For many people, Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer. But wise armed citizens know two things for certain: First, that neither criminals nor our rights take a holiday—and secondly that sometimes the judicious use of the latter can thwart the former without a single press of the trigger. Here are five accounts of armed citizens who defended themselves without firing a single shot just last summer.
An armed man entered the convenience store at the Obama gas station in Richland County, S.C., and attempted to rob the store. The clerk on duty responded to the threat by retrieving a gun. Upon meeting armed resistance, the armed robber fled the scene. The gas station was renamed after the 44th president of the United States in 2011. (WIS, Columbia, S.C., 08/29/16)
While it’s fairly well known that you shouldn’t bring a knife to a gun fight, a criminal in Knoxville, Tenn., recently learned the lesson firsthand. Officers are now searching for a man who tried to rob a store with a knife, and who was quickly dispatched by an employee carrying a firearm. Knox County sheriff’s deputies told ABC affiliate WATE that the suspect entered Danny’s Market earlier this week, approached a customer at the counter, then held a knife to her throat while telling the store clerk to hand over money. Instead, the employee pulled out his handgun. At that point, the suspect backed out of the store using the customer as a shield before taking off on foot. A bystander gave chase, but eventually lost track of the criminal, who eyewitnesses described as a white male in his late 20s or early 30s with a stocky build, and who kept his face covered throughout the robbery attempt. (WATE, Knoxville, Tenn., 08/29/16)
A man and woman were asleep at home in Sevier County, Tenn., when they were awakened by the sound of someone kicking in their door. The male resident retrieved a gun, confronted the home invader, and was able to hold the intruder at gunpoint until police could arrive. The home invader faces a litany of charges, including drug possession and gun possession during a violent felony. (WATE, Knoxville, Tenn., 08/23/16)
Two sisters, ages 12 and 13, were by themselves in their home in Snow Camp, N.C., when three men approached the house and knocked on the door. The older sister did not recognize the men, prompting her to retrieve her father’s rifle. Eventually, the men went to the back of the home and broke in through another door. Once the men were inside, the armed teen leveled the rifle at them. Upon meeting armed resistance, the home invaders fled. Following the incident, a neighbor praised the girl for her actions, telling a reporter, “To have had that kind of thoughtfulness going on in a time of crisis in her head to where that's what she did, instead of running and hiding. She probably stopped something major from going on.” (WFMY, Greensboro, N.C., 07/24/16)
A realtor was going into a home in Jonesboro, Ark., that she had shown several times when she happened upon three intruders, one of whom was passed out on a bed. The realtor responded to the threat by drawing a gun and holding one of the intruders at gunpoint until police could arrive. The other two criminals fled the scene. When police arrived and arrested the formerly passed-out intruder, he became aggressive, threatening to kill one of the officers. (KAIT, Jonesboro, Ark., 07/18/16)
A grandmother was at home alone in Boynton Beach, Fla., when a man began banging on her door. The grandmother responded by retreating to a bedroom and arming herself with a handgun. Eventually the man and two accomplices broke through the door and entered the home. However, upon seeing the armed grandmother the home invaders fled. Following the incident, the grandmother told a local news outlet, in relation to having the handgun, “I think it's wonderful. I think it's the only thing that saved me. It was my Godsend. I don't know what I would've done without it. I've never experienced anything like that before in my life. It was horrible, to have three strangers in your house and ransacking it. I was very angry. It's like, how dare you do this! You know, this is our home.” (WPEC, West Palm Beach, Fla., 06/29/16)