Monday, August 5, 2019

The Other Side of Gun Control

Survivor of brutal home invasion speaks about gun control

Foster Coker III, his wife, Pam, and their seven-year-old grandson survived a shock attack inside their home.  The Jacksonville, Florida family were innocent victims targeted by a gang of felons that called themselves the “Cutthroat Committee.”  Both Foster and Pam suffered permanent injuries in the assault and their grandson was forced to live with the trauma.  There is one reason the family is still alive and that is because they were able to get their guns and finally dispatch the assailant.

After the home invasion, Foster wrote his thoughts about gun control.  Here is the article:

“On August 15, 2014, my wife, Pamela Howell Coker, my grandson, and I were targeted in a ruthless home invasion.  Four people took part in the planning and execution of the cowardly crime, including three convicted felons.

“They came up with their plan while driving ar0und the night before in a stolen car.  There is a law against driving around in a stolen car, but they ignored it.

“During this planning session, certain drugs were consumed.  There is a law against using these drugs, but they ignored it.

“When it came time to invade our home, they jumped the privacy fence into our back yard.  There is a law against trespassing, but they ignored it.

“One of the criminals proceeded to kick in our back door and enter our home.  There is a law against doing this, but he ignored it.

“This criminal was armed with a stolen handgun.  There is a law against possessing stolen property, but he ignored it.

“The criminal, as mentioned, was already a convicted felon.  There is a law against convicted criminals possessing firearms, but he ignored it.

“Once inside, the criminal attacked my wife, knocking her down on a hardwood floor and causing severe injuries.  There is a law against physically attacking people, but he ignored it.

“When I came to my wife’s defense, the criminal repeatedly pistol-whipped me.  There is a law against assaulting someone with a deadly weapon, but he ignored it.

“Because of our Second Amendment rights, my wife and I were able to arm ourselves.  This resulted in an exchange of gunfire with the criminal.  His bullet grazed my head and came within an inch or two of killing me.  There is a law against trying to murder someone, but he ignored it.

“So don’t tell me how some new gun law is going to make anyone safer.  Laws affect only one part of the population…law-abiding citizens.  Criminals, by their very definition, ignore any and all laws as they see fit.

“Limiting the kinds of weapons or ammunition the general public can implement in the defense of their own lives from criminal trash like the ones we had to deal with only helps make the criminals’ tasks easier.”



Reprinted with permission of Foster Coker III.  For a detailed description of this case, read the chapter, “Demise of the Cutthroat Committee” in Guns and Self-Defense: 23 Inspirational True Crime Stories of Survival with Firearms.    

Saturday, August 3, 2019

New Review of Guns and Self-Defense

Guns and Self-Defense: A Study of Real-Life Personal Protection


Guns and Self-Defense: 23 Inspirational True Crime Stories of Survival with Firearms is a new book by Robert A. Waters and Sim Waters. The authors describe 23 cases involving ordinary citizens who used their defensive firearms to survive criminal attacks. As the authors point out, these self-defense success stories are rarely covered by the national media because they don’t fit the media’s bias.

Besides reading 23 stories in which the bad guys lose, defensive shooters can pick up some pointers by carefully studying each story. One of the learning points that immediately caught my attention was the number of home invasion cases where the victims had to run to other parts of the house to retrieve their firearm. Several of these folks sustained serious injuries before they could arm themselves and fight back. It makes a good case for keeping the firearm on your person while at home or possibly having a gun stashed in every room. Because the home invasion is usually quite dynamic and very violent, the citizen may not have time to wander off into another room and collect that defensive firearm.

On the other hand, there are several cases of citizens being alert enough to suspect trouble and take appropriate action while there was still time. These examples make it clear that, whether we are in our homes, place of business or out on the street, being alert is a key factor in surviving a criminal attack.

I also found it interesting to read about one of the attacks being survived by proper deployment of a .410-bore revolver. These guns have become fairly popular, and I have been curious about their use in defeating a criminal attack.

Another obvious fact is that the attack can occur anywhere, at home, at work or on the street. One victim had pulled into her own driveway, getting home after work, when confronted. Because she was alert to suspicious activity around her, she prevailed and survived.

Robert A. Waters is the author of five books that cover citizen’s use of defensive firearms to defeat criminals. This is the first book, however, that includes his son, Sim Waters, as co-author. Guns and Self-Defense can be ordered from Amazon or
www.robertwaters.netI have found that Waters’ books are interesting reading as well as being a good study guide for the armed citizen. I will be using some of these incidents as training illustrations in a team-tactics class that I am sponsoring at Gunsite Academy in spring 2020.


Reprinted by permission of the author.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Review of Nittany Nightmare: The Sex Murders of 1938-1940 and the Panic at Penn State


Book Review by Robert A. Waters 

By Derek J. Sherwood 

On December 13, 1938, nineteen-year-old Margaret Martin received a phone call from a stranger.  He said he needed a stenographer for an insurance company he was starting and offered her the job.  Margaret, a recent graduate from Wilkes-Barre Business College, agreed to meet him in downtown Kingston, Pennsylvania.  Jobs were tough to come by in the Depression, so she seemed downright giddy as she left home.  But within hours, Margaret was dead, having been kidnapped, tortured, raped, and murdered.  The Pennsylvania Motor Patrol took charge of the investigation but never developed any real leads.  The crime is still unsolved.

