New blog focuses on self-defense cases
It's Gun Watch. Curiously enough, run by an Austrailian, but mostly reporting US cases. The lead one involves a fellow who was robbed by two thugs, who stuck a gun into his ribs and said they'd shoot him. He waited for the right moment, drew his own revolver, and shot the gun wielder.
"Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said the good guy won in a botched armed robbery. But at a news conference Wednesday, he also cautioned against a return to the vigilante days of the Wild West." I never can understand why any government official, in describing a clearly valid case of self-defense, has to reference vigilantes. I could better understand him cautioning armed robbers that they should not engage in their trade, but why does he feel compelled to utter this sort of warning to their victims?
In the early 1970's I drove a taxi cab while going to law school. There had been a rash of robberies of cab drivers and one had been killed.
On the ten o'clock news one night the local news babe interviewed an official with the local cab commission that regulates taxis. Of course, he had nothing much to say except that he wanted to warn any cab drivers that might be listening that carrying guns in their cabs would not be tolerated and any driver caught with a gun would lose his cab license and be prosecuted.
That was my road to Damascus conversion from a supporter of gun control laws to a solid supporter of gun rights.
I was already suspicious of the intellectual ability of most politicians and bureaucrats and that night I became firmly convinced that future archeologists will be able to determine which fossil skulls belonged to bureaucrats by the undersized brain cavity.
Posted by: Flash Gordon at December 7, 2007 09:57 AM
Gun Watch is not new. He has been faithfully reporting self-defense shootings for years now. I am an avid fan.
Posted by: Yishai at December 7, 2007 10:49 AM
Personal independence, of any kind, is a threat to the power of the appointed or elected bureaucrat. Wanna put new gutters on your house? Gotta get a permit. Don't rake your leaves or mow your yard? The city will send an inspector to write you a ticket. Want to defend yourself against criminals? No, the common defense is the responsibility of the state. All of it is carefully geared to require more employees, more regulations, and of course, more tax money. All of that increases the turf, authority, and power of the bureaucrat.
Frankly, we have it pretty good. Those poor bastards in Europe are, to borrow a phrase, in a tight spot. Instapundit recently linked to a discussion in the House of Lords where a valient few are trying to keep the UK government from approving a treaty that is copied damn near verbatim from the EU Constitution that was so soundly rejected by the UK people. To quote the Duke of Wellington, if these brave few are successful in stopping this abomination, it will be a "nearest run thing you ever saw."
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at December 7, 2007 11:16 AM
I am also wondering why a single citizen acting in self-defense has any commonality to the historical "vigilance committees" that gave rise to the word "vigilante".
Posted by: karrde at December 7, 2007 11:49 AM
Yes, I was going to say Gun Watch wasn't new, I've been checking it daily for at least a year now. I don't remember where or when I first came across it, though.
I know it's a little bit passe` these days, but what do you think of a Gun News Web Ring, where we can consolidate our efforts and hopefully keep everyone up to date and reduce the duplication of effort, both?
Posted by: Nimrod45 at December 7, 2007 11:50 AM
I've never really understood it either...it's not like the victim had gone out seeking trouble. Trouble came to him.
In general, I feel that vigilantes are a bad thing, as they have a tendency to turn a good idea (reducing crime) into a mob-justice situation. There are some situations where it may be beneficial, but overall I feel it's not a good thing.
But a private citizen defending himself from two armed attackers? Hardly vigilantism. This guy should be getting a hearty attaboy from the police.
Posted by: Pete S. at December 7, 2007 01:11 PM
The media uses the term "vigilante" precisely because it has a lynch mob feel and connotation to it. It is manipulation. Remember, one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. Words matter. They matter a lot. Be precise in your language and win the day.
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at December 7, 2007 01:19 PM
I agree with those who have commented to the effect that the would-be victim has done us all a public service.
Those two s_-_-bags are lucky they both didn't wind up with toe tags.
I can't help wondering if the story got the caliber wrong.
The gun was probably rated for .357 but was probably loaded with .38 Special.
It seems like a contact (or a near-contact) shot with a .357 would hamper a thug more severely than this story suggests.
I wish Mr. Pierce--and others like him who have survived through legitimate use of firearm in self-defense--would write up the event and post it online--now that would be an interesting blog!
Posted by: Tarn Helm at December 7, 2007 01:38 PM
The vigilantes in the American West in the 1860"s were a response to lawlessness and violence that went unchecked because traditional law enforcement was spotty or non-existent. As soon as law enforcement became reliable the vigilantes went back to working their farms and ranches or tending their hardware stores and saloons and perfecting title to their homesteads.
Posted by: Flash Gordon at December 7, 2007 05:08 PM
Hobbes and the Leviathan v. Lockean theory.
Posted by: kat-missouri at December 7, 2007 06:54 PM
Good idea for a blog that compiles such cases of self defense. I would also recommend the excellent civilian self-defense blog kept by Clayton Cramer at
Clayton is an historian of the Second Amendment and an excellent writer.
Posted by: John Cunningham at December 8, 2007 03:42 PM
very interesting, but I don't agree with you
Posted by: Idetrorce at December 15, 2007 03:44 AM
Seniors and children are our most vulnerable citizens. First it is just cowardly to attack a senior citizen. My great grandfather, POPS, died at 104 years old and he lived on his own until he was 97. It was his practice several times a week to walk to the Senior Center to play cards with his friends. One-day two young men stopped him and they threw him to the ground and took his wallet and his cane. We were all very concerned but he was saddened for the young thugs and felt that it wouldn't happen again. About three months later on his way home from the center he was attacked again. After shoving him up against a wall, they discovered he had no money and went on their way. Of course, when he called to tell his story we were quite upset. POPS, was laughing as he related to us his thrill that he still had his money. I asked him why he was laughing and as he started laughing hysterically, he said "They never checked my socks!"
POPS was mugged 25 years ago when self-help meant calling your mother and violent crime was still shocking. Today our seniors need all of the respect and help they can get.
A If you are not looking for a potentially lethal solution but do want a personal self defense product stun guns and pepper spray are terrific alternatives.
In some cases, having the extra measure of security from Pepper spray or a stun gun may be the difference between life and death.
I just purchased a pepper spray pager for my mom and a lipstick pepper spray for myself. I hope we will never have to use them but I am glad that we have them. My favorite site for personal self-defense products is www.2dsecurity.com
Posted by: Liseeloo at March 10, 2008 04:22 PM