By: Mark Bunner Re: Expanded AC 1 of 3 The American Rifleman, February 1996 THE (expanded)

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By: Mark Bunner Re: Expanded AC 1 of 3 The American Rifleman, February 1996 THE (expanded) ARMED CITIZEN Studies indicate that firearms are used over two million times a year for personal protection, and that the presence of a firearm, without a shot being fired, prevents crime in many instances. Shooting usually can be justified only where crime constitutes an immediate imminent threat to life limb or in some cases property. Anyone is free to quote or reproduce these accounts. Send clippings to: "The Armed Citizen," 11250 Waples Mill Rd., Fairfax, VA 22030 Portland, Oregon, resident Ernie Robinson was leaving for work when a neighbor ran from her home screaming that a strange man was in her house. Robinson retrieved his 9mm from his home and upon exiting the house, encountered the approaching stranger, clad only in black jeans. Robinson asked the unwelcome visitor what he was up to, but the man answered only with silence and continued toward him, jumping a fence and backing him into his garage. With nowhere left to go, Robinson fired his gun, mortally wounding the intruder. (The Oregonian, Portland, OR, 9/6/95) "In this case, we had someone just as bold as the person who went in to rob them," said Anderson, Indiana, Police Chief Ron Rheam of a citizen who put an end to a liquor store robbery by critically wounding the bandit. Danny Groce was in the store visiting his wife, clerk Barbara Groce, when the suspect strode in the store, forced everyone to the floor, and demanded cash from the register. Concerned for his wife, Danny Groce stood up, drew his legally concealed handgun and shot the man. (The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, IN, 10/19/95) William G. Lowery, 86, was just being helpful when he let a man into his home who said he needed to use a phone. Once inside, the man drew a gun on the elderly Denver, Colorado, resident. Lowery's nephew, John Kenneth Real, seeing what was happening from another room, drew his own gun and fired, fatally wounding the intruder. Police believe the deceased criminal, whose record included a previous burglary conviction, may have broken into another home earlier that evening. (The Post, Denver, CO, 10/14/95) "We can't cope with robberies like the big chain convenience stores. If somebody robs us of $3,000 or $4,000 we've had it--we're out of business," said Carl O. Wilford in support of his son, who killed an armed robber during a hold-up at the family's Murrayville, Georgia, convenience store. The junior Wilford had been working in the store when a man entered the business and aimed a pistol at him. In response, the clerk pulled his own handgun and twice shot the suspect. (The Times, Murrayville, GA, 9/23/95) A "grandparent-aged" Princess Anne, Maryland, homeowner confronted an armed man who had just crashed through the window of his house and used an unloaded rifle to club the intruder and subdue him for police. Upon arriving at the house to arrest the homebreaker, sheriff's deputies discovered the assailant to be one of two suspects wanted for the shooting death of a Maryland State Trooper earlier that evening. The arrest led to the discovery that the other suspect was still nearby. He was consequently captured the following day. (The Post, Washington, DC, 10/18/95) There was a wanted man on the run in Bob Cummins' Pearl, Mississippi, neighborhood, so he alerted neighbors, checked on nearby relatives and returned home for a bite to eat with his .40 cal. Browning semi-auto by his side. Surprisingly, a knock on the door a little while later revealed the man for whom police were searching requesting to use Cummins' phone. Cummins permitted the man to enter, whereupon he pulled his gun on the fugitive, saying "No, sir, you are not the one who is going to make a phone call--I am." Cummins held him for police, who arrived a quick 911 call later. The suspect had led police on a 20-mile high-speed chase after they attempted to arrest him on a warrant for aggravated assault. (The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS, 10/22/95) Thieves left four speakers behind after stealing $20,000 worth of musical equipment from Michael Allen's van. Figuring the culprits would return the next evening to collect the remainder of their loot, the Fremont, California, accountant decided to set a trap by borrowing a friend's pistol, taking a crash course on how to use it, and lying in wait. Allen's calculations proved correct when a teen skulked into the back of the van and snatched a speaker. Allen confronted the sneak while his girlfriend called police. Within minutes, two accomplices were caught nearby and confessed to the crime, leading police to the stolen equipment. (The Mercury News, San Jose, CA, 11/4/95) ------------------------------------ After a strange car pulled up in front of her rural home for a second time, the lone Griswold, Connecticut, woman telephoned her brother to come and investigate. But before he could arrive, the woman was forced to grab her .22 cal. rifle and confront a teenager breaking in through a locked window. Her brother, who had already dialed police, appeared moments later where he captured three more accomplices waiting outside. (The Bulletin, Norwich, CT, 10/10/95) Despite a trespass notice and several arrests, an Orlando, Florida, man relentlessly stalked his former girlfriend, Judy Davis, for more than a year, physically attacking her, running her off the road and breaking into her home on at least two occasions. Following a brief stint in jail, a judge released Davis' tormentor after he promised to stay away from her forever. His promise was only good for six days before he returned to Davis' home and chased her inside. There the victim grabbed her .38 cal. revolver and fired, dropping the man to the floor. Getting back to his feet and fleeing, the wounded stalker was captured by police hours later. (The Sentinel, Orlando, FL, 11/16/95) Two alleged bandits had just robbed Deandre Hodge in her Shreveport, Louisiana, home and were making their getaway, when one of the men fired several shots at the robbery victim. Hodge defended herself with her SKS rifle, mortally wounding the trigger-happy suspect. The driver of the car was taken to the police station for questioning. No charges were filed in the case. (The Times, Shreveport, LA, 10/7/95) Forced to the back of a Houston, Texas, pawn shop by one of two armed robbers, Thomas Perez drew his own gun, shooting and killing the man. He then exchanged shots with the other robber, wounding him. The bandit fled on foot but was later arrested by police. (The Chronicle, Houston, TX, 11/9/95) "They Didn't Plan On Leaving Witnesses" After saying goodbye to his wife, Mary, Brian Rigsby left their home outside Atlanta, Georgia, to pick up his friend Tom Styer for an impromptu camping trip on the afternoon of Saturday, November 24, 1990. Getting a late start and making a few wrong turns in the Oconee National Forest, the two friends didn't arrive at their campsite until well after dark. They'd chosen a spot convenient to the public rifle range in Oconee, and eagerly looked forward to some target practice the next day. By the light of a lantern, the friends pitched a tent and then built a campfire. They were settling in for the night when they heard the distinctive growl of a diesel engine approaching. Shortly thereafter, a truck pulled up, right into the middle of the camp. Rigsby noticed that it was a work truck, with the name of a business painted on the side. Two men got out and introduced themselves, explaining that they were driving around to meet people and help out. Exceedingly polite, the visitors insisted on helping Rigsby and Styer cut more firewood. During their hour-long stay, the courteous duo depicted themselves as long-time residents of the area, boasting about their extensive knowledge of the surrounding woods. Rigsby remembers feeling uncomfortable with the two men, and relieved when they finally left. He even considered moving the camp to another location. But before any firm decision could be reached, Rigsby and Styer heard the truck's diesel engine once again driving down the road toward their camp. It was the only road in. The truck stopped before reaching the camp, and its engine abruptly cut off. In the quiet that followed, Rigsby and Styer heard the faint crackle of leaves rustling as their former visitors stole toward the campsite. When the two friends realized they were being stalked, each grabbed his gun and made sure it was loaded. Rigsby took cover behind his truck, armed with a Ruger Mini-14 with a 30-round magazine, while Styer knelt in the tent's shadow with his .45 pistol at the ready. -------------------------------- Rigsby was shocked and filled with disbelief. "I tried to listen for the men," he recalls, "but couldn't hear much over the sound of my breathing and the pounding of my heart." It was Styer that saw them first. One of the men slid suddenly into the light cast by the campfire, pointing his double-barrelled shotgun in Rigsby's direction. Afraid he would actually shoot, Rigsby kept his head down, and heard Styer ask the man why he came back with a gun. In reply, the man swung the shotgun toward Styer and answered, "I'm going to kill you." Styer instructed the intruder to drop his gun. Instead, the intruder fired, hitting Styer in the legs. Rigsby remembers seeing the front sight of his Mini-14 centered on the assailant's chest. He fired twice. Quickly swinging the rifle toward the second attacker's position, Rigsby fired six or seven additional rounds, determining his point of aim by the flash from the other man 's muzzle against the blackness of the surrounding forest. Partially blinded by the flash from his own muzzle, Rigsby dropped back down behind his truck. He looked underneath the frame, across the campsite. Seeing no one, he yelled for help. There was no answer. He called out to Styer, but heard no response. Rigsby knew that the first attacker was down and no longer a threat. But the other gunman was out there, somewhere. Rigsby strained his ears, trying to hear any movement in the nearby trees. He heard nothing. He looked around the camp and beyond it into the woods, but still saw no one. Waiting a few minutes, he called again to Styer, but his friend still did not answer. Rigsby then began to move slowly and cautiously backward, away from the camp. Seeing a light through the trees, he started toward it. Amazingly, he found a camp filled with hunters about 300 yds. away. One of the hunters hurried away to call the police, who responded and immediately placed Rigsby under arrest. They returned to the scene of the attack and found Styer, still alive. The shotgun-wielding attacker had been hit twice and died at the scene. His accomplice was also hit twice, but survived. Both carried 12-ga. scatterguns loaded with 3" magnum buckshot, and both had fired their weapons at Rigsby and Styer. The two friends gave statements to the police, whereupon Rigsby was released from custody and Styer was taken to the local hospital. In his statement, the surviving gunman admitted he and his accomplice had returned to rob the campers, a crime they had planned while smoking crack cocaine following their initial visit to the campsite. The surviving gunman was subsequently charged with aggravated assault, convicted and released on probation. Later, an officer told Brian Rigsby and Tom Styer that police were convinced the pair of attackers would have murdered both campers; when introducing themselves, the deceptively courteous men had used their real names and drove a truck owned by their employer. Apparently, they didn't plan to leave any witnesses to their crime. (Ed. Note: Although Brian Rigsby's Mini-14 was not on the list of so-called "assault weapons" prohibited by the 1994 gun ban, with a few cosmetic changes, it would meet the criteria established therein by the 103rd Congress. All magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds were banned.)


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