August 3, 2012

Gunslingin' Grannies

Hatched by Sachi

Another law abiding citizen defended her ground (store, actually) against masked gunmen. In the past, it was difficult to learn much about cases like this, since the mainstream media never covered it. The only source of information was your local news; and as far as news coverage was concerned, living in another county was like living on another planet.

But thanks to talk radio, internet news feeds, news sites, blogs, and occasionally Fox News Channel, we are no longer hindered by distance or dismissal. We can read, hear, or see the local news from "far-away places with strange-sounding names." But this time, the gun defense happened in southern California -- local for Big Lizards! -- in my old stomping ground of Garden Grove:

A 65-year-old woman fired two rounds from a handgun at five masked men after they attempted to rob her jewelry store in Garden Grove, Calif. on Sunday. Her shots sent the men fleeing in such a panic that they literally tripped over each other trying to exit the store, KTLA reports.

In fact, the would-be robbers were in such a frenzy from her gunfire that their white getaway SUV actually left three of the suspects behind. They were later picked up [by the SUV] roughly a block and a half away.

Few are aware that it's not uncommon for citizens to defend themselves successfully with guns, as John R. Lott has cataloged; in his 1998 book More Guns, Less Crime, he estimated (p.19) between 760,000 and 3.6 million defensive gun uses per year; that number must surely have grown significantly in the intervening fourteen years. (The book was updated in 2010 and may have more recent estimates than our old copy.)

As a matter of fact, the day after this incident, yet another jewery store owner a few blocks away in Westminster shot a would-be armed robber in his face. (The police think the Westminster thieves might be the same ones the Garden-Grove police failed to apprehend the day before.)

Police determined that both store owners acted in self defense; nevertheless, they have a tut-tutting word of advice:

[The Garden Grove police] caution store owners about defending themselves with guns.

What should we use -- Nerf balls? Wham-O Air Blasters? I guess they mean we should submit meekly and hope that help arrives in time. But as the expression goes, "When seconds count, police are just minutes away!"

Hatched by Sachi on this day, August 3, 2012, at the time of 7:26 PM

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