This feature appears in the August ’17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
In this age of controversy, a fresh reason for social justice warriors to unite has arisen on Wall Street in New York City. The statue “Fearless Girl” was installed within sight of “Charging Bull” to bring attention to International Women’s Day. Having served its purpose—whatever that was—it is now time for its scheduled removal. After the images of the statue went viral, the sculptor and others want the statue to stay as a commemoration of the fearlessness of women.
True fearlessness is silently represented around this country daily, and not in the form of an iron statue.
What a load of unadulterated poppycock! Not only is the statue a poor representation of a lack of fear, it utilizes another artist’s work without permission in an attempt to make the point.
True fearlessness is silently represented around this country daily, and not in the form of an iron statue. The “silent representation” of this is exemplified in the media’s coverage of famous women who have been attacked. Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow and Taylor Swift have all received expansive media coverage of their battles to protect their homes and families from invasion by dangerous stalkers intent on bodily harm. Each woman has suffered home invasion and had to endure (sometimes unsatisfying) judicial resolutions. Fortunately, none of these women were physically harmed in the altercations. Many American women who undergo similar experiences are not so lucky.
Renowned criminologist Gary Kleck estimates that firearms are used in self-defense approximately 2.5 million times per year in the United States. But in cases of women using firearms for self-defense, it is surprising how few of them garner any national attention: So-called “mainstream” media outlets tend to largely ignore them since they don’t fit their “guns are bad” narrative.
To illustrate the point, try running an internet search of “woman shoots assailant.” Based on national media reports, one would expect to see only four or five instances over the past several years. Instead, there are thousands of hits. Similar searches for “woman shoots robber” and “woman shoots invader” provide even more local news stories of women using guns defensively. Then, to get an idea of the true scope of the phenomenon, consider that in most instances of defensive gun use, a shot is never fired and doesn’t get reported on.
Fearless Women Are Survivors
These attacks happen across the country, at any time of day, in any locale. A woman out running errands in Jacksonville, Fla., returned home unaware that she had been followed. Just before 10 a.m., the assailant forced his way into the victim’s home attempting to rob her. She shot him twice instead. The man survived the shooting and was able to flee the scene, only to be apprehended by police a short time later.
In another morning incident—this one in Chattanooga, Tenn.—Latisha Hinton used her gun to shoot her assailant after they argued and, as Hinton stated, he assaulted her. She feared for her own safety and that of others, which prompted her lawful use of her firearm. Her assailant was arrested on outstanding warrants in addition to being charged with five counts of reckless endangerment.
In February of this year, Naou Mor Khantha was working the night shift in a laundromat in Upper Darby, Pa. An armed man entered her workplace, and she fought back. She recounted that the criminal entered the facility armed with a handgun and trapped Khantha in the restroom, where, Khantha said, the criminal attempted to rape her. Khantha managed to shoot the criminal with his own gun and flee to a nearby 7-Eleven, where she called the police. Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood marveled at her bravery: “She fought for her life. She won. She’s a lucky young lady.”
In other words, bravery is more than a statue. Sounds about right. But those stories are only the tip of the iceberg. In February of this year, in Rising Sun, Ind., a conservation officer was attacked after responding to a report of a suspicious person. A woman ran from a nearby home and, upon seeing the officer being overwhelmed by an attacker, shot the attacker once in the torso to save the officer. The attacker later died at the hospital.
An Ohio woman was visiting the home of her elderly parents when she was assaulted. Kim Sinnott was enjoying a family party for her father’s 75th birthday when the family’s alarm system sounded. After grabbing her father’s handgun, she and her twin sister went to take a look and found an intruder in the garage. Sinnott warned the intruder that she had a gun and would use it. She repeatedly stated that the police were on the way and not to come out of the garage or she would shoot. Instead, the intruder allegedly lunged at Sinnott, tackling her in an attempt to take the gun. The intruder was reportedly on top of Sinnott when she shot him. His injuries were not life-threatening; he fled down the street and was later apprehended by police.
In Mobile, Ala., a woman in her vehicle shot a man brandishing a bat. Fortunately for him, his injuries weren’t life-threatening, either. But you may be noticing a theme here: Women who are attacked by unknown assailants have virtually zero chance of surviving unscathed, save for their possession of a firearm. In the case of the twin daughters home with their elderly parents, the gun was their equalizer in an altercation with an individual bent on mayhem.
