Social Question

Symbeline's avatar

Are there any good stories about guns?

Asked by Symbeline (30488 points ) July 24th, 2012

We always hear about all the bad stuff, such as the recent Colorado theater shooting. Whenever something like that happens, it’s on the news, understandingly. I’m sure there are countless minor shootings which, of course, we don’t ever hear about. Whatever involves firearms always brings up the same debates; should firearms be legal to own and carry around or not, and so forth.
This isn’t what I’m wanting to explore though, except it can’t be ignored for my question, at least as a factor for my point…there has to be a reason why in some places firearms are legal. I’m guessing the main reason is self defense.
Has there ever been any good stories about guns? Have you ever heard, either on the news, from someone you know, or perhaps you’ve witnessed/participated in it yourself…any story where a firearm was present, and it helped a situation from getting potentially worse? Say like someone who may have been about to get jumped, but got out of it by pointing a gun at the assailants? Or someone who stopped a robbery, or someone defending themselves or their children with the help of a firearm? Those are not very good examples, but I’m sure they can be valid somehow. Maybe it’s someone who fired a shot in the air to alert a group of some danger, or to calm them down or get their attention, anything goes.

I’m looking for stories where a firearm was used, or at least present, and that which was a significant element in something that may have gone really bad if the gun wasn’t there. Situations where no one was killed, or if they were, that it was justified as total self defense? Situations where if people got hurt, it was minor?

Keep in mind that I’m not talking about things like soldiers in a war, or authority figures like the police, but things that all of us, in our lives could experience in the street or in a public place. Civilians with firearms; any good stories?

Debate is always good and welcome, but please keep in mind that this question isn’t primarily seeking to discuss if firearms should be legal or not.

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27 Answers

josie's avatar

How could there be. Even including wars (my only experience other than plinking targets) every time somebody gets a gun out to use it, something bad is happening.

bookish1's avatar

I don’t have any stories, but I’ll be watching this with interest. But, maybe you should have put it in General…

Coloma's avatar

I suppose the gun that took out a 6 foot rattlesnake in my neighbors driveway the other day might have done some good. Maybe this was the snake that bit my cat 3 weeks ago, but, OTOH there are still thousands of rattlesnakes still at large in my hills, just like there are thousands of lunatics out there just waiting to “strike.”
Short of killing extremely threatening predators, human and animal I can’t think of any good guns really do and I have shared enough of my experiences out here in redneck bubba land to know that they, almost always, do more harm than good.

I guess the time some renegade bow hunter put an arrow into the tree above my horse and I on trail might have been a novel way to die. Yep, it is still possible to fall from an arrow in the 21st century. lol

bkcunningham's avatar

People I personally know were involved in this tragedy.

ucme's avatar

Two words…......Death Wish
I know that’s not quite what you’re after, but hell, that’s all I got :¬)

Buttonstc's avatar

There was a story in the news a few months ago about a young widow living out in a fairly isolated area with her two young children.

She had noticed a creepy guy stalking her from a distance for several weeks.

And then one night after some friends who had been over had gone home, this guy along with his friend(s) came knocking on her door with some made up story. She would not unlock the door and told him to leave.

She then went and got her gun (I believe it was a shotgun) and sat in her living room and called 911.

The operator said she couldn’t give her specific advice but she should do whatever she felt necessary to protect her children and the police were on the way.

This guy broke through the door and she had no other choice but to shoot him.

She successfully saved herself and her children. I consider that a success.

But good story is a relative term. Obviously she is severely traumatized and not thrilled about having killed another human being. But he chose to break in and deserved what he got is my opinion.

Her name is Sarah McKinley, 18 yrs old. You can Google her name for the specific details and aftermath. I might have gotten a few details askew but the basics are a true verifiable story.

flutherother's avatar

There are many good stories that feature swords but I can’t think of any about guns.

Nullo's avatar

Lots. The NRA publishes 10–15 per month in the Armed Citizen columns of its various publications. The stories tend to lack the riveting drama of mass killings.

Youtube also has clips from news stories about people defending themselves with firearms.

filmfann's avatar

When that freak in Arizona shot Gabby Giffords and all those other people, there were lots of people RIGHT THERE who were packing. None of them drew down on the assassin. They had the gun, but they didn’t have the mindset or the training.
To me, that speaks volumes against one of the key arguments the pro-gun enthusiasts use.

bkcunningham's avatar

Joe Zamudio, one of the men who subdued Loughner, was armed, @filmfann. He walked out of the Walgreens after hearing the shots and mayhem and was prepared to shoot another person who was standing holding a gun on Loughner while he was on the ground. He told the other armed man to drop his gun, the man told him the shooter was on the ground and Zamudio helped hold Loughner on the ground until law enforcement officials arrived at the scene. Loughner was in the crowd rubbing elbows with people. They were able to grab him while he was reloading. It happened in a matter of seconds.

woodcutter's avatar

Lots of stories of proper use of guns generally die with the first cops on the scene. Sure, they fill out all those reports but unless something really hairy happens it won’t be on TV.

