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At 1:15 a.m. on a cold December night in Tulsa, Oklahoma, most people aren’t prowling other people’s back yards looking for trouble. But 32-year-old Perry Wallace seemed to have been doing exactly that. He jumped a fence to get into the yard of a homeowner who was staying warm inside with his girlfriend and four children. Perry tried to break into the home through a bedroom door. The homeowner opened fire with his girlfriend’s pistol, wounding Perry several times.

Just another night in Tulsa, you might think. There’s nothing too remarkable about the events described, except the part about the borrowed gun. The interesting part is the police response. It was provided by Sgt. Shane Tuell, Tulsa Police Department Public Information Officer. From

The homeowner’s four children, ages four through 12 and his girlfriend were in the home at the time.

Police say they believe it was a matter of self-defense and that Wallace made a bad decision.

“If you’re going to try to get into someone’s house that’s not your own, you’re rolling the dice, especially here in Oklahoma. A lot of people exercise their Second Amendment, which is fantastic,” said Sgt. Shane Tuell.

For five decades, the cops’ most common, predictable response to a self-defense shooting: advising citizens “not to take the law into their own hands.” That response is changing. Beat cops know they’re the clean-up crew, arriving after a violent assault. With the surge in gun rights around the country, more police officers are finally telling it like it is: until we get there, it’s up to you.

The logical extension of that: you’re better off armed than not. For making that case and warning off the bad guys,  Sgt. Tuell gets TTAG’s Gun Hero of the Day award for his direct support for the exercise of the Second Amendment.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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  1. I don’t see advising people “not to take the law into their own hands” as telling them to just wait for the police during a home invasion.

    While some police I’ve seen definitely mean this as “wait for us to show up” I’ve usually gotten the feeling that it usually means “Don’t chase the bad guy down and try to effect a citizen’s arrest” or something similar. That is “Don’t hot the guy twice, chase him down the street, tackle him in another citizen’s yard and hold him for us. We’ll find the guy you perforated. It’s not worth getting shot by yet another homeowner who thinks you’re drunk derelicts trying to kill each other in his front yard”. Or “Don’t chase the guy outside shooting at him as he drives away in your car, firing blindly at a fleeing vehicle and killing or wounding a bystander is our job and we have insurance for that shit”.

    There’s a large gulf between self defense like in this story and playing the Lone Ranger out to get the bad guys off the streets. The latter is generally what I think has been discouraged, at least in my run-ins with police when the topic came up. Of course those same officers referred to fingerprint dust as “PR dust”.

    • That’s my take on it as well. Self-defense =/= taking the law into your own hands. We see those stories too here sometimes.

    • Agree with the both of you. Self defense against an imminent attack becomes a whole other thing when you pursue the aggressor who has broken off the attack and is running.

    • You all are correct and I agree with you. However, I have been in debates online where gun grabbers will insist that YOU, the homeowner, should retreat to a “safer part of the house” and call the cops and wait.

      Look at some of the backlash that Melinda Herman (Loganville GA)received ** from the grabbers ** when she shot a home intruder after retreating to another part of the house(4 or 5 rooms) and was still being pursued by Paul “Didn’t do nuffin to be kilt” Slater. They know no bounds.

      Maybe while the LEOs aren’t saying that, the grabbers ARE… even in self-defensive perforations.

    • “Don’t play the Lone Ranger” or “don’t be a Cowboy” is the argument Liberals have brain washed the public with for at least 3 generations. Liberals are gradually coming to the realization that that was the wrong response to stopping criminals; it only increased the boldness of criminals. A timid, fearful populace afraid to protect themselves will NOT become a safer country.

    • Maybe his was just in another room…

      As at my house, if I’m not carrying mine (unlikely) or she doesn’t nail them first (also not likely), iron belonging to either myself or my wife is close by. It just depends on what room; those in the kitchen, livingroom, or bathroom are hers…. I have others stashed everywhere else.

      • Similar story here. I carry at home sometimes, but not frequently. My wife spends most of her time in our bedroom and craft room, which means she’s rarely more than 20 feet away from the gun safe. If someone were to try a home invasion (let’s hope no one ever does), she’d probably be the one sending bullets their way — it’s just how our house happens to be set up.

  2. In Washington, he would have had to pass a background check before taking his girlfriend’s firearm to perforate the intruder. “When seconds count, a NICS check is only an hour away…”

    • If he lived in Seattle, do you think the DA there would prosecute both him and his GF for the unlawful transfers?

      • “If he lived in Seattle, do you think the DA there would prosecute both him and his GF for the unlawful transfers?”

        Mark, right there is a stark example of the difference between a free state, and a slave state.

        Liberty, vs. Tyranny.

        If the Left had their druthers, it would be a felony transfer.

        In the interest of ‘gun safety’…

      • Any other place in the state, it wouldn’t even be a question – most of the county sheriffs in Washington have already publicly stated they won’t enforce that law. In Seattle – hard to tell.

    • Ours is defined a bit differently. Things can be “borrowed”. I recently sold a gun, but haven’t been able to get to an FFL for a transfer, so the buyer is “borrowing” until transfer can be completed. Then, they will be the lawful owner.

      • “Things can be “borrowed”.

        The Antis call that a ‘loophole’ that must be closed to ‘keep guns from falling into the wrong hands’…

    • I think there’s an exception in the law for immediate self-defense. They don’t want to outright kill you, they just want to make life really difficult. So there’s that, at least.

  3. The Gestapo do not want you “not to take the law into your own hands” just call 911. That way the cops get to write up a report. Got to keep his job.

    • Makes sense to call 911 first if it doesn’t expose you to more danger by doing so. Looks better in court if you establish yourself as the victim/good guy. And if the cops get there quickly enough to handle the problem you don’t have to go thru the life altering experience of having to shoot another person.

      If shooting can be plan b or c you’re living a good life.

  4. That’s great and all for Oklahoma, but here in California our State Legislature would rather you be a victim of violence rather than defend yourself with a firearm. They continually pass legislation to that affect designed to punish the citizen who legally acquires and uses firearms for recreational purposes. They haven’t got the message yet that criminals don’t give a hoot about gun laws.

    • Yep. In California you have to illegally defend yourself. And to avoid incrimination for saving your own life, you have to buy a 55 gallon drum, 20lbs of drain cleaner from the hardware store, and 20lbs of muratic acid from the farm center.

  5. “If you’re going to try to get into someone’s house that’s not your own, you’re rolling the dice, especially here in Oklahoma. A lot of people exercise their Second Amendment, which is fantastic,” said Sgt. Shane Tuell.”


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