Fearless Woman Stops Domestic Violence Attack
While anti-gun activists claim that a gun makes domestic violence situations more dangerous for women, in truth a gun can turn the tables on an attack that might otherwise prove deadly.
When a Mound View, Minn., woman had told her boyfriend their relationship was over, he had moved out of the house they had previously shared. However, one night about midnight the man returned demanding he be let in.
Fearing the man because he had repeatedly threatened her in the past, the woman took her gun to the door with her. When told he could not enter, the man broke into the home, tackled the woman and began assaulting her. The woman then shot her attacker once in the chest, ending the attack.
More recently, in June, an Indiana woman fatally shot a home intruder to defend herself and her children. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department reported that the mother heard someone breaking into her apartment—and, when investigating, came face to face with a strange man holding a gun. However, the mother was also carrying a firearm, and she fired first.
The shooting was the second in two days where an Indianapolis parent was forced to fire in self-defense.
In Glendale, Ariz., a woman at a Circle K showed her attacker that a gun to your victim’s head doesn’t necessarily mean you possess the upper hand. It was 1 a.m., and Carole Miracle was walking toward the store when she allegedly felt a gun pressed to her head and heard a man demand her money. Instead of complying, Miracle pulled her own gun from its holster and shot the man, killing him. Eyewitness accounts reportedly corroborate Miracle’s account of the events that night.
A surveillance camera recorded a man following a woman into an elevator at a parking garage in Louisville, Ky. As the woman left the elevator, he trailed closely behind her. When she unlocked and entered her vehicle, the man allegedly got in behind her and covered her mouth with one hand, while holding a knife in the other. The woman fought back, and as they wrestled, the windshield was cracked. The woman pulled a gun from her purse and shot the man in the neck. He fled, but was later arrested and charged with attempted murder, criminal mischief and kidnapping. The woman suffered multiple injuries, but her bravery and preparation in carrying a firearm saved her life.
This is a story that would be very good for millions of American women to hear. It illustrates how quickly an assailant can escalate an attack to a level that is impossible to win unarmed.
Of course, a parking garage isn’t the only place a concealed firearm can be a lifesaver. One mom was in her Indianapolis home with her family when she heard breaking glass. After alerting her husband to the unexpected noise, she emerged from her bedroom, pistol in hand, to see an intruder come out of her baby’s room. The intruder shot at her, and she returned fire, hitting him multiple times. The man was later found to have zip ties and a walkie-talkie in his possession. Of note is the sign on the porch of the home, reading, “We don’t call 911,” with a pistol hanging beneath. Great call on the mom’s part. Even though the baby was home during the break-in, none of the residents were harmed in the incident.
When The 911 Operator Says To Shoot
What a scenario: It’s New Year’s Eve, your husband died of cancer just a few days before, and you’re home alone with your 3-month-old baby. The doorbell rings, and some guy who introduced himself at your husband’s funeral is at your door with his friend—only this time, he has a knife.
Fortunately, the 18-year-old mother recognized him from the week before, and refused to open the door. They worked to get inside the house while she dialed 911.
The young widow I just described is named Sarah McKinley. When McKinley asked the operator if she could shoot the assailants if they entered the home, the operator told her to do whatever she needed to protect her baby. Armed with a shotgun and a pistol, she opened fire when they allegedly broke in, killing one of the intruders. His friend fled and later turned himself into police.
In truth, there are thousands upon thousands of other fearless women out there with memories of attacks, and some with battle scars from their encounters with the criminal element. These women are alive today because they chose to arm themselves just in case there was ever a need.
Many never even had to fire a shot to successfully practice armed self-defense. Due to the newsworthiness of her sorrowful situation and her youth, McKinley’s story received widespread attention back in 2012 when it occurred, but other women who have survived because they had a gun and knew how to use it have done so with little fanfare or notoriety.
Every woman should be apprised of her likelihood of surviving an assault armed only with her wits. The more knowledge women have of the laws in their states and of their rights under the Second Amendment, the more lives will be saved.
Women owning firearms is the picture of fearlessness—and there’s no bull in that.