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The Armed Citizen® Walkers

The Armed Citizen® Walkers

Walking is not only good exercise, but also a pleasant pastime and even a main method of transportation for many. Unfortunately, those traveling by foot for whatever reason can be susceptible to attack from both two-legged and four-legged “predators.” 

Here are eight episodes where walkers used firearms to protect themselves and others over the past few years.  

Marty Flynn and Ryan Bizarro were walking home in downtown Harrisburg after dinner when they were approached from behind by gun-wielding robbers. While they held a gun to his co-worker’s head, Flynn, who possessed a legally owned firearm, exchanged gunfire with the assailants before the suspects fled. After calling 911, the men arrived home safely while the two suspects were captured by police a few blocks away. Since then, four juveniles have been charged in the altercation and have also been connected with another robbery in the area the previous evening. (Erie Times News, Erie, Pa., 10/16/14)

Dinah Burns was walking her dog on a path near an elementary school when two men approached her with a baseball bat. One of the men said, “You’re coming with us.” Burns asked what they wanted as she reached into her pocket. When the man with the baseball bat came toward her and raised the bat aggressively, Burns pulled out the firearm she carried. She pointed the gun at them and said, “I have this and I’m not afraid to use it.” Both assailants backed off immediately and fled the scene. Burns and her dog were left unharmed, and no shots were fired. “[I’m] very thankful that it turned out the way it did, and hope it doesn’t happen again, but I will be prepared,” Burns said. (The Daily Caller, Lancaster, Ohio, 8/30/14)

Robert Powell was out walking his dog in DeBary, Fla., when a pit bull leashed outside a home broke free and began to attack his pet. Powell, a Right-to-Carry permit holder, drew a .40-caliber pistol and shot the pit bull, killing it. A report by local law enforcement documented the bite marks on Powell’s dog. (The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Daytona, Fla., 4/15/14)

A homeowner in Washington County, Ore., was walking his dog along his property when his neighbor’s Doberman Pinscher approached him and began to attack. The homeowner was carrying a shotgun at the time of the incident, and used it to fell the vicious dog. Following the shooting, Cpl. Nick Markos of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office told a local news outlet, “As a citizen you have the right to protect yourself from injury or harm, even death … In this situation he carried a shotgun with him because he was working on his property and the dog chased after him, attempted to attack him and he ended up shooting him.” (KOIN, Portland, Ore., 3/18/14)

As he was walking down the sidewalk at around 3 p.m., a military service member was approached by a man he did not know. The stranger proceeded to verbally assault him before physically striking him in the head. The attack was reportedly unprovoked. The serviceman, a concealed-carry permit holder, pulled out his firearm and detained the assailant until police arrived and arrested him. (The Olympian, Olympia, Wash., 5/31/13) 

Irene Parker, 78, and Beverly Wright, 43, were volunteers walking door-to-door ministering and distributing religious literature just before the Easter holiday. Parker visited one home where a woman answered the door. Before Parker was able to speak to the woman, a large dog lunged forward from inside. The screen door flew open and Parker landed in the yard. Parker could do nothing but try to protect her face as the dog tore at her flesh. Wright, who was just two doors down the street, ran toward Parker in an effort to help. Wright took a baseball bat from the dog’s owner and swung at the dog, but only caused the dog to turn its attention toward her. Wright screamed when the dog attacked. Two blocks away, Mike Harrell could hear the desperate cries for help. Harrell kept a gun in his truck, so he drove to the residence and immediately took action. Harrell fired one shot, killing the dog. Parker and Wright suffered severe injuries, but after extensive surgeries both women survived the attack. (Tulsa World, Tulsa, Okla., 3/24/13) 

After a dog owner lost control of her pit bull in Lewiston, Idaho, the dog ran off of her property and attempted to attack a husband and wife out walking their dog. Recognizing the threat, the husband drew a pistol and shot the animal, ending the attack. The pit bull was taken to a local veterinary clinic, but later died. Following the incident, Lewiston Police Department Captain Tom Greene made clear to local media, “If you’re in fear of your life, fear of your safety, and there is a well founded fear, you are able to defend yourself.” The pit bull was known to authorities, having been labeled a level one dangerous dog after it tried to attack a woman in 2011. (KLEW, Lewiston, Idaho, 8/14/12) 

A 48-year-old woman and her friend were taking a walk in their neighborhood one morning when they encountered two loose pit bulls, a male and female. The male dog attacked the woman, biting her right elbow and leg. The aggressive dog had the victim on the ground when a neighbor heard her screams. He came outside to assist the injured woman and her friend when the dog reportedly turned on him. When the dog came at the neighbor in an aggressive manner, he shot the dog in the shoulder with his pistol. The dog ran off, but was later found and euthanized. The female pit bull was not involved in the attack and was taken to a local animal shelter. The victim of the attack had suffered a broken elbow and was taken to the hospital to be treated. Neither the woman’s friend nor the neighbor was injured. (The Ranger, Riverton, Wyo., 7/6/12)

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