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A Week of Ordinary Heroes

November 18, 2022

I write about armed defense every week. We record the news stories and the discussion on the Self-Defense Gun Stories Podcast. The stories this week were amazing in that they went from typical to something that sounds like an action movie. The common theme across all of them is ordinary people saving lives. As simple as these stories sound, there is a lot we can learn from them. Text of the discussion is at the episode webpage.

Please leave me a note and tell me what you think.

Birmingham, Alabama- Do you have a firearm nearby at night?

You are at home asleep. It is almost 1 in the morning when you’re woken up by the sound of splintering wood and a sliding window. Someone is breaking into the back of your home. You get out of bed. You’re a woman and you decide to bring your gun with you when you leave your bedroom. You see someone climbing into your house through a window. You shoot at them twice and they climb back out of the window. You stop shooting. You back up and call 911.

You ask for the police. You put your gun away when officers arrive, and you give the police a brief statement.

Police also get another call from a gas station several blocks away. There is a man lying on the ground outside their store with a gunshot wound to his chest. Police and Emergency Medical Services respond to the scene. They transport your attacker to the hospital. He dies about two hours later.

You are not charged with a crime.

Katy, Texas- Are your doors locked at night?

You, your mom, and your adult brother are at home on a Friday. You hear shouts outside your door at 11:30 at night. There are a number of voices shouting that they are the Houston Police and to open up the door. Before you get there, two men break down the door and enter your home with guns drawn. They are wearing uniforms and the first one is shooting wildly. You duck. The attacker who is shooting hits his armed partner from behind. That causes the partner who isn’t shooting to drop his gun. You pick up the intruder’s gun and shoot at the first intruder who is still armed. You hit him at least once and he falls. Now the wounded intruder who dropped his gun runs from your home. You stop shooting.

You don’t chase the attackers down the street. It isn’t clear from the news reports which one of you called 911 and asked for help. You put the gun down when the police arrive. The police come inside and EMS declares your attacker dead at the scene. Each one of your family gives a statement to the police.

You are not charged with a crime.

Warner Robins, Georgia- Are you armed when you stop to get your oil changed at Walmart?

You and a friend are at a Walmart on a weekend getting the oil changed in your truck. You hear a child scream in fear. You turn and see a stranger grab a child out of a car and drag the child towards the woods. For a second you think the man is taking the child to the woods so the child can go to the bathroom, but the child keeps screaming. You and your friend run after them. You see the man on top of the child and his hands are around the child’s throat.

You’re armed. You present your firearm and order the man to stop. You and your friend grab the child. The story isn’t clear if you or your friend called for other people to come help you. It also isn’t clear who called 911. You put your gun away when the police arrive. They arrest the child’s attacker. The police take the child into protective custody and take him to the sheriffs juvenile department. The attacker is arrested and charged with aggravated assault and cruelty towards a child.

You aren’t charged with a crime.

Tag- No Shots Fired

Seattle, Washington- Are you armed as you drive for a rideshare company?

Tonight, you’re driving your van for Uber. You are going down a six lane street in the city of Seattle when you see a woman sitting in the center of the road. That doesn’t look right. The woman is sitting in the middle of the highway, but you don’t see a disabled car nearby and the woman looks injured. Other people drive by but you stop. Some of her clothes are missing and what she is wearing is torn and dirty. You’re worried for her safety so you ask the woman if she needs a ride. She gets into your van. A man drives up behind you and starts shooting at your van. You shoot back, and then call 911 and drive onto the highway to lose your attacker. You turn off the highway to meet police at a nearby gas station.

You turned the injured woman over to the Seattle police and Washington state police. She was escaping her abuser who was a pimp and human trafficker selling her for sex with strangers. Police arrested the pimp who shot at you. He was trafficking at least three other women. Your passenger is taken to the hospital for treatment of broken ribs from a beating and a broken leg and broken ankle that she injured as she escaped. Police charge your attacker with multiple counts of interstate kidnapping, human trafficking, promoting prostitution, assault, aggravated assault and drive-by shooting. Your attacker is jailed and held on a three-quarter-million dollar bond.

You aren’t charged.

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