Clayton's most recent post comes from Houston Texas, khou.com.
It was amazingly fast. Security video released to 11 News showed Iqbal behind the elevated counter, when the would-be robbers rush the store.
Two men with bandanas covering their faces, the leader gun in hand, vaulted over the case.
But in the five seconds that it took, Iqbal was already around the corner in the back, gun in hand.
“I see that guy come in the back pointing a gun. I just started shooting,” Iqbal says.
The two men were just inches apart, arms and guns extended. Iqbal fired three times, hitting 34-year-old Bryan Thorn.
Now that's what I call a legitimate shooting. One bad guy dead, the other got away, store owner and his family, who were in the store at the time, all safe and sound. It turned out that Bryan Thorn had been in and out of prison, a repeat offender. Naturally Mr. Iqbal was not charged with anything.
But, how common is this? Gun enthusiasts claim it's very common. Some believe there are 2.5 million incidents of defensive gun use per year. Even considering that the majority of those incidents do not involve shots fired, the simple brandishing of the weapon, they say, frightens off the would-be rapist or murderer, I don't believe the numbers could possibly be that high.
Clayton Cramer's site, which is often referenced as the unofficial repository of these stories, contains many which I don't think qualify. This one for example, is a case in which the victim takes the gun from the criminal and turns the tables on him. I wouldn't include that on a site dedicated to showing how armed civilians protect themselves. The hero in this story wasn't armed until he took the gun from the stupid crook, a manoeuver which probably fails more often than it succeeds.
Another recent entry was this one, coincidentally also in Houston, in which the store owner shot unarmed assailants, killing one. I had plenty to say about it, basically that I wouldn't consider it as qualifying for a list of legitimate defensive shootings.
But, even if every entry on the Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog were legitimate, how many are there? An average of two or three a day makes less than 1,000 per year. Are the other 2,499,000 all incidents of brandishing? Does Mr. Cramer only publish one out of every 200,000 such incidents?
My opinion is that these defensive incidents are much rarer than our pro gun friends would like to believe. I think our gun friends suffer from the very human tendency towards self-justifying rationalization. My own surfing of the internet, which includes twenty or thirty sources of news, almost never uncovers these stories, while every single site has multiple stories of gun violence. Although not a scientific survey by any means, I think the reason for this is simply that defensive incidents happen at a ratio of 1/100 or even 1/200 of the misuse of guns.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.