woman shoots south carolina escape jail killed
courtesy WRAL and AP
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pickens south caronlina escape jail shot woman gun homeowner
courtesy WRAL and AP

This is the kind of happy holiday season story that warms the cockles of your heart and renews your faith in humanity…not to mention the Second Amendment. Bruce McLaughlin, Jr. released himself on his own recognizance from a Pickens, South Carolina jail yesterday. He and another inmate beat up two guards, stole their keys and made their escape.

You’ll be shocked to learn that McLaughlin had been a frequent guest of the local graybar hotel.

McLaughlin had been in and out of the Pickens County jail about a dozen times on charges ranging from drug possession to assaulting a police officer to shoplifting. He was currently awaiting trial on first-degree burglary and grand larceny charges, according to sheriff’s office records.

While the other inmate was re-captured in short order, McLaughlin came upon a local home and kicked in the back door. What he apparently didn’t count on, however, while he was standing there in his orange jumpsuit, was what was on the other side of the door.

The woman was home alone and had gone through training to get a concealed weapons permit, Clark said.

Bruce McLaughlin Jr., 30, died from a gunshot to the head, Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley said.

The local police were impressed with the un-named homeowner’s prowess in protecting herself with a firearm.

“This was a big guy. If she hadn’t had a weapon there’s no telling what would have happened,” (Pickens County Sheriff Rick) Clark said. “I gave her a big hug. I told her how proud I was of her.” …

“This is the shining example” of why owning and knowing how to use a gun is important, the sheriff said.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. As in almost every bad situation, the un-named homeowner in this case was her own first responder. No one knows what could have and likely would have happened before police could have arrived, even assuming she had the chance to dial 911.

And yet there are still many dedicated hoplophobes who look at even clear-cut personal defense situations like this one and lament the fact that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms.

Maybe you saw our post yesterday about three women who were accosted by a thug on their way to church. The NRA noted the same story and…

The fact is, despite all of Sonia Prince’s hand-wringing and pearl-clutching, the situation in Detroit went very much right. Maybe she carries a frying pan or fire extinguisher in her purse, but most people don’t.

The good news is that one of those Detroit women was armed and successfully defended herself and the two women who were with her from a criminal. Just as the woman in South Carolina did. Just as Americans do more than 1.1 million times a year, usually without ever having to pull a trigger.

This is why we own and carry firearms. And always will.

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    • She was momentarily disappointed she couldn’t blame the victim, and then she realized the facts didn’t matter, she could go ahead and do it anyway.

      That’s how they roll in the land of freedom hating criminal lovers.

      • And that’s the bottom line. A big chunk of the proponents of racially invidious gun control laws have FAR more sympathy for violent criminals than for their victims.

        • Antiques are not cookware and require no background checks and ship right to your door…….even here

      • My go to HD is my prewar Wagner 14″ skillet seasoned with nothing but lard. Heavy but effective, a true man stopper be size. I hate those Williams Sonoma mall ninjas with their silicone handled, alloy crap. High speed, low drag they say. And those Lodge fan boys, they are the worst. I won’t even call that a true cast iron, probably pot metal! They don’t make skillets like they used to, and if some crook comes for mine, they can pry it out of my cold dead hands…

        • Lol!
          I have a 14″ cast iron pan and it’s so heavy my wife struggles to get it out of the cabinet and onto the stove.
          If you were to make contact with some thugs skull with that thing and it’s game over for them!

          Btw, it’s a Lodge. Lol!

        • Sounds more like it’ll be the crook’s hands that will be cold and dead.

          Would you reseason the pan after cleaning the perp’s brains off?

        • There would be no need to reseason unless one washed it with soap. Just boil it water in it and the brains will come right off. Just a minor inconvenience. At least for the owner of the pan. The perp might consider his brains moving outside of his skull to be a rather major inconvenience.

      • Absolutely go with cast iron. The small ones are great for throwing. I keep several in my kitchen.

