Defensive Gun Use of the Day: First Time Shooter Drives off Three Invaders

Carmen Smith had never shot a gun before. The Tulsa, Oklahoma woman used her recently acquired firearm to drive off three home invaders. She did not hit any of the criminals, but the shots were enough to send them fleeing from the house.From . . .

“He was coming towards me. You know, like he was going to do something to me, harm me, and I was going to get him before he got me,” she said.

The bullets didn’t hit the burglars but got them out of her house.

The shots shattered a picture of Smith’s family, left a hole in the front door and even hit the abandoned house across the street.

Smith said, “This was my first time ever shooting a gun, and I was scared.”She doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but she does want to go to the gun range to become a better shooter.

A good sentiment.  I hope that Carmen follows through. She has already demonstrated the most important ability necessary to surviving a criminal confrontation: the ability to accept the reality of what is happening, and to act on that information.  In an encouraging trend, Smith said the police commended her actions.

Smith said Tulsa Police are working to catch the burglars, and commended her for defending herself.

Guns are fairly simple mechanical devices.  Mastering them can take decades.  Learning enough to be useful?  Minutes. As a common meme proclaims:  Handguns, the original point and click interface.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.  Link to Gun Watch


  1. avatar SquareBob says:

    Good Job Mrs.Smith !

    1. avatar Ray says:

      TYPICAL of 95% of DGU cases. That’s why you never hear about them.

  2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Guns are fairly simple mechanical devices. … Learning enough to be useful? [It only takes] Minutes.

    Especially when we are talking about a revolver. You open the cylinder. Put a round in each chamber. Close the cylinder. Grasp the revolver. Point it at the home invader. Pull the trigger. And keep pulling the trigger until you stop the threat.

    Seriously, that is all there is to it. You load it. Grasp it. Point it. And squeeze the trigger.

    1. avatar Grindstone says:

      Preferably the bullets are in the chamber before the home invaders come through the door.

      1. avatar TX Gungal says:

        Mine is, LCR 5 rounds .38 special P+ hollow-points. Always on me or within arm’s reach

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          TX Gungal,

          I recently went plinking and shot several handguns in different calibers. This enabled me to compare felt recoil between all of them. The handgun that definitely produced the most felt recoil: a 16 ounce revolver in .38 Special +P (similar to your LCR) shooting 130 grain full metal jacket .38 Special (not +P).

          The following handguns definitely produced LESS felt recoil:
          9mm auto shooting 115 grain bullets
          .357 Magnum shooting 158 grain bullets
          .44 Magnum shooting 240 grain bullets

          Note that all of those handguns were full size models and overbuilt (meaning slightly heavier than many competitors’ models). And all were shooting “mild” loads. (For example the muzzle velocity on the .357 Magnum 158 grain jacketed soft points was around 1200 fps out of a 6 inch barrel.)

          Why did I provide all of this information? I thought you might like to know that a larger handgun — which should nominally provide better “stopping power” — produces less recoil and might be easier for you to shoot. And if they are easier to shoot, you might have more fun and get even more practice. Of course a larger handgun may be impractical for concealed carry when out-and-about. For home protection, they might be just the ticket.

          Not sure if you ever considered any of this or care … just trying to be helpful.

        2. avatar Art out West says:

          Uncommon Sense – The thing about those small light revolvers is that they are just so very easy to carry (I carry a J-frame Smith, but love the LCR as well). I always have mine on me (where legal to do so) from the time I get up until the time I go to bed. When in bed, the 642 is within arms reach.

          I also keep a Glock 22 and Glock 19 in a pistol safe under the bed (and a bunch more loaded handguns in the big gun safe). The Glocks are certainly preferable to the 642. They have more rounds, more powerful rounds, less recoil, and are much easier to shoot accurately. If I have 10 seconds, I’ll grab them. If I have 1 second, I’ll just grab the 642 and hope for the best.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        True, the home owner should have loaded the revolver as soon as they brought it home so it was ready for defensive use from day one.

        Once loaded, all the homeowner has to do is grasp the revolver, point it at the home invader, and pull the trigger as often as needed to stop the threat.

        Important note: make sure you understand your state’s laws about the use of deadly force before pointing a firearm at someone!

  3. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    Wait one second. She didn’t take a half dozen courses with a Navy SEAL. She doesn’t seem to train for Triathalons. She probably hasn’t shot IDPA, IPSC,or even SASS. Let’s not even test her on Clint Smith or Jeff Copper philosophy. Think she knows about the OODA Loop?

    Basically she gave up her right to use a gun in self-defense. She isn’t a genuine POTG.

    1. avatar Jordan says:

      Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!

      1. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

        We didn’t get a “Harumph” out of that guy!

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:


        2. avatar ninjaTED says:

          You watch your ass!

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I know? I’ll bet she doesn’t even operate operationally!

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Or even optimally…

        1. avatar JSJ says:

          And no need for a Thing that Goes Up!


    3. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

      It is often the case that an untrained individual will do better than a mistrained one. Learning how to be Johnny Tactical may be fun but it isn’t very applicable to your average DGU.

