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If there’s one thing you can say about our DGU shooters, they’re pretty damn accurate. I have yet to come across a defensive gun use report where innocents were injured or killed by the person doing the defending. Funny, but that’s not what you’d expect if you listen to the anti-gun zealots, who try to convince us that guns in the hands of everyday folks will lead to mass carnage and blood ankle-deep in the streets. Let’s take a look at what’s really happening . . .

Gaffney, South Carolina was the scene of a holdup at the corner Stop-n-Rob…err, Bargain Spot. An armed store clerk spoiled the post-jail party for Lee Tate, who was released from the local lockup (for the twelfth time!) just three hours before. Tate stood in the doorway with a semi-auto rifle while his buddy went for the clerk’s deposit bag.

Two shots center-of-mass didn’t put Tate out of his misery, unfortunately, but he’s not likely to see the light of day for some time if Cherokee County Sheriff Mueller has his way.

The sheriff’s been keeping Tate’s bunk warm: “He’s been in here (the jail) about 12 times over the past few years,” Mueller said. “The only time he didn’t visit was 2011, and that’s probably because he was in prison somewhere [else].”

The concept of aiming at your target seems to forever elude the bad guys in TV and movie shootouts. Hundreds of rounds from full-auto weapons rain down on the overly-handsome actors of CSI and 5-0, but it only takes a double-tap from Deeks or Dano to send the entire abandoned warehouse of thugs to the ground, grunting and expiring in Shakespearean fashion.

An Orlando homeowner benefited from the Bad Guy School of Marksmanship when three gunmen entered his home uninvited. It’s not clear who shot first, and two of the thugs’ actions were predictable – running when the lead started flying. The homeowner under fire was not injured. His target, however, was hit multiple times, and is now in critical condition.

A homeowner in Memphis, Tennessee, was shot and wounded by a robber (second article), but that didn’t stop him from killing one of the intruders. A knock at the door revealed four armed men. One thug started shooting, hitting the 28-year-old resident, who returned fire. The newly ventilated intruder died at the scene while the other three robbers turned tail and ran.

Twenty-six-year-old Milton Lee Barber is in critical condition after invading the home of an unnamed, armed and accurate woman. Barber, a convicted sex offender and repeat felon, was hosting a one-man crime spree. Less than an hour after cleaning out a property management office, Barber entered a Lake City home the old-school way, breaking a window and cutting himself in the process.

The homeowner heard the noise, armed herself, then attempted to exit her home. Barber started chasing her; running from her home, she screamed for help several times before putting one shot into Barber’s chest, ending the threat.

Danny Ellis, proprietor of Gabby Hall Auto Parts in Dallas, is open for business and feeling fine after shooting 52-year-old Edward Horton. Ellis was tired of the nightly burglaries at his shop, so he staked out his store and caught two burglars taking radiators out of cars. Yelling “freeze!” didn’t do much but get a chunk of metal heaved at him, so Danny opened fire, hitting Horton once in the back.

Spend five minutes at any anti-gun website and read all about how gun owners are loose cannons, ready to shoot at the slightest hint of a threat. But the facts don’t bear this out; after reviewing hundreds of defensive gun use incidents, it would appear that lawful citizens are just about the most accurate shooters around.

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  1. Maybe a reason none/few innocents are harmed unintentionally is that none/few bystanders are around when the crimes occur.

  2. Not only is your life on the line but as a citizen you dont have the unlimited funds of the police union or the “ranks” of brothers in blue to keep you out of jail and employed while your backside is covered from all angles and even if you are found guilty of something all that will happen to you is a quite transfer to another department elsewhere in the country.

    Besides, most citizens that CC take the time to go to the range and practice, practice, parctice!

  3. Love the title…”The Hits Just Keep on Comin’!” Unfortunately, some of them weren’t big enough hits. The only one that kind-of feels “borderline” to me is the business owner shooting someone in the back who is running away, after trying to steal parts worth $300. If the owner truly had to duck a dangerous metallic flying object heaved at his head from the perp, then I guess the loser deserved it. All of the other home invasion, attacker perps definitely deserve to be DOA however.