On March 28, 1940, seventeen-year-old Rachel Taylor disembarked from a Greyhound bus to return to her dorm at Pennsylvania State College (now Pennsylvania State University).  It was a cold, raw night with drizzling rain and few people about.   Rachel never made her destination.  Her body was found the next morning, battered to death.  Again, the Pennsylvania Motor Police investigated.

Both cases received extensive coverage by local and state media even though college administrators, fearful of a drop in enrollment, did their best to hush up the Taylor murder.  The parents of both girls, eager for justice to be served, continued hounding police for years.  In the end, however, neither case was solved.

Nittany Nightmare describes the futile search for the killer (or killers) of Martin and Taylor.  Over the next few years, additional rapes and murders plagued the area  and taxed the capacity of detectives.  Most would remain unsolved.  Police suspected one killer may have committed all the crimes.

Set among the backdrop of Penn State football, state politics, and a then-backward law enforcement agency that later became the renowned Pennsylvania State Police, Sherwood’s tale includes many strange characters and weird circumstances.  It is at once a local history of Happy Valley and its surroundings, a compendium of the growth of Penn State football into the dynamic team it became, and a grouping of strange true crime mysteries.  Some readers may wonder how these disparate entities became entwined in one volume, but believe me, it works.

Before the term serial killer was coined, before DNA, before surveillance video and modern crime-solving techniques, investigators struggled to identify the man they suspected was a lone phantom killer.

Nittany Nightmare is my kind of book.  Buy it and read it—I think you’ll enjoy it, too.  

Sherwood is author of the popular book, Who Killed Betsy?: Uncovering Penn State’s Most Notorious Unsolved Crime.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Book Review - Guns and Self-Defense: 23 Inspirational True Crime Stories of Survival with Firearms

Book review by Dr. Michael S. Brown

Sitting in a place of honor on my bookshelf is a copy of The Best Defense, written by Robert Waters in 1998. This classic describes fourteen cases where ordinary citizens used guns to save their lives from violent attackers. I’ve kept it around as a reminder to stay vigilant and to occasionally loan to friends who don’t think guns are ever used for self-defense.

Waters’ new book is Guns and Self-Defense, which he co-wrote with his son Sim Waters, who has a degree in criminology. This time, he chronicles twenty-three dramatic tales of armed self-defense.
Like the now nearly extinct crime reporters of the newspaper era, he combines information from police reports and court records with victim interviews to tell the entire story in an engaging short form. He always lists the types of guns involved, how many shots were fired, how many scored hits and even where misses ended up.
Unlike the mainstream media I often ridicule, Waters is not a prisoner of the 24-hour news cycle. The information he collects, sometimes several years after the fact, has had plenty of time to crystallize into an accurate record that includes trial results, prison terms and the lasting effects on victims.
Waters does not have to add the drama. The stories are so intense that he can stick to a matter-of-fact style and you will still find yourself obsessively flipping the pages.
Only one of these twenty-three incidents made it to the national media, it was one of two in the book that involved armed citizens coming to the aid of police officers who were being beaten to death by a crazed criminal.
Looking at the other twenty-one stories, it’s easy to see patterns that might be of use to the average citizen contemplating self-defense or to those involved in the gun control debate.

  1.  Almost all of these attacks on unsuspecting people involved substance abuse in some way.  Either the attackers were flying high on drugs like alcohol, cocaine and meth, or they were trying to get money to buy drugs.
  2. Criminals can be extremely vicious and care nothing about the damage they inflict on others.  Many of the victims suffered life-altering injuries as well as lasting emotional trauma.
  3. Violent criminals, much like predators in the animal world, prefer easy prey.  Most of these victims were women, elderly or physically handicapped people at home.  The few who were not tended to work in convenience stores or high value targets like stores dealing in jewels and precious metals.
  4. All guns involved were handguns, except for a shotgun wielded by a woman home alone.
  5. Many of the handguns used for effective defense were cheap weapons that are accessible to low wage earners and have sometimes been targets of gun control efforts.
  6. Since most of the assailants were drug-enhanced and were only shot with handguns, they often had to be shot more than once.  So if you have time, reach for a long gun.
  7. Few of the defenders had much training, if any. Yet they all survived, and did not shoot any innocent bystanders.
  8. None of the guns used for defense were locked up. Due to the speed, shock and ferocity of the attacks, the victims would have been unable to deal with locks.
  9. Violent predators often work together in armed gangs that may require defenders to fire many shots to end the attack.
  10. All but one of the attackers had a long criminal history marked by repeated prison terms with early release.  Some were on parole or on bail awaiting trial at the time.
  11. The underlying explanation for these violent assaults is that society does not deal effectively with the three main causes:  drugs, gangs and mental illness.
  12. Criminals choose the time and place of their attack both to achieve surprise and avoid law enforcement, so prudent citizens must be prepared to defend themselves anytime, anywhere.