    4. avatar Joe R. says:

      She’s ok, in the OK. This is indian territory, the “frontier” during the Civil War. 108 years young. Texas and the U.S. Have fought a border war with Mexico since our statehood. Don’t the rest of you let the age of your state lull you into forgetting how you got here, or why, or where others have slid off to when they’ve forgotten.

    5. avatar JSJ says:

      I bet she doesn’t even have a Thing that Goes Up.


      1. avatar jwm says:

        I’ll bet her middle finger goes up just right.

    6. avatar Stinkeye says:

      I’ll bet she didn’t even get off the X! Probably just stood there (not even sticking her butt out like she was preparing to take a dump) and shot at those miscreants. And where was her backup gun, not to mention her backup backup gun and plate carrier?

  4. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Ah Tommy you forgot the first rule-being willing to pull the trigger.All the black women I know don’t have a problem pulling the trigger. I’m on a boatload of FB pages and all I hear is training,training and buy a freakin’ GLOCK…I’m making her an honorary POTG gal…

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Carmen Smith, you rock!

  6. avatar John Gancho says:

    I bet she becomes a pretty good shot in the next year.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      Hope she never has to use that skill again. However, better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Word will probably travel pretty quickly in that neighborhood. She likely won’t have any more such problems for some time…

    2. avatar FedUp says:

      Hey, she’s already as good as an NYPD officer.
      And good enough to convince the local hoodlums to find a better victim elsewhere.

  7. avatar Roy says:

    Because she neither hit nor killed anybody, this will not be included in any defensive gun use statistics that gun grabbers will fess up to. It will be completely ignored when they run the numbers to tell you that you’re more likely to be shot by your own gun than to need a gun for defensive purposes.

  8. avatar Gunr says:

    She really needs someone to help her get a little training, and some range time, maybe go out and bust a few tin cans. The next time she runs into some invaders, she might end up in the morgue.

  9. avatar Aaron says:

    This story cannot possibly be true! A good gal with a gun stops a crime!? Inconceivable!

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  10. avatar Aaron says:

    I would really appreciate it if TTAG kept a log of every DGU that they came accross, with running stats and a link to the original news article or police report. This would be a VERY handy resource for us to have.

  11. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    The thought of thugs being on the receiving end of hot lead and sent scurrying brings a smile on my face.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      The only thing better is when the thugs are rendered incapable of scurrying by the aforementioned lead. There’s a 0% recidivism rate that way.

  12. avatar Chevelier says:

    Story can’t be true. We all know that in real life she would have just had her gun taken away and used on her by the attackers or she would have harmed herself or a family member. That’s what some moms told me is what really happens with guns in the home.

    1. avatar IdahoPete says:

      Yeah! She never fired a gun before? Weren’t the criminals supposed to “take her gun away and turn it on her”?

      This one definitely does NOT fit the anti-gun narrative. Way to go, Mrs. Smith!

  13. avatar Derek says:

    I hope she at least watched the Moms demand attention video that demonstrates the need for a trained police officer to safely handle the gun for you.

  14. avatar J says:

    Here’s an opportunity for a local gun shop to give her some range time and instruction. NRA should step up too so she can nail the scumbags if they are stupid enough to come back.

  15. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    No one was injured during the altercation? This will obviously not be categorized as a defensive gun use by the Antis.

    (p.s. good job, ma’am! Huge first step. Do follow through on that desire to go to the range. A little bit goes a long way.)

  16. avatar Bob Sempre says:

    I wonder if the police took her gun, disarmed her, you know, “For evidence”.

  17. avatar joe-in-NC says:

    Good job defending yourself, I am glad you are ok. I am even more glad you do not live across the street from me.

  18. avatar Mk10108 says:

    “Guns are fairly simple mechanical devices. Mastering them can take decades.”

    It doesn’t take decades to master arms. It takes decades to master ones self.

  19. avatar MarkPA says:

    Her story illustrates why there was no hand-wringing among Republicans debating the proposed 14A. Consider what they were doing: We have a large population of illiterate freedmen, few – if any – trained to arms over generations. They had barely enough cash to buy a simple gun and less money to buy ammunition for practice. No such thing as NRA certified trainers; nor many white men who would teach them. Yet, they had a compelling need to protect themselves from whites intent on disarming them and lynching them.

    What principle prevailed in their analysis? The safety of whites who might be afraid of the wrath of their recently freed slaves? Or, the safety of the vulnerable from predators? Could Congress-critters figure out the right answer in the mid-19th century? Why can’t they figure out the right answer today?

    Must be a deterioration in the quality of education over the ensuing century.

    1. The 1860’s Republicans actually were concerned for the freed slaves.

      21st Century Polliticians are not so concerned for the population. They think there are too many anyway.

  20. avatar jwm says:

    Safe gun handling is by far the best and most important training a person can get. We handle our firearms far more than we shoot them.

    And hitting the house across the street illustrates a fact of life for a large majority of Americans wishing to defend themselves. We mostly live in built up urban areas and there literally is no safe background for us to fire into in a dgu. Wish it were otherwise, but them’s the facts.

  21. avatar Doug says:

    The lady obviously has moxie. Very good, Ms. Smith!

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