The Armed Citizen

As I wrote here, after the Sandy Hook murders I felt compelled to do something, even if it was only symbolic. So, last month, I joined the NRA, the nation’s most effective civil rights organization, for the first time. It turned out that 250,000 others had the same idea, so the organization was backed up for a while. But a few days ago I got my free NRA range bag, and today the first issue of American Rifleman arrived in the mail.

A monthly feature in American Rifleman is “The Armed Citizen,” which recounts true stories of armed self-defense. In this month’s issue, the armed citizens include, among others, “an 83-year-old woman using a walker.” This story is typical:

A 35-year-old woman woke around 3:30 a.m. and checked on her husband, who was working on his computer. The couple was startled when their home alarm started. The woman’s husband checked the surveillance footage on his computer only to discover four masked men working to pry open a window. One of the men carried a rifle. As the woman dialed 911, her husband retrieved his own firearm. The intruders gained entry within minutes. The homeowner crouched behind a sofa and fired. The intruders returned fire before fleeing the home. No one was reportedly injured. The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA, 11/16/12.

This incident is typical in that no one was hit. Anti-gun zealots like to quote statistics to the effect that a firearm in the home is more likely to be used in a suicide attempt or be involved in an accidental shooting than to shoot an intruder. Well, yeah. More than half of all gun-related fatalities are suicides. But the key point here is that guns are used all the time in self-defense without shooting anyone. I believe that various studies indicate that when guns are used successfully in self-defense, more than 80% of the time, they are not fired. When they are fired, it is a safe bet that most of the time no one is hit. So to measure the utility of a firearm for self-defense by the number of criminals who are actually shot is silly. The case described above is typical in that the homeowner drove off four intruders without wounding any of them.

UPDATE: Notwithstanding the storm that rages over “assault weapons,” it is good to see that those who know what they are talking about are entirely unabashed. This is an ad by SIG Sauer, one of my favorite firearms manufacturers, in this month’s American Rifleman. I couldn’t readily find it on line, so I photographed it in the magazine with my iPhone:

The semiautomatic rifle being advertised is a SIG M400, named, obviously, after the Army’s M4 carbine. It is an AR-15 type rifle, and no doubt falls within the class of “assault weapons” that Barack Obama wants to ban. But why, exactly? Well, it looks “military-style,” a term that Obama used several times in his press conference last week. You can tell that by looking at the guy in the ad! So…it just follows, doesn’t it?

The day may come when the childish ignorance of Obama and his ilk reigns, but in the meantime, if you subscribe to American Rifleman or visit the SIG Sauer web site, you can buy an M400. Assuming they aren’t sold out.

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