Many lawmakers around the country welcomed in the new year by pursuing legislation that would severely curtail the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.
Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens began 2020 just as they ended 2019—by showing repeatedly just how instrumental that right is to the security of a free state.
According to almost every major study on the issue, Americans use their firearms defensively between 500,000 and 3 million times each year. Even if we assume the lower end of this range, it means an incredible number of times that Americans relied on the Second Amendment—not government getting there on time—to protect their inalienable rights.
During every month of last year, we highlighted some of the stories of average, everyday Americans who used their guns to protect their lives and livelihoods from criminals.
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The first month of 2020 provided still more examples of citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights in defense of themselves and others. Here are 12:
- Jan. 1, Dublin, California: A lawful gun owner relied upon his Second Amendment rights to defend his life when an ex-girlfriend and her armed acquaintance assaulted him in his own home. Police said the ex-girlfriend and acquaintance showed up purporting to want some of her possessions back, but instead threatened the resident with a gun. He fired at his two attackers as he fled and called police. The ex-girlfriend was killed, and her acquaintance wounded in the exchange of gunfire. Police determined that the lawful gun owner acted in self-defense. The armed acquaintance was charged with her death under the state’s Provocative Act Doctrine, since he ultimately provoked the violent confrontation.
- Jan. 4, Columbus, Indiana: A homeowner shot and killed an intruder wielding a baseball bat who broke into his home in the middle of the night. The intruder may have been in the middle of a mental health crisis, as the Department of Veterans Affairs recently had requested that local law enforcement take the man to a hospital, but he refused to go. Neighbors reported that, in the minutes before the shooting, the man was seen walking up and down the street in a highly agitated manner, smashing windows and cursing loudly.
- Jan. 7, Pascagoula, Mississippi: A man suspected in a string of burglaries picked the wrong house to break into, at the wrong time. The armed homeowner returned in the middle of the morning to find the burglar in his bedroom. The burglar tried to pull his gun, but the homeowner instead shot and killed him.
- Jan. 10, Dallas: A concealed-carry permit holder was socializing with guests at a home cookout when three armed men attempted to rob them all at gunpoint. The permit holder drew his own handgun and fatally shot one of the robbers. The other two fled.
- Jan. 11, Tulsa, Oklahoma: A homeowner’s son was asleep in the living room when he was awoken by the family dogs barking at a man on the porch. The man demanded to see his fiancée but was told he had the wrong house and needed to leave. Instead, the man broke into the family’s car, then tried to kick in the back door. The homeowner’s son warned the man multiple times that he was armed and would shoot him if he stepped foot in the house. Nonetheless, the man barged inside. True to his word, the son shot and wounded the man, who retreated and was later arrested.