    • In Danny Ellis’ case, given how his property had been stolen on multiple occasions (with police checkups not preventing subsequent “visits”) and they attempted assault when confronted I think it easily satisfies 3A/3B below:

      (Texas penal code excerpt)
      PC §9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:
      (A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
      (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and
      (3) he reasonably believes that:
      (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or
      (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

  4. I haven’t done any research, I guess I’m lazy, but right off the top of my head I don’t remember a single valid DGU that involved collateral damage.

    People that are willing to jump through the hoops to legally buy and carry a gun would seem to get it right far more than they get it wrong.

    • You may be right about the fact that collateral damage is rare in the DGU stories. The first commenter explained a big part of the reason. But what you guys love to overlook is that many of the reported DGUs are not that at all. They include many examples of unnecessary and premature shooting on the part of the so-called good guy.

      • If someone breaks into your house, it’s time to shoot before you are forced to find out just what they want. Crime is a dangerous occupation, the more dangerous we can make it for these morons, the less of them will get into it in the first place.

        I wouldn’t expect you to understand something so simple though. I’m sure it doesn’t jive with how you “feel.”

        • Wrong and probably illegal. You cannot morally shoot unless your life is being threatened. Many people break into houses with no intention of doing the occupant’s harm. As a responsible gun owner you need to make some effort to determine if the target of your outrage is truly a lethal threat or not. You can’t just shoot.

        • If someone (a criminal) breaks into your house, they are automatically endangering your life. Period.

          “Many people break into houses with no intention of doing the occupant’s harm. As a responsible gun owner you need to make some effort to determine if the target of your outrage is truly a lethal threat or not.”
          So, put your trust in a criminal who potentially has nothing to lose…No thanks. Now, that being said, Im not going to go search my house for the intruder just so I can shoot him. Im going to yell out that the cops were called and hole up in my room. If he comes at me, it might be a bad night to be a criminal.

          Wrong again mikey, but interesting look into the mind of a sheep.

        • “Many people break into houses with no intention of doing the occupant’s harm.”
          I’m always amazed at how you magically determine a burglar means the residents no harm. Ever hear of repeat offenders who face long jail time if caught? They are motivated to leave no witnesses. And then there are the real charmers who might like a little sex with their stolen goods, and a female resident is sleeping in the next room.

          Push real hard and you might remove your head.

        • @GS650G, around here most of the home invaders bring tea and cookies and are just interested in stimulating conversation with the homeowner.

          I live in a land called Mikeyville on the planet Mongo.

          • Remember there is much more to law enforcement then shooting. An LE is required to qualify to a minimum standard and many aren’t as interested in shooting, as us civilians with concealed carry permits. Most cops have made it to retirement with never drawing his or her weapon in the line of duty. On the other hand we are serious about concealed carry, we fought hard to get it, and fight hard to keep it. If we shoot a bystander we can lose everything we own. When a cop makes a mistake, the city gets sued. We have to be extra careful, the anti-gun crowd would love nothing more then one of us accidently shooting a young mom holding her baby!

        • Mikeyb, that is hands down the dumbest remark I’ve ever seen on this or any other site. Even in California, anti gun as it is, if someone breaks into your home you have the legal right to assume they mean you harm and the use of deadly force is justified.

          If that’s the best use of reason and logic you can make then we need a new opponent to argue with. You are not worthy of this battle.

        • Yeah, too bad Tom Cruise wasn’t home with a gun the other day, right? You guys represent the worst of your kind. You’re why the whole business is called “shoot first laws.” I really think you do your cause more harm than good with all that macho tough-guy talk about blowing people away and presuming there’s lethal threat when there may not be.

        • “presuming there’s lethal threat when there may not be”

          When did the standard become “lethal threat”? Some violent crimes do not necessarily involve any threat of lethal force by the goblin; rape, torture, kidnapping, and simple battery are obvious examples.

