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By Brandon via

As the last state in the country to allow concealed carry, it may have saved the life of Fairfield, Illinois permit holder Erick B. Paula, 26, during a confrontation Sunday morning. “Paula, who is black, said he encountered the two men — who are white — at a party earlier in the evening. He said the two had made racial remarks, and he had asked them to stop. The men later confronted Paula on Mount Vernon Road near the Fairfield airport.” When the two men got out of their vehicle . . .

they confronted Paula and wanted to fight. Paula told the two that he did not want to fight, and that he had his concealed carry permit and was armed.

The two men reportedly demanded that Paula hand over his firearm and engage in a fist fight. At this point, the men were about a foot away from Paula and it was at this moment that Paula drew his .22 caliber pistol and fired at the men.

Both men suffered gunshot wounds and drove themselves to the hospital. The two men were identified as Blaze A. Greenwood, 22, of Fairfield and Alex C. Barrowman, 23 of Crest Hill, Illinois.

During an interview, Barrowman told police that he and Greemwood “went looking for Paula for a fist fight.”

After the ordeal, Paula immediately drove to the police station to report what had occurred.

While the investigation is still ongoing, no charges are expected to be filed against Paula, as the incident seems to be a clear-cut case of self-defense.

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    • They weren’t thugs. Remember? They were white. You can’t use the term thug describing a black criminal because it means you are a racist. You can’t use the term thug describing white criminals because Liberals say it is code for “black”.

  1. “no charges are expected to be filed against Paula, as the incident seems to be a clear-cut case of self-defense.”

    Don’t be too sure, self-defense isn’t is as legal in Illinois as it is in free states.

      • I believe that Illinois is neither SYG or Duty to Retreat. In our concealed carry course, we were taught to retreat the maximum amount a reasonable person would before drawing in defense. Point being, Illinois is still very, very gray on use of force as a concealed carrier, unless you trust every DA to not be a typical Illinois anti-gunner. And, one is not immune to prosecution in a case of clear-cut self-defense, as one might be in a state that has a specific SYG law on the books. The key phrase we were told to use is “I had a reasonable belief that my life was in danger.” In this instance, the victim appears to be covered.

        • A black man defending himself against two white guys trying to pick a fight after hurling racial slurs, AFTER he removed himself from the situation once already… No DA on the planet is going to touch that one. Never mind he was in the right, in this political climate it would be career suicide. Reverse the racial roles, maybe a different story.

    • My comment has already been mentioned by a few people below, but it needs repeating.
      Fairfield is NOT Chiraq!

      • I was thinking more a caning with my grandad’s cane. Think 3′ x 1.5″ pvc filled with shot and epoxy. That’s not really what it’s made of but the effects would be quite similar. It’s actually a gentleman’s walking stick from a ‘kinder’, ‘gentler’ era.

  2. I live in Illinois-this is not a big deal. And this is not Cook county either-but I guess a 22 is better than nothing!

    • I suspect (though I don’t know this to be true) that Mr. Paula is relatively new to the carry culture, given that Illinois only recently became a shall-issue state – and perhaps to guns in general. If that is true, a .22LR makes a lot of sense for him – they’re compact in most cases, light, easily concealed, cheap to shoot and practice with… In short, a perfect introductory firearm and a round that is quite capable of killing out to several hundred yards (from a rifle) but less likely to over-penetrate or be deadly after initial impact (reliable hollow-points anyway) than a larger caliber. Now that he’s got some experience with adrenaline and only having 10 rounds, he may decide to change calibers – or get really good at head shots under stress.

  3. Maybe one should not go looking for fist fights now that citizens can be lawfully armed. Maybe big tough thugs used to ganging up( 2 to one) on people and throwing there wight around are going to have an attitude adjustment coming.

