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The Armed Citizen® | Iowa

The Armed Citizen® | Iowa

When it comes to Iowa residents’ opinion of their right to keep and bear arms, the Hawkeye State motto—“Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain”—says it all. 

Jerome and Carolyn Mauderly were asleep at home in Bedford when an armed criminal broke into their house and held the elderly couple hostage. The criminal was Rodney Eugene Long, a convicted felon and escaped inmate from the nearby Clarinda Correctional Facility. Police believe Long shot a Taylor County sheriff’s deputy a day earlier, and he was the subject of an extensive manhunt. After being held captive for four hours, Jerome took an opportunity to retrieve a shotgun kept in the home, then shot and killed Long. As an escaped prisoner, Long made a terrible choice of victims: Jerome Mauderly is a retired prison guard. However, Long might not have had much luck choosing another household to victimize in Bedford, as a pair of waitresses interviewed at the local Junction Café during the manhunt explained to a reporter that their loved ones were aware of the fugitive, armed and prepared for the worst. (The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Iowa 08/20/13) 

89-year-old Beatrice Turner was at home in Des Moines when criminal Nelson McAlpine began kicking in her front door. As the door came apart, Turner retrieved her .22-caliber revolver. When McAlpine made it inside, Turner was ready for him and fired a shot, which missed, but caused McAlpine to flee. Turner’s neighbor had called the police after hearing the commotion of the door being kicked in, so as McAlpine fled, the police arrived on the scene and arrested him. Turner explained that the police were supportive of her right to self-defense, stating, “This is a .22. And the police reloaded it for me … I know how to work that gun. I just hope and pray to God it don't happen again.” (KCCI, Des Moines, Iowa, 04/20/10) 

When his wife's ex-husband forced his way into their Fort Dodge home and assaulted him, Dr. Daniel Cole, a medical examiner, retrieved a gun and fired a shot, fatally wounding his assailant. A Webster County grand jury declined to file charges. (The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Iowa 10/15/04) 

An Albia man was shot and killed after he broke into a home, looking for his ex-girlfriend. Monroe County Sheriff Larry Merrill said Ronald Frye had broken through a window in search of his ex-girlfriend, who was in the home. When homeowner Randy Carr came out of a bedroom, Frye fired a revolver at him, hitting him in the stomach. Carr returned fire with a semi-automatic rifle, striking the interloper in the chest. Frye then left the house and when police arrived they discovered he had collapsed next to his truck. Sheriff Merrill said Carr was "justified in using a firearm to protect himself." (The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Iowa 08/28/01) 

"The first one to come through the door is going to get it," said 72-year-old Evans Parker to a pair of housebreakers outside his Des Moines home. Parker shot the first intruder, hitting him in the stomach, but was knocked down with part of a car jack. Parker told them where to find his wallet, but the thieves left it on the porch when they departed, overlooking the money hidden under a flap. Parker vowed to be better armed next time: "I'm going to have to trade my .32 for a .38," he said. (The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Iowa 08/23/90) 

When 89-year-old Bernard Huston heard someone forcing open a door to his Des Moines home, he got his 12-ga. shotgun. Finding an armed intruder in the hallway, Huston fired, and the intruder and an accomplice fled. Police later arrested a suspect at a local hospital where he was undergoing treatment for gunshot wounds. (The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Iowa 03/12/80) 

Drake University coed Becky Moore, 20, knew the rifle wasn't loaded. But the man and woman who were prowling her parents' farm house in Polk County didn't. They fled when Becky, alone in the house, emerged from her pantry hiding place, rifle in hand. (The Journal, Sioux City, Iowa, 12/01/67) 

Near Des Moines, tavern keeper Edward Mercier ran for a revolver kept under the bar and fired one shot at a bandit who slashed the bartender with a switchblade knife after announcing a holdup. The felon was dead when sheriff's deputies reached the scene. (The Herald, Oskaloosa, Iowa, 05/01/61)