    • I favor appendix carry, and while I really like the stopping power of cast iron – a big pan that can fry a double-stack of pancakes – I find myself carrying a single-stack size pan most often.

      Like we always say, the pan you have with you is better than the pan you left in the kitchen.

  1. You know when I got into my car this morning a lot of things could have gone wrong. I might have run over the neighbors dog or kids, hit by a drunk driver or crushed by a jack knifing truck.

    • tdiinva,

      Exactly. And what you and that woman are describing is simply hysteria.

      High quality people manage risks rather than blathering hysterically about hypothetical and imaginary events.

        • Don’t forget to check under the car. There could be a brick of C4 under there wired to the ignition. You can never be too safe.

  2. Imagine if these stories were published nationally when they happened … imagine if the idea was to re-inforce the importance of guns in defending ourselves, and all this publicity happened.

    In very short order, everybody would own guns, crime would drop (or more dead bad guys), we would live in a polite society again …

    Oops … forgot the agenda: disarm America. My bad.

    • This is EXACTLY what needs to happen to turn public opinion. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many billionaires donating on our side…

  3. “McLaughlin had been in and out of the Pickens County jail about a dozen times on charges ranging from drug possession to assaulting a police officer to shoplifting. He was currently awaiting trial on first-degree burglary and grand larceny charges, according to sheriff’s office records.”

    “This was a big guy. If she hadn’t had a weapon there’s no telling what would have happened,” (Pickens County Sheriff Rick) Clark said.”

    All this criminal activity, and the government refused to to protect society from this menace to society. For some reason, it reminds me of the Abilene, Texas shooting where the Fat Shirtless Father and Son shot Mr. I.E.D., a man who threatened the mailman with death and had an arrest record longer than a city block. It took a good woman with a gun to do the job the government should have done in the first place.

    • people with existing criminal arrest histories commit over 96% of US crime. They commit 90% of US murder and people with a felony arrest or ten or more arrests commit over 80% of US murder.
      A criminal is arrested once for every 5 to ten crimes they commit, meaning a person with a dozen arrests could conceivably have only committed a dozen crimes, but likely has committed close to 100.

      this is exactly why as US incarceration rates per capita doubled from the early 1990’s and for 20 years, the murder rate went on a long and deep decline, falling over 60%. And where and when the incarceration rate has now decreased, murder is up.

      US serious crime and murder rates vary over time and place exactly with the number of released felons on the streets.

  4. “(Pickens County Sheriff Rick) Clark said. “I gave her a big hug. I told her how proud I was of her.” …”


  5. We have no idea what ‘might have’ happened if the homeowner was unarmed.

    We do know know, however, exactly what happened because she was armed.

    And the success of the story needs to be told much louder and in many more places.

  6. Head shot too! I don’t applaud the loss of life but a violent criminal has been taken off the streets, doesn’t get taxpayer care or support, and the community is a tad bit safer.

  7. They tell women that they shouldn’t carry a gun because the rapist or abusive ex-boyfriend will just take it from them and use it against them, but then they tell them that attacking a home invader with a frying pan is a good idea. Brilliant!

    • My thoughts exactly. Try to bean an angry home invader with a frying pan and you better make that first swing count.

  8. I sincerely hope that we hear more of these stories. Since we know gun sales flourished when the greatest firearm salesman of all time was in office, there should be more good news on the way.

  9. Speaking of useless self defense strategies, why doesn’t someone do a simulation of a bad guy wearing a motorcycle helmet and a thick coat or even body armor and have a roomful of liberal people throw hockey pucks at him. Then he gets to shoot each puck thrower with simunitions or paintballs. With no protective clothing just to reinforce the message that pucks are useless against a gun. I bet a few would reconsider their stupidity.

    • I wonder how many average people could actually forcefully throw anything that accurately across a room?

