After a series of school shootings and other senseless acts of violence, 2014 saw a rise in anti-gun activists proposing that limiting access to guns for law-abiding citizens is the pathway to a safer society. At the same time, however, there were also reports nationwide of crimes thwarted and lives saved thanks to the vigilance of armed citizens.
Western Journalism has compiled a list including many of these stories, straight from headlines across the United States.
Two would-be robbers gained entry to a Texas man’s home in October; however, instead of leaving with valuables, both burglars exited with gunshot wounds. One female was able to flee on foot before collapsing a short distance away from the Atascocita home while police found her female accomplice lying on the floor.
A female store owner – and former cop – in Philadelphia was confronted by a knife-wielding criminal during an attempted robbery in June. Sharon Doyle, however, was prepared for such a threat and pulled out the gun she was carrying, shooting the career criminal once in the torso.
“I just did what I had to do to be here,” she said. “That’s it.”
In December, a father awoke to his burglar alarm, followed by the distinct sound of breaking glass. In an effort to protect his family, the Sedgwick County, Kan., man retrieved his handgun and went to investigate.
He discovered the intruder and gave chase, firing at the suspect as he ran away. The subject was picked up by police a short time and distance later. He was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound before he could face charges related to aggravated burglary.
A Washington mother woke up early on Thanksgiving Day to find out who was pounding on her front door. After initially assuming it must be someone she knew, it soon became clear that the individual was a stranger determined to force himself inside the home.
The quick-thinking mother got her gun and fired at the man, striking him in the stomach. Authorities arrived a short time later and took the suspect to the hospital for treatment while they determined which charges to file against him.
The previous week in the same state, three men attempted to break into the home of a couple in their sixties. At least one of the intruders was armed with a gun and another had a knife. They began attacking the couple and attempted to restrain them. When the criminals left their immediate vicinity for a short time, however, the 62-year-old homeowner was able to loosen the restraints placed on him and his wife, grab his gun, and lock the front door.
When the trio came back, he opened fire and struck one of the men. His fellow criminals opted to drive around with their dying cohort in the back seat until he died, which earned them each a charge of first-degree manslaughter to go along with kidnapping and robbery charges.
In March, the owner of a Spokane, Wash., coffee shop was looking for a way to reverse a recent rise in robberies. After being targeted three times by criminals, Sara Chapel decided to expand on a policy already in place that allowed Jitterz Java employees to bring their firearms to work.
At that time, she said the most recent would-be robber was stopped in his tracks when a barista locked the store down and pulled out her pistol. Going forward, she explained, the store would not be open unless someone working was packing heat.
Instead of enacting zero-tolerance gun policies as a way to prevent possible school shootings, one Utah district took an alternate approach. The Granite School District Police Department announced in February that officers on campus will be carrying AR-15 rifles with them to protect students against any potential threat.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom