Self-defense is a main reason people want to own firearms—because a gun gives a person the means to better protect himself/herself and others. Self-defense, is defined in a law dictionary, as the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has reason to believe he is in danger.
Every day we hear about cases involving ordinary people who find themselves victim to violent crime. Many instances the victims were inside their own homes, going to a bank, walking in a parking lot, stopping at a gas station, working inside a convenience store, or driving their car around town.
We also read about armed perpetrators wearing masks to hide their identity, acting crazed under the influence of drugs, breaking down front doors, entering bedroom windows while families sleep inside, rushing into businesses to rob, etc. When innocent victims find themselves faced with danger from violent criminals every second matters.
When your life and the lives of those around you are on the line, that’s the time when you must decide how to respond. That’s the time when armed citizens acting in self-defense can protect themselves faster than the response time it would take for law enforcement to be called and come to their assistance.
More often than not, it’s quite likely that your reaction time will be quicker than the time it takes for any police officer to be there to stop a violent crime as it is happening.
We regularly report on incidents in which law-abiding armed citizens used firearms in self-defense against violent criminals.
A 2008 Bureau of Justice Statistics report called “Criminal Victimization in the United States” listed the percentage distribution of violent-crime incidents and the time it took for police to respond to a victim of personal and property crimes.
- For violent crimes, it found for 34% of the incidents, victims waited from 11 minutes to one hour for police to respond.
- Only for 28% of all violent crimes were police able to respond to victims within 5 minutes (which was the shortest amount of time listed).
This point was underscored recently in the Grand Island Community Police Academy during an event designed to educate the public on how police act in potentially deadly situations. “What we learned tonight was police officers are always behind on responding because we’re general[ly] reacting while the offender is acting,” said Tony Keiper, a police officer in Grand Island, Neb., who participated. “So whenever we’re reacting, we’re always behind what we call the power curve when responding to a threat.”
Which is why it is so important to protect the notion of self-defense—one of the rights bestowed upon us at birth. And it’s one of the reasons the NRA fights for your right to own a firearm and protect the Second Amendment.