          If someone unlawfully enters an occupied dwelling, it is completely reasonable to presume that he intends harm to the occupants. It is not reasonable to assume that he intends no harm. The occupants are morally justified in using any and all means at their disposal – including lethal force – to protect themselves from that possible harm. The occupants are not morally obligated to attempt to discern the intruder’s intent.

          “Wrong and probably illegal. You cannot morally shoot unless your life is being threatened.”

          Nonsense – especially the “probably illegal” part. Most US states have some form of “castle doctrine” law, either by statute or case law. “Your life is being threatened” is not a requirement. Even in CA, you only have to have a reasonable fear of “great bodily injury” – which you are automatically presumed to have if someone commits an unlawful and forcible entry into your residence. C.P.C. 198.5

          In my current state of CO: if I enter my front door and confront an intruder who’s trying to steal my TV, and he might push me out of his way in order to escape, I am statutorily justified in using deadly physical force against him. I would be immune from criminal prosecution and civil liability. C.R.S. 18-1-704.5

          • I stand corrected. You don’t have to be facing imminent death in order to dish out your own lethal action. But the point is, many times a DGU happens were there is no “reasonable fear of “great bodily injury” ” or anything else. Sometimes there’s just outrage that someone would dare to violate your space, but no fear of any kind. Afterwards, of course there was all that good castle-doctrine bullshit about how reasonable it is to presume the worst.

      • “Sometimes there’s just outrage that someone would dare to violate your space, but no fear of any kind. ”

        I cannot imagine that an intruder unlawfully entering an occupied residence would result in the occupant experiencing “no fear of any kind”.

        On the contrary, I would think that the rational response would be “holy crap – someone is breaking into my house – they have to know we’re here – they must mean us harm”.

        • You don’t have a very good imagination, Don. 100 million gun owners and you can’t imagine the ones who would respond with nothing but loathing and outrage?

  5. Coming up on a year of concealed carry in Wisconsin. 150,000 permits only 3 have been revoked with no actual shooting incidents, non violent legal reasons. However dozens of happy ending endings, with dirt bags going to scumbag heaven, or back to jail after a stay in the hospital.

    • Will you stop with that bullshit. You know no one is keeping score and the reporting is incomplete. 3 out of 150,000? Does that seem reasonable to you?

      • Those of us who care do keep track. As for keeping score, the lefties hate concealed carry. When one of us screws up they make a huge deal out of it. Your mind is made up we know that. However facts are facts, I don’t need to lie. The numbers are from the DOJ!

  6. Maybe all of us ccw license holders need to start a nationwide training program to teach the police proper marksmanship under stress!!!
    We could provide a great service and improve the economy at the same time.
    I know not all police officers are bad shots but there seems to be an increasing number of bystanders being wounded.
    (sarc off)!!

    • If the NYPD was as accurate as these ‘civilians’ there would be several fewer dead/wounded New Yorkers this year.

      • I read recently that the NYPD’s guns are set for a 12 pound trigger pull by regulation. How accurate would you be with a 12 pound trigger pull? Five pounds is bad enough. That’s why I always cock my piece on the way out of my holster. Once cocked, I’m only dealing with a two pound pull.

  7. No surprise to any of us here that the “scary untrained” average gun owners continue to show the NYPD how it’s done right.

    My only quibble is that with a bit more refinement on the part of the AGO we’d have less worthless recidivist shitheads in the ER and more in the ground where they belong.

  8. Choice is a wonderful thing, all of the people in this article choose to carry and choose to use the firearm defensively. “mikeb302000” you have that same choice, you may choose not to use a firearm defensively. That is your choice. Don’t feel you have the right to make that same choice for me.

