The Supreme Court has spent over a decade quietly acquiescing to gun control advocates at the expense of the Second Amendment. Commentators on both sides of the aisle, however, believe that may change soon.
If Judge Amy Coney Barrett—President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—is confirmed to the Supreme Court, she is likely to provide a vital fifth sure vote in defense of the right to keep and bear arms.
Her brilliant dissent in the 7th Circuit case of Kanter v. Barr reflects not only a faithful adherence to the Second Amendment’s text, history, and tradition, but reasserts the importance that the Founding Fathers attached to the right to keep and bear arms. Every day, citizens all over the country exercise this right in defense of themselves and countless others.
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According to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost every major study on the issue has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times a year. There’s good reason to believe that most of these defensive gun uses never are reported to police, much less make the local or national news.
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 accounts from 2019 and so far in 2020 here.)
The examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in September. You may explore more examples by using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database.
- Sept. 2, Roseville, Michigan: A concealed carry permit holder was ambushed by two men while vacuuming his car at a car wash. The assailants pointed a gun in his face, prompting him to draw his pistol from his hip and exchange fire with them. The permit holder killed one assailant and escaped unharmed.
- Sept. 4, San Antonio, Texas: During an argument, a man grabbed his ex-girlfriend by the neck and threw her to the ground. When the man moved to grab her 2-year-old daughter by the neck, as well, the woman pulled out a handgun and shot him in the arm. Police later arrested the ex-boyfriend, who they said might face criminal charges.
- Sept. 7, Batesville, Indiana: A domestic dispute took a dramatic turn when a middle-aged man began to attack a woman with a knife. Thankfully, the woman’s son came to her aid, fatally shooting his mother’s attacker.
- Sept. 8, Wilmington, North Carolina: A machete-wielding man attacked a gun owner, attempting to steal his gun. When that failed, the assailant grabbed a bystander and held the machete to her throat. The gun owner shot the man, enabling himself and the bystander to escape unharmed.
- Sept. 12, Oregon City, Oregon: In the midst of deadly wildfires raging in her state, an Oregon woman discovered a stranger carrying matches as he walked through her rural property. The woman grabbed her gun and confronted the man, who she suspected was a would-be arsonist. The man told her the matches were for smoking, police said, but later admitted that he did not have any cigarettes. The woman held him at gunpoint until police arrived and arrested him.
- Sept. 14, Des Moines, Iowa: Two armed teenagers approached a small group of people and attempted to rob them at gunpoint. One was a concealed carry permit holder, however, and quickly came to the aid of the others. The permit holder shot both assailants, killing one and wounding the other.
- Sept. 16, Adrian, Michigan: After an 85-year-old man was stabbed to death in a supermarket, a concealed carry permit holder who witnessed the vicious attack was able to catch the killer. She drew her weapon, ordered the man to the floor, and held him at gunpoint until police arrived, preventing him from escaping and ensuring he did not harm anyone else.
- Sept. 20, Spanaway, Washington: When a grandmother found a man breaking into her home, she told him to stay where he was, retrieved her shotgun, and held the man at gunpoint until police arrived. Law enforcement praised the woman’s brave actions. Reflecting on the incident, the grandmother said, “It was empowering. I felt like at least I was in charge. I wasn’t afraid.”
- Sept. 21, Germantown, Tennessee: During the middle of the day in a busy area, police said, three or four would-be robbers attempted to steal a man’s vehicle at gunpoint while he filled his car with gas. The man was able to fend off the robbers by drawing his handgun and firing twice, killing one and wounding another.
- Sept. 22, Waukegan, Illinois: Two armed brothers broke into a home, prompting the woman inside to call for help. A man renting a room in the woman’s basement heard her, grabbed a pistol, raced upstairs, and shot the elder brother, who was holding a revolver. The younger brother began dragging his wounded brother out of the house. The renter retrieved a rifle from his room, confronted the brothers once again, and, after an exchange of gunfire, shot the younger brother too. Both brothers subsequently died from their wounds.
- Sept. 26, Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania: A woman’s boyfriend refused to leave her residence when asked, holding her against her will for about three hours and repeatedly assaulting her. When the man threatened to kill the woman and tried to locate the legally purchased firearm in her home, she fatally shot him. She then fled the home and called 911.
- Sept. 29, Aurora, North Carolina: A man assaulted a family member with a pipe, then followed him as he fled to a neighbor’s apartment for help. When the assailant attempted to force his way into that apartment, the resident shot and killed him.
These examples of defensive gun use in September demonstrate the importance of protecting Second Amendment rights.
They also remind us that taking away a person’s Second Amendment rights is a very serious thing that, as Barrett’s dissent explains, can be justified only under the most serious of circumstances.
Hopefully, Judge Barrett soon will be Justice Barrett, and the Supreme Court will have a reliable fifth vote to secure Americans’ Second Amendment rights against the whims and political power grabs of gun control advocates.
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