Anyone who is interested in keeping a gun for protection would do well to read this book while keeping some things in mind.
The commonly accepted theory is that most criminals will flee at the sight of a gun, but Waters understandably selected only incidents in which victims actually shot their attackers and lived through the experience. While this doesn’t give a statistically accurate picture, it serves as an excellent reminder that you had better be mentally prepared in advance to shoot to save yourself and your loved ones. Just displaying a gun is not always enough.
Another thought is that criminals who actually need to be shot are likely the most unhinged and violent examples of the species and will probably need to be shot more than once.  Some of the most dangerous hunt in packs. Owning a gun with a large magazine seems like a common sense choice and owning more than one if you can afford it is probably a good idea.
It almost goes without saying that you should make a household emergency plan, practice with your firearm(s) and seek training as possible.
After reading Guns and Self-Defense, the wise reader will likely wonder why compelling and inspiring stories like this so rarely make it into the national news stream. I believe they are suppressed because they belie the standard media narrative that ordinary people have no need for defensive firearms.
Why else would such riveting, life-and-death dramas be ignored? Almost any of them could be easily turned into a profitable made-for-TV movie or at least a 60 Minutes segment if our media were not so biased and agenda-driven.
After reading this book, I discovered another in this series published just a few months earlier titled: Guns Save Lives that includes 22 events.  If you follow defensive gun use news on the internet, you know there is an inexhaustible supply of such stories. 

Dr. Michael S. Brown is a pragmatic Libertarian environmentalist who has been studying the gun debate for three decades and considers it a fascinating way to learn about human nature and politics.
This article originally appeared at drgo.us and is reprinted here with permission. 

Monday, July 15, 2019


Catch-22 at the Food Mart
by Robert A. Waters

It’s a crapshoot, a dilemma for many store clerks.  Should I arm myself even though my employer insists his store must be a gun-free zone?

That decision can mean life or death.

The New York Times once wrote that convenience store clerks have the second most dangerous job in America (behind cab drivers).  Every day proves the Times right.

Last month in Houston, Se Young Lee complied with three masked robbers who targeted the ExxonMobil gas station and convenience store where he worked.  Lee opened the cash register so they could take the money, then held his hands in the air.  They murdered him anyway.

Trisha Stull, clerk at a Sunhouse food mart in Conway, Texas, handed over the day’s receipts to three robbers.  As they left the store, one robber turned and shot her dead.  Just three weeks before, the gang had murdered another compliant store clerk, Bala Parachuri.

In Kelso, Washington, Kayla Chapman died during a late-night robbery at Holt’s Quik Chek.  Even though she gave cash and cigarettes to the robbers, it didn’t stop them from gunning her down.

The following case might have ended the same way.

While working the graveyard shift in a Portland, Orgeon Plaid Pantry [convenience store], Kristopher Follis made a decision that cost him his job.  A robber, his face covered, entered and pulled a hatchet from his pocket.  After the assailant demanded money, Follis, a concealed carry permit holder, retrieved his handgun.  Holding the firearm in the air, Follis demanded that the robber get on his knees and wait for police.  The thief laid his weapon on the counter, apologized, then fled.

Although no shots were fired, Follis was quickly terminated.

Most chain convenience stores have policies against keeping firearms on the premises.  The Oregonian newspaper reported that Plaid Pantry CEO Jonathan Polonsky said in a statement that ‘in the event a robbery does occur, the focus shifts entirely to non-resistance, cooperation, and violence avoidance for the safety of our employees and customers.’”

In other words, the CEO wants his frontline employees to take a chance they won’t be assaulted or murdered.  As stated above, it’s a crapshoot, with clerks being caught in the crosshairs of company policy or common sense.

Follis told reporters he hated losing his job.  But he added, “I would rather get fired over something like that than possibly be in the hospital dying.”

Thousands of compliant clerks have been murdered by ruthless killers.  Here are two examples from my blog:

Linda Raulerson, a Lake City, Florida clerk at Joy American Foods, handed over the cash register tray to an armed robber, then was shot to death.  Video surveillance showed that she complied and offered no resistance.  Her killer has never been caught.

Lee Ann Larmon, working the graveyard shift at the Presto convenience store in Hernando County, Florida, was kidnapped, raped, tortured, and murdered by two losers, Todd Mendyk and Phillip Frantz.


Robert A. Waters and Sim Waters are authors of Guns and Self-Defense: 23 Inspirational True Crime Stories of Survival with Firearms.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Dial 9-1-1 and Wait...
by Robert A. Waters

It's  2:20 A. M., on April 22, 2019. A 38-year-old homeowner dials the King County, Washington emergency services. The resident, never identified by cops, has called to report that someone broke out a window and entered his home. He tells the dispatcher he’s hiding in his upstairs bedroom closet with a handgun. During much of the conversation, the terrified homeowner speaks in a near-whisper. In the background, loud crashing noises can be heard as the intruder overturns furniture and empties drawers.

