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This one goes out to all you people who think that any gun owner who doesn’t train to operate operationally (while remaining tacticool) is putting themselves at a major disadvantage should they need to perform a defensive gun use. And it’s a shout-out to anyone who says all gun owners should have mandatory training before being “allowed” to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. “Cardell and his wife, Frances, were asleep when they heard a banging on their back door,” reports. “’I grabbed my gun and loaded it,’ Cardell said . . .

Loading a gun is the hardest part of using a gun for the complete newbie, a classification which certainly applies to Mr. Cardell.

If it’s a semi, fuhgeddaboutit. Pushing the cartridges into the magazine requires careful cartridge placement, dexterity, coordination, strength and some practice. Inserting the magazine into the gun isn’t a walk in the park either; I’ve seen plenty of newbies fail to insert the mag far enough for it to remain in place. Racking the slide? Fail waiting to happen.

Of course, once it’s loaded, it’s loaded. At the risk of offending the aforementioned training enthusiasts, someone else can do it for you! As they say in the cooking shows, here’s one we prepared earlier. If we’re talking about a revolver, the process is WAY easier. Push the lever, put cartridges in the holes (bullets face forward), close the round thingie and you’re good to go. OK, back to the action . . .

Cardell, who is in his 70s, made his way into the living room and came face-to-face with a man armed with a shotgun.

“He kept hollering, ‘Get on the ground! Get on the ground,” Cardell said. “I told him, I said, ‘You better get out of here. And he kept a coming, so I fired.”

“I heard the shots and I didn’t know if the guy had shot my husband,” said Frances.

Fortunately, Cardell was not hurt.

However, police say his one round hit the alleged suspect in the chest.

“He had the right to do what he did,” said Jason Crouch, with the Shawnee Police Department. “You’re entitled to protect yourself and your family and your house.”

Cardell says he did not have any experience using a firearm.

“No! That’s my first time shooting a gun,” he said.

Frances said they bought the gun hoping to never need it, but now she’s glad it was there.

“This is something we never dreamed would have happened in our lifetime,” Frances said.

The alleged suspect ran off but police found him hiding under a neighbor’s truck.

Officers have identified the alleged suspect as 26-year-old Justin Ray Harjo, who lives in the Shawnee area.

He is now in the hospital in critical condition.

See? A man without any firearm training whatsoever successfully faced down a shotgun-wielding thug. Why would we deny other inexpert Americans the same opportunity to defend themselves by force of arms? Of course that does NOT mean that anyone who owns a gun shouldn’t train. Training increases the odds of survival dramatically.

Cardell says his gun jammed after he fired that first shot.

He says he doesn’t want to think about what would’ve happened had he not hit Harjo on the first try.

But maybe he should have. But thank God he didn’t have to. That is all.

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  1. Good for him. I would agree that operator level training isn’t a necessity. However, SOME training should be undertaken. The article says his ( homeowner) gun jammed after his first shot. I wasn’t there but I would speculate he limp-wristed it, thus causing the stoppage. That could have been a very big problem if he needed follow-up shots. Luckily the skell ran off, and all was well. Some training such as a good basic fundamental class teaching stance, grip, sight alignment etc is beneficial to folks new at shooting. At the very least gun owners should be familiar with their weapons and comfortable with them. That being said It is the responsibility of the gun owner and no one else to ensure their competence.

      • I am wondering if a medium frame revolver would be better — it has more mass to absorb recoil. And shooting .38 Special 158 grain wadcutters would be a decent round for home defense distances. Maybe a Taurus revolver in .357 Magnum (shooting .38 Special rounds only) with the 7 shot cylinder would be even better?

        • I think you are spot on. The Taurus in .357 Magnum (4 ” barrel)* and .38 SPL ammunition with heavy bullet is more than uncommonly_sensible for older people both men and women. I would throw in a speed loader for good measure. Those HKS SL’s with the twist type release work really well for older finger joints to operate.

          I guess Mr. Caldwell is committed to his SCCY auto loader, so I hope he logs some range time with it in the future,,,not wise to count on getting that lucky twice.

