As reported, an 89 year old Des Moines, Iowa woman used her .22 caliber handgun, which she purchased decades earlier but had never before fired, in self defense against an intruder:
Police say that the elderly lady was in her East-side home at about 5:30 AM when a large male broke down the door and entered. After yelling to the intruder that he had entered the wrong house, the elderly homeowner noticed that he was pulling on his pants and making incoherent statements about the fact that it was not yet daylight outside, according to reports. Fearing for her safety, the woman reportedly fired one shot in self defense, which missed the intruder but bought her some time (apparently due to user error, the gun didn’t fire when the woman pulled the trigger again moments later). A neighbor called 911 after hearing the gunshot, and police are said to have arrived to find the intruder standing in the front yard. A suspect, identified as 37 year old Nelson McAlpine, who reportedly has an extensive criminal record, is said to have confessed to being on drugs at the time of the home invasion, police say. McAlpine was reportedly charged with burglary and held in lieu of of $10,000, and the elderly woman was unharmed. Police are also said to have helped the woman reload her gun, and instructed her on its operation should she need to fire in self defense in the future.
When senior citizens are armed for self defense, they are in the best position possible to avoid harm at the hands of a criminal. A few examples: This armed 85 year old woman held a home invader at gunpoint, and made him call the police on himself. This armed 93 year old man shot a home invader in self defense after the home invader began to attack him. This armed 70 year old woman held an intruder at gunpoint until the police arrived to arrest him. This armed 91 year old man used his handgun to fend off two home invader who had broken in and threatened his wheelchair-bound wife with their guns. This armed 84 year old man used his handgun to stop a criminal who repeatedly tried to enter his home through the front door, back door, and a window. I could go on with more examples, but the point should be clear: armed self defense is a senior citizen’s best chance at stopping a younger and stronger criminal who attacks them.
This case also shows the importance of proper training. Gun owners should fully understand the operation of their gun, and should practice regularly. One shouldn’t wait until a life-threatening situation arises to try and learn how to operate their gun. The good news is that guns are mechanically simple devices that just about any person can quickly learn to expertly operate, and training is widely available at gun stores, gun clubs, and other sources.
My thanks to Anders for pointing out this self defense case.