A citizen with a gun stopped a knife wielding man as he began stabbing people Thursday evening at the downtown Salt Lake City Smith's store...Hat tip to Clayton Cramer for this one.
Then, before the suspect could find another victim - a citizen with a gun stopped the madness. "A guy pulled gun on him and told him to drop his weapon or he would shoot him. So, he dropped his weapon and the people from Smith's grabbed him."
Defensive Gun Use
The media often ignores stories where an ordinary person uses a gun to defend himself or his family from an attack. They don't like to report on this sort of thing because it undermines their anti-gun agenda.
While we can't do much about the national media coverage, when these stories do appear (usually in local papers only), we can post them here -- and have the list ready to show people who don't believe they exist.
They aren't just for killing things.
It's a sad world when a sheriff can call on citizens to learn to defend themselves, and get accused by other sheriffs of calling for vigilantism. Self-defense is not taking the law into your own hands. Vigilantism would be going out to hunt down criminals, not defending yourself when they attack you.
A proposal for reasonable force...
David Hardy has a proposal on legislation governing the use of reasonable force. Basically, he wants to allow for introduction of evidence not available to the defendent at the time of their actions, such as the past criminal history of the alleged victim in a breaking-and-entering case. I don't think it's quite right. First, decisions should be evaluated based on what you knew at the time -- If you allow introduction of evidence outside of that time, it goes both ways, and the trial becomes a question not of whether the defendent acted reasonably in the situation as he understood it to be, but whether the alleged victim was actually guilty of a justifying offense (ie, in the course of a felony B&E, etc). That's not fair to either party.
For a good example of where this sort of thing breaks down, consider a typical gang shooting. Career criminal A is on his favorite streetcorner, guarding a stash of drugs, and shoots career criminal B, who is trying to steal the drugs. Both A and B have a string of priors as long as you care to imagine. It would be unfairly prejudicial to allow either individual to introduce the other's criminal history.
I agree there is a certain benefit to the proposal when a career criminal is breaking into the home of an honest citizen, but I don't think that situation usually results in dramatically poor outcomes -- aside from the legal costs of defending charges from an overly-aggressive prosecutor.
A suspect in a fatal shooting Jan. 3 will not be charged with a crime because evidence suggests he acted in self-defense, the Vigo County prosecutor said Wednesday. Suspect Andrew Totten, 39, apparently was struck in the head with a 32-ounce beer bottle before pulling a handgun out from under a mattress before the shooting, Prosecutor Bob Wright said. Niel Walker, 32, died in Union Hospital of a gunshot wound to the abdomen as a result of the incident in a home in the 300 block of South 13 1/2 Street. Some witnesses have suggested Walker began the fight and that he and Totten struggled over the gun before it fired, Wright said.
By way of the geek, we have an account of a multiple-victim public shooting. (Why do these things always seem to happen when gun control is in the news?) What makes this one especially notable is the fact that a concealed-carry permit holder was on the scene, and armed, and was able to engage the killer while the police got their act together.
That hero didn't survive because his attacker was wearing multiple layers of body armor. It's time to end the prohibition on armor-piercing ammunition for the militia. The enemy is starting to wear armor.
I doubt that Mark Wilson actually missed. Two layers of body armor can probably stop most handgun rounds. In return for his heroism he was executed by the killer before the cops got their act together. How many people are alive today because the killer shot Mark Wilson 7 times rather than shoot at unarmed victims?
Another hero is Ron Martell, a military veteran who watched the attacker escape by driving slowly past a police patrol car. He followed the attacker and pointed him out to police when they finally caught up:
The next time the politicians try to work up a scare about armor-piercing ammunition, let's bring up this story. Over, and over, and over again. How many lives would have been saved if Mark Wilson had been carrying armor-piercing ammunition?
Oh, and one more thing. The killer either was, or should have been, prohibited from owning a gun, by virtue of a history of domestic violence and "weapons offenses". It's unclear whether "history" means "convictions", or what "weapons offenses" we are talking about, but this is not a law-abiding citizen who suddenly snapped.
Hat tip: The Geek with a .45, who has been on a roll lately.
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