Originally Posted by Hentor the Barbarian
Two interesting things there - she was quite successful doing so with a little revolver. Also, the story was apparently on CNN.
Thanks for sharing your evidence that people do not need semi-automatic weapons for successful personal defense, and that these stories receive significant media attention.
Originally Posted by YogSosoth
In other words, 89 year old lady defends herself with gun that would not be banned.
I did a little further reading on this story. I'll say first of all that I am very glad the woman in the story (Beatrice Turner) was unhurt, and I think she was well within her rights to shoot the guy.
The CNN piece excluded some details that were reported by the Des Moines Register
. The Register
article is no longer available for free online, but the patriots over at something called m4carbine.net helpfully copied and pasted the whole article
for future generations to enjoy.
Originally Posted by Des Moines Register, via copyright violators
Turner fired one shot - and missed. "I squeezed it again but it didn't go off," she said. "By then he was pounding on the coffee table."
Turner said the man kept repeating, "It's not daylight, it's not daylight."
"I told him Jesus and I would go outside with him and make the daylight come," Turner said.
A neighbor who heard the gunshot called police.
When officers arrived at Turner's house, located north of Hiatt Middle School, they found Nelson McAlpine, 37, standing in the front yard. Officers asked him if he lived there, and he said, 'No.'
McAlpine reportedly told police he had been using drugs and didn't know where he was, officers said.
Sure, the gun played a part in this story. Had Ms. Turner not had a gun, I am sure the story would have played out differently. But I note that Ms. Turner, having been unable to get off a second shot, defused the situation by calming the guy down verbally. Talking to him, saying Jesus would help him, was what finally resolved the situation.
Again, I am not disputing that Ms. Turner had every right to kill an intruder. And I am not disputing that defensive gun uses do happen. I just don't see this as a slam-dunk case for a gun saving her life. I see it as a case of the media getting some mileage out of the "gun-toting granny" trope, even though the granny's kindness and compassion ended up being more effective than the gun.
And because I am bored (hey, it's my last week before I go to a new job), I started poking around on the topic of elderly people and guns in general. In a 2010 article
, The NY Times
reports on the increasingly common problem of elderly Americans, some suffering from dementia, holding on to their guns. The article notes:
Originally Posted by NY Times
With the 85-and-older population growing faster than any group in the country, gun ownership among the very old is increasingly a concern of adult children, who worry that elderly parents will commit suicide or shoot someone they mistake for an intruder
The VA has launched a public awareness campaign about the dangers of firearms in the hands of people with dementia. One of their publications (PDF)
notes that firearm owners with dementia are at increased risk of shooting a loved one they mistake for an intruder. And a study
in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society
found that firearms were present in 60.4% of houseolds in which a member suffered from dementia. In households with a firearm, 44% of the families reported that the guns were kept loaded, and 38% of families reported that they were not sure if the guns were loaded or not
In Seattle in September 2012, police shot and killed a man with dementia in a "tragic incident". The Seattle Times reports
that 77-year-old Henry Lee called 911 to report an intruder. There was no intruder. There was an unrelated emergency response going on in the street in front of the house, and Lee apparently mistook the commotion for an intruder. When police arrived and made their way toward Lee's house, Lee stood in the doorway and brandished a gun. The police ordered him to drop it. He lowered the gun, then raised it again. Police then shot him. Price of freedom, I suppose.
Sure, it's a fun story when Granny shoots an intruder (even when she doesn't, really), but it's a little less amusing when cops shoot an elderly person who probably shouldn't have a gun anymore.