“I Don’t Know Anyone Who’s Ever Had to Use a Gun!”

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By Lucas McCain

Not long ago I had a conversation with someone that is radically opposed to firearms. When my presentation of actual facts, naming of my credible sources, and comparisons to airbags, fire extinguishers, and handguns as all being smart precautionary tools became too much for them, they blurted out something along the lines of “I don’t know anybody who has ever used a gun to defend themselves or ever needed to use one!” My reply was simply, “Well, now you do.” And I left it at that. They were practically frothing at this point, so I just walked away . . .

I’ve seen similar comments online recently, so I thought I would share four stories. Let’s start with the most recent of the four, which happened in my neighborhood, maybe 2½ blocks from me, about five years ago as of this writing.

A woman had just stepped out of her shower when she heard her doorbell ring. She wasn’t expecting anyone, so she began to towel off, thinking it was probably kids trying to sell something for a fundraiser or similar. But then the ringing was repeated rapidly, and she thought maybe a neighbor was having an emergency so she reached for her robe. Before she hit the top of her stairs she heard the front door being kicked. At that point she realized what was happening: someone was trying to break in.

She ran to her bedroom to get her phone when she heard glass break. She had a steel door in a steel frame, and when the guy could not kick it down, he grabbed a rock about the size of a small cantaloupe from the landscaping in front of her house and smashed the sidelight next to the door. As she reached the top of the stairs she saw his arm reaching through the broken glass, trying to unlock the deadbolt.

She dropped the phone and grabbed a heavy brass lamp from the table in the entryway and began to pound on his arm, hand and wrist. He tried to grab her or the lamp and somehow knocked it out of her hand. As soon as it hit the floor he went for the deadbolt again, but she grabbed his arm, twisting for all she was worth. This caused him to cut his arm on the broken glass and he withdrew. Then she picked up the dropped phone and called 911.

While she was describing what had happened to the 911 operator she heard him trying to open her back door. She ran into the kitchen and saw him pick up a chair from her deck and raise it to smash the mostly-glass back door. She screamed “I have my gun now and I will shoot you dead!” at the top of her lungs, and the guy dropped the chair and ran. Somehow she had managed to disconnect the 911 operator, so she dialed again and got the cops coming her way.

Here’s the plot twist: she didn’t own a gun. Just the verbal threat of a gun, however, stopped this particular bad guy. When asked by one of the cops what she would have done had the bad guy called her bluff, she said she would have run out the front door and looked for help. He suggested she should actually buy a handgun, take some classes, and any time she was not home keep it locked in a well-hidden and well-secured gun safe so it wouldn’t be stolen.

This happened in a neighborhood where homes start at a quarter of a million dollars and go up from there – not some sketchy, “transitional” part of town. The epilogue is that she took the cop’s advice, but ultimately she and her family moved because she never felt safe there again, even though she had a gun and knew how to use it.

Story #2: We go back many years, now, to when I was 10 or 11. I was raised with guns, taught to shoot when I was 10, and we had loaded guns in the house, because my Dad believed “You just don’t know what might happen.” Dad was uncompromising on safety rules and responsibility, and consequences were severe, so we never had any firearm “accidents” in our home. Ever.

On this particular summer day, my parents and I were in the kitchen. It was supper time; I was setting the table and my Mom had just put a roast on the table for my Dad to carve. Our back door was open, so we could enjoy the breeze coming through the screen door, and we heard a neighbor shouting as he approached. I’ll call him “Smith” for the purposes of the story.

Smith was shouting obscenities aimed at my Dad, telling him to “get out here and fight like a man.” I honestly don’t recall what set Smith off – it could have been anything. He once punched another neighbor for mowing his lawn too often. He was a drunk and a wife abuser with a short fuse, and was notorious for starting bar fights. He often bragged about once breaking a guy’s back in a fight.

In any event, he came storming towards the screen door and my Mom reached over and locked it. He pounded at the door, telling my father he was going to turn him into “a complete cripple instead of the half-crippled stumblebum you are now.” My Dad had a degenerative nerve disease that made walking very difficult for him, and he had to use two canes to walk any more than a few steps.

