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Too old? Never. Too small a caliber? No such thing. Just ask the unnamed man who heard someone trying to break into his Cleveland home Thursday night. “The 78-year-old homeowner told officers that he was scared when he heard the suspect trying to pry open a door, so he fired a single shot from his .32-caliber gun in the offender’s general direction.” That’s how describes what happened . . .

As for that shot fired in the, um, “general direction” of the home invader, it hit him. In the chest. Right where it was supposed to go.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found a handgun, a pry bar and a headscarf next to the wounded suspect, who was also wearing a holster. In addition, they noticed heavy door damage and saw that a screen had been cut for easier access.

Pretty good shootin’ for general direction type work.

It really is a shame there are so many guns in the hands of private citizens. They really should be restricted to those who are trained and know how to use them. Especially when, as everyone knows, they’re almost always taken away from gunowners and used against them by the bad guys. Just ask our DGU’er of the day.

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  1. Lucky shot for the home owner.
    You have to really wonder about the thought process of said criminal, but actually that is sort of the way they can be.

  2. That’s the course I want to teach. 75 to 90-year-olds. “OK, lock and load one six-round magazine and fire one bullet through this simulated backdoor when you see the crow bar.” Seems like a good first course preparing for advanced work, in which they fire three or four to provide margin for error. Admirable start. Love it when the elderly “mentor” the young punks.

  3. he fired a single shot from his .32-caliber gun in the offender’s general direction

    The old-timer was misquoted. He said that he fired in the offender’s genital direction. Unfortunately, the shot went just a bit high.

  4. or better yet, the Brady center will attack this senior hero for killing someone who just wanted to study the Bible with the homeowner.

  5. Firing in the general direction of what sounds like someone prying open a door, is a recipe for disaster. Lucky for the old guy he was right.

    The door-pryer wasn’t so lucky. He got a bullet in the chest for an attempted break-in.

    • That’s a nice semantic pivot there: “…attempted break-in.”

      It was limited to only an “attempt” because the perp was hit with a bullet, fired by the homeowner. Were it not for that event, I see no reported facts that lead me to believe the “attempt” would not have been successfully completed.

      Lest we try to paint the perp as some poor, downtrodden victim here, may I direct your attention back to the part of the story where the responding police found a handgun next to the perp? That is prima facie evidence to me that his intentions were more than mere property crime and theft.

      • Aww the perp was carrying for self-defense reasons. He wanted to make sure that, just in case the homeowner of the home he was breaking into illegally had a gun, he could defend himself. /end sarcasm

    • ****Firing in the general direction of what sounds like someone prying open a door, is a recipe for disaster. Lucky for the old guy he was right.****

      Your statement is flawed to the point of being offensive.Law abiding people do not pry open doors , just like law abiding people do not rape women in the street. A man or woman being forcibly assaulted has every right to put a bullet in the “General Direction” of the threat, which is exactly who and what this burglar was.

      *****The door-pryer wasn’t so lucky. He got a bullet in the chest for an attempted break-in.******

      I disagree profoundly. For one, we have a term for door pryers. They are termed home invaders in the English Dictionary. For the second point,in some parts of America he would have received a .556 mm round to the head for the trouble.I doubt the eponymous “door pryer” is available for comment on this matter, but it would hardly be speculative to think this scumbag would rather be shot in the gut and live than to take a long arm round to the skull.

      As for you Mr. B, one wonders about the moral foundation of your argument when stating it requires condoning criminal activity.

        • Oops. As for the silver lining, its not everyday one creates a new caliber.Although I confess I lost the .556mm round somewhere in the lab, so don’t look for it at the next SHOT show.

      • ST, I’m not “condoning criminal activity,” I’m suggesting responsible gun handling cannot include shooting in the general direction of some noise.

        • This wasn’t a case of shooting “in the general direction of some noise.” What twaddle. This was a shooting in the specific direction of someone prying the door open. Have you had your locked door pried open lately, Mikey? You’re not condoning criminal behavior. You’re condoning submission to an armed invader. Nice. You’re the gun-rights version of Tokyo Rose. You seek, no doubt, the orderly society that Ezra Pound’s broadcasts encouraged, the order of submission to criminals and sociopaths who are convinced they know what is good for you. Well, I hope it is good for you….enjoy! [I’m starting to suspect that MikeB was RF’s contact at the Ferrari factory. laugh.]