The call lasts for 12 minutes. During that time, the dispatcher continually assures the resident that officers will be there soon. At the four-minute mark, as officers are “still on their way,” a barrage of gunfire is heard. The following is a partial transcript of the call.

Dispatcher: 9-1-1. What are you reporting?

Homeowner: (Labored breathing.) My house is getting robbed…(Inaudible.)

Dispatcher: What address are you at?

Homeowner: (Gives address, later redacted.)

Dispatcher: Do you see someone inside?

Homeowner: Yeah, he’s inside right now.

(Crashing sounds.)

Dispatcher: Okay, where are you?

Homeowner: In the bedroom.

Dispatcher: Are you armed?

Homeowner: Yeah, I have a gun.

Dispatcher: You’re at the house. Correct?

Homeowner: Yeah.

(Continued crashing sounds.)

Dispatcher: Okay, is that crashing I hear behind you—is that them?

Homeowner: What’s that?

Dispatcher: Is that crashing I hear behind you? Is that them?

Homeowner: Yeah. (Inaudible.)

(More crashing.)

Dispatcher: Okay. And you’re upstairs?

Homeowner: Please hurry!

Dispatcher: Do you have any further description on…(inaudible), correct?

Homeowner: I don’t.

Dispatcher: What color is your house?

Homeowner: It’s green.

Dispatcher: How many stories?

Homeowner: Two.

(The homeowner seems to be getting more nervous as the crashing sounds move closer. His breathing seems shallower, and his voice is close to a whisper.)

Dispatcher: Okay. How many vehicles should be in front?

Homeowner: I don’t know. I…

Dispatcher: Okay. What’s the color of your vehicle?

Homeowner: It’s a red truck.

Dispatcher: Okay. You have any other vehicles there, right?

Homeowner: Hyundai. Silver Hyundai.

Dispatcher: Okay. You’re sure there’s no other vehicles there, right?

Homeowner: (Inaudible.) Silver Hyundai.

Dispatcher: Bear with me. Got officers on the way. Okay? Do you live with anyone else?

Homeowner: No. I’m by myself.

(Crashing sounds are getting much closer.)

Dispatcher: Are you able…Do they know you’re there?

Homeowner: (Whispering. Unintelligible.)

Dispatcher: Okay. Stay quiet, okay? Keep yourself safe.

(All is silent for more than 30 seconds, except for the dispatcher typing and the crashing sounds. Officers still have not arrived after nearly three minutes. The homeowner seems reluctant to speak as he senses the intruder getting closer.)

Dispatcher: (Inaudible…) Stay with me.

Homeowner: (Whispering.  Inaudible.)

Dispatcher: He just broke out a window? (Pause.) Okay. We’ve got officers on the way, okay? Can you tell how many people are there?

Homeowner: Two.

Dispatcher: Okay. Can you still hear them?

(Long pause.)

Dispatcher: Is your door locked?

(Silence.)

(Four minutes into the call, cops have not arrived.)

(Suddenly, five loud, echoing gunshots ring out. These are followed by a moment of silence, then three more shots.)

Dispatcher: Oh my God!

(A man is moaning.)

Dispatcher: Can you hear me?

(For nearly two minutes the homeowner is silent. There are moans. The dispatcher continues to try to contact the resident.)

Dispatcher: Can you hear me?

Homeowner: Where are you?

Dispatcher: Okay. We’ve got officers coming… What’s going on? What happened? Hello… If you can hear me, I need you to talk to me. I need to know what’s going on.

Homeowner: He came after me. I had to shoot him. I’m hiding in my closet in the bedroom. Please hurry, I’m all alone…

The call lasts for another seven minutes as the dispatcher and the homeowner sort out what happened.  Later in the call, the resident is instructed on what to do when law enforcement officers arrive. The homeowner is told to unload his gun and put it in a safe place. He is told that when he hears police to go out the “west” (front) door and let the officers see his hands. The resident agrees.

The suspect, identified as Joseph L. Anderson, died at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds. No other suspects were found.

The homeowner was not charged with any crime.

You can listen to the entire call at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k25xA4c85F4&t=347s


If you wish to read more exciting and inspiring self-defense stories, buy my latest book, co-written with my son, Sim Waters. Guns and Self-Defense: 23 Inspiring True Crime Stories of Survival with Firearms is available at Amazon.com. We used police reports, interviews with victims, court documents, media sources and other public records to accurately describe 23 chilling stories of armed self-defense.


Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Untold Story of Guns
by Robert A. Waters

Some stories can be judged as too gruesome to show on prime-time television—for instance, the horrifying scenes of desperate people jumping from the Twin Towers on September 11.  Or the ISIS beheadings a few years ago.  Most American networks chose not to show those disturbing scenes.

In other cases, the media will choose not to report stories that go against the grain of a certain political narrative.  Self-defense stories are a prime example.  Major media outlets rarely report these cases, choosing instead to sensationalize mass shootings and the supposed malfeasance of gun-owners.  (Mass shootings should be covered, but so should defensive stories.)  Without a balanced approach to the news, citizens may not have the information required to make rational decisions.