    • That’s where the phrase “armed and polite” came from. A few more, would be, assault victims need to shoot a few more attackers and a few more road rage idiots need to get shot, before the main stream news publicizes it so that the message gets out. There will be a transition period and we need more people carrying so that finally, everyone stops these petty confrontations.
      Not all projection is bad. I assume everyone is carrying because, I am. I am less likely to mess with people or even justifiably show my disgust with some stranger. There was a BS study done by some Liberal publication that said road rage is worse if there is a gun in your car. I have had two experiences in the last two years that are clear cut violations from other drivers being aggressive towards me. I just started carrying in the last three years and I can say for certain that my reaction to both incidents were different than what they would have been before being armed. Before I probably would have gone on the attack or at least honked the horn, or gestured, which could have escalated into a real bad fight. But instead, I was able to flee from one driver and since I had his tag number (Newton Co. GA GADDIS, Lt. Blue Chevy Silverado) I reported it to the police. In the other case, I could not get away because the other driver was able to stop me in the middle of the Interstate, I drew my GLOCK and waited for him to attack me. I was prepared to aim the gun at him and if that didn’t stop him, I was, out of fear of bodily harm, prepared to shoot him to stop the threat. But in neither case did I resort to displaying anger. I remained calm on the outside knowing that if the other guy wanted to harm me, I could defend myself so there was not the level of frustration there from feeling helpless.
      Speak softly but carry a big stick.

  4. This was in Southern Illinois. Different animal from Cook County. Even the Democrats down here tend to lean Right. Well, at least outside of the Universities. (E.g. SIUE, SIUC)

  5. Two White privilege men DEMANDED a black armed citizen hand over his firearm and engage in a fist fight….my chuckle for the week.

    You can’t fix stupid.

    • You can’t fix stupid, true. But after you shoot holes in it that’s the ER doc’s job, anyway. Whether or not he can fix stupid depends on a lot of variables. Too many for those of us who are forced to shoot stupid in the first place.

      • I bet it would have been a whole lot more difficult to fix stupid if stupid had been shoot with a bigger caliber.

        Still, well done.

  6. and how many anti gun ninnies would say that Paula should not have shot the men because they were unarmed, as if he has some responsibility to take a beating because it’d be “more sporting” or some nonsense.

  7. Did they really expect him to give them his gun so they could then stomp his ass? Really? That is some off-the-charts stupidity.

      • Any chance Judgement Juice or drugs were involved (“…said he encountered the two men — who are white — at a party earlier in the evening.”)?


    • To be fair he did readily hand over the bullets – quickly too, at somewhere in the range of ~900 fps.

    • That’s what I was thinking…. I don’t think the whole story here is correct. something doesn’t pass the common sense test. Perhaps the alleged aggressors were that stupid. Perhaps it was an argument and she just pulled out her gun and shot them because…

  8. Sounds like things went well. Glad the thugs went down without to much trouble.

    On a side note I would never trust a 22 round for protection. Just not a reliable round.

    • I concur. The .22lr is certainly lethal, but for self-defense, isn’t the general rule to carry a firearm that’s chambered in the largest, most potent caliber one can reasonably handle?

      • No. The general rule is “Have a Gun.” Caliber really does not matter in 99% or so of DGU’s.

        • While I have no science to back this up, I think that 80% (80? Sure, why not?) of what stops a threat is not having the biggest, baddest caliber, but the psychology surrounding “oh crap, I’ve been shot!”

          That .22 may not make a life-ending hole (though it may), but the fact that the injury came from a gun gets most not-insane-for-whatever-reason bad guy thinking more about the ER than whatever harm they intended the person who just shot them.

          The actual wound may be less significant than a knife slip in the kitchen, but the fact that it came with a boom makes a lot of difference.

          Maybe this is one area where Hollywood’s erroneous mythologizing of guns as magical death sticks actually works to our advantage.

        • Swarf,

          You are definitely on the right track. I don’t have the specific numbers. All I know is that something like 90% or more of attackers break off their attack when the victim does nothing more than produce a firearm and point it at the attacker/s. Of the remaining who stick around, almost all of them beat feet when the victim starts shooting. Thus a handgun quite literally convinces most attackers that they should stop their attack. The only time a handgun truly incapacitates an attacker immediately is when the victim puts a bullet into the central nervous system of the attacker.

          The only attackers who continue their attack after receiving a gunshot wound to the torso are:
          (1) stalkers/domestic abusers who are determined to kill the victim no matter what,
          (2) attackers who are so high on drugs that they don’t care about or don’t feel wounds,
          (3) someone who wants “suicide by cop” or “suicide by armed victim”,
          (4) terrorists/spree killers who expect to die as part of their attack,
          (5) mentally deranged attackers who don’t care about wounds.

          You will probably notice that there is a single common factor in that list: the mindset of the attacker. If the attacker is determined to attack no matter what, they will continue to attack in spite of taking bullets in the torso from a handgun. If you have one of those attackers, you need to put as many bullets as possible — and the largest bullets possible — into the attacker/s to physically incapacitate them as quickly as possible.

        • I did not know that (not that I would ever attempt to do so).

          Despite my best efforts to the contrary, I learn something new every day…

          Got a list? Or if anyone else who knows of such a law in their state would chime in, I’d appreciate it.

    • I was wondering how long it would take before we heard the 22 is the wrong CCW argument . A never ending debate . I would just remind everyone to ask a surgeon the question . A 22 caliber bullet has a strong tendency to bounce off of bone and travel great distances inside of a body cavity making lots of small holes inside that all bleed , blood is after all under pressure . It may not be the most humane way but it will certainly get the job done and as far as stopping someone , most people usually want to leave the scene of a ” I’ve just been shot ” and get medical attention . The main thing in a gun fight is hitting the object your shooting , in a vital . Peace to you my brother .

      • I would also add in your defense however that a lot of rim fire ammo is unreliable and a lot of 22 pistols are junk . Quality ammo in a well made gun is a fine CCW .

        • Good point about reliability.
          I got a groundhog in my sights this weekend, carefully squeezed the trigger, and…click.
          WTF? I know this rifle is loaded. Pull back the bolt and eject a Winchester Dynapoint with a fresh firing pin shaped dent in the rim as the woodchuck runs under the porch.

          The good news is I don’t flinch. Sight picture remained perfect throughout the ‘firing’ sequence.

        • This is what I meant by reliable. Not the size of the hole, but the dreaded sound of a click instead of a bang.

          • I understand and the point well taken but I have put close to 300 rounds through my PMR with no FTF and no clicks , just bang bang bang . Believe me , I’ve read and seen probably everything you have on rim fire and probably more since I carry a 22 magnum for CCW . I remember the click days when I was a young lad but I simply have not had problems with new premier loads available today . They still sell junk stuff , just don’t load up with it before the hunt . I did go through the break in stage with my PMR . Never limp wrist this pistol and it functions flawlessly .

  9. Pro tip: do NOT let two aggressive men get within one foot of you — especially after they stated their intention to attack you.

    Distance is your friend. If at all possible, try to keep at least 30 feet between aggressive potential attackers and yourself: you will need every bit of it if the potential attackers suddenly rush you at full speed.

    • True – but we don’t know the circumstances of the case, and a .22 will do a lot more damage if shot in full contact with the perp’s carcass.

  10. I thought black people could not be trusted with guns and guns were never used to protect black people, only hurt them? Oh thats right, I live in reality not anti gun la-la-land. Good shoot, too bad he did not bring a bigger caliber and put them down for good.

    • There was a time when the only handgun I could afford was a second hand .22 revolver. It sure as hell beat harsh language and angry looks.

      • If using a 22, then a revolverakes a lot of sense, especially the 9-10 round revolvers.

        • That’s an excellent point. My main concern with .22LR is the fact that I just seem to have bad luck with rimfire and failures-to-fire, but in a revolver, if the gun doesn’t go BANG you can just pull the trigger again.

  11. (in jowly old-British-guy accent) I dare say, it was rather unsportsmanlike of Mr. Paula to not engage in a proper bout of fisticuffs with those 2 fine gentleman. What is world coming to. Harrumph! Harrumph I say!

