Armed Citizens

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It was 4 a.m. when Donna Hopper awoke to a stranger attempting to enter her home. When she refused to open the door, the man announced, “I’m coming in!” Hopper wasn’t sure what to do. “That’s when it came to me—I had a gun,” she recalled. Hopper had purchased a .38-cal. revolver just months prior for safety following the death of her husband. She retrieved the gun just in time as the burglar began prying open the window. That’s when she heard the voice of her father, a longtime police officer, in her head: Two hands, Donna. Keep your elbows straight. She opened fire and connected with the burglar on the third shot.


The next day she returned to the gun store where she purchased her firearm to buy a cleaning kit. Shoppers praised her actions. “They all said, ‘Thank you. You’re a brave woman,’” noted Hopper. “I said, ‘No, I’m a scared old woman who just happened to have a gun.’” (The Record Searchlight, Redding, CA, 10/23/11)

The first thing John Chapman did upon returning home to find his front door propped open was retrieve his Taurus .38-cal. revolver. He slowly went upstairs to investigate, noting that drawers in the bedroom had been opened and items were strewn about. An intruder then sprang from behind the bedroom door. Chapman told him not to move, but the intruder rushed at him anyway. Chapman fired two shots. The intruder ran outside and collapsed on the sidewalk. He will be arrested after his release from the hospital. (Charleston Gazette, Charleston, WV, 11/03/11)

Food delivery drivers have statistically one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in America. Whether that weighed on the mind of a Papa John’s delivery driver when he obtained a concealed-carry permit isn’t clear, but he was glad he did when a man stuck a stolen pistol through his car window and said, “What you gonna do is drop off that money.” The driver drew a .38-cal. revolver and emptied the cylinder. The wounded assailant dropped his pistol and ran into a house across the street, where he was found by police. (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, 11/05/11)

Shirley Bennett ‘s boyfriend taught her to shoot following an attempted break-in at her home three years ago. She purchased a .38-cal. revolver, obtained a permit to carry and no longer felt vulnerable to criminals—criminals such as Joe Covington, a registered sex offender who approached Bennett’s SUV in a bank parking lot. “He was hitting me from behind, trying to force me into my vehicle,” explained Bennett. “I said, ‘I got a gun, don’t make me use it.’ I think my heart was going 90 mph.” Covington allegedly continued wrestling with her, so she drew her gun and fired a shot, causing him to run. Police found Covington several blocks away. “I honestly believe I would not be here today if I didn’t have a gun,” Bennett said. (Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, 11/11/11)

Based on a Walmart security video, police believe two suspects waited around the parking lot looking for an easy target. The suspects thought they’d found it when a 61-year-old woman walked to her car with groceries. They tugged at her purse in the shopping cart, but the woman fought back. She drew a .380-cal. handgun and, without a shot being fired, the suspects fled. They were caught by police. “[The suspects] purposely targeted someone they thought was easy prey,” said police Lieutenant John Flowers. “Let this be a lesson to criminals about committing a crime against anyone of any age.” (The Sun Herald, Biloxi, MS, 11/18/11)

Roosevelt Maggett was at home recovering from cancer treatment when a burglar knocked on the door, pushed him over a chair and tried to choke him to death. “He grabbed me,” Maggett explained. “He said, ‘I’m going to kill you.’” Despite his weakened state, Maggett was able to reach for a firearm. “I guess the good Lord gave me the strength to get him up off me,” he says. Maggett fired one round into the burglar, killing him. (WMC-TV, Memphis, TN, 11/26/11)

Those who say there’s no way an armed citizen could stop a potential mass shooting—and may even exacerbate the carnage—should take the following tale to heart. Customers at a Houston, Texas, Denny’s restaurant were eating breakfast one morning when two armed robbers brandishing guns burst into the store and demanded money. One of the diners stood up, drew a handgun and opened fire on the men. The robbers fled the scene. No one was injured. (Associated Press, 11/26/11)

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