These 11 Defensive Uses of Guns Didn’t Target “Deer in Kevlar Vests,” Mr. President

COMMENTARY Firearms

These 11 Defensive Uses of Guns Didn’t Target “Deer in Kevlar Vests,” Mr. President

Mar 15, 2022 6 min read

Commentary By

Amy Swearer @AmySwearer

Legal Fellow, Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies

Abby Kassal

Spring 2022 Member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address as Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi look on, March 1, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Saul Loeb - Pool / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

Biden praised the Ukrainian people for taking up arms to defend democracy, and with the next breath he mocked the millions of Americans who own guns.

Time and again, lawful gun owners demonstrate the benefits of being well-armed and capable of defending themselves, their communities, and their nation.

History shows us that a well-armed people are harder to oppress, harder to conquer, and harder to kill.  

In his first State of the Union address, President Joe Biden doubled down on his administration’s efforts to undermine the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

Biden once again called on Congress to repeal a measure, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which ensures that groups advocating gun control can’t kneecap a lawful industry by intentionally bogging it down in expensive but baseless lawsuits.

Echoing the plan to tackle gun violence that his administration released in February 2021, the president repeated hackneyed demands for Congress to pass “universal background checks” and ban “high-capacity magazines.”

Incredibly, with one breath Biden praised the Ukrainian people for taking up arms to defend democracy, and with the next he mocked the millions of Americans who own lesser versions of those same arms, asking whether they thought the “deer are wearing Kevlar vests.”

What Biden fails to understand is that the Second Amendment is not premised on hunting, but on our ability to defend against assaults on our inalienable rights—regardless of whether the assaults are carried out by foreign invaders, a tyrannical government, or criminals. And the right to keep and bear arms is nothing to mock in a well-armed country.

Almost every major study on the issue has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times annually, according to the most recent report on the subject by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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 other accounts here from 2019, 2020, and 2021.)

The examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in February. You may explore more by using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database

  • Feb. 1, Philadelphia: Video surveillance captured a shootout between a store clerk and two armed robbers. The store owner’s dog jumped on one robber, distracting him long enough for an employee to grab a gun kept behind the counter. She shot at the distracted robber, wounding him and prompting him to drop his firearm. The other robber fired back as they both fled. Chief Inspector Scott Small praised the employee, who was hospitalized with several gunshot wounds, calling her a “brave young woman” who “stood her ground.” Police caught the wounded suspect when he sought treatment. The second robber remained at large.
  • Feb. 3, Tulsa, Oklahoma: When an armed man kicked in the door to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment in the middle of the night, police said, he was met by her current boyfriend, who fatally shot him. Just two days earlier, a judge had granted the ex-girlfriend’s request for a protective order against the man and ordered him to surrender all his firearms.   
  • Feb. 6, Columbia, South Carolina: Two minor children were home alone when an armed man broke into the apartment, police said. The children initially hid, but the man saw them and shot at them. One fired back with a firearm that was in the house, fatally wounding the intruder.
  • Feb. 8, Bowie, Maryland: Police say four armed teenagers drove to a senior center in a stolen car and tried to rob an elderly man at gunpoint. But the man was legally armed and shot at them, wounding one of his attackers and sending them all fleeing. Police said they later found and arrested the teens, charging two as adults.
  • Feb. 9, Portland: A homeowner had started his car remotely from inside his house when he realized that someone was trying to break into the car, police said. Wielding a firearm, the homeowner confronted the would-be thief and held him at gunpoint while his wife called police.
  • Feb. 13, Maine, New York: Hours after receiving threatening text messages, police said, a man was confronted by two armed assailants who kicked in his door and pointed guns at him. The man fired a shotgun at one, wounding him and sending both fleeing. Police said they arrested both assailants, who face several felony charges.
  • Feb. 14, Menlo Park, California: Three armed men rushed into a jewelry store, shouted for customers to get on the floor, and demanded money and jewelry at gunpoint. Police said the store owner’s husband—armed after the store was robbed nine years ago— drew his handgun and opened fire, prompting the robbers to flee without any loot. “If we didn’t have a gun, they would’ve taken everything,” the owner’s husband said, explaining that the store’s insurance policy wouldn’t have covered the losses.
  • Feb. 17, Shreveport, Louisiana: A man returning home late at night came face-to-face with two burglars who were rummaging through his items. Police said one burglar shot the man, who despite being wounded was able to grab his own gun and return fire, striking one of the intruders. Police, who later found a critically wounded man in the neighborhood, said they thought he was the burglar who was hit. They were looking for the other burglar.  
  • Feb. 19, Dumas, Arkansas: Police said a man who had threatened multiple times to kill his neighbor charged at him with a knife while the neighbor was doing yardwork. The neighbor, armed, fatally shot his assailant.
  • Feb. 23, Steinhatchee, Florida: homeowner fatally shot an armed fugitive who broke into his home, ending a 10-hour manhunt, police said. The fugitive, a convicted sex offender, earlier shot a police officer during a routine traffic stop in a different county, seriously wounding the officer before fleeing. Police said he broke into the residence at random while trying to evade capture, exchanging gunfire with the homeowner before being fatally shot. The homeowner’s injuries were not life-threatening.  
  • Feb. 27, Mount Airy, Maryland: A woman fatally shot a man who violated a protective order, trespassed on her property, and instigated a domestic dispute, police said. She was unharmed.

Time and again, lawful gun owners demonstrate the benefits of being well-armed and capable of defending themselves, their communities, and (in extreme circumstances) their nation from assaults on their inalienable rights.

It’s well past time for Biden to understand why tens of millions of Americans exercise their right to keep and bear arms, including the ones he irrationally believes are too scary-looking to receive constitutional protection.

It’s not because deer might wear Kevlar vests, Mr. President.

It’s because of violent ex-lovers, gun-toting robbers, and desperate fugitives, and other criminals who would harm these Americans.

It’s because peace is a fragile thing, too often shattered by armor-plated tanks and jackbooted soldiers.

It’s because history shows us that a well-armed people are harder to oppress, harder to conquer, and harder to kill.  

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal