Monday, September 29, 2008

Shooting Back

Jeanne Assam

The Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding the Second Amendment as an individual right came as no surprise. It merely confirmed what almost every American already knew. The cases listed below illustrate one of several reasons the authors of the Constitution included this important amendment in the Bill of Rights.

Christian-hater. The killer had a plan. Annihilation. The New Life Church in Colorado Springs would bear the brunt of Matthew Murray’s diabolical rage. A couple of weeks before Christmas in 2007, Murray murdered two people at the Youth With a Mission Christian Center in Arvada, Colorado. Then he drove to New Life Church and opened fire in the parking lot, wounding a father and killing his two daughters. Armed with handguns, a rifle, and 1,000 rounds of ammunition, Murray then entered the lobby of the church. Again he opened fire. As parishioners scattered, a lone woman stood up and blocked his path.

Above the static bursts of gunfire from Murray’s semi-automatic rifle and the pandemonium erupting in front of her, Jeanne Assam pointed a handgun at the killer and ordered him to surrender. (Although she was identified by the media as a “security guard,” Assam was actually a parishioner with a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Several permit holders had volunteered to help with security in the church.)

As Murray turned his weapon towards her, Assam fired. Murray went down, wounded by several bullets. In a last desperate act, the killer put his own gun to his head and killed himself. Assam was later credited by state legislators with saving hundreds, maybe thousands, of lives. Matthew Murray had planned a Columbine-type massacre against the objects of his hatred — Christians.

Home Invasion. Jennifer Ann Hunley, Michael Joseph Nash, and Hunley’s young daughter were lounging in their Ocala, Florida home when two men burst through the garage door and entered the house. One intruder held a nail gun as a weapon while the second man had a handgun. They rushed Nash and began beating him. He fell to the floor as they used their weapons to pummel him. Hunley raced into her bedroom and retrieved a .357 Magnum. Returning to where the assault was taking place, the 29-year-old mother opened fire. The invader with the nail gun fled, but the second man returned fire. Hunley emptied her gun, causing him to flee. While no one was hit, one man was later arrested and a second suspect is currently at large. Both suspects have criminal histories that date back many years. The crime was believed to be a home invasion robbery gone bad. Hunley was not charged with any crime.

Shootout. Hugo Villalta, owner of Bentley’s Jewelers in Fort Lauderdale, buzzed open the door for two customers. Almost as soon as they entered, Damien Christopher James and Devaughan C. Heard pulled guns and demanded cash and jewelry. Villalta, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, reached beneath the counter for his own handgun. In the gun battle that followed, James was shot between the eyes. He collapsed to the floor, dead. Heard backed to the door, continuing to fire. He was hit in the chest by several rounds from the storeowner, but somehow managed to stagger outside. The surviving gunman was transported to the hospital where he’ll be arrested when he recovers. Both robbers had long records for crimes such as burglary, auto theft, kidnapping, battery, and drug possession. Villalta was not charged.

Busted. In Point Marion, Pennsylvania, 85-year-old Leda Smith was taking a nap when she heard a window breaking. Aware that a gang of thieves had been targeting homes in her neighborhood, Smith retrieved her .22-caliber pistol and a cell phone. She confronted the burglar, a 17-year-old boy. She handed him the phone and said, “Dial 911 and don’t think about throwing the phone. If you do, I’ll shoot you.” The teenager reluctantly called police. After he was arrested, Smith said, “I just hope I broke up the [burglary] ring because they’ve been hitting a lot of places around here.”

1 comment:

Unknown said...

these stories are so uplifting! i love the victims fighting back.. :)