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Ruger SP101 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

“A Des Moines man is facing murder charges in connection to the murder of a 97-year-old man Wednesday night,” reports. “19-year-old Ngor Makuey is charged with both first degree murder and attempted murder after he broke into the home of Rupert and Harriet Anderson and beat them. Rupert Anderson would die from his injuries. Harriet Anderson remains in stable condition at a Des Moines hospital.” When considering whether or not a story qualifies as a potential defensive gun use, we have to weigh the odds. Can a 97-year-old man (or an elderly woman) with a firearm successfully defend himself against a 19-year-old thug? Unfortunately . . .

the odds weren’t really in his favor.

The “speed” part of the speed, surprise and violence of action combat recipe wasn’t available to Mr. Anderson. Nonagenarians can be plenty sprightly, but not sprightly enough to out-run a 19-year-old. If Mr. Anderson didn’t have a firearm immediately available and Mr. Makuey broke into his home without warning (as thugs do), Mr. Anderson wasn’t going to win a race to his gun no matter how much adrenalin was coursing through his bloodstream.

Surprise? I’m sure Mr. Makuet would have been surprised to be staring down the business end of a firearm with a 97-year-old man on the other end. But again, that assumes Mr. Anderson had practical access to a gun and all his facilities intact. At his age, identifying a threat, positioning himself appropriately and aiming his gun – any gun – would have been a huge challenge, with little chance of success.

Violence of action. This. Even if Mr. Anderson had brought a .22 to bear on his attacker, he could have generated enough lethal force to stop the 19-year-old. Yes, I know; handgun calibers are pretty pathetic in the “man-stopping” category. To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill, a firearm is a lousy force equalizer – except for all the rest. Other than a firearm, how could Mr. Anderson have generated enough violence to save his life, and the life of his wife?

By calling the cops. That’s it. That was his only alternative. Our pro-gun readers will no doubt recall the expression “When seconds count the police are only minutes away.” That’s provided they’re coming. If bringing a gun to bear on a bad guy is hard for a 97-year-old, calling the cops and giving them the right information to respond whilst under attack isn’t easy, either.

This isn’t a clear-cut case where a firearm would have prevented a loss of life and injury. Perhaps Mr. Anderson wasn’t sound enough mentally to have access to a gun. Perhaps it would have done him no good whatsoever. Perhaps his attacker would have used it against him (as happened here). But it must be said: all of us have a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. That right doesn’t disappear with age.

In fact, it grows in importance. To the point where it may become impractical to own or use a gun. At that point, other security measures must be taken. Or not. Thanks to the Second Amendment, we live in a free country. Mr. Anderson was free to take care of himself and his wife (or vice versa) with or without personal protection. Just as Mr. Makuet was not free to assault them. And should not be free to do so to someone else for the rest of his life.

[h/t RS]


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  1. Would love to see the arrest record for the poor urban youth as he will likely be characterized by his defense. He was afraid for his life is the usual speech on the type of situation. Should prove interesting as Iowa is listed in the stats as one of the better, safer places to live. #15 according to 2014 list. I’m in #41 can attest it’s a 2014 armpit that considers yankees as scum. But we do have decent gunlaws

    • “But, but, but, he’s making an effort turn his life around. Those old people just didn’t understand he was a good boy.”


      • I remember a different story where two idiot teens (15 y/o?) broke into someone’s house to steal stuff and got shot. Both died. Hearing the parents and their friends say that they didn’t deserve to die is hard, but they are completely wrong.
        The kind of people who are willing to break and enter are also (most of the time) willing to attack the home owners regardless of any weapons the owners may own. To not respond to a home invasion with enough force to drop the robbers means that you are actively putting your own life at risk.

    • All of the local papers indicate that he has no criminal record and has never been arrested.

      • No record as an adult any juvenile contact would not show in system or records could have been expunged & destroyed. I still do paperwork for local dept.a few days a month. Just the other day had 10 orders for destruction come in. Juvenile (8) & Domestic violence 1st offense in this state know of 1 his 3rd case dismissed.

  2. At the age of 97 people certainly slow down. That is why a firearm is if anything even more important (if they are mentally able) to keep criminals from threatening life and liberty.
    Keep the poor victims in your prayers.

      • Well then no wonder he is a criminal, looked what his parents named him!

        (brb, I need to buy an extra flame suit.)

      • And he is reported to not be a citizen of the US.

        It is also reported by local media that he used a “metal object” to beat the two victims and that robbery appears to have not been the motive.

        • Bored? Can’t afford an Xbox? Nothing better to do? Well, grab a pipe and beat some old folks! We have plenty! /sarc
          On a more serious note, does anyone think my 85 year old grandmother would be able to handle a steel 9mm pistol, or should I just get her a .22?

          • If for home use a light load .410 bore something like a snake charmer. If she is still in good health. Lift a gal. Milk easily, I’d suggest a 9mm revolver, .380 or .22mag. Main reason revolver is limp wristing w/semi-auto not an issue.

  3. This is a Castle Doctrine lethal force home invasion. What is the law in IA? In Texas, shoot the aggressor into whatever type of floor you have (tile/hardwood/carpet). Call 911 then schedule Servpro in the AM after PD removes the crime scene tape.

    • IOWA Code 704.1 No duty to retreat in defense of self or others. Pretty clear cut. BTW know of 1 PD that had an officer on patrol duties until he was 84. Passed the physical every year & ran several 20 & 30 y/olds into the ground. Forced by the lawyers to retire dead in 6 months from boredom likely. Spit shined shoes, tie & no place in policing for military crap except for the .45acp round & the haircut.

      • So in IA:

        Shoot the aggressor into whatever type of floor you have (tile/hardwood/carpet). Call 911 then schedule Servpro in the AM after PD removes the crime scene tape.

