Mario Cassola and his sister Lia Mercuri, co-owners of Vinny's Pizza
in Rockford, Ill., are no strangers to crime. One of their
deliverymen has been beaten and robbed, and their restaurant had
been burglarized. When two armed men burst into the pizzeria one
Monday night, the brother-sister team fought back and won. After the
men entered the establishment, one man began beating Cassola about
the head with a hammer while the second man aimed a rifle at him.
Cassola shook off the blows and grabbed his assailant, then used him
as a human shield against the man with the rifle. While her brother
held the men's attention, Mercuri pulled out a gun and began firing.
The two bandits fled empty-handed. Police later recovered the hammer
and rifle and arrested Michael Buck and Vaughn Gulley in connection
with the crime.
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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.