Joe Milspa, 92, may look a bit frail, but he still gets out to the pistol range fairly regularly. That practice with a 1911 pistol that he’s had for decades came in handy Sunday morning when a burglar armed with an axe broke into his home. Milspa produced his pistol and fired a shot that sent the home invader fleeing for his life.

A burglar in San Jacinto apparently picked the wrong house to break into Sunday Morning. He was confronted by a 92-year-old homeowner armed with a gun.

According to San Jacinto police, the intruder tried to gain forced entry by smashing a door with an ax at a house in the 1400 block of Chase Street at about 11 a.m.

Joe Milspa said he heard the noise and approached the door with his handgun. That was when “he suddenly saw an exterior glass window of the home shatter, followed by the suspect attempting to crawl into his home through the window,” said Sgt. Craig McDonald of the San Jacinto Police Department.

Milspa, who is a World War II veteran and lives alone, immediately fired one round at the intruder. “I could have shot him right in the head between the eyes. But I didn’t want to do that. I would have been in trouble,” Milspa said.

Depending on the source you consult, there are between 300,000 and 3.2 million defensive gun uses in the United States every year, compared to just over 8,500 criminal homicides.

In the vast majority of those 300,000-3.2 million cases, the mere presence of a firearm is enough to send a criminal fleeing the scene. Incidents where firearms have to be fired to be effective against criminals are very rare, and incidents where criminals are hit, much less killed, are even more rare still.

Conservatively speaking, there will be at least 1,000 defensive gun uses in the United States today.

We have a natural right to armed self-defense.

Please be like Mr. Milspa, and train so that you can use it effectively should the situation demand it.