        That is a “crime” against that elderly cop. I have deep respect for his old school ways. Thank you for posting.

      • BTW know of 1 PD that had an officer on patrol duties until he was 84. Passed the physical every year & ran several 20 & 30 y/olds into the ground. Forced by the lawyers to retire dead in 6 months from boredom likely. Spit shined shoes, tie & no place in policing for military crap except for the .45acp round & the haircut.

        In other words he was a “cop” or a “peace officer” not a “law enforcement officer.”

        • He talked more people into handcuffs than fought. My fathers 1st partner & my training officer. He carried a .357 until they ok’d personal choice dug out a 1911 worst sights known clear out a X until he was 80 last 4 years he had to glock .40 it. Hated the plastic w/passion.

  4. has his mug shot up assuredly not any of the European countries in his background. His parents also have started the usual not my child. Waiting for the race card. Lately it doesn’t matter if its cross racial as long as the alleged perp is black.

    • I’m sure the race card will be played in this case. It usually is when the perp is not white. Isn’t that interesting? Now, if the perp was white you’d hear nothing from the race-baiters. Amirite?

  5. Note: Bessie Jones, the successful defender, was a 92 yo woman in a wheelchair. Note: here a 93 yo man was beaten unconscious, woke up and shot the bastard.

    In some situations, nobody — not a MMA champion or a 260 pound linebacker — will win against a determined bad guy. However, armed old timers far from defenseless.

    It should have been a DGU.

    • Twenty-five years from now some lawless predator may break through a back door and find a 92-year-old on the other side….. Ralph. I look forward to seeing that “video at 11!”

      I consider much of my shooting these days just recreational preparation for my old age. There’s the quiet no-recoil pistol, the compact little under-the-blanket wheelchair pistol, the ‘taking out the trash’ snubby, and the “oh, hell, it’s a bear!” 10mm. Frankly, moving to a Beretta M4 from the 870 involved long range planning. It’s the “it won’t break my shoulder” suspicious noise long gun, with spare parts to function as long as I do. “92 –it’s the new 73!” -or so I hope.

  6. That’s absurd. I know plenty of ninety-somethings who are quite capable of doling out the whoop ass if called for. It goes without saying there’s an element of surprise involved – bad guys often pick the very old because they’re slow and vulnerable. If one of these old timers, like the ones Ralph presented, produces a guns, there won’t be anything geriatric about the lead flying out of it. Damn, but I wish that’d been the case here.

  7. Anybody who beats a 97 year old man to death deserves a special kind of living Hell.

    • I agree. This kid’s folks have no business speaking in his defense. What he did cannot be defended. That man spent all that time on this earth to have it ended like that? And his wife had her companion taken away from her for no reason. The monsters like this guy are the reason I carry.

  8. The gun at the top looks like my first carry gun after a human predator tried to mug me; Ruger, stainless steel .357 magnum revolver, 5 shot.

    The great equalizer. We are so blessed to be Americans. Over 6 billion people on this planet are denied the ability to legally carry such a tool of self-protection and freedom.

    Should have been a DGU; and another example of the reason to home carry.

  9. What difference does it make? According to the AlMighty Shannon Watts (of MDA infamy) defensive gun use does NOT occur, anywhere, at anytime.

  10. Where is the public outcry for SOMETHING that beats a 97year old to death. I don’t see a Trayvon moment here. Just a run of the mill African fellow who might be related to Barry Soetero. This kind of s##t happens all too often in Chicago. Is there a DEATH PENALTY in Iowa? None in Illinois( thank you ex-con George Ryan ). Having been accquainted with lots of old folks unfortunately most couldn’t handle defending themselves at 97. There were a few bad a##es but they were a tiny minority.

  11. “Unfortunately . . . the odds weren’t really in his favor.”
    True. But they still would have been better with the gun than without.

  12. Age should never be a factor in deciding who gets a roll of the dice. Even our oldest deserve the chance to live another day provided they are not on death row.

  13. I don’t know if having a gun would have saved the 97 year old man, but at this point we know it couldn’t have made it worse for him.

  14. “At his age, identifying a threat, positioning himself appropriately and aiming his gun – any gun – would have been a huge challenge, with little chance of success.”

    I can think of some very healthy 97 year olds who wouldn’t have a problem defending themselves. Being old, disabled, whatever, doesn’t mean somebody isn’t dangerous

  15. That referenced story within this one, about the 69 year old minister shot with his own gun by a home invader the other night, really hit home for me. It is literally not more than a fifteen minute walk from my front door to the murder victim’s front door.

    The robber turned killer had been seen walking in the neighborhood that afternoon and reportedly had been spoken to by the neighborhood security guard. He gave a b.s. story about his mom living there, so nothing became if it.

    Who knows when or where these cold blooded killers will show up? This is why I carry….always….even when I’m just walking to the end of the block to check the mail.

  16. “To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill, a firearm is a lousy force equalizer – except for all the rest.”

    That’s not what ‘paraphrase’ means 🙂

  17. Senior citizens are easy targets here in Detroit. The lowlifes just don’t care. They’ll beat the crap out of grandpa and rape grandma next (if you feel like being depressed, just google it). It’s not even a racial thing -all the crime here is intraracial. It’s people that can’t raise a damn kid without turning it into a monster that is ruining society.

    • Most don’t actually raise the kids, grandmother/father, older sibling, or the state. What are we on 4th, 5th genrration on welfare?
      If we had kept our son in public school he was already @ 3rd grade being indoctrinated into socialism. Final straw was 3rd grade blue ribbon school, his teacher telling the class that 9-11-2001 was a valid use of political & religous freedom. The U.S. Constitution had no place in today’s world. She also stopped classes to pray to Mecca.

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