was over and two of the armed suspects got away and one lay dead, she did get through to the police. The home security camera
    intruder broke in. She and her twins retreated to an upstairs crawl space and hid. Fortunately, she had a .38 caliber revolver. She would need it. The intruder worked his way upstairs, broke through a locked bedroom door and a locked bathroom door, and opened the crawl space door. The family was cornered with no place to run. He stood staring at her and her two children. The mother shot six times, hitting the intruder five
    2 Duncan v. Becerra, 265 F. Supp. 3d 1106, 1130-31 (S.D. Cal. 2017) (citing Jacksonville Times-Union, July 18, 2000).
    3 Lindsey Bever, Armed Intruders Kicked in the Door, Washington Post (Sept. 24, 2016), https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2016/09/24/armed-intruders- kicked-in-the-door-what-they-found-was-a-woman-opening- fire/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.80336ab1b09e; see also YouTube, https://youtu.be/ykiSTkmt5-w (last viewed Mar. 20, 2019); Habersham, Raisa, Suspect Faces Murder Charge 18 Months After Homeowner Shot at Him, Intruders, The Atlanta- Journal-Constitution (Mar. 30, 2018) https://www.ajc.com/news/crime–law/suspect- faces-murder-charge-months-after-homeowner-shot-him- intruders/W4CW5wFNFdU6QIEFo0CtGM (last visited Mar. 27, 2019). Although this news account is not in the parties’ exhibits, it is illustrative.
    couple’s truck.
    When three armed intruders carrying what look like semi-automatic pistols broke
    video is dramatic.
    A mother, Melinda Herman, and her nine-year-old twins were at home when an

    year between 2003 and 2007, an estimated 266,560 burglaries occurred during which a person at home became a victim of a violent crime or a “home invasion.”9 “Households composed of single females with children had the highest rate of burglary while someone was at home.”10 Of the burglaries by a stranger where violence occurred, the assailant
    firearms. The Second Amendment provides: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” U.S. Const. amend. II. “As interpreted in recent years by the Supreme Court, the Second Amendment protects ‘the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.’” Teixeira v. Cty. of Alameda, 873 F.3d 670, 676– 77 (9th Cir. 2017), cert. denied sub nom. Teixeira v. Alameda Cty., 138 S. Ct. 1988 (2018) (quoting District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 635 (2008)). At the core of the Second Amendment is a citizen’s right to have in his and her home for self-defense common firearms. Heller, 554 U.S. at 629. “[O]ur central holding in Heller [is] that the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home.” McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, 780 (2010).
    9 Catalano, Shannan, Victimization During Household Burglary, U.S. D.O.J., Bureau of Justice Statistics (Sept. 2010) https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/vdhb.pdf (last visited Mar. 28, 2019). Under Rules of Evidence 201(b) courts may take judicial notice of some types of public records, including reports of administrative bodies.
    10 Id. at p.3. 11 Id. at p.10. 12 Id.
    rape or sexual assault occurred 6,387 times annually (on average), while a homicide
    was armed with a firearm in 73,000 instances annually (on average).
    During a burglary,
    occurred approximately 430 times annually (on average).
    Fortunately, the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to keep and beartimes, when she ran out of ammunition. Though injured, the intruder was not
    In one year in California (2017), a population of 39 million people endured 56,609
    also 423 homicides in victims’ residences.
    Nationally, the first study to assess the prevalence of defensive gun use estimated that there are 2.2 to 2.5 million defensive gun uses by civilians each year. Of those, 340,000 to 400,000 defensive gun uses were situations where defenders believed that they had
    7 almostcertainlysavedalifebyusingthegun. Citizensoftenuseaguntodefendagainst
    criminal attack. A Special Report by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics published in 2013, reported that between 2007 and 2011 “there were 235,700 victimizations where the victim used a firearm to threaten or attack an offender.”8 How many more instances are never reported to, or recorded by, authorities? According to another U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Special Report, for each.

    As evidenced by California’s own crime statistics, the need to protect one’s self and family from criminals in one’s home has not abated no matter how hard they try. Law enforcement cannot protect everyone. “A police force in a free state cannot provide everyone with bodyguards. Indeed, while some think guns cause violent crime, others think that wide-spread possession of guns on balance reduces violent crime. None of these policy arguments on either side affects what the Second Amendment says, that our Constitution protects ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms.’” Silveira v. Lockyer, 328 F.3d 567, 588 (9th Cir. 2003) (Kleinfeld, J., dissenting from denial of rehearing en banc). However, California citizens, like United States citizens everywhere, enjoy the right to defend themselves with a firearm, if they so choose. To protect the home and hearth, citizens most often choose a handgun, while some choose rifles or shotgun.

    In case you haven’t read it, the excellent decision, it is below.


Comments are closed.