Just a little over halfway through its first 100 days, the Biden administration has made it very clear where it stands on the Second Amendment, releasing a slew of executive orders that are likely to punish responsible gun owners without meaningfully affecting crime rates.
Perhaps worse, President Joe Biden nominated gun control lobbyist David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a slap in the face to American gun owners.
Chipman’s advocacy for severe restrictions on gun ownership is well known, as is his tendency to misstate basic facts about firearms and existing laws to further his gun control agenda.
Chipman made headlines last year by brazenly mocking the 8 million Americans who bought firearms for the first time in 2020, implying that they were afraid of zombies and comparing them to “Tiger King.”
This disdain for new gun owners is indicative of a deeper misunderstanding about why Americans own firearms, and just how often they rely on those firearms to protect their rights and liberties.
Almost every major study on the issue found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times a year, according to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have good reason to believe that many of these defensive gun uses aren’t reported to police, much less make the local or national news.
For this reason, The Daily Signal each month publishes an article highlighting some of the previous month’s many news stories on defensive gun use that you may have missed—or that might not have made it to the national spotlight in the first place. (Read accounts from 2019 and 2020 here.)
The examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in March. You may explore more by using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database.
March 3, Daphne, Alabama: A woman’s ex-husband showed up at her apartment armed with a rifle and began using the butt of the rifle to break down the door. The woman called 911, but while she was on the phone with dispatchers, her ex-husband forced his way inside, police said. He was confronted by the woman’s armed boyfriend, who exchanged as many as 15 rounds with the intruder, ultimately killing him. No one else in the apartment—including the woman’s 8-year-old daughter—was harmed.
March 6, Massapequa, New York: When a knife-wielding robber approached a man in a residential neighborhood and demanded his money and keys, a good Samaritan attempted to intervene. When the robber turned toward him in a threatening manner, the good Samaritan drew a firearm and shot the robber once in the leg, police said. The robber fled, but police soon located and arrested him.
March 8, Colorado Springs, Colorado: A quick-thinking store employee used a handgun to run off two young men who attempted to rob the store and steal a customer’s purse, police said. The employee showed the gun and fired one shot during a struggle with one robber, apparently wounding him and sending the second robber fleeing. Police arrested the wounded robber and issued an arrest warrant for the second robber.
March 10, Lee County, Virginia: A man with a violent criminal history showed up to his in-laws’ home intoxicated and armed with a knife, threatening to kill everyone as he tried to force his way inside. At one point, he was able to enter the residence and begin to violently drag his wife toward the door. The father-in-law acted quickly to save his daughter, fatally shooting her husband before he could leave, police said. Investigators cleared the father-in-law of wrongdoing, saying his use of deadly force was justified under state law.
March 13, Lindale, Texas: A man on the run from police knocked on a homeowner’s door and demanded money. Police said the homeowner pulled out a revolver and pointed it at the man, who was wanted in the shooting of a woman, prompting him to flee. Police had been engaged in a large manhunt for the intruder, using bloodhounds and a helicopter to track him. They arrested him two days later.
March 15, Newnan, Georgia: A woman waiting in a McDonald’s drive-through line was assaulted by a man who police said began to argue with her “for no apparent reason.” At one point, the man reached inside her vehicle and began choking the woman, who drew her handgun and fired two shots into the air in self-defense. Police later arrested the man and charged him with aggravated assault.
March 17, Cleveland, Ohio: A St. Patrick’s Day party turned deadly when a man ignored a restraining order barring him from contacting his ex-girlfriend and showed up looking for her. Another man got into an argument with the ex-boyfriend outside the residence and eventually went back inside and locked the door, police said. The ex-boyfriend attempted to kick in the door, prompting a third man inside to fire a single round through the door, fatally wounding the attacker. Police said the woman had reported that the ex-boyfriend had threatened to kill her and had been physically violent. She told police that he “was capable of killing her” and “had access to weapons.”
March 21, Union County, North Carolina: A resident used his rifle to defend himself and his household after two men—at least one armed—forced their way into the resident’s home. The resident fired several rounds at the intruders, wounding one. Police arrested and charged one man and said they would arrest and charge the other man upon his release from a hospital.
March 22, Lookeba, Oklahoma: An observant homeowner armed himself after noticing two men circling his residence in a suspicious manner. His suspicions were confirmed a short time later when the two tried to kick in his door, police said. The homeowner fired a shot at the men, sending them running back to their car. They fired back at the homeowner and another family member as they fled. Police arrested them following an hourslong manhunt after they crashed their car into a tree.
March 25, Toledo, Ohio: A concealed carry permit holder used his firearm to defend himself and his two young children during a road rage incident, exchanging 10 to 15 rounds with another driver who exited his car and began shooting at the permit holder. Other witnesses followed the initial shooter to take photos of his vehicle, police said, and no one appeared to have been injured.
March 31, Manhattan, Kansas: A driver used his firearm to protect himself and his girlfriend from an angry motorist who approached them wielding a crowbar. The driver pulled out his gun and wounded the would-be attacker before he could injure them.
Everyone wants Americans to be safe from violent crime. The good news is that despite last year’s spike in homicide rates, Americans today remain significantly safer from gun crime and gun homicide than they were in the early 1990s.
This is true even though the number of privately owned guns per capita has skyrocketed and many states have loosened restrictions on the ability of law-abiding citizens to carry firearms in public.
Biden’s gun control orders will do little to keep violent crime rates down. But his orders do show a contempt for the Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners, including those who bought guns for the first time in 2020 because they felt the government could not or would not be there to protect them.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal.