Monday, December 28, 2009

DGU by 81-Year-Old Man

The Sacramento Bee reported on this defensive gun use.

An 81-year-old man being robbed inside his Sacramento home Saturday evening scared off his assailants when he fired several shots, police said.

Sacramento police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong said two black men in their 20s asked to use the phone at the victim's home in the 6000 block of Hollyhurst Way shortly before 6:40 p.m.

When they were inside the house, the robbers pulled a gun on the victim and proceeded to rob the place, Leong said.

However, at some point they left the victim in a room where he kept a gun. The victim fired a few rounds through a door, which caused the robbers to flee, Leong said.

Authorities said the victim, believed to be by himself during the robbery, was not hurt.

It was unclear if he hit either of the robbers, police said.

No other description of the suspects was provided.

That's a wonderful story of a very lucky senior citizen. But most remarkable is the rarity of this type of incident during the holidays. I've read literally scores of headlines about Christmas Eve and Christmas Day shootings. Every major city was represented as well as many smaller ones.

Some say it's disproportionate because of the bias of the main stream media. Others say it's simply that violent misuse of guns makes for more sensational headlines. I don't believe either one of those explanations.

Some people rightly point out that many DGUs require only brandishing of the weapon and result in no reporting of the incident at all. This is offset by the violent misuse of weapons that don't result in shots fired but are nevertheless criminal.

For me it continually becomes clearer. True DGUs are rare in comparison to gun violence.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. News organizations really like the idea of old people coming out on top in violent encounters. If this had been a 45 year old Ohio man defending himself, would the story have made nationally-searchable news? "Man with gun defends against criminal" isn't newsworthy unless there's something else to make it interesting.

    Meanwhile most of the violence is violent criminals shooting each other.

  2. Sevesteen, That's a good point about the newsworthiness of the DGU incident. Do you think that explains the huge disparity in numbers though?