Make yourself aware of 'The Armed Citizen'Before I begin today’s column — about guns — I promise that in the future I will not beat this subject to death. It seems that just about everything in the news today is about guns and the Second Amendment.
By: Roger Wiltz, The Daily Republic
Before I begin today’s column — about guns — I promise that in the future I will not beat this subject to death. It seems that just about everything in the news today is about guns and the Second Amendment.
I was recently emailed an interesting question by Jerry, a column reader. He read my column that followed the Connecticut Sandy Hook tragedy with interest. I stated that law-abiding citizens used guns every day in self-defense, and these numbers far surpassed the number of tragic incidents. He wanted to know if my statement could be documented, and if data was available to support my point.
I will answer this question with a “Yes” and a “No.” Unfortunately, this data is mired in problems. First, most of our television news, with the exception of Fox, lean in a liberal direction and favor additional gun control. I don’t see them as being interested in reporting a positive gun-related story. Second, many would-be victims, who save themselves with a gun, are hesitant to report it as they fear being in violation of local laws.
Using my father as an example, he decided to travel when he retired, and he wanted to visit all of the lower 48 states. He strapped a holster to the steering column of his car that carried a loaded snub-nosed .38 Special revolver. His car was licensed in South Dakota, and he possessed a South Dakota concealed-carry permit, but he didn’t know the legalities from state to state.
While visiting a California national park, a group of young men — he called them hippies. I’m guessing they had long hair — thought it would be good sport to roll his car down a side hill with him in it. They changed their minds after looking down the barrel of his gun. Dad did not report it as he feared being in trouble with California law. I hope my two reasons for a lack of complete data are valid.
The story of my father has a humorous side note. Along with the gun, dad had a spray can of mace between the front seats of his little Plymouth Horizon. While taking his young grandson, Jonathon, somewhere, Jon picked up the spray can and depressed the spray button. The chaos that followed nearly led to an accident.
While I suspect that some self-defense data that I don’t know about is available somewhere, I do know that the National Rifle Association provides self-defense articles on its website that have appeared in newspapers. On your computer, go to www.americanrifleman.org and click on “The Armed Citizen.” It is full of newspaper self-defense stories, and it is constantly updated. Whether you support the NRA or not, give them credit for making this information available. Let’s talk about an incident that currently appears on the NRA website. It attracted me as I have 12-year-old granddaughters.
The setting is Durant, a southeast Oklahoma town of 16,500 people. Twelve-year-old Kendra St. Clair was home alone when a strange man began ringing the doorbell and beating on the door. Kendra called her mom, who told her to get her .40 cal. Glock handgun, and hide in the bathroom closet. Kendra also called 911. The 911 dispatcher kept in contact the entire time. In the meantime, Kendra heard the intruder break through the back door.
Six minutes elapsed (where was 911?) before the knob to the bathroom closet began to turn slowly. Kendra fired through the closed door. The intruder fled and was later arrested when he sought medical attention at a local hospital for a chest wound. This article appeared in The Oklahoman.
Kendra had amazing presence of mind. First of all, Kendra locked the doors. Great! She did the right thing in calling her mom as well as calling 911. She was also cool in the closet. Most amazing, Kendra knew how to handle the Glock. The .40 cal. is a heavy hitter. She was not intimidated by the gun. This creep picked the wrong house when he broke into Kendra’s.
Questions: Do we keep a readily accessible loaded handgun in our home? Do we tell our children where such a gun is located? Do we train our children in the use of the gun? This worked for Kendra and her mother, but it isn’t necessarily right for all families. A great deal of maturity and mental well-being are required.
When I was a child growing up in Chicago, we knew there was a loaded Colt revolver in my father’s dresser drawer. We knew how to handle it. I saw mom point the gun at a man who was pounding on our back door. Fortunately, he fled.
When our daughters were growing up, we lived in the country north of Wagner. Both Betsy and the girls knew where I kept a loaded revolver. They knew how to load, unload and shoot. Betsy has been reading this over my shoulder, and she just made some thought-provoking observations.
She says that even though the girls knew how, she doesn’t think that any of them would have actually armed themselves. Betsy also says that she didn’t like the gun, and only went along with practicing how to use it to please me. (Am I that intimidating?)
I am not suggesting today that you arm your children and teach them to shoot. Only you know your children well enough to make that decision. I do hope they lock the doors when they’re home alone. I also hope that I answered the question today about available data concerning self-defense.
*See you next week.