If there are any honest reporters still out there, here’s a suggestion.

According to the FBI, there were 1.3 million home invasions in 2018.  Because homeowners are generally inside their residences when these crimes occur, there is a high potential for violence.  So, how about an investigative report on defensive actions that some residents take during home invasions?

In the new book, Guns and Self-Defense: 23 Inspirational True Stories of Survival with Firearms, the authors describe events that took place on a freezing night in Highland, Illinois.  Debi Keeney and Donna Carlyle lived in a housing community for the elderly.  The sisters, both disabled, kept a tiny .22-caliber revolver near the couch where they would watch television late into the night.  When a violent ex-con broke into their home to rob the sisters, he literally threw Debi across the room, severely injuring her.  He began to choke Donna, allowing Debi time to grab her “derringer,” as she liked to call the gun.  After firing a warning shot that the assailant ignored, Debi shot Joshua Jewel.  Without that gun, the sisters would likely have been murdered.  (Both suffered life-threatening injuries during the savage attack.)

Paralyzed for life from the shooting, Jewel was sentenced to a long prison term.  In her impact statement to the court, Debi said, “Just thinking about [that night] makes my hands shake and my eyes fill with tears, and I begin to relive seeing my sister choked to death, and believing if I didn’t shoot, this man would kill her.  Then came the horrible decision of having to use my gun to protect my sister.  He forced me to make that decision, and it forever changed me.”

Like all of the stories in Guns and Self-Defense, there’s much more, including the “story within in the story.”

Wouldn’t that be a great human-interest story?  If you were a reporter, wouldn’t you find that story compelling?  The authors recount more than a half-dozen home invasion stories, each more violent than the next.  The one consistent theme to all these cases is that the intended victims survived only because he or she had “protection,” a firearm.

In addition to home invasions, our intrepid reporter might also research invalids who defended themselves from attack, domestic violence cases in which victims fought back and won, store robberies that went bad for the assailant, and cases in which victims who had concealed carry permits survived.  And there are more, including stories of cops whose lives were saved by armed strangers.

In the mainstream press, self-defense stories have long gone untold.  It’s time for that to change.


Robert A. Waters is the author of six books, including his latest, Guns and Self-Defense: 23 Inspirational True Crime Stories of Survival with Firearms, written with co-author Sim Waters.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A tale of two gun-free zones
by Robert A. Waters

On the night before DeWayne Craddock murdered eleven people, Kate Nixon debated whether to take her pistol to work the following day.  According to The Virginia-Pilot, Nixon feared Craddock.  She was his supervisor at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, and told her husband the disgruntled employee “gave off ‘real bad vibes’ and she’d had to write him up several times for issues with performance and attitude.”  

Nixon decided against taking her firearm because the building had been designated a “gun-free zone.”  She chose to obey her agency’s policy while Craddock chose not to.  Sadly, Nixon became one of the gunman’s victims.

Five years earlier, Dr. Lee Silverman faced a similar decision.

A psychiatrist at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania, Silverman dealt with dangerous patients. The most dangerous of all was Richard Plotts.  However, Mercy Fitzgerald also had a “no firearms” policy.  Leaving for work on the morning of July 24, 2014, Silverman, who had a concealed carry permit, decided his own safety mattered more than words on the outside of a building.

Later that day, Plotts and his caseworker, Theresa Hunt, arrived for a meeting with Dr. Silverman.  The ex-con had had numerous confrontations with law enforcement, and served five years in prison for robbing a bank.  As a convicted felon, Plotts was prohibited by law from owning a weapon. 

His ex-wife told reporters that he’d been committed to mental institutions three times.  “He was violent, physically and mentally,” she said.  “He has threatened to kill me.  He’s been violent to my family—parents, siblings—and he’s just never been a very good person.”  A neighbor called him “a creep.”

As Plotts and his caseworker met with Dr. Silverman, the troubled man suddenly pulled out a .32-caliber revolver, placed it against Hunt’s head, and squeezed the trigger.  She fell dead on the floor.  Silverman ducked behind his desk and pulled his own gun from his pocket.  Plotts opened fire on the doctor, and Silverman shot back, emptying his weapon.  The district attorney told reporters that “we believe 12 shots were fired that day.”

Silverman suffered a graze wound to his head and was shot in the hand.  Three rounds struck Plotts.  Hearing gunshots, two staff members helped subdue the shooter.  After recovering from his wounds, the gunman was tried, convicted of first-degree murder, and sentenced to life in prison.

It turned out that Plotts had 39 rounds left.  If Silverman had not taken his gun to work that day, the deranged mental patient would likely have murdered additional victims.  

Administrators of many formerly gun-free organizations have now realized that a lack of security can no longer be tolerated.  Be it contracted security guards, off-duty law enforcement officers, or citizens with permits to carry (i.e., church members, school teachers and staff, etc.), some form of armed security in all public buildings is a necessity.