Smith was 20 years younger and in good health, but that did not make my Dad hesitate one second. Dad walked right up to the screen door, calmly telling Smith to go home, sober up, and they would talk about this later. Smith kept pounding on the door, telling my Dad to come out or he was going to break the door down and drag him out. In a matter of seconds his anger had escalated to the point that my Dad told us to go into the other room. Ever the pragmatist, he said to my Mom, “Take the roast with you. It wasn’t cheap, and I won’t eat it with his blood all over it.” She grabbed the platter with one hand, me with the other, and we went into the next room.

About that time Dad’s right hand went into his right hip pocket – that’s where he kept his little Colt semi-auto – and came out again, remaining behind his hip. I don’t know if Smith caught a glimpse of the Colt or not, but he screamed, “What’s in your hand? Are you a coward? You got a gun?” Dad extended his left hand, showing it was empty. Smith shouted “Show me the other one!” and Dad replied “If you want to see what’s in that hand you will have to make good on your threat to break down my door and assault me in my own kitchen,” and stepped back as if to give Smith room to crash through.

Then he told the guy to get off of our property or follow through on his threat because our dinner was getting cold. Without taking his eyes off Smith he told my Mom to get ready to call the police and tell them there is a dead guy in our kitchen. Smith left at that point, spouting a stream of threats and obscenities as he went. When my Mom asked if we should call the cops, Dad said “No, the guy has a wife and three kids counting on him; he just needs to sober up. Is the roast cold?”

We finished the meal as if the incident had never happened. Within the next year we found out Smith was abusing his wife, and around that same time he lost one of the bar fights he had started and was severely injured. He lost his house and job, god divorced, yada, yada. My Dad and I had several conversations about the incident, all very educational for me, but that’s another story for another time.

Story #3: This happened to me when I was 14. Same house, but what had been a “working class” neighborhood was now a “transitional” neighborhood. I think that term was how our local officials described the parts of town that were gradually becoming ghettos. We weren’t there yet, but that was the direction we were headed.

Anyway, a friend and I were fixing his bike in my driveway when we were attacked by four neighborhood thugs for some imagined offense. They were older, bigger, all had been in and out of jail several times, and were well known in the area. Almost immediately after jumping us, the four began to focus on my friend. They had him on the ground, curled into a fetal position, and were kicking and stomping on him, shouting that they were going to kill him. I ran into the house and grabbed a .410 shotgun my dad kept loaded and hidden near the front door. I ran back out, shouted, and when they all looked up and saw the gun, they ran.

My friend staggered up and ran home, but one of the attackers decided to come back and go after me as soon as I turned and went back into the house. He was about to come through the door when I heard him. Luckily, the .410 was still in my hands. I managed to turn, raise the gun, and pull the hammer back again by the time he had taken his first step into the entryway.

I was a scrawny little 14-year-old and he was a big, muscular 18-year-old with years of street fighting under his belt. He could have, very literally, beaten me to death with his bare hands and I would not have been able to stop him. Having the shotgun changed the dynamic.

Once he saw the barrel, up close and personal, as the saying goes, he stopped moving. I don’t recall the exact exchange of words, but the gist of it was him telling me he didn’t think I’d pull the trigger and me disagreeing. He backed out the door saying he and his thug pals would “get me” someday, and then he ran off in the direction the others had gone. The police were never called, although we did end up filing a report through a cop that was a friend of the family. (Times were very different.) I don’t think arrests were made regarding this incident, but I do know that none of the four thugs ever came near me again, and they all eventually ended up in jail for other crimes.

Story #4 takes place in the same house, years after I had moved out and married. The neighborhood had really “transitioned” by then and my parents told me cops came to some house or another on their block five or six times every week. I begged them to sell the place and move somewhere safe, but Dad said he wasn’t leaving until he left in a pine box. By that time he was in a wheelchair and he and Mom were in their late 60’s.

One evening my Mom went out onto their screened-in front porch to water some plants when one of the neighborhood drug dealers came charging into the yard. He was screaming something about how he knew my Mom had called the cops on him and she was about to pay. She foolishly stepped right up to the half-wall of the porch, next to where he was now standing, and said she had not called the cops but would then if he didn’t leave.

He shouted that she wouldn’t have the chance because he was going to “climb up there” and beat her “brains out,” and began pounding on the screen and trying to climb up the outside of the porch. There was a pair of French doors that opened onto this screened-in portion of the porch from the living room where my Dad was watching TV. He heard the shouting, rolled up to the French doors and yelled for my Mom to move so he would have a clear shot. She got out of the way and my Dad pointed the .38 he kept in his wheelchair right at the guy. He scrambled away and ran into the house next door. Mom came in, they called the cops, and the guy ended up in jail.