  10. Sonia Prince
    Many many things could have gone wrong. She could have shot her daughter by mistake, shaking & missed; could have been a shootout if the person grabbing the girl also had a gun..etc. she could have easily hit him with a frying pan or sprayed him with a fire extinguisher as well..

    Seems like a good reason to end anyone driving a car or riding a bike. You could put your eye out.

    Moreover getting hit by a woman wielding a frying pan is probably going to do nothing but make the perp angy. And when I was in high school fire extinguinser fights were common enough and it wont even slow you down to be sprayed by one

    Facts matter. There are between two to three million crimes direcly prevented by gun owners every year., There are millions more prevented every year by the fact hta the gun owner took the person out by geting them arrests stoppiing future crime by the perp. It is very likely the wide US gun ownership direclty and indirectly prevents up to five million crimes per year

    In contrast about two thousand non criminals are emurdered with guns each year. We know from Australia that there is a huge substitution affect nd that most muders that are comimtted with a gun would be committed by other means if a gun is not avalable.so the number of innocent people’s lives lost is more like two hunndred. That is sad but it is not the tiniest fraction of a percent of the murders, rapes, assults and other crimes prevented by gun owners.

  11. but but but…SOMEONE DIED, and that is JUST AWFUL!!!

    (It doesn’t matter to these touchy feely sorts how truly awful these career criminals really are. They did not choose their career path wisely.)

  12. “This was a big guy. If she hadn’t had a weapon there’s no telling what would have happened…”

    That almost sounds like the tiny-person’s life shouldn’t be forfeit simply for not being large.

    … or aggressive,

    … or violent,

    … or mean.

    This guy’s in law enforcement. He should know better. Somebody wants to “nobody knows” you, well, your loss.

  13. “Many many things could have gone wrong.”

    Indeed. In both stories, “Many, (sic) many things (that – ed) could have gone wrong”, did not. Thanks for making the DGU point for us.

    /I Hate Having to Spell Things Out for the Pretend Slow Folks
    Orange is the New Dead-guy could have raped, killed, and eaten the woman he assaulted (not necessarily in that order.) Or simply beat her senseless, taken every valuable in the house, and left her for dead. “Recent escapee” and “kicking down the door” are what people in the biz call indicators of extreme risk: “red flags”, even.

    Those things he could have done count as “gone wrong” from my perspective. None of that happened.

    Failed to figure the odds-guy in the other story could have done the same x3. Also a number of lead-up behaviors which we might call “red flags.” All that would have counted as “gone wrong” from my perspective. None of that happened.

    This is why some of us think smaller, slower, peaceful people ought to have access to an “equalizer” if they want one: the large, fast, and violent shouldn’t get to do whatever they want because they are large, fast, and violent. When the cop in your pocket, or, just spit-ballin here, the designated resource officer cowering outside, fails to protect you or your kids from big, fast, violent-guy, it would be nice if you could do something for yourself.

    Sometimes it goes right. Every time someone gets mugged, killed, or simply harassed, really the point is ““many many things could have gone right.” If you stopped that from happening, that’s on you. Dead kids, for example.

  14. Hit him with a frying pan?… This Sonia individual never been in a fight before… with another determined man twice her size no less. A man who is no stranger to fighting and has no intention going back to jail, I wager. Maternal instincts be damned, that’s a losing fight no matter how you look at it.

    I hate people who down play events like this. She ALMOST comes off defending the douche.

  15. She could have been shot with her own gun by the bad guy. At least, if she had a gun, she had a chance. If the bad guy would shoot her with her gun, he would hurt her in other ways if she did not have the gun. The gun was her chance of safety. Even if she couldn’t shoot the attacker, she was in for a violent encounter. Better she had a chance than none.

  16. Maybe she should have been compliant with him and done whatever he asked right up until he killed her.

  17. “She could have easily hit him with a frying pan ”

    What, has she been reading The Lockhorns…..?

    • Watched “Tangled” too much. But the fire extinguisher suggestion threw me off – was the escapee on fire? Those things are not filled with cayenne pepper.

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