A recent church shooting illustrates the wisdom of having armed resistance.  At the Maypole Avenue Church of Christ in Chicago, a stranger burst into the Wednesday night Bible study.  Senior minister Gerald Walker described what happened: “We are shocked and saddened at the tragic events of March 28, 2018.  Saints were gathered to increase their knowledge and understanding of the word of God when an unknown intruder, a product of society’s ills, disrupted the focus of our Wednesday night bible class with gunfire.  We are unsure of his motives but he was unsuccessful in his attempted mission.”

WGN News reported that Kenneth Baines was “immediately confronted by a 57-year-old security guard, who is a concealed carry cardholder.”  The guard, shot in the shoulder, managed to shoot the gunman several times.  A severely wounded Baines fled the scene but was quickly captured by police.  News reports stated that Baines entered the church to commit a robbery.

Pastor Walker spoke for the feelings of many when he wrote: “What a commentary it is when you have to have armed security to worship the Lord.”

Yet that is exactly the sensible thing to do. 


Robert A. Waters is the author of six books, including his latest, written with co-author Sim Waters, Guns and Self-Defense: 23 Inspirational True Crime Stories of Survival with Firearms.   

Sunday, May 26, 2019

GUNS SAVE LIVES - Chapter 1 - POINT BLANK


[Posted below is the complete first chapter of my book, GUNS SAVE LIVES: 22 Inspirational True Crime Stories of Survival and Self-Defense with Firearms. The original title was published in 2002, but the rights were recently reverted to me and I've published a Kindle edition on Amazon.com. The chapter posted below is similar to the stories in all my "self-defense" books. If you like it, you won't be disappointed in purchasing a copy of GUNS SAVE LIVES or the newest book, written with my son, Sim Waters, entitled GUNS AND SELF-DEFENSE: 23 Inspirational True Crimes Stories of Survival with Firearms. Here's hoping you will enjoy this story and will buy my other books.]