Any one of these situations could have ended with the criminal committing murder or aggravated assault, had there not been the equalizing presence of a firearm (or the perceived presence in the case of the first story). I have told very, very few people about any of these instances. I know of many other similar tales told to me by people who trust me to keep them to myself.

The overwhelming majority of the people who have had to defend themselves with a gun don’t really talk about it to casual acquaintances. So there is a good chance that many anti-firearms people actually do know someone who has defended himself with a gun; they just don’t realize it. And regardless of how they feel about defensive gun use, it’s not their right to decide who gets to have the potential to save themselves or a loved one by using a gun and who doesn’t. That decision is up to each individual to make for themselves. I choose to have my guns because I know from personal experience what could happen without them.

comments

  1. avatar notlima says:

    “I don’t know anybody who has ever used a gun to defend themselves or ever needed to use one!”

    Anecdotal evidence much?

    That is my typical response to frothers that use ‘I’ve never known/seen/etc…” in an argument. They are not going to listen to any real evidence presented to them because they are responding to parroted emotional appeals and circle-jerk data points from their group on ill-informed progressive friend/drones.

    1. avatar Jay-El says:

      That “but I don’t know anyone who’s had to defend themselves with a gun” comment is classic: They surround the irrational belief, based in fear, with illogical reasoning, based in denial.

      It’s exceptionally frustrating because, like most forms of denial, it’s exceptionally effective in protecting a dysfunctional mindset. That’s why rational arguments never work with true gun hysterics, and it’s why they so often resort to childish name-calling, ad hominem insults, etc.

      “But…” followed by some illogical comment is almost always a sign of denial, and perhaps even a conscious decision to reject facts and reason.

    2. avatar TTACer says:

      I don’t “know” anyone that has been saved by a seat belt. I have been in crashes where everyone involved had their seat belt fastened and walked away.

    3. avatar Fred says:

      I don’t know anyone that has died from ebola, HIV/AIDS, cancer, or tuberculosis. Does that mean those aren’t a problem? Isn’t it funny how when you turn it around on them they usually call you irrational or say your comment is irrelevant. Suddenly the logic they just used is invalid based on the messenger and message.

    4. avatar CRose says:

      I’m sorry, you can’t complain about the phrase “I don’t know anyone who has ever had to use a gun” being anecdotal evidence, when this ENTIRE article is also anecdotal evidence… Just stating the facts 😉

      1. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        Not really since he’s just answering an insipid statement to begin with.

      2. avatar Jay-El says:

        A premise based on a lack of anecdotal evidence (“Guns seem unnecessary to me because I don’t know anyone personally who has had to use one”) can be refuted by introducing said evidence (“I’ve had to use them defensively, so now you know someone who has. Therefore, they should no longer seen unnecessary to you.”)

        Faced with such refutation of his own premise, on his own standards for evidence (anecdotal), the average anti typically will attempt to downplay the evidence (“OK, but you’re just one person”) in an attempt to protect his premise. People find it very difficult to change their view on an issue for which their belief is based on emotion, regardless of how much empirical evidence they are presented with.

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    Breaking news…Shaneen Allen (the lady from PA) arrested in NJ sorta WINS…from live Cam& CO. And yeah we guns 🙂

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      She should write a nice thank-you letter to Ray Rice.

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        And the white folks of the NRA. COMPLETELY ignored by the race pimps. Hey Ralph do ya’ think big Chris didn’t want to deal with this young mother?

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “After a review by the state attorney general, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday that it would allow a Philadelphia woman charged last year with illegally bringing into New Jersey a gun that was legally registered in Pennsylvania to enter a pretrial-intervention program and avoid jail time.”

      http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20140925_Prosecutor_agrees_to_pre-trial_intervention_for_Shaneen_Allen.html

      Mighty “nice” of them, don’t you think?

  3. avatar Alexander says:

    I feel like this article promotes the idea of a gun is enough to scare away a would-be criminal without shooting… not sure if that’s the proper mindset but that’s what I got out of it. Luckily for me, I haven’t had to shoot anyone but the drug dealer one would have been a definite. Maybe it’s hard for me to put myself in your shoes; the circumstances could have been plenty different than I imagined.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      According to John Lott, in over 99% of DGU’s, no one is injured or killed.