    All joking aside, score 2 for the good guys. As the saying goes, a .22 in the hand is better than a .45 in the lock box.

  12. I live in cook county, I have had Chicago cops see my carry when trying to get the top up on a Miata. They waved. (The answer for all thing car related is Miata). There have been a number of incidences of defensive gun use without any problems from the police. Even before they fixed a lot of the gun laws, the deal was if you used a “unregistered” handgun for home self defense you would not be charged (probably would lose the gun).For all the people who point to Chicago as a “example of restricted second amendment rights” be careful of what you ask for. Yes it is a bit of a pain to get a CCW license and kind of expensive, but its really not that hard. We are a shall issue, no if ands or buts and a FOID card is $5 for 10 years. So you really cant point to Chicago and say, look no guns allowed. And were are very much a stand your ground. The majority of the state is Pro-Gun. The reason took so long for CCW is the Democratic leadership is NOT pro gun, even if the majority of the legislative is . And the Speaker Of the Illinois House is NOT elected by the whole state, just his district so don’t give me any of the you elected him BS.

    • I’ll second that. I’ve seen a homeowner, without a FOID, who defended himself against a home invasion with an illegally possessed firearm receive no charges for unlawful use by CPD. They simply apologized for having to take the firearm.

      But on the other hand, I’ve seen someone’s roommate steal a legally owned firearm and turn it into the police because it was a ‘scary’ gun and he didn’t want it in the house. That was two years ago and the guy who had it stolen never got it back. hip or safe is good advice for a variety of reasons.

    • pone other issue, that $5 FOID… you know the Illinois State Police run a NICS check on all FOID holders daily since at least 2008… Talk about ‘universal background checks’ yeesh.

  13. Good shoot. Glad Mr. Paula is ok.

    “The men later confronted Paula on Mount Vernon Road near the Fairfield airport.” When the two men got out of their vehicle . . .”

    When the two men got out of their vehicle I would have hit the gas pedal and got the F outa there. Confrontation avoided. As it is, he’ll need to deal with Blaze & Alex’s lawyers. Could be a long, expensive road.

    • Fortunately, the one idiot actually told police that they had gone to pick a fight. While that doesn’t guarantee there won’t be a lawsuit, it should mean that Mr. Paula will have a much easier time finding people willing to help him out financially should the need arise.

  14. What if the races were reversed? Would the media have blown this up as a racist hate crime or something like that?

  15. What was it our fathers told us?

    Those who go looking for trouble usually find it.

    Glad the guys looking for trouble got the holes instead of the guy trying to avoid trouble.

  16. This has to be made up, it is wrong on so many levels: Everyone knows only racist white men get licensed to carry handguns, and they carry them to shoot black men with. And everyone knows that no one carries a .22 for self-defense, because if you shoot someone with a .22, it will only make them mad and induce them to attack you even worser than they originally intended to. Has to be a made-up tale. (I’m not gonna take any chances, I’ll go ahead and append the “sarcasm” tag just to make sure: /sarc )

  17. Let me quickly spell out “Chicago” gun laws
    1. We are a shall issue (costs you 2 days of your time and 3-400 dollars all said and done)
    2. 15 round long gun magazine limit, none for handguns (no long gun limits in most of the state)
    3. No silencers
    4. SBRs are possible (little more convoluted, need a 03FFL and no trusts)
    5. Oh and the FOID card, cost you 5 dollars for 10 years. It is in no way tied to any firearm registration (I know of a lot of people who have one even without a firearm for just in case they want to get a firearm). And it is tied into “universal” background checks as you are required to verify the FOID card when selling privately. Personally, I kind of like knowing that when I’m selling to a private party. And the nicest part, no anti-gun group can point to Illinois and say, look, gun ownership is going down.

    So yes they “suck” but they are not any worse that a lot of other states.

  18. good going, i think everyone should get the point. 1 armed, two unarmed trying to fight the 1 armed, end should have been 2 body bags, there just lucky!

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