GUNS SAVE LIVES
Chapter 1
Point Blank

“Why’d you shoot me, bitch?”
— Last words of home invader Shaarod Profitt, September 18, 1998.
     It was a cool fall evening in Little Rock, Arkansas, when Don Mosely heard the storm door rattling. Thinking his brother was outside, the sixty-year-old disabled homeowner walked to the door and opened it.
     A masked man stood on the porch. He wore dark clothes and a black stocking mask knotted at the top. Holes had been cut out for his eyes and mouth. “Just like you see on television,” Mosely later recalled.
     He had little time to react.
     The man pointed a gun at Mosely and demanded, “Gimme your car keys!”
     When Mosely didn’t respond, the assailant raised the barrel of the gun and stuck it in the homeowner’s face.
     “Gimme your keys!” he ordered again.
     In a recent interview, Mosely recalled, “He had a .22-caliber Marlin semiautomatic rifle. He’d cut the stock off and made it into a pistol-grip. I grabbed the barrel of the gun and his first shot hit the door-facing. We wrestled around and I almost got it away from him. But he ended up shooting me.”
     Doctors later determined that the bullet, which had been fired point-blank into his stomach, had careened down into Mosely’s right thigh. Although he felt little pain, his leg went numb, and he fell to the floor.
     The suddenness of the attack stunned Mosely. He decided to play dead, hoping the intruder wouldn’t shoot him again.
     Lying still, he thought of the gun he’d hidden beside his chair. If he could get to it, he might be able to stop the assailant.
     Just moments before the stranger had appeared at their door, Mosely and his wife, Jane, had returned home after dining at a local restaurant with Don’s brother. While Don settled down in his rocker, Jane grabbed a bowl of cereal from the kitchen and walked back into the bedroom.
     When he heard the door rattling, Don assumed it was his brother coming back to the house to pick up something he’d left.
     Don and Jane Mosely had lived in the comfortable home on Richland Drive for thirty-nine years. The couple had raised their children there, but their memories belied today’s reality. In the last few years, they’d watched helplessly as the neighborhood had changed. Now gang members lurked on street corners selling drugs and looking for trouble. Neighbors who used to wave or stop to chat now quickly disappeared into their own residences.
     Even though times had changed, Jane, who was known by the children in the community as “Mom,” still provided candy and cakes as treats to the neighborhood children. She always had a ready smile for those trapped in the bleak surroundings.
     Now the thug stood over Don Mosely, as if deciding whether to shoot again.
     At that moment, Mosely heard a thud in the bedroom.
     The intruder also heard it and suddenly sprinted away. Don raised his head and saw the man disappear down the hall.
     He was headed straight toward the bedroom!
     Oh my God, he thought. This guy’s gonna kill my wife.
     Mosely pulled himself to his feet. But he fell when he tried to walk. He stood again. After a few moments, he found that if he dragged his leg behind him, he could maneuver enough to get around.
     He was surprised he wasn’t bleeding more. A smear of blood about the size of a silver dollar spotted the floor where he’d lain.
     “I had a little American Arms .22-caliber Magnum revolver,” he said. “It was sitting beside my chair. I picked it up, but my leg wouldn’t work very well. Before I could get all the way back there, I could already hear them shooting.”
     Jane Mosely had been sitting on the edge of the bed eating her cereal. She’d turned on the television and placed the telephone beside her. When she heard Don get up and go to the door, she also thought that her husband’s brother had returned.
     “But when I heard a stranger’s voice at the door, I knew something was wrong,” Jane recalled in a recent interview. “So I picked up the phone and dialed 911. Then I heard the shots and heard my husband moan. I thought he was dead. That’s when I crossed the room to get my gun out of the closet.”
     The couple usually kept their .32-caliber Smith & Wesson snub-nosed revolver beside the bed. But because their grandchildren had been visiting recently, Jane had placed it on a shelf in the closet.
     She figured it would only be a matter of time before the intruder headed for the bedroom.
     After retrieving the gun, Jane sought refuge behind a chest of drawers in the back corner of the room. It seemed to offer at least some protection.
     Jane muttered a quick prayer and waited for the gunman to appear. Crouched behind the chest of drawers, she followed his shadow as it moved across the doorway.
     His appearance startled her. With his black mask, his dark clothes, and lithe figure, he reminded her of a ninja warrior. 
    Then she saw the gun.
     She was still talking to the dispatcher when he entered the room. But as soon as she saw him, Jane threw the phone on the floor. She later learned that the entire gunfight had been recorded on the 911 tape.
     The masked intruder edged cautiously into the room.
     As soon as he saw Jane, he fired.
     The shot slammed into the chest of drawers, causing the housewife to flinch.
     Jane recalled, “He had to come pretty far into the room to be able to shoot me because I was backed up in the corner and had some protection from the chest of drawers. When he saw me, he spun around and aimed his gun at me. Then we both started shooting at each other. Police later said he fired eleven shots. I don’t have any recollection of how many shots I fired. I don’t remember when I was hit in the arm, but I did feel the bullet that hit me in the groin.” 
     She aimed at his head and pressed the trigger. The blast deafened her.
     The small bedroom had become a war zone. The gunman’s volleys thudded into the wall behind her. A television that sat on the chest of drawers took a direct hit—the glass shattered, stinging her face. The intruder continued to move toward Jane, still shooting.
     The first time she was hit, Jane felt panic surge up inside her. But she knew she had to remain calm. She fired again, and continued to pull the trigger until the gun no longer fired.
     Jane remembered, “He kept coming closer and closer, firing all the time. There was a little stool in front of the dresser, and he crouched behind that stool. He was constantly raising up and shooting at me.”
     By now, Jane’s revolver was empty. She continued squeezing the trigger, only to hear it clicking into an empty chamber.
     She was bleeding, and the pain in her abdomen was excruciating.
     Now her assailant was just a few feet away. She could see that she had hit him at least twice—blood pumped from an open wound to his throat, and his mask had turned crimson.
     He held the rifle as if it were a pistol. It was then that, like her husband, she noticed the stock had been cut off and carved into a pistol-grip.
     The man seemed determined to kill her, like some madman in a cheap stalker movie. She was bleeding heavily. If I get shot again, Jane thought, I’m dead.
     By now, the gunman had closed the distance to less than a foot. In desperation, Jane flung her empty gun to the floor, and grabbed the barrel of his rifle.
     The gunman tried to wrench it away, and the two combatants fell to the floor. He landed on top of her and somehow squeezed off another round. The bullet missed Jane and plowed into the floor. The assailant attempted to twist the barrel into her torso so that he could shoot her again, but the fear of dying drove her to push it away.
     The struggle lasted for about two minutes. But it seemed like forever to Jane Mosely.
     She thought of her children.
     I will not die, she thought. I will survive.
     Don Mosely later recalled the horrific scene he saw when he entered the bedroom.
     “When I got back there,” he said, “[the gunman] and my wife were on the floor in the damndest puddle of blood you’ve ever seen. They were struggling for the gun—he kept trying to point the barrel towards my wife, and she kept pushing it back.”
     The stool had been knocked to the floor and a lamp had shattered. Bullet holes dotted the walls, and splinters of wood from the chest of drawers lay on the floor.
     But what struck Mosely was the complete silence as the two fought desperately for the gun.
     He dragged his lame leg toward them, using the bedpost to help steady himself.
     By now the gunman was straddling Jane. She lay on her back, still holding onto the sawed-off rifle.
     When Don Mosely was less than a foot from the assailant, he placed the pistol against the man’s head.
     At point-blank range, the homeowner pulled the trigger. At the crack of the gunshot, the invader dropped to his knees. He loosened his grip on the rifle, allowing Jane to wrench it from him.
     Don cocked the gun and fired again. The man’s body went limp, and he collapsed to the floor.
     Jane Mosely lay in the corner of the room where she’d made her stand. Her dress was stained crimson, and now her body ached all over. But she was jubilant to see that her husband had survived.
     The gunman lay beside her, gasping. Blood still pumped out of the wound to his neck.
     Don Mosley recalled, “I grabbed his gun and threw it up on the bed. Then I picked up the phone, and told the dispatcher we’d both been shot.”
     Blood from Jane and the intruder flowed to form a pool on the floor.
     She thought the masked man was dead. But he slowly raised his head. Twisting toward Jane, he asked, “Why’d you shoot me, bitch?” They were the last words Shaarod Profitt ever said.
     Jane later recalled that she was incredulous that he would ask such a question. Although she didn’t respond, she thought, why do you think I shot you?
     Police had been instructed by dispatchers to treat the call as a domestic disturbance. Don Mosely, standing in the hall, still held his gun when the first officers arrived. He was ordered to put his weapon down, then he was forced to the floor and handcuffed.
     Investigators at the scene quickly determined what had happened. The handcuffs were removed, and Don Mosely was examined by paramedics. Unlike the gunman and his wife, he’d bled very little.
     The wounded homeowners were placed on stretchers and rushed to local hospitals. Both Jane Mosely and the intruder, identified as teenager Shaarod Profitt, were transported to Baptist Hospital, while Don was sent to University Hospital.
     During exploratory surgery, Don developed a staph infection and had to be hospitalized several times before recuperating. Jane Mosely spent five days in the hospital, but eventually recovered completely.
     Shaarod Profitt died the following day.
     After a lengthy investigation, police arrested a second suspect, Tyrone Cooper, and charged him with being an accomplice. Through interviews with Cooper and other witnesses, investigators put together the following sequence of events that led to the foiled home invasion.
     Profitt, Cooper, and an unidentified gang member had seen Don Mosely driving a new Chrysler LHS and decided to steal it.
     Dressed in dark clothing and masks, they walked up to the porch. Just as they were about to kick the door in, Don Mosely opened it. Almost immediately, he began to fight for his life with the gunman. Profitt’s accomplices fled as soon as the first shot was fired.
     A neighbor had seen the strange trio walk up onto the steps to the Mosely home and called police. The witness recognized Profitt and Cooper but not the third robber.
     Witnesses pointed out to police a house that Cooper had entered and he was quickly arrested. A mask, duct tape, and knife were found in a yard nearby.
     He later plea-bargained a sentence of twenty-five years in prison. By law, Cooper must serve all his sentence without the possibility of parole.
     Not surprisingly, Don and Jane Mosely take gun ownership seriously. In a recent interview, Jane said, “I think everybody ought to be able to own guns and I don’t think people should be forced to put trigger locks on them. I know if there had been one on the gun I used, I wouldn’t be here. I’m also against having to register your guns. I just think they’re taking too much of our freedom away. [Our family has] always had guns, and we taught our children how to use guns safely.”
     She paused, and said, “Thank God we knew how to protect ourselves.”
     Don concurred. “My wife and I used to go out every weekend and target practice with handguns,” he said. He states that he believes the Federal and state governments do not have the right to pass gun control legislation.
     Don also has his own theory about why he and Jane were shot.
     “If [Profitt] didn’t intend to kill us,” he said, “why didn’t he leave after shooting me instead of going back to the bedroom after my wife? They planned to kill both of us to get the car. It might have even been a gang initiation. But I know he came in here with murder on his mind.”
     Both Don and Jane Mosely agree that had they not owned firearms they would both be dead. And they wonder how many other victims would have died at the hands of Profitt and Cooper had they been allowed to continue their lives of crime.
     Don and Jane Mosley recently moved to a new neighborhood to be closer to their children and grandchildren. They feel safe there. But they still keep their guns ready. Just in case.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

