On Thursday, Cam ran his ongoing series about unconventional arguments against gun control. In that one, one of the arguments was regarding the sheer number of self-defense cases we see. The individual Cam was quoting talked about how we need to highlight these.
Apparently, Amy Swearer writing over at The Daily Signal also agrees. Over there, she highlights a number of self-defense stories that occurred just in the month of October. Apparently, this is an ongoing thing, tracking these reports month-to-month. That’s good. It gives us a solid place to look where we can highlight these stories and share them so that people understand just how common it is.
However, we shouldn’t lose sight of another important fact: These represent only a fraction of the self-defense stories out there.
You see, for a story to make a headline, it has to first be reported to the police. It then has to pique the interests of a journalist or editor to warrant a report being written and published.
Not everything gets to that point.
First, sometimes a self-defense situation happens and it doesn’t warrant someone calling the police. Maybe a guy with a knife demands your wallet, but you draw a firearm and he runs. It was dark, and you can’t really offer a description–all you saw was a figure demanding your wallet and the gleam of light off the steel of the blade–so you decide not to bother calling the police. After all, they might make your life difficult because you’re carrying a firearm.
No one wants that kind of hassle.
Further, what if you’re shooting at a wild animal in a rural area? Something like a coyote represents a real threat to not just livestock but pets and humans, as well. Using a firearm against them may well be an act of self-defense. However, are you going to call the police over it? Of course, you’re not. Yet this represents a clear case of using a firearm in self-defense, something anti-gunners routinely ignore when it comes to the gun debate.
Now, let’s say you do call the police. You call the police about the guy with the knife. They come out and take your statement. Because you don’t have a description of the guy, there’s not much they can do. The report is filed and the media never hears about it.
Or, maybe a journalist does hear about it. However, he recognizes there’s not much of a story there so he doesn’t go deeper.
Honestly, there are a lot of reasons why we don’t hear about more self-defense stories. Those that we do have are precious, and I also encourage you to share those stories every chance you get. That’s why we write them, after all.
But you also need to be prepared to debate whether those stories represent sufficient reason to not infringe on our constitutionally protected rights. That’s going to happen too. It’s good to have ready answers.
For what it’s worth, I have used a firearm in a self-defense situation. I never fired a shot, and while I did call the police, no report was filed. None of those stories were about me, nor would there be. I’m fine with that myself. However, I know how a defensive gun use can slip under the radar.
Don’t let someone pretend those self-defense stories didn’t happen.