      I have not heard him break down the data on “shot but missed” or “warning shots,” but I think it is a safe conclusion (from Lott’s conclusions and that of others) that NOT shooting is the far more common occurrence.

      Point is, the evidence shows that in the vast majority of cases, the mere presence of the gun IS enough to scare off the bad guy.

      Not saying one should assume that, though. Not saying that at all. If one pulls the gun, I believe one should be prepared to use it.

    2. avatar Grindstone says:

      I think it was included because it’s an example of a DGU without a shot being fired. The mere *thought* of a gun defended this lady, even if one wasn’t physically present. I think it’s safe to say we can add this as a tally under the “DGU” column.

    3. avatar tdgrafton says:

      If you study the psychology of killing, you’ll notice that violent people stike at people that are easy targets. When you present the possibility that you can give as good as you get or better; they bug out. They have to be conditioned or deranged to pursue. Pointing a gun at someone does this very well. Its one of the reasons I have mixed thoughts on concel carry.

      but it only works if the gun goes bang, and in reality enough of everyone’s gun needs to go bang for them to runaway with out firing.

  4. avatar dwb says:

    This happened in a neighborhood where homes start at a quarter of a million dollars and go up from there – not some sketchy, “transitional” part of town.

    I don’t know why that surprises anyone. People steal stuff from people who have stuff. Robbing the local vacant house generally does not yield much. Unless there are drugs hidden in it, and most people are not dumb enough to do that. What generally surprises me is how little crime there actually is in nice neighborhoods. Criminals (like all people) don’t seem to put in more effort than absolutely necessary, so around here they seem to focus on the houses near the main street with easier access and escape. To avoid being robbed, you don’t have to make yourself a hard target, just harder than your neighbors.

    That said, I have loud dogs. I figure if they push their way past the dogs, they are really determined, so it will get real ugly real quick. In that case I will need more than a dial tone.

  5. avatar Another Robert says:

    Pauline Kael didn’t know anyone who voted for Nixon either.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      Ex-ACT-ly. I’m a fan of Kael’s film criticism, but this is the textbook example of living in an echo chamber.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Who was that during the Bush – Gore bullshit who commented that she “Didn’t know anyone who voted for Bush.”

  6. avatar Sir Wulf says:

    I’ll ask someone who feels that way whether they have ever had to use a fire extinguisher. They may not have, but it’s still a sound precaution to keep one handy. Some will argue that guns actually make me LESS safe, pulling out the old canard about how it is more likely to be used against someone in the home than in defense of the home. I explain the details of Professor Hemenway’s “research” that produced that statistic, then cite the true statistics about guns in the homes of sober non-criminals without major mental health issues.

    1. avatar meadowsr says:

      Ooo, can you please give us the citations for both of Professor Hemenway’s and true statistics.

      Seriously, I want to add them to my arsenal.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    “I don’t know anybody who has ever used a gun to defend themselves or ever needed to use one!”

    Maybe because the ones who needed a gun and didn’t have one are dead.

  8. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Liberals are so invested in anecdotal “evidence” from within their bubble, there’s a famous quote from a NYC liberal that I like to use in discussions like this:

    “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”

    This, from Pauline Kael, film critic for The New Yorker magazine, the favorite magazine of lefty elites across the nation. She uttered this concerning the 1972 election between Richard Nixon vs. George McGovern.

    Oh, and BTW: The “one person” that Kael thought she knew who voted for Nixon resulted in Nixon taking 520 electoral votes to McGovern’s 17 (MA + DC). Who knew that one person has so much weight in a national election?

  9. avatar esitue says:

    Female r-Types live in a world of self-imposed ignorance

  10. avatar Joe R. says:

    OP kind of reminds me of the joke “while walking down the street today, I met a man who said he hadn’t had a bite in 5 days…So I bit him”.

    Why doesn’t somebody put some immediate perspective on these people? Ask them what their plan would be if you offered them violence. You only choose to not follow-through on a moment by moment basis. Tell them to stay ready.

    1. avatar Chadwick P. says:

      We all know what these people plan to do… Call 911 and we can have a recording of them being raped or killed. Would make a nice eulogy I suppose but I would rather have a situation like this end with a thug or thugs off the street and my family not splitting up my debt.