What would you do?


by Robert A. Waters and Sim Waters

What would you do if you were driving down the road and saw a law enforcement officer being beaten to death by a crazed assassin?  Would you keep going, and maybe call 9-1-1 from your cellphone?  Would you stop and use your phone to take photos or videos of the dreadful scene?  In this book, the authors used detailed police case files to piece together not one, but two, stories in which private citizens used guns to save the lives of cops.  In each case, the good Samaritan shot and killed unhinged assailants.

If you were a clerk in a convenience store, would you keep a gun beneath the counter so you could fight back if you needed to?  We've described two cases in Guns and Self-Defense in which clerks, both female, survived because they had guns hidden away.  In one case, the clerk was fired from her job for defending herself.

If you worked in a jewelry store, would you keep a gun on your person as you go through your day-to-day interactions with customers?  What if one of the "customers" was a violent robber who wanted to kill you?  You can read two stories in this book that present that scenario.  Fortunately, the prey had protection and survived.

What if you're relaxing at home and suddenly the door bursts open and masked gunmen rush in? What if you had no means of protection?  The FBI reported 1.3 million home invasions last year.  Thousands of defenseless homeowners were badly injured and hundreds died during these encounters.  The half-dozen harrowing home invasion cases in our book turned out different only because the homeowners had guns.

And there are more.  Many more exciting, terrifying, poignant, and ultimately inspirational true tales that ended with the good guys winning.

Sim and I wrote about 23 cases.  We have an archive of several thousand "righteous" defensive shootings and plan to write a series of books describing many of these cases.

Stay tuned.