We’re talking about public safety this week in our project “The Price of Safety,” and part of the conversation centers on an individual’s personal sense of responsibility. So we asked hundreds of people in our Public Insight Network whether they had ever used a gun in self-defense.
Most, as you might expect, said no. But a few said yes:
Have you ever used a gun in self-defense?
“There was this Bear on the porch…….”
Richard Lacher, Dora Lake
“Yes, in Africa during a revolution. I had to ‘clear leather’ as they say (display the weapon) when stopped by a road block. I didn’t point it at anybody or discharge it.”
Tom Maertens, Mankato
“Not against a human but came close to doing so against a black bear on one occasion.”
Brent Gurtek, Duluth Township
“Yes, stopped 2 men that were beating another by displaying a loaded shotgun and insisting that they stop immediately.”
Jeff Schroeder, Grand Rapids
“The only time I did use a gun for protection was in the jungles of Viet Nam as a medical evacuation helicopter pilot. Never needed to discharge it though.”
Jim Kellner, Virginia
“Not myself, but my husband did during a robbery at our home. I hope I never have to, but I am prepared if necessary. ”
Felicia Herman, Minneapolis
Thomas Weyandt, White Bear Lake
“It depends on how you would read the situation; would people in my position have felt threatened? Did what I do constitute use?
“I was at a gas station late one night in an area I later found out was known for some of the crimes committed there. While I was filling my gas tank, a man started crossing the lot towards me, casting glances around. All I did was take off my jacket and lay it on the passenger seat, exposing the pistol I was wearing in a shoulder holster. Whoever this man was, whatever his reason for approaching, he turned and went back the way he came and disappeared around the building.”
Ted Sirek, Webster
” ‘Used,’ yes, but ‘fired’, no. Simply allowing a malefactor to realize that he is choosing an armed victim has always worked, so far. ”
Fremont Upton, Minneapolis
“My firearm has been out of the holster once (at an ATM) but never pointed at anyone. The problem(s) that night decided to go somewhere else.”
Mark Gobel, West St. Paul