Defensive gun uses stand as evidence Second Amendment works

AP Photo/Wilson Ring

We write a fair bit about how armed citizens stand as a bulwark against crime. Defensive gun uses are, individually, stories of people using their Second Amendment rights to stand against a criminal seeking to hurt or kill them and coming out victorious.


But we don’t have the time to cover all of them. Some people dedicate a lot of their time to these stories, and God bless them because we need to know about these cases.

Especially at a time when the Second Amendment is under vehement assault.

Over at The Daily Signal, Amy Swearer notes much of this assault, then follows with this:

Almost every major study has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times annually, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged. In 2021, the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the issue concluded that roughly 1.6 million defensive gun uses occur in the United States every year.

For this reason, The Daily Signal publishes a monthly article highlighting some of the previous month’s many news stories on defensive gun use that you may have missed—or that might not have made it to the national spotlight in the first place. (Read other accounts here from past months and years. You also may follow @DailyDGU on Twitter for daily highlights of defensive gun uses.)

The examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in September. You may explore more using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news organization.)

  • Sept, 1, Auburn, Kentucky: A woman fatally shot her ex-husband after he forced his way into her home in the middle of the night, police said. Court records indicate the woman had filed a domestic violence petition against the man two weeks earlier.
  • Sept. 4, Chicago: After an intruder entered a residence without permission, police said, the homeowner confronted him and shot him twice in the chest, wounding him. Police soon arrested a suspect nearby.
  • Sept. 5, Pensacola, Florida: A woman texted relatives for help after her abusive ex-boyfriend broke down her door and began assaulting her, police said. When the woman’s brother rushed to protect her, the intruder aimed a gun at him. Fortunately, the brother also was armed and fatally shot the assailant before he could pull the trigger, police said.
  • Sept. 9, Quincy, Washington: A farmer on his way to a country music concert saw a burglary in progress at a building he leased for his farm store, police said. The farmer called 911, grabbed a gun from his truck, and loaded it. Two suspected burglars approached—one wielding a club, which he dropped only after seeing the farmer’s gun. The farmer held the two at gunpoint until police arrived, and they faced criminal charges.

I’m stopping there because you can start to see the trend already. Every few days, we have a report of a defensive gun use that makes the news and makes it on the list.

I suggest you go and read the whole thing, though, because there are a ton more.

And those are just some of what made the news. It says nothing about the thousands of other incidents where just having a firearm present prevented any act of violence.

The truth is that a lot of bad guys will run at the sight of a firearm. They prefer their prey toothless and clawless. Being able to fight back is something they’d rather not see, so when they find their target selection process failed, they run.

Those don’t make the news, though, because nothing actually happened. An attempted armed robbery only makes the news in the sleepiest of towns, if that, and it’s unlikely those defensive gun use reports are going to make it into many people’s inboxes for inclusion.

That’s a shame, too, because guns save so many more lives than they’re used to claim. Millions of people stand here today simply because they lived in the Land of the Free and had the right to keep and bear arms. They’re still here because they were armed.

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