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?


(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

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 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.