  9. I recently read that the NYPD discourages their troops from practicing shooting so that they will not adopt a “shoot first” mentality. The “common sense” byproduct of that policy is that they are not skilled marksman. Add to that the stress of a live gun fight, and you have a recipe for lots and lots of people to get hurt or dead that are not the bad guy. Compare that to the average Joe Gunowner like myself. I shoot a minimum of 200 or more rounds at least once a month. I shoot approximately 100 rounds out of every one of my guns at least once every three months. My goal is to make sure that if I am in a situation where I need to use my gun to defend what’s mine (it would of course be in the home since CCW is not an option in LA County) the only person that will get dead is the bad guy. I’d much prefer not to cap a guy in my house, but if it comes down to them or me and mine, I’ll do everything I can to make sure it’s them, and only them, that get it. Most of the gun owners I know are of the same mind, and practice just as often if not more than I do. Add to that the fact that avergae joe gun owners do not have the same qualified immunity as LEOs and you have some very good reasons to make sure you hit what you aim at.

    • If you can move to Orange County, you stand a much better chance of obtaining a CCW permit. I have several friends in OC who have successfully recieved permits. The OC is a Republican county, which probably has no bearing whatsoever on being gun – friendly (I kid!!!).

  10. Nice marksmanship on the part of the civilians. The element of surprise (well, somewhat) and the freedom to chose your weapon clearly has benefits.

  11. @mikeybnumbers…let me ask you a question….if you wake up in the middle of the night after hearing glass break in your home and find a man unknown to you coming through your house with a butcher knife in his hand telling you to give him money or he is going to cut you up an your wife and baby are less than 30 feet away from this person what are you going to do??!
    Ask him if he intends to harm you and will leave you alone if you give him money or are you going to warm him one time and put him down when he keeps coming at you??!
    I know what I did in this situation and it was justified. No need to determine anything about his intentions at all. He was iny home, had a weapon, posed a viable threat and died for his lack of intelligence.
    The worst part of the whole ordeal was having to explain to the young man’s parent’s in court why I killed him.
    I feel like God has forgiven me for it and despite what you seem to think is the “appropriate” action to take, that there is just not enough time in most home invasion/self defense scenarios to do more than defend your family and yourself as quickly as possible and hope everything turns out in your favor!!!
    If a criminal, first timer or career, is in your home while you are there then you can bet he or she didn’t break on just to grab and run. They could have done that while you were away!!!

  12. Mikeyb, that is hands down the dumbest remark I’ve ever seen on this or any other site. Even in California, anti gun as it is, if someone breaks into your home you have the legal right to assume they mean you harm and the use of deadly force is justified.

    If that’s the best use of reason and logic you can make then we need a new opponent to argue with. You are not worthy of this battle.

    @jwm…. Amen!! You tell ’em brother! You tell ’em

  13. Mikeyb, that is hands down the dumbest remark I’ve ever seen on this or any other site. Even in California, anti gun as it is, if someone breaks into your home you have the legal right to assume they mean you harm and the use of deadly force is justified.

    If that’s the best use of reason and logic you can make then we need a new opponent to argue with. You are not worthy of this battle.

    @jwm…. Amen!! You tell ’em brother! You tell ’em!! Of course you do know that you are forever and ever blackballed from MikeyB’s website and blog of perpetual falsehoods and you have been condemned and disowned by he who spouts bulls$$t forever !!!
    I can hear your heart breaking already!!!

      • MikeyBnumbers you know as well as i do and the old timers and regulars on here know also that there have been postings on your website that oppose your point of view that have disappeared or been removed after they were posted.
        I have been on your website myself and seen more “Flame Deleted” posts in one article than in a month on TTAG.
        As far as what Hawke5781 posted above yes you do want to take away our right to own guns and to defend ourselves. If you open your eyes and look then you will realize that more stringent gun control laws only make it harder for law abiding citizens to own a means of protection. Stricter laws only benefit the bad guys because it lets them know that there are people out there who are not armed and maybe due to age or a disability cannot physically defend themselves.
        And btw : what would you have done in the situation I posted about to you yesterday Oct 30th at 12:34???
        A thug in your house with a weapon??
        I would really like to hear your theory on how you would handle it!!

        • I repeat, no one is banned from my site and I rarely delete comments.