          *MODEL 66 .357 MAG. REVOLVER listed as capacity 7 shot

        • The model 10 S&W 4 inch is just about the perfect handgun for the non gun person. No frills basic gun that works. You can load it today and 10 years from now pick it up, point and squeeze and have every expctation that it will work just as reliably as it did new.

        • That exactly what I recommend for “little old ladies.” The Model 10 (or derived model) in .38, with heavier, quality bullets..

          The advantages of a revolver are so strong, that it would be utter malfeasance on my part to recommend something other than a revolver for older folks who aren’t going to train at the range. I cannot conceive of someone recommending a semi-auto to elderly people who won’t be able to afford or are not able to go to the range on a regular basis.

    • Limp wrist applies to pistols
      He had enough training to load and fire one time and short racked/shucked/? next time, call him Mister Lucky

  2. For a complete newb, and this gentleman fits that bill, the revolver is the way to go. I’m curious as to what type of gun he used. And if it’s his only gun, did the police take it as evidence?

      • My fault, I should have said what brand of/and/or make of semi auto did he use. My experience of Taurii wheel guns was positive, I owned several new and used, including a new .357 magnum that got lots of mags fired thru it. Everybody always wants to try a magnum with full powered loads in it. I always offered to load it with specials and they always said magnums.

        • Taurus is kind of unfairly maligned in some cases.

          If you get a bad one, you’re going to have a bad time. But my 740 has happily eaten everything I’ve thrown at it no matter what I do.

      • As seen in the last instants of the video, the box the gun came in says SCCY Industries. This makes it an SCCY CPX (-1, or -2 which is like the -1 but without the manual safety). The pistol retails for about $220, and only comes in 9mm.

      • I’ve had 3 taurus semi’s and 1revolver. All ran perfectly. And I’d rather have one than a Keltec p11 knockoff any day.

  3. Indiana CC. No training. No bloodbaths. Of course you should get training. I’m a great shot and handle my guns very well. It will cost me at least $500 I don’t have to get CC in Illinois. The willingness to pull the trigger supersedes everything else. YMMV

    • That could just be an assumption based on the fact that he was dumb enough to charge a man pointing a gun at him.
      The next time it rains, he might look up and drown.

  4. I am glad Mr. Cardell was successful and avoided being a victim of a criminal, who may likely have been counting on successfully terrorizing, robbing and possibly brutalizing an older couple. Have to say this supports the “exception to every rule” theory. Nonetheless, taking the time to beome familiar with your gun, practice shooting and doing some self defense training with it still stands as the best advice to any and all newbie gun owner(s).
    It is ALWAYS better to be prepared to defend yourself and family than to be defenseless and victimized and better to be an “inexpert” gun owner prepared to defend yourself and family, than not.
    I, too, would really like to know what kind of gun it was and if the Police took it as evidence, or (hopefully) not.

    • Gun has been ID’ed, but I might mention that the last word in reliability, Glock, is particularly prone to malfunction if not held just right. And as I understand it, the last word in high-dollar 1911 perfection, Kimbers, are not expected by the company to be malfunction-free until at least 500 rounds hen put thru them.

        • I own two Glocks and agree with the assessment. If you limp-wrist a semi-auto that has little mass by itself, you’re going to get short-cycling failures.

          Glocks were the first modern striker/composite pistols to exhibit the issue, especially as the magazine empties.

        • I’m aware of the issue of limp-wristing low mass pistols and that is affects Glocks as well as other brands. To say that Glocks are “particularly prone to malfunction if not held just right” is just typical mis-information from a keyboard cowboy with no data to backup the statement.

        • If you are wounded, the last thing you need to be worrying about is discharging that round that may save your life.

          If one must iron-wrist it to be reliable, it;s a backup gun…

        • Never owned a shark, I know they can bite you in half. I know a lot of stuff that I’ve never seen first-hand. Because I can read, and look things up and watch video presentations and listen to people who have experienced things first hand. So get off your high horse. And watch the vid that has been posted above.

  5. FYI, it was a SCCY CPX 9mm as shown in the news cast. I would blame the malfunction on the operator before I would the firearm. This is a septuagenarian who admitted that he had never fired a gun before.

