by R. Lee Wrights
Here’s a news story you’ll rarely read in your local newspaper:
YOUR HOMETOWN (Today) - A masked man armed with a rifle entered a local school today, but left quickly when one of the teachers produced a revolver and ordered him to leave.
No one was injured and no shots were fired in the incident. The gunman is still at large.
Most newspapers, radio and TV stations still operate on the hard-and-fast journalistic rule, “if it bleeds, it leads.” You really can’t blame the news media for this. Most people like stories about conflict and action. That’s why the sports pages are so well read, and we have cable channels dedicated to every competitive activity and sport conceivable — even golf.
But there are hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of incidents where a firearm was used by a private citizen to prevent a crime or defend against a crime which are never reported to the police and never covered by the news. In a white paper “Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens,” the Cato Institute looked at thousands of news reports over an eight year period. Their study found that the overwhelming number of self-defense cases involve situations where the gun is never fired.
These are some of the law-abiding gun owners who were able to save a life, or prevent a rape, burglary or other crime, and no shots were fired:
- An 80-year-old pharmacist on duty in Missoula, Montana who confronted a masked man demanding painkillers. The pharmacist pulled out a pistol and told the criminal to leave. The masked man screamed and left the store.