          Requiring gun owners to be qualified and responsible is not the same as “taking away your rights.”

          I don’t know what I would do in a situation like that. For one thing, I take adequate security precautions so I don’t have to worry about it and I live in a place that’s pretty safe. I’ll tell you one thing I won’t ever do is shoot someone prematurely or mistakenly. That’s a risk only you gunslingers run.

          • Well for one thing mikeb I am not nor will I ever be a gunslinger. I am a very firm believer in the sanctity of life. Being raised in a fairly strict, religious home we were always taught that taking a life was always the very last resort.
            As far as security measures well lets see….2 deadbolts on each door, alarms on the windows, and the nearest police officer lives 9 miles from my house.
            So I own firearms. If you break into my home while we are home then I have to assume you are there for more than just a quick grab and run. If not then the BG would have waited till no one was home.
            In the case I stated above the BG got 3 warnings while my now exwife was calling the police. When he refused to drop his weapon and moved towards me after the last warning I fired.
            I will not put my family in jeopardy by trying to go hand to hand with someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol swinging a fricking butcher knife at me.
            I don’t know about you but the only 2 type’s of people who truly scare me in the world are mean drunks with a weapon and someone who is truly insane or unstable. There is no reasoning with them in most cases and if you have never been in a fight with a pissed off drunk you don’t really know what a fight for your life really is.
            The BG that broke into my home then had 2 1/2 times the legal limit of alcohol in his system and was pissed off about something, never did know what.
            I have never pulled a gun on someone unless it was absolutely necessary to protect my family or myself.
            I have taken lives before and I is something that haunts me every damn day of my life, an something that I will have to answer to God for when my time has come, but until then I will trust in myself and my legally owned and carried firearms.
            The stricter/stronger gun laws you and other people are wanting will truly only have adverse affects on us law abiding citizens as the BG’s will as always ignore the law and get what they want when they want however they have to.

  14. In virtually all of the cases cited, my only criticism is that the shooter should have pulled the trigger just one more time, unless the bad guy was on the ground and immobile when they stopped shooting. Violent felons in the ICU are as close as I come to recognizing a situation where withholding medical care is in society’s best interests.

  15. When I got my CHCL in both Arkansas and Texas one of the first things we were told( classes taught by local PD btw) was that as CHCL holders, and as citizens who have voluntarily taken the extra responsibility to protect our families and ourselves that in the event we were involved in a DGU we would be held to a higher standard than a police officer was due partly in the fact that we are not trained LEO’s .
    That being said if we followed the laws of the state and Feds we had a 99.999% chance of being released without charges in most cases.

  16. “I have yet to come across a defensive gun use report where innocents were injured or killed by the person doing the defending.”

    Most of the time they are not, thankfully, but much of the time the person who tries to defend themselves IS, and this is often glossed over by gun enthusiasts. Also remember:

    1. media reports and personal stories don’t always reflect the general reality
    2. the (supposed) “liberal” media touts successful DGU as heroes
    3. the (supposed) “liberal” media never entertains the probable scenario that there might not have been any violence whatsoever, even if a DGU had not occured – so “success” is overestimated. Many supposed DGUs include people who literally run to get their gun, the threat has now evaporated, and they RETURN to the (now supposed) threatening situation. This is not defensive, but aggressive, and pretty darn stupid. However, it gets counted as a “successful” DGU.
    4. the (supposed) “liberal”media tends to underreport DGU attempts if they are not successful (a shopkeeper was killed…etc., etc.) – this is just described as a tragedy, not “if only he hadn’t tried to defend himself.”
    5. the research tends to support the idea that attempting DGUs is actually more risky than not (see Charles Brana’s research, for example)

    Guns in the household in particular increase you and your family’s risk of gun-related fatalities and injuries (mostly due to domestic violence and suicide), which is interesting given guns are supposed to protect. It seems counterintuitive, but NOT having a gun in the household is actually safer. But it makes people feel safer. It’s very deceptive.

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