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Good guys (and gals) with guns still out there, as these 12 examples show


The post Good Guys (and Gals) With Guns Still Out There, as These 12 Examples Show appeared first on The Daily Signal.

The tragic mass shooting last month in Lewiston, Maine, sent gun control activists into their typical attacks on the right to keep and bear arms. Many defaulted to their standard narrative that the real “bad guy” wasn’t the murderer, but the Second Amendment and its supporters.

Instead of demanding accountability from the government officials who failed to enforce existing criminal and mental health laws, they immediately demanded additional gun control measures that punish ordinary, peaceable Americans.

Even worse, some derided millions of law-abiding gun owners by asserting that the murderer was just another “good guy with a gun” up until the moment he started killing innocent people. Others mocked gun owners by asking where all the “good guys with guns” were to stop the slaughter.

Comments like these, of course, ignore reality. As is the case in so many mass public shootings, the Lewiston gunman was anything but a “good guy,” and he targeted victims in places where he was least likely to be met with armed resistance.

Meanwhile, the fact that the Lewiston shooter wasn’t stopped by an armed civilian doesn’t negate the many other instances last month in which Americans successfully used their firearms to defend themselves, their loved ones, and even complete strangers from criminal violence.

Such defensive gun uses are far from uncommon. Almost every major study has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times annually, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged. 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.

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 months and years. You also may follow @DailyDGU on Twitter for daily highlights of defensive gun uses.)

The 12 examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in October. You may explore more using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news organization.)

  • Oct. 3, Chicago: In the aftermath of a multi-vehicle crash involving a city bus, police said, a gunman opened fire in the direction of bystanders, striking and wounding a Chicago Transit Authority bus supervisor. A tow truck driver with a concealed carry permit returned fire at the gunman, who fled.
  • Oct. 5, Phoenix: Police said an armed resident fatally shot a man who broke into a residence through a window while the family, including two young daughters, was home.
  • Oct. 6, Bismark, North Dakota: A couple woke up when a highly intoxicated and naked intruder broke into their home, police said. The man claimed he was there to “retrieve his clothing.” The husband held the intruder—a complete stranger—at gunpoint until police arrived.
  • Oct. 11, Shreveport, Louisiana: After a woman’s ex-boyfriend broke into her home while armed with a knife and a bat, police said, a man inside shot him. The intruder, whose wounds weren’t life-threatening, was taken into police custody.
  • Oct. 13, Virginia Beach, Virginia: Police said a contractor for a flooring company was justified in shooting and wounding a man who, during a dispute over construction noise, brandished a gun and physically assaulted the contractor’s co-worker.
  • Oct. 15, Hollywood Hills, California: An award-winning Hollywood hair stylist fatally shot an intruder as he tried to force his way into her home through a window in the middle of the night, police said. The woman’s neighbors told reporters that this was not the first time she’d been the victim of burglars.
  • Oct. 16, Bellaire, Ohio: Police said a man shot and wounded an ax-wielding assailant who attacked him and another woman during a domestic dispute. The assailant was taken to jail on active warrants. Both his victims were hospitalized and treated for injuries.
  • Oct. 19, Auburn, Washington: During an attempted home invasion, police said, three armed and masked men tried to force their way inside while shouting, “Seattle police!” The homeowner fired several shots through the door, sending all three men fleeing.
  • Oct. 21, Wake Forest, North Carolina: An armed bystander with a concealed carry permit intervened during an altercation in a grocery store parking lot that was related to domestic violence, police said. The bystander returned fire when a man began shooting, causing him to flee. Police caught the assailant, who is charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, among other offenses.
  • Oct. 22, Skokie, Illinois: A man attending a pro-Israel rally got out of his car, which was covered in Israeli flags, only to be surrounded by pro-Palestine demonstrators, some of whom physically attacked him, police said. The man, a concealed carry permit holder, drew his gun and fired into the air. Police later determined it was an act of lawful self-defense.
  • Oct. 25, Philadelphia: A convenience store employee fatally shot an armed robber who threatened him with a gun and started taking cash from the register, police said. Other employees told reporters that their armed co-worker had gotten his concealed carry permit and sought out firearms training after surviving an earlier armed robbery at the store.
  • Oct. 28, Atlanta: A man was doing construction work at a residence when he saw a juvenile breaking into his utility vehicle and confronted him, police said. The juvenile drew a gun and fired. The construction worker, also armed, returned fire, striking and wounding the would-be thief.

As these examples demonstrate, far more “good guys with guns” live in the United States than gun control advocates often care to admit. And they successfully protect themselves and others on a regular basis.

Don’t be misled: None of the gun control measures proposed in the wake of last month’s Lewiston shooting likely would have saved a single life. Those measures certainly wouldn’t have been more effective than merely using existing laws to disarm those who, like that mass killer, are mentally ill and dangerous.

The right to keep and bear arms won’t protect every innocent person from every evil, any more than seatbelts will protect every passenger in every car crash.

The Second Amendment does, however, give them a fighting chance.

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