Most people will never really need a firearm to defend themselves, but for those that do, nothing else will work nearly as well. Nothing at all. Take the experiences of an 81-year-old man in Arkansas who had been the victim of numerous thefts.

He finally was able to confront one of the thieves, and it almost cost him his life.

The man who was shot in a Southwest Arkansas residence has died.

The 81-year-old who owns the home where the shooting occurred says the man had a gun and was trying to rob him.

“Whoever got the biggest gun and fastest will be boss when it is all said and done. … In this case, it was me.”

And Buddy Cates says he has been robbed a half dozen times in the past 10 months.

“I walked outside the door, and he was standing right there with a big pistol,” Cates recalled. “I had my hand in my pocket on my pistol, and the battle was on.”

Authorities say multiple shots were fired.

No charges have been filed against Cates and two guns were found at the scene, though it does appear they are investigating.

In many states, it would be a no-brainer. After all, if the thief was inside the home while Cates was there, it’s a clear-cut case of self-defense. Hot break-ins are dangerous for the homeowner, after all.

Especially since the 81-year-old man would likely have been fairly easy to overpower and hurt, if not kill, even if the burglar wasn’t armed. Since it appears he was, then what choice did Cates have?

Yet there will, undoubtedly, be those who would look at this case like Cates did something morally wrong, like it’s better to be a victim than victorious. They want people to be blindly slaughtered by those who are bigger, stronger, and more aggressive. They want to make it easier for the wolves to cull the sheep.

It’s not morally superior to be dead than to be explaining to the police how the burglar got the extra hole in him. People have a right to defend themselves, just as Cates reportedly did. They have a right to exist, and they have a right to exist for as long as they’re able to remain on this Earth. While that decision isn’t entirely up to them, they do have a right to do everything in their power to be here for a good, long while.

That includes being able to use a gun to defend yourself.

While it’s easy for someone not in those shoes to say what should have happened, most of those who will claim guns don’t save lives are those who have never thought about how an 81-year-old man is supposed to defend himself against an attacker who is younger and, therefore, probably stronger and more aggressive than he is. How is a 100 lbs woman supposed to defend herself against a 240 lbs rapist? How?

These are answers they won’t answer, or they’ll give glib, short-sighted answers that have no relation to the reality of those circumstances.

The fact is, Buddy Cates is alive and unharmed right now because he was armed. If it saves just one life, right?