Tag Archive for: Defensive Gun Use

These Accounts of Defensive Gun Use Speak Volumes

It seems that many gun control activists want to take your guns so badly that they’re willing to take your voice, too. And increasingly, the war for the Second Amendment involves battles waged on a First Amendment front.

Just ask the National Rifle Association, which last week needed the Supreme Court to vindicate its right to free speech against New York’s attempts to suppress the gun rights organization’s pro-Second Amendment views.

New York’s unconstitutional assault on a Second Amendment advocacy group was, unfortunately, far from the first time that gun control activists have attacked the lawful gun industry and lawful gun owners by threatening their right to speak freely.

Particularly when it comes to the importance of armed self-defense, gun control activists know that the closest thing they have to a winning argument is a silent (or silenced) opposition. The numbers simply don’t work in their favor.

Almost every major study has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times annually, according to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2021, the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the issue concluded that roughly 1.6 million defensive gun uses occur in the United States every year.

No wonder gun control activists pressured the CDC two years ago into quietly removing those numbers from the agency’s website. But defenders of the Second Amendment should keep shouting the facts from the rooftops, despite efforts to silence us.

For this reason, The Daily Signal publishes a monthly article highlighting some of the previous month’s many news stories on defensive gun use that you may have missed—or that might not have made it to the national spotlight in the first place. (Read other accounts here from past years.)

The examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in May. You may explore more using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database.

  • May 1, Jackson, Mississippi: A woman returned home to find herself face-to-face with three burglars who’d broken in, police said. At least one burglar was armed and shot at the woman, who drew her own gun and returned fire until all three fled. Police later arrested one suspect.
  • May 4, Omaha, Nebraska: Security cameras captured the moment an armed Air Force veteran defended his jewelry store from a would-be robber who used a rock to smash his way inside after the store closed, police said. Footage shows the veteran store owner jogging out of a back room and pointing his gun at the robber, who stands over a display case with burglary tools in his hands. After seeing the armed owner, the robber puts his hands in the air and scrambles back out of the store, the video shows. Police didn’t have a suspect.
  • May 7, Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania: A DoorDash driver with a concealed carry permit exchanged gunfire with two carjackers who accosted him while he made a late-night delivery, police said. The driver escaped unharmed and his assailants fled, though police later arrested a suspect after tracking him down with a K-9 unit.
  • May 9, Portland, Oregon: Two private security officers confronted a man who was “aggressively banging on apartment windows” and tried to get him to leave the premises. For unclear reasons, the man then charged at a bystander and continued coming after him, even as the bystander tried to get away. Eventually, the bystander drew his lawfully concealed firearm and shot the man, wounding him.
  • May 11, Yakima, Washington: A homeowner who fatally shot an elderly man did so in self-defense after the man came onto the homeowner’s property and threatened his family with a gun, police said. The homeowner’s version of events was confirmed by video evidence and witness statements.
  • May 14, Vermillion, South Dakota: Police said a man with a history of domestic violence violated a protection order, forced his way into a woman’s home, threatened those inside with a handgun, and shot at a guest. The guest retrieved his own firearm and fatally shot the assailant before he could harm anyone. Records indicate this wasn’t the first time the woman was granted a protection order against the man—or the first time that he violated one.
  • May 15, Willow Springs, Illinois:  An armed homeowner helped end a police manhunt, detaining a wanted burglary suspect at gunpoint after catching him hiding in his backyard, where his young child was playing, police said. The suspect was one of two men accused of stealing chainsaws and leading police on a high-speed chase that at times reached 120 mph. Police arrested a second suspect outside a nearby school.
  • May 17, Monrovia, California: Police said a man armed with knives showed up at a woman’s home in violation of a restraining order, then tried to stab her and another man inside the residence. The woman retrieved her firearm and fatally shot him. Neither victim appeared to be injured.
  • May 21, Vernon Parish, Louisiana: A woman’s ex-boyfriend broke into the home where she and her children were staying as a way to avoid him, police said. He stabbed the woman in front of the children, then stabbed the homeowner when he tried to intervene. Despite life-threatening wounds, the homeowner retreated to another room, grabbed his gun, and fatally shot the ex-boyfriend.
  • May 24, Farrell, Pennsylvania: When a police officer approached a man outside a convenience store, suspecting he carried a weapon, the man refused to cooperate and started shooting at the officer, police said. A bystander with a concealed carry permit helped return fire at the gunman, who was wounded and arrested.
  • May 27, Taylor, Texas: A homeowner shot and wounded a man who, while wielding a large knife inscribed with the words “hail Satan,” tried to break into his house in the middle of the night. The suspect faces felony charges, police said.
  • May 29, Lehigh Acres, Florida: A county sheriff lauded an armed homeowner as a hero for fatally shooting a man who, in the midst of an hourslong violent crime spree, drove a stolen car to a relative’s home and opened fire at those inside. It wasn’t clear what prompted the man, who had no criminal history, to commit four carjackings before targeting the homeowner.

Examples like the ones above make it easy to see why proponents of gun control are often more eager to use the government’s coercive power to silence pro-Second Amendment views than they are to engage in open and honest gun policy debates.

They rely on a narrative that “good guys with guns” really don’t exist and that armed self-defense is rarely an effective solution for crime victims. But that narrative is only persuasive if stories about defensive gun use are swept under the rug.

Because these stories of armed self-defense speak volumes.

We won’t let them be silenced.

AUTHOR

Amy Swearer is a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Amy on X: .