Here is an article from the GOA website * Even anti-gun Clinton researchers concede that guns are used 1.5 million times annually for self-defense. According to the Clinton Justice Department, there are as many as 1.5 million cases of self-defense with a firearm every year. The National Institute of Justice published this figure in 1997 as part of “Guns in America”—a study which was authored by noted anti-gun criminologists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig.(3)

The source is contained in the piece ^ ^

filmfann's avatar

@bkcunningham A matter of seconds? How many? By my reckoning, it was more than 10, and maybe 30 before he had to reload, and someone tackled him. No one stopped him with a gun, but they did hold him while pointing guns at him.

bkcunningham's avatar

He fired 31 rounds. You can unload a magazine in that Glock in something like 15 seconds.

woodcutter's avatar

Protecting anyone but yourself with a gun is a grey area. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. It is not implied that strangers are to be rescued by you. That’s why they call it self defense, not everybody’s defense. If you need someone to save you with a gun then get your own. Or run like hell, if you are able.

woodcutter's avatar

Reloading a Glock using up 15 seconds is a FAIL.

Nullo's avatar

@filmfann Two of the biggest troubles with shooting people are missing and over-penetration. The human body doesn’t offer very much resistance to something like a bullet; with the right range and caliber, the sucker punches right through and keeps going – I’m sure you’ve seen the Kennedy assassination video. Mister Nutjob didn’t exactly care if his shots hit multiple people, but a defensive gunman is right in being hesitant to shoot at someone with a crowd as his backstop. Better to use a baseball bat for that sort of thing.

Successful defensive hand-gunnery often happens in relatively isolated settings. Lots of the Armed Citizen stories are about repelling home invasions, for instance.

Changing a magazine on a Glock shouldn’t take more than about 2–3 seconds.

filmfann's avatar

@Nullo As I said, that disproves one of the key arguments the pro gun lobby uses. I am all for home protection, but if anyone carrying a gun has to concern themselves with over-penetration or missing, maybe allowing them to conceal/carry to protect others is an invalid argument.

Nullo's avatar

@filmfann I dunno about that; you’re not always working in a crowd of innocents without a clear line of fire. The important thing is to use the right tool for the job. I imagine that the concealed-carry classes go into this as part of situational awareness.
I’ve only ever heard the argument about protecting yourself, with the others being protected circumstantially.
A brief bout of Googling suggests that the defensive shooting community is undecided as to which caliber offers the best balance between damage-dealing capacity and bystander safety; most people seem to rely on one of the basic rules, that is to mind your backstop.

I wish @john65pennington were still here.

Buttonstc's avatar

Where did he go. Has He left Flutter altogether or just. taking a break?.

Nullo's avatar

@Buttonstc His profile is gone.

woodcutter's avatar

Hollow point bullets expand upon impact acting as a parachute of sorts. That is why self defenders load up with them, and they also have a greater wounding nature. Solid nose bullets almost always will punch through further than the HP’s. But who can know what kind of SD situation we find ourselves in? It will always be the bad guy that chooses that for us. Most gun exchanges happen within 10 feet so it should be pretty hard to miss, for both. The bad guy will always have the edge because he could care less who else he hits in an exchange. His options are all over the place.

It is not hard at all to get surprisingly proficient in a short length of time with a handgun with females having the edge with the learning curve,sorry guys ,thems the facts.
Everyone who carries has the responsibility to practice often because the skill is a perishable one but one worth having. I like the idea that the bad guy’s will assume all their potential victims might kill them. That doesn’t mean we all have to be armed to achieve that effect just enough to tip the scale of assumption to make their job feel too dangerous.

Symbeline's avatar

John65pennington left quite a while. I have no idea why, but I don’t think he’s coming back. It would indeed have been interesting to hear from him on this subject. (CaptainHarley, too)

Thanks for all the answers guys. There seems to be a bit more positive gun stories out there than I thought. Positive being figurative, but still.

Buttonstc's avatar

I just saw a segment on The Doctors about the unexpected use of a gun which was totally good and saved the lives of three children.

If you want to Google all the details, the mans name is Chris Willden, a former police officer. He came upon an accident scene in which a car with the three kids was submerged in water and attempts to open the windows or doors had all been futile.

He took out his handgun and carefully angled it toward the roof of the car to avoid hitting anybody and shot out the window. This enabled him and the others helping to get the kids out.

He also made it clear that this was a last resort option. Had there been any other way, he would not have used his gun.

Truly a beautiful story and nobody was injured or killed; all because he was carrying his gun (and knew how to use it properly and precisely)

Amazing.

Symbeline's avatar

@Buttonstc Cool story. So without the gun, they probably would not have made it out. Impressive indeed.

Buttonstc's avatar

Yes, they wouldn’t have survived. Two of them were already unconscious at the time he came along and shot the window out.

But fortunately he also had the training to know exactly how to do it without any collateral damage.

But it was really a heartwarming story. Sounds almost too good to be true. But there are tons of write ups and pics about it.

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