    • In a civilized society, victims come first and the criminals’ welfare is secondary to that of their victims. In this case, the homeowner was the victim and the guy breaking in was the criminal.

    • Your right mikeb, but firing at a door being pried open with a crowbar when your not expecting company is a recipe for self defense.

    • “Firing in the general direction of what sounds like someone prying open a door, is a recipe for disaster.”

      So is allowing a home invader to continue breaking his way in. Even more so to a 78 year old living in Cleveland. But, in Mike’s world where the victim is always wrong, I suppose the pry bar perp would have only been a persistent Avon lady.

  6. So was he supposed to wait until the guy actually got the door opened? Maybe wait a little longer for him to step over the threshhold, maybe wipe his feet first? I think that the 78 year old guy did good. Another case where wisdom and experience defeated youth and treachery

    • Unfortunately, it would depend on the jurisdiction. In some places, you can shoot someone if they are on your property. In other places, they would actually need to be in your house and you would have to prove that you were in fear of your life. Stupid, I agree, but one must know the specifics of the laws in your state/locality else you will be spending a lot of money on defense attorneys.

      I guess if you lived someplace you could not shoot someone outside the house, you could have hunkered down and waited until the perp opened the door before you drilled him.

      It’s worth thinking about that story the other week about the Massachusetts SWAT team that used a chainsaw to cut down someone’s door only to find out they had the wrong address. There were a number of comments from folks about how that would have resulted in a hail of bullets had that happened to them, but had they been in that situation and actually fired on an invading SWAT team, they would have ended up in prison or dead.

      It sucks if all you are trying to do is defend yourself, but no matter where you live, the deck is either overtly or implicitly stacked against private citizens when they use their firearms to defend themselves.

      • This is true, Jim. Cleveland, Ohio does have an extended castle doctrine as far as I know. This was all I could dig up being tired at this hour.

        “AKRON — When evil comes through the front door, Ohio’s homeowners have the right to shoot first, even though many may hesitate, uncertain that the law will back them up.

        Homeowners who may face a life-or-death fight with an intruder have the law on their side when it comes to shooting first.

        Ohio’s Castle Doctrine, which took effect three years ago, gives homeowners the benefit of the doubt when it comes to defending themselves, their families, and their property from an univited intruder.

        “The homeowner doesn’t have to say ‘the person was armed,’ or ‘the person was dangerous’ or ‘I was in fear for my life,'” said Mary Ann Kovach, Assistant Summit County Prosecutor.”



        Ohio’s Senate Bill 184 (SB184) took effect September 9, 2008. This bill updated the Ohio Revised Code with sections pertaining to Castle Doctrine and other areas of the ORC that were known to be unclear.[27]

        ORC 2307.601: No duty to retreat in residence or vehicle.

        (A) As used in this section:

        (1) “Residence” and “vehicle” have the same meanings as in section 2901.05 of the Revised Code.

        (2) “Tort action” has the same meaning as in section 2307.60 of the Revised Code.

        (B) For purposes of determining the potential liability of a person in a tort action related to the person’s use of force alleged to be in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of the person’s residence, if the person lawfully is in that person’s residence, the person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence, and, if the person lawfully is an occupant of that person’s vehicle or lawfully is an occupant in a vehicle owned by an immediate family member of the person, the person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense or defense of another.

        Effective Date: 2008 SB184 09-09-2008

        ORC 2901.05: Burden of proof – reasonable doubt – self-defense.

        (B)(1) Subject to division (B)(2) of this section, a person is presumed to have acted in self defense or defense of another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if the person against whom the defensive force is used is in the process of unlawfully and without privilege to do so entering, or has unlawfully and without privilege to do so entered, the residence or vehicle occupied by the person using the defensive force.

        Effective Date: 11-01-1978; 2008 SB184 09-09-2008

        The old man is peachy keen in this state.

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