The Daily Caller News Foundation analyzed 195 cases where gun owners used their firearms to successfully defend themselves from crooks and home invaders, and found an impressive number of elderly people used guns to defend their lives and property.
In light of President Barack Obama’s executive action on gun control Tuesday, TheDCNF looked at incidents in a period between July 2014 and July 2015. From our analysis, we’ve compiled five of the most incredible times people 60 and older protected themselves by pulling out a gun.
1. “It was self-defense”
A 71-year-old Texas man defended his wife from a robber outside a grocery story in October, 2014. A man in his thirties walked up to the elderly couple and ripped a necklace off the woman’s neck, pushing her to the ground. But her husband pulled out his handgun and fired at the criminal several times. The robbery suspect got in his car and drove away, but crashed his car and died not far from the scene.
“She was really shaken up,” a witness to the incident told WFAA. “She was shaking and scared. … It was self-defense.”
2. “Jumped up and started shooting”
Phyliss Law, a 63-year-old Alabama grandmother, had been a victim of multiple robberies to her home and had even boarded up her windows to keep thieves out. But in July of 2014, when a male robber broke into her home, Law hid with her 9mm pistol, while her granddaughter hid in the closet.
“We heard this crackling,” Law told Fox10 TV. “… Like wood popping and stuff. I said oh my god. He trying to come in. So I backed up to my room and got my gun and got my extra clip.”
“I jumped up and just started shooting,” she added. “And he hollered, and turned around and ran. A lot of them come in people’s house, kill them, take what they want and leave. Like I said, not here.”
3. “Anything but frail”
An 89-year-old World War II veteran in Florida defended his jewelry store from an armed robber in August, 2014. Arthur M. Lewis was working at a jewelry store when an armed robber busted into the store. Without hesitating, Lewis whipped out his .38-caliber handgun and started shooting. The two exchanged gunfire, but Lewis put 6 shots into the suspect and only had one arm grazed by a bullet.
“People think because he’s 89, he’s frail,” Vivien Bresnahan, Lewis’ girlfriend, told the Palm Beach Post. “That irritates me because he’s anything but (frail).”
4. This one didn’t go as planned
A 67-year-old North Carolina grandfather opened fire on three criminals wearing ski masks, who broke into his home and attempted to rape his teenage granddaughter in October, 2014. The grandfather was shot, but he was able to shoot all three home invaders, killing one and protecting his wife and granddaughter. Police told WBTW they believe the home invasion was one of many for the three men, but this one didn’t go as planned.
5. “Already attacked one homeowner”
A 61-year-old Indiana man defended his brother and 86-year-old mother from a knife-wielding home invader in November of 2014. When the two brothers heard something suspicious, they hid their mother in a bedroom and went to investigate. That’s when the criminal attacked Barry Frost, 59. But his older brother Terah Frost, 61, was looking out for him and pulled out a gun, fatally shooting the intruder three times.
“He’s already attacked one homeowner,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Philip Hensley told WLKY. “What’s to say he’s not going to take the knife and attempt to kill all three residents?”
In the interactive graphic below, clicking demographics boxes will narrow your results to see specific data points. For example, see handgun incidents in Texas by clicking “TX” in the State category and “handgun” in the Gun category. Click on individual pins on the map for more details.
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