In a press conference defending the state’s new restrictions on concealed carry permit holders, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, told reporters last month: “This whole concept that a good guy with a gun will stop the bad guys with a gun, it doesn’t hold up. And the data bears this out, so that theory is over.”
With all due respect to the governor, she clearly hasn’t actually looked at the data.
Almost every major study on the issue has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times annually, according to the latest report on the subject by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just this year, a more comprehensive study concluded that roughly 1.6 million defensive gun uses occur in the United States every year.
For this reason, The Daily Signal each month publishes an article highlighting some of the previous month’s many news stories on defensive gun use that you may have missed—or that might not have made it to the national spotlight in the first place. (Read other accounts here from 2019, 2020, 2021, and so far in 2022.)
The examples below represent only a fraction of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in September. You may explore more by using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)
- Sept. 1, Detroit: A woman shot and wounded a man who ran onto her porch while fleeing from police after a hit-and-run. The woman told police that she felt threatened by the man and couldn’t tell what was in his hand when he approached her. The man was charged with fleeing police, resisting arrest, and obstructing justice.
- Sept. 3, Adams Run, South Carolina: Police said a homeowner isn’t expected to face charges after he shot and wounded a man who smashed a window and climbed into his home in the middle of the night. The suspect apparently had been drinking and doing drugs at a nearby party before he broke in. Police said they found a small bag of cocaine in his possession.
- Sept. 9, Pensacola, Florida: When a would-be robber with a shotgun entered a convenience store, the clerk ran to a back room and grabbed his own firearm, police said. The threat of armed resistance apparently stunned the robber, who told the clerk: “I’m not from around here. … I’m from Chicago, bro,” before fleeing. No shots were fired. Police arrested a suspect several days later.
- Sept. 9, Channelview, Texas: A woman was home with her three children—a 12-year-old and two 17-year-olds—when four armed and masked men tried to force their way inside, police said. One of the teens grabbed a shotgun and fired several rounds at the intruders, killing two and sending the other two fleeing.
- Sept. 13, Chicago: Police said that two gunmen randomly opened fire on a family celebrating a grandmother’s birthday, critically injuring a 13-year-old boy who was returning to the party with his uncle after buying a game at a nearby store. The uncle, a concealed carry permit holder, returned fire at the gunmen, and they fled. The wounded teen was expected to survive, but faces a long road to recovery. Police later arrested two men and charged them with attempted murder.
- Sept. 14, Hyattsville, Maryland: A resident saw a would-be package thief struggling with a Postal Service deliveryman and tried to intervene, police said. The thief then assaulted the resident and chased him into his house. The resident was able to reach his handgun and shot the thief once in the leg, wounding him, police said.
- Sept. 17, Ridgeland, Mississippi: Police said that the owner of a popcorn store shot and wounded a teenage girl who pulled a gun on him while trying to shoplift. The teen was taken to a hospital for treatment before being charged as an adult with aggravated assault with a weapon.
- Sept. 19, Tenino, Washington: A homeowner whose property had been burglarized multiple times spotted two suspicious all-terrain vehicles parked near a storage trailer and alerted his brother, who lived nearby, police said. Armed with a rifle, they confronted two burglars who were breaking into the trailer. One burglar immediately fled, but the second charged at the homeowner and his brother. The homeowner shot him once, wounding him. Police later arrested the first burglar.
- Sept. 23, Collingdale, Pennsylvania: A man was walking to work early in the morning when a car with headlights off stopped in front of him, blocking his path, police said. Three masked individuals exited and approached the man, and one of them appeared to reach for a gun. The man drew his own legally possessed gun and fired, hitting one person in the leg. The three fled. Police later arrested a 15-year-old girl and a 22-year-old man in connection with the attempted robbery. Investigators determined that the vehicle used had been stolen during a carjacking in Philadelphia.
- Sept. 24, Patterson, California: A woman fatally shot an intoxicated intruder who had assaulted her husband while trying to break into the couple’s home, police said. The husband initially tried to restrain the intruder, but ended up being injured in “a significant fight,” police said. The woman saw her husband struggling, grabbed a handgun that she had legally acquired just one day earlier, and shot the intruder.
- Sept. 28, Wichita, Kansas: Police credited the actions of an armed bystander with helping to save a motorist’s life during a brutal knife attack. The assailant rammed a man’s car on purpose, smashed out the windows with nunchucks, then began stabbing the driver as he tried to get his two young children out of the car, police said. One witness drove her car at the suspect, stopping his attack. The bystander then held the assailant at gunpoint, allowing others to give first aid to the badly injured man, police said.
- Sept. 30, Missoula, Montana: A driver was stopped at a traffic light when he saw a machete-wielding man chasing someone down the street, police said. Armed with his handgun, the driver confronted the assailant and held him at gunpoint until police arrived. The suspect was charged with three counts of felonious assault with a weapon.
As these recent cases show, the reality of armed citizens defending life, liberty, and property never has been more relevant, or more supported by the available evidence.
Restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans doesn’t make them safer. It just hinders their ability to protect themselves and others, making them even more vulnerable to attacks by criminals who know their victims are defenseless.
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