Saturday, March 16, 2024

"Righteous" Self-Defense Stories

By Robert A. Waters and Sim Waters

Here's a little-kept secret: tens of millions of liberals, independents, and conservatives in America own firearms. Gun ownership is one of the few issues that crosses all sides of the political spectrum. The book,
Guns and Self-Defense: 23 Inspirational True Crime Stories of Survival with Firearms, describes exciting stories in which a cross-section of every-day citizens used guns to fend off violent assaults.

These are real-life stories most media outlets chose not to report.

Have you ever heard of Harry and Janet Lodholm? This Lakewood, Washington couple survived a brutal home invasion by a murderous gang that mistook their house for that of a drug-dealer they planned to rob. Crashing through the front door, the gang pistol-whipped Harry and slashed Janet with a knife. When the assailants finally realized they had chosen the wrong house, they took what valuables they could find and fled, leaving the bound and tortured victims stunned and bloody. In their haste to leave, however, the robbers left their backpack in the house--worse yet, the backpack contained their cellphones. In the meantime, the couple had freed themselves and relocked the front door. The frustrated gang broke into the house for the second time, determined now to silence the victims who could identify them and retrieve the evidence that would send them back to prison. But the robbers hadn't counted on the couple's resilience. Harry and Janet had retreated to their bedroom. As Janet dialed 9-1-1, Harry grabbed his firearm. When the gang kicked down the bedroom door, Harry and his 9mm semiautomatic made quick work of the robbers.

What a story! But the mainstream media never reported it, likely because it didn't fit their anti-gun narrative.

Based on police reports, interviews with victims, court documents, media sources, and other public records, Guns and Self-Defense recounts the courage and resourcefulness of armed citizens who refused to become easy prey.

Each story is set in a time and place. Characters are delineated in depth, both would-be victims and attackers. The aftermath of many of these stories are poignant. In some cases, the victims suffered life-altering injuries, as well as lingering mental trauma. Without a weapon, most would have been murdered. Many of the assailants were hardcore drug users; others had mental health issues. In still other cases, street gangs, unconcerned with any sense of right and wrong, preyed on the innocent. The majority of attackers had been in prison, and most had been released early.

By the way, for those who fancy identity politics, the would-be victims in this book represent a microcosm of America: liberals, conservatives, independents, white people, black people, other minorities, males, females, the able-bodied, and the disabled.

What kinds of weapons did these would-be victims use? A woman home alone used a shotgun. Several used semiautomatic handguns. Others used revolvers. In one case, a wheelchair-bound victim used a pistol loaded with 16-gauge shotgun shells. In two cases, convenience stores had a "house gun," a weapon stashed beneath the counter that employees could use in case it was needed.

All these cases involved "righteous" self-defense--meaning the would-be victim acted legally and was not charged with any crime. In many of the cases, law enforcement officials praised the citizens' actions.

You'll read about the drug-addled thug who tried to rob two disabled old ladies in a low-income retirement home. (It might have been funny if it wasn't deadly serious.) After being severely injured by the assailant, one of the women used a small .22-caliber handgun she called a "derringer" to stop the violent assault. The "derringer" did its job: it paralyzed the assailant so he can never hurt anyone else.

You'll read about the nurse who helped police capture a gang of carjackers that had been terrorizing the city of Milwaukee for months. The night before, they shot an innocent victim in the jaw, nearly killing him. The nurse, however, had a concealed carry permit, and put an end to the crime spree when they attempted to carjack her. (One member of this gang also ended up partially paralyzed.) Sometimes what goes around comes around!

The last chapter in the book involves a street gang that actually named themselves "The Cutthroat Committee." One summer morning, in Jacksonville, Florida, as Pam Coker got ready to go to work, she heard a loud bang, then the back door exploded open. Her husband, Foster, didn't have to be at work until later, so he was sleeping. An intruder raced toward Pam and pummeled her to the floor. Foster heard the commotion and ran out to help his wife. He engaged the much younger home invader, and the two fought a horrific hand-to-hand battle in the middle of the living room. Finally, Foster, bloody and about to pass out, told Pam, "Honey, you've got to get my gun." The intruder, armed with an Beretta Centurion (pictured above) that had a "30 clip," kept hitting Foster with the butt of the gun. Blood flowed all over the home as Foster and the invader fought from room to room. While Pam, with severely injured legs, stumbled to the bedroom to retrieve her husband's gun, the wild fight continued. Pam returned with a five-shot revolver and handed it to Foster. The homeowner emptied it, hitting the assailant three times. That's when the intruder fired a shot that grazed Foster's head. With his gun empty, Foster realized the attacker still wasn't dead. He jumped back onto the invader, pinning down the Beretta to keep him from shooting again. Pam once again hobbled back to the bedroom, grabbed a second pistol, came back, and shot the invader twice. This intruder, like the Lodholm gang, had mistakenly pegged the Coker home to be that of drug dealers. Because of the actions of Foster and Pam Coker, the Cutthroat Committee was disbanded by police. All the members of the gang ended up in prison. Their attacker, a founding member, ended up in the graveyard.

I like stories that uplift my soul. Maybe you do, too.

NOTE: For more than 30 years, Robert A. Waters has researched and written about armed self-defense cases. If you enjoyed Guns and Self-Defense, co-written with Robert's son, Sim, you might also like Guns Save Lives: 22 Inspirational True Crime Stories of Survival and Self-Defense with Firearms.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the uplifting story. When guns are controlled, the criminals will manage to have guns. I don't understand why the left loves criminals so much. Thanks Robert. I very much enjoy your website.