It should be painfully obvious to anyone paying attention that the Biden administration distrusts an armed civilian population and is willing to fudge the truth time and again to defend its untenable positions. But for those living blissfully unaware of the Biden administration’s animosity toward gun owners, it once again demonstrated its animosity in clear terms.

Earlier this month, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security accidentally said the quiet part out loud: It thinks that only the government really can be trusted with firearms, even when the government at issue is notoriously corrupt.

Fortunately, the bureau’s new export regulations—though problematic in many ways—don’t affect the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. They do, however, explicitly push a United Nations-backed talking point that wrongly blames lawfully armed civilians for criminal gun trafficking and insists that guns are safest when in the hands of government actors.

Even if we were to forget the atrocities committed during the 20th century against largely unarmed civilians at the hands of well-armed governments, this line of reasoning would still clash with natural law, which insists that all people have an intrinsic, unalienable right of self-defense.

The reality is that the government simply cannot be present at all times and in all places to protect us from criminal harm, nor should we want to live in a police state where the government has such terrifying power.

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Moreover, when given the option to possess the instruments necessary to defend themselves, their loved ones, and their communities from harm, armed Americans routinely show themselves quite capable of doing so in a responsible manner.

Almost every major study has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times annually, according to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2021, the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the issue concluded that roughly 1.6 million defensive gun uses occur in the United States every year.

For this reason, The Daily Signal publishes a monthly 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 past years.)

The examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in April. You may explore more using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database. (Heritage founded The Daily Signal in 2014.)

  • April 1, Norway, Maine: After hearing glass break at a neighbor’s home, police said, a man armed himself and went outside to investigate. He discovered a would-be burglar trying to break in and held her at gunpoint until police arrived. The woman was charged with attempted burglary and criminal mischief.
  • April 3, Murray, Utah: A man armed with an illegally possessed firearm approached a woman who’d just left a gym and demanded her keys at gunpoint, police said. The woman—a concealed carry permit holder—exchanged gunfire with the would-be carjacker, striking him once. The wounded assailant fled, but he and his getaway driver were later arrested and charged with federal offenses. The woman was treated at a hospital for unspecified injuries.
  • April 6, St. Louis: Police said a woman shot and wounded her ex-boyfriend after he acted as though he had a gun, threatened to kill her, and chased her around the block while her young son looked on from her car. The man had a history of domestic violence arrests and previously had used firearms to threaten her, investigators said.
  • April 10, Hialeah, Florida: A woman’s ex-boyfriend showed up to her home and, after seeing a male friend of hers leave the residence, physically attacked him. Her friend drew a legally concealed firearm and fatally shot his assailant, police said. The dead man’s lengthy criminal history included stalking, harassing, and assaulting his former girlfriend.
  • April 12, Coos Bay, Oregon: A resident shot and wounded an intruder who broke into his home just after midnight, armed with a golf club, police said.
  • April 15, Chicago: When a gunman opened fire on people sitting outside a Greyhound bus station downtown, a concealed carry permit holder drew his own firearm and shot back. The gunman apparently fled and neither the permit holder nor any bystander was injured, police said.
  • April 17, Georgetown County, South Carolina: A man acted in justified self-defense when he fatally shot the ex-boyfriend of a woman at whose apartment he was staying, police said. The former boyfriend arrived at the apartment, threatened to shoot the man, and reached into his pocket for a gun. The man drew his own gun and shot his would-be assailant first. Police were looking for an accomplice, who faces charges of attempted murder.
  • April 20, Terre Haute, Indiana: Arriving home, a man noticed a truck was following him as he pulled into his driveway. When the resident got out of his car, the truck driver “let out this battle cry yell and just floored the gas,” police said. He sped directly at the resident, who tried to jump out of the way. As the truck struck him and his car, the resident drew his gun and fired “about 10 shots” to defend himself, police said. The truck driver, whom police said was naked and suffering from gunshot wounds, climbed out of a window and ran away. Police arrested him after a chase in a stolen vehicle. The resident’s injuries included two broken bones in a lower leg.
  • April 25, San Antonio: In the span of a few hours, two armed residents shot three burglars in two separate incidents, police said. In the first, a resident shot and wounded an intruder who broke into his home. In the second, a resident shot and wounded two burglars after he caught them stealing roofing materials from his driveway.
  • April 29, Houston: Police said that when an intruder broke into the home of a well-known criminal attorney and charged at a resident with a metal object, one of the homeowner’s relatives shot and wounded him. The intruder fled, but the homeowner and others caught and held him in the street until police arrived to arrest him.

The Biden administration may think that ordinary civilians are less capable of responsible gun ownership than government actors, but as these defensive gun uses demonstrate, ordinary civilians have every reason to push back on such unfounded claims.

Time and again, armed civilians like the ones highlighted here underscore why the right to keep and bear arms is so critical to a free society. Even in countries that, unlike the United States, fail to protect such a critical individual right, ordinary civilians retain an unalienable natural right to self-defense.

We should correct false notions that armed civilians are inherently bad and government monopolies on the instruments of lethal force are good—and not bite hook, line, and sinker into authoritarian notions of international gun control.