Armed Defense — A Time To Wait, To Talk, Or To Shoot

Written by Rob Morse on August 29, 2023

Four news stories from last month. Each of these armed defenders faced a dangerous situation that changed from moment to moment. There is a time when it is best to wait. There is a time to talk. There is also a time to shoot. They are seldom the same time.

The longer discussion of what we should consider, and what we should avoid, is on the Self Defense Gun Stories webpage. There are also bonus discussion points we didn’t get to on the podcast. For now, here are the stories and the links to the original news sources.

How should you protect the people you love?

Atlanta, Georgia- Are you armed at home?

It is 11 at night. Your ex-boyfriend is arguing with you. You ask him to leave. He hits you. You step back and grab your gun. Now you tell your ex to leave. He rushes you and grabs your gun. You shoot him. Now he lets go of the gun. You call 911 and ask for help.

Police take your attacker to the hospital in serious but stable condition.

You don’t press charges. Since he attacked you in front of your children, your attacker is charged with cruelty to children. He is taken from the hospital to the county jail. You are not charged with a crime.

Chicago, Illinois- Are you armed in public?

And here.

You are talking to two friends next to your car. It is after midnight when a stranger comes up to you. The stranger is wearing a ski mask. He pulls a gun and tells the three of you to hand everything over. You own a gun too. Unlike your robber, you have your Illinois concealed carry permit and you’re legally carrying concealed this morning. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker. He runs away into an alley. You stop shooting and call 911. You re-holster your gun when the police are nearby. The three of you give statements to the police.

Police find your attacker nearby. They direct EMS to the scene. EMS takes your attacker to the hospital in critical condition. The police find a gun in a trashcan in the alley.

You find out that you shot your attacker in the chest and you grazed his head. You are not charged with a crime.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– Are you armed as you drive at work?

You’ve almost finished your first day on the job. You are a pizza delivery driver. It is just before midnight when you pull up to your next stop. As you get out of your car, two strangers come out of the darkness. They are masked and armed. They have a gun in your back. They tell you to get in the back seat of your car and they push you inside.

They demand your keys and your wallet. One of your attackers is armed.

You own a handgun. You have your Pennsylvania license to carry. You are carrying concealed tonight. You manage to get out of your car. You shoot the armed attacker closest to you. He turns and runs. Your second attacker is already running and you don’t shoot.  You stay at the scene and call 911 for help.

You put your gun away when the police arrive. You give them a statement. You say the attacker shot at you as he ran. The police find your wounded attacker about a hundred yards away. EMS transported the attacker to the hospital where he was treated for gunshot wounds to his buttocks. The police can’t find your other attacker.

You were on the phone with your brother when you were attacked. He heard everything. The police interview your brother and compare his story with yours. The police compares the number who called in the pizza order and it matches the phone found on your attacker. You call your boss and quit.

You are not charged with a crime.

Chicago, Illinois- Are you armed in public?

You’re walking on the street in a suburban neighborhood. You see the mailman stop his truck to make a delivery. A young man runs up to the mail truck and points a gun at the mailman. He says to hand over the keys. You know the mailman. You walk closer and the robber points his gun at you. You have your carry permit. You are carrying concealed this morning. You present your firearm and shoot the attacker. He shoots back as he runs. He runs back to the car that dropped him off, and the four robbers drive away. You stay at the scene.

It isn’t clear if you or the mailman calls 911. One of the neighbors asks the mailman to come inside and sit for a minute. You put your gun away.

You give a statement to the police. So do the other neighbors. The police look for security video. The office of the postal inspector puts up a 50-thousand dollar reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the robbers.

You are not charged with a crime.

Armed defense is a series of stepping stones. Handle a firearm safely. Learn how to hit a target. Learn how to carry a firearm. Learn the laws of the court, and the laws of the street. Obtain your carry permit, and keep practicing.

Thank you for making all of us safer. – RM