  11. avatar JoshtheViking says:

    Awesome article.

    1. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      +1

  12. avatar Grindstone says:

    Just saw this pop up on local news: http://www.koco.com/news/child-calls-oklahoma-city-police-woman-stabbed-man-shot/28219724

    Screw those wanting disarmament. They want nothing but power over the weak.

  13. avatar Amok! says:

    ETM

    Entrenched Victim Mentality.

    1. avatar Nick D says:

      What’s the T stand for?

  14. avatar Mister Fleas says:

    “I don’t know anybody who has ever used a gun to defend themselves or ever needed to use one!”

    Illogic in its full glory, in this case Hasty Generalization: basing a conclusion on a small sample.

    If you apply even a little study of logic to the gun grabbers, you can tear most of their arguments to shreds.
    The rest just needs a little research.

  15. avatar Peldrigal says:

    I am an European and I’m not a gun owner, but that kind of opposition is ridiculous: is like saying “I don’t know anybody who has ever died in a fire, so I’m not getting an estinguisher”.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Exactly.

      I wear seat belts, but I am not planning a car crash.

      It sure came in handy when I was hit head-on, and walked away from it.

  16. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    I always tell people they won’t need a gun to protect themselves . . . until they do. This sometimes leads into various conversations, all of which have the common subtext: I don’t think someone like me should have to defend themselves. I don’t think I could ever shoot someone or kill someone. I don’t think I CAN defend myself.

    A lot of people who don’t think they can defend themselves are resentful and angry at those of us who can.

    1. avatar Amok! says:

      Its called “shame” and its a massively uncomfortable feeling to experience.

      So they stay entrenched in their illogical thinking so they can avoid the feeling.

      At

      all

      costs.

      1. avatar Wood says:

        …and shame tastes BAD.

  17. avatar Lucas D. says:

    Your dad sounded pretty awesome, other Lucas.

    I especially enjoyed hearing about how “Smith” caused his own life to implode in on him by being a bully. It’s a lesson every dumb, violent, self-proclaimed “hardest son-of-a-bitch to ever walk this Earth” cracker needs to have beaten into them -and eventually will, at some point: It might be the cops who Mace you and put you in cuffs, it might be a Krav Maga practitioner who crushes your scrotum and breaks your arm in two places, or it might be a CCW holder who just shoots your sorry ass dead on the spot*. Whatever the case, if you go around starting fights to prove how tough and mean you are, it’s a matter of time before you mess with someone who’s tougher and meaner than you. Count on it.

    *Dumb, Violent Cracker Bonus Round: I don’t look like any of these three, but try to guess which two describe me!

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      So cracker twice in one post huh? Grats on bringing race into something completely un-related.

      1. avatar Lucas D. says:

        *sigh* Oh boy…

        I’m white, and if you’d ever been threatened by the guys I’m describing you wouldn’t expend a single brain cell more trying to defend them. When we’re talking about guys that consider sucker-punching somebody trying to walk away and then stomping them half to death to be “winning a fight,” cracker is one of the nicest things you can possibly call them. I’ve worked with them for years, I’ve dealt with them several times, and I assure you, they exist.

        1. avatar Avid Reader says:

          I’ll vouch for that. Race has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    2. avatar cmeat says:

      round cracker?

  18. avatar John M. says:

    My dad defended his home from three young home invaders with a single-shot .410 shotgun when he was all of 11. He was good with the gun and decided he was ready to use it when he took it out of the closet. He got the drop on them coming down the stairs, and like in the OP’s case, the youths suggested that he wasn’t hard enough to pull the trigger, but in the event decided it was smarter to let the cops come and take them away than take their chances at point blank with a .410.

    This was in a quiet, largely rural section of Massachusetts in circa 1951.

    I only learned this story when I was about age 33. But then, my dad began it by saying, “Well, you know how I defended my grandmother and I with that old .410 when I was 11.” Um, no, Dad, but do tell.

    And my great grandfather’s stories of defending himself with a revolver are legendary in the family, but given that one of them involves the Old West and the other a horse and wagon, probably don’t have much weight in our current gun control debate.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      My father was a young man in the Great Depression. After on-going thefts, a stave mill in his little town hired him as a night watchman. The local criminals decided they could frighten him away from their illicit enterprise. In the Depression any job was scarce and this one paid enough to help support my dad’s family. Although he wasn’t a big man, my father was red-neck hard and regarded these kinds of threats as one step away from a blood feud. There was no way he was going to let those thugs run him off. The local sheriff, a friend, gave him a Colt 1911 and basically said “do what you have to do”. It took exactly one late night confrontation involving three bad guys staring down the barrel of that 1911 to solve the stave mill’s theft problem. My father kept that job during some particularly grim times of the Great Depression. The 1911 stayed with him the whole time.

  19. avatar RetroG says:

    Your great grandfather defending himself does have weight for you, since if he died in those incidents, you might not be here.

    Guns aid us in self defense, whether they are revolvers, shotguns or semi autos, as these stories tell us.

  20. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    “This happened in a neighborhood where homes start at a quarter of a million dollars and go up from there – not some sketchy, “transitional” part of town.”

    This mindset baffles me. Right now, can you get up, get your keys, and drive to the ghetto….?

    Ok, well, the ghetto folks can drive to your neighborhood too.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      No, it shoots down the idea that “That kind of crime never happens around here”.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        I grew up in one of those sketchy neighborhoods as a youngster. And during Holloween we used to walk 2 miles to go trick-or-treating in the nicer neighborhoods, because they had all the “good stuff.”

        And they all knew that we didn’t live around there, bunch of Hispanic kids running around a lily white neighborhood. But, they couldn’t couldn’t stop us.

        Only reason I never got looked at crossways is cause I’m light skinned. But, my point is, the bad people know where to find “the good stuff.”

        1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          I live in one of those “better” neighborhoods. Each Halloween we have car loads of parents bringing their kids to our neighborhood for “the good stuff”. This is quite a big deal in our neighborhood. People elaborately decorate their houses, lights are on up and down the streets, and we give away tons of candy. This is a happy event, the whole neighborhood gets involved. Lots of kids and families come from parts of town that aren’t very safe and it’s great to see them and their parents arrive by the car and truckload. Everybody has a blast.

  21. avatar pod says:

    The initial subject of the story probably is acquainted with someone who has used a gun in self-defense and doesn’t even know it. Unless you are really close with someone, it isn’t something they are liable to talk about, unless it made the news. I know several people who have presented their firearms with the intent to fire in self-defense, but didn’t have to. I also know a few people (non-LEO) who have had to fire in self-defense. None of them really talk about their experiences, even if the subject of guns comes up. It’s more of a courtesy function and also the people involved don’t want to deal with the aggravation.

  22. avatar Big Boy says:

    Yes, I’ve used a gun for self-defense. Twice. Both times mere display (handgun) or sound (pump shotgun) worked without the necessity to discharge the firearm. And I’m ready to defend again if forced to do so.

  23. avatar ADC USN/Ret says:

    There are a lot of stories out there telling us what to do or think, but few labeled as training. I know that I would have shot one of the crooks.

    Maybe you folks at TTAG can start a new category showing that training as a stand alone topic? Even the USMC has a Lessons Learned data base.

  24. avatar Another Robert says:

    I dunno whether whether this counts or not, but just having a gun in my pocket helped me stay calm enough to get across a parking lot and into my car without fumbling and dropping the keys a few steps ahead of a guy I figured for a mugger –on a rainy night yet. I knew if it came to it, I had something to defend myself with, so I didn’t lose my head and drop my keys or try to put the wrong one in the lock .

  25. avatar Jeff says:

    When my wife and I were young and living in our first rental house, I watched a speeding truck crash right in front of our livingroom window. The truck nearly went over a cliff, but ended up high centered on a guard log about the size of a telephone pole.

    The driver got out and started stumbling around, then saw me watching him through the front window. He started stumbling across the street towards our house, and I realized that not only did he look very drunk, rather than injured, but that he looked visibly mad.

    I ran into the bedroom and clipped my holstered pistol onto my belt, just about the time he arrived at the front door and started banging on it. The windows were thin, and so I talked to him through the window. I told him that my wife was calling the police. He saw my Jeep with a winch in the driveway, and was pleading with me to pull his truck out and hide it in my driveway. Of course I had never seen this guy in my life, and there was no way that was happening..

