At a recent family gathering, my brother-in-law asked a couple of pointed questions about defensive gun uses (DGUs). He was dubious about some recent legislation designed to make concealed carry easier. He didn’t believe successful defensive gun uses were common enough to justify the increased risk posed by increasing the number of civilians carrying handguns, and he wanted to know where I stood on the issue.
When I pressed him a bit, the source of his skepticism was easy to identify. Because he didn’t see reporting of what we call DGUs on CNN or Fox, they must not exist. Otherwise, they’d be headlines, right?
Consider these three examples. The news of these three events all broke within the last week or so. I could have easily chosen any number of others, but these three stories speak to a certain diversity within the firearms community and represent everything we stand for. These are, unquestionably, “good shoots.”
1. Off-body Carry, Kentucky
A woman, leaving a mall in Louisville, Kentucky, was assaulted by a man with a knife. After being forced into the passenger side of her car, and stabbed, she managed to retrieve a gun from her purse. She shot her assailant in the neck. Though he didn’t die, the injury was sufficient to end the attack and the idiot didn’t make it far before he was apprehended.
Good shoot? Unequivocally. Is this precisely the type of incident the opponents of the Second Amendment would have you believe can’t happen, and never happen? Of course.
2. Home invasion, Mississippi
What do you do when a convict escapes prison? The odds that he or she will show up on your doorstep, or in your house are pretty thin. But the fugitive is likely to show up somewhere, and it happened last week in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The escapee, the late Rafael McCloud, broke into a house and tied up a couple and their five-year-old son. When the husband got loose, he fought with McCloud who stabbed him. While some of the details are still hazy, initial reports stated the wife managed to leave the bathroom where they were being held and retrieve a handgun. She shot McCloud and untied her husband, who then shot McCloud again.
Good shoot? I’d say excellent shoot. Why do many of us keep guns in the house? Because we were Boy Scouts, and we took the be prepared thing to heart. We live our lives by the Scout motto. And it doesn’t mean we seek the worst and live in paranoia–otherwise, the Vicksburg homeowner would have plugged McCloud the moment he crossed the threshold. Instead, when the opportunity presented itself in the form of abject necessity, the couple did what they had to do to protect their family.
3. Concealed Carry, Washington
The last and most recent example is that of a humble Washington State man who was in the right place at exactly the right time. When Steven Blacktongue entered the local 7-11 with a hatchet and began chopping on the patrons, one refused to be a victim and pulled a gun from concealment (a gun he was properly permitted to carry) and shot Blacktongue. End of rampage.
Good Shoot? This one is another no-brainer. It was so obviously a good shoot that CNN ran it. CNN! Hell, even CNN sees the marketing potential of “7-Eleven customer shoots, kills hatchet-wielding attacker.“
What does it all mean?
There are a couple of casual lessons here. The first would be the age-old argument about the female of the species. The second is an adage almost as old, which suggests one might consider the practical application of cutting implements when facing an enemy equipped with superior firepower. Rock beats scissors — if you will.
But there’s a bigger message here, and that’s this: law-abiding citizens protect themselves with firearms every day in America. The Second Amendment works.