    • He probably didn’t have a good grip+the gun was bone dry. Or he had one in the chamber but the magazine wasn’t fully seated. There’s a lot of possible reasons for it.

  6. “You’re entitled to protect yourself and your family and your house.”–What does entitlement have to do with self-preservation? I’m not too keen on this officer’s choice of words.

  7. He got lucky. But he did have the guts to shoot and that took a lot of nerve. Especially facing down a guy with a shotgun. So have to give him credit for that and for hitting the guy. Guessing he never took his pistol apart, lubed it or anything else before that. I have a SCCY CPX-2 for a second gun and it has worked flawlessly so far. Still being trained and not having to use your gun is better than not being trained and having to use it. Training and practice is never a bad thing. Unless you do it all wrong, I suppose. Not likely if you use a good range and good instructors.

    • It is a very light pistol at 15 ounces.

      Semi-autos that have low mass need to be held correctly and firmly to get them to cycle far enough to the rear to fully eject and strip the next round from the magazine.

    • Exactly. This is why I recommend medium-framed revolvers for people who aren’t going to train, aren’t going to take the time to figure out that they can’t limp-wrist a pistol, or don’t have the hand/wrist/forearm strength to handle a semi-auto. Senior citizens are prime candidates for revolvers.

      The SCCY is a very light pistol (15 oz), which means that you must grip a light pistol tightly to get a recoil-operated pistol to cycle reliably.

      Revolvers need no such grip. They just work. You pull the trigger, the hammer comes back, then drops, the cartridge fires. You repeat the process and the revolver just works.

      Operators operating operationally obsess about round count in magazine capacity. They completely miss the fact that senior citizens are losing muscle mass and they have neither the mass in their hands/arms to back up a recoil-operated pistol, not the strength to do so. Being a gunsmith, I obsess about the gun functioning correctly. And a revolver in good condition, loaded with the right ammo, can sit in a drawer for years and years, and when pulled out, will “just work” as it was intended, without any need for the owner to operate operationally.

  8. All the super tacticool operating training courses you take doesn’t make you a gunfighter. It’s the mindset that makes you a gunfighter. This old guy had the mindset to face down the dirtbag in his living room. Home defense is also easier than fighting off an armed attacker in the street.

    It’s not the dog in the fight but the fight in the dog.

  9. Another vote for a medium-framed revolver. One of the Model 10 police turn-ins from Bud’s would fit the bill perfectly. I’m thinking of getting one for the house, myself.

  10. The revolver Idea is a great one, but some experienced shooters take for granted that the revolver takes some grip strength. I took my adult daughter to the range. She works out a lot and is in really good physical condition. She loved the Glock and the 1911, but could not handle the trigger on my Ruger Security Six, even though I find it to be a very nice double action trigger.

    In this scenario, the defender got lucky. I admire his courage and I am glad things turned out the way they did. But that outcome seems to be attributable more to the incompetence of the attacker. I don’t agree that this anecdote proves people don’t need training to defend themselves with guns. There are examples of where a pilot has died in flight and an untrained passenger landed the plane. That doesn’t mean we should not require pilot training.

  11. The next to last comment about it jamming negates this entire article and authors viewpoint. If he had fired the gun more before this he would have worked out that jamming problem. Converting this guys complete and inarguable luck up to an actual viewpoint is ludicrous. We tell people to get PROPER training because we can train wrong and get training scars.

  12. Good for him.
    His experience with the jam is not uncommon from what I understand.
    I stove piped 3or 4 time in my first mag shooting a FNS-9, my first pistol. Now I can get through 200+ rounds at the range without a stove pipe.
    Hopefully the couple will go to the range so they become more familiar with the pistol. That way, if someone breaks in again, they don’t have to worry about the pistol jamming after the first shot.

  13. The article doesn’t say whether or not he got off the x. It’s also unclear whether or not he scanned the area for additional threats. Lastly, there’s no mention of him reholstering reluctantly. In summation, it’s a miracle he survived.

    • LOL. A miracle that’s repeated with awesome regularity by other cluesless, untrained, totally non tacticool citizens nationwide.

      Have a gun. Have the mindset to use it. Every thing else is gravy.


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