    At some point he walked off the porch and looked into the window, and saw the pistol on my hip. He swiveled around sloppily and stumbled back to his truck, got in, started it, and tried flooring the gas in drive and reverse, trying to unstick the truck.

    Even though the cops were on their way, I have to admit that I strongly considered exiting the house and putting several rounds into his engine block. There was a school just several blocks down the road that was going to be letting out soon, and there was no telling what could happen if he got his truck free and resumed on his drunken escapade. Probably wouldn’t have done much though, and just involved me with the police more.

    Fortunately the cops soon arrived and quickly cuffed him, and a tow truck showed up not soon after.

  26. avatar Richard In WA says:

    So many of us are here because we know better or have experienced it for ourselves.

    I had my house burgled while I was out for lunch, noticed immediately when I came in. I needed the good guy with a gun (in this case county Sheriff) to clear my house. The perps ran out the upstairs patio door when he came in, didn’t get caught though. That was one of the earliest incidents that made me consider joining the ranks of the Armed Intelligensia. It was one of those situations where the only tool for the job was a gun and I was not equipped.

    Another personal one. Recently, a close friend living only 6 blocks down the street had a tweaker trying to break into his garage at 2 AM. He chased him off with an AK, no shots fired. He’s strong as an ox but walks with a cane and someone hopped up on drugs isn’t going to be a fair fight. I say when it comes to self defense I don’t want it to be a fair fight.

    1. avatar Wood says:

      “I say when it comes to self defense I don’t want it to be a fair fight”

      Exactly. I want the odds overwhelmingly in my favor.

    2. avatar meadowsr says:

      If you’re in a fair fight, you’re doing it wrong.

  27. avatar STOP THE ADS!! says:

    PLEASE STOP THE OBNOXIOUS AUTO PLAY VIDEO ADS!

  28. avatar DerryM says:

    This is a good article. Well worth the read! Thanks!

    I consider owning a gun for personal, home defense necessary risk mitigation. Whatever risk level anyone else wants to take is perfectly okay with me…completely stupid in my opinion…but okay with me. Just don’t try to dictate to me that I should be as stupid as you, but forgive me if I try to persuade you to be as smart as I.

    My reading of many DGU stories leads me to believe most do not result in shots being fired and I don’t think this article “promoted” that notion nor suggested that should be your expectation.

  29. avatar dutchroo says:

    “I have told very, very few people about any of these instances.”

    You can’t say that any more!

  30. avatar John Galt says:

    Major premise: I only gather data from people I know personally.
    Minor premise: People I know personally have never needed X.
    Conclusion: No one needs X.

    Therefore, based on the people I know, nobody needs the following:

    * fire extinguisher
    * fire escape ladder
    * smoke detector
    * life jacket
    * CPR lessons
    * automated external defibrillator
    * pepper spray

  31. avatar UnapologeticallyAmerican says:

    When I was young we lived in an area of town that was less expensive. Next to the subdivision where we rented our house was a trailer park where one could hear gun shots from occasionally. One night some guy tried to come through a window he used a knife to cut thru the screen on. It was a second story window, but he managed to climb off the deck to it. Our dog, protection trained German Shepard, alerted us and I got my .357 revolver I used for deer hunting. Half way through the window I sent the dog and the guy fell to the ground. I let the dog out who chased the would be burglar to the back fence. I shot off one round into the dirt. At night a .357 sounded like a tank, and woke the entire neighborhood.

    I got lectured by the cops for firing a warning shot, but since it was an aimed shot into the dirt I didn’t get a citation and I kept my gun. When asked if a report was going to be filed the cop laughed, “no need, that guy will NEVER return, and better yet he will tell all his thug buddies.”

    It turned out to be true. Every house in the neighborhood was robbed within two years, many multiple times. Except ours, the one with the big freaking dog and big freaking gun.

  32. avatar Alan Rose says:

    When I worked in private security for three years, I used a sidearm (and sometimes a shotgun) on multiple occasions in self defense, without a shot being fired. There were a few times that I was in the middle of a trigger press when the threat complied. I did mostly high crime area work. Neighborhood patrol, night watch, fast food, and some grocery/shoplifting. A few of my coworkers were involved in DGUs, one took a bullet to the thigh, one dodged a bullet to the head, one emptied his sidearm into a bum that rushed him, then snatched his shotgun out of his vehicle after knocking him down. Call that anecdotal, it is what it is.

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