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Your Opinion: Reports of guns aiding self-defense

Your Opinion: Reports of guns aiding self-defense

January 16th, 2013 by Steve Sampson, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

There are two stories in the news about how private citizens used their gun to defend themselves. The first one is about a Columbus, Ohio, man who said that he fought back when a man tried to rob him at gunpoint in west Columbus.

Kelby Smith, 34, told police he was in the driveway of the home on Crescent Drive just before 9 p.m. when he was approached by a robber. Smith said that he had his 2-month-old in a car carrier and had to shield him from the robber who held a gun at Smith's head. The suspect took Smith's money and started to flee the scene as he pointed the gun back at Smith and his child.

That's when Smith pulled out his own gun and fired at the robber. The robber continued to run, but police said that a man fitting his description arrived at a hospital a short time later with a gunshot wound. Smith and his child were uninjured in the robbery.

The second one is about a suburban Atlanta woman. Her door bell rang and her original thoughts were that the person ringing the doorbell was soliciting for something, so she told her 9-year-old twins not to answer it. The doorbell stopped ringing and the visitor started banging on the door. She hid the kids in a crawl space and eventually hid herself in the same closet that the twins were in. The door to the closet opened and much to the surprise of the intruder, she opened fire, firing six rounds from a 38 caliber pistol hitting the intruder five times in the neck and face. With that, he fell to the floor begging for mercy.

The intruder, Paul Slater, eventually ran from the home thinking he could escape. That didn't work, because the sheriff's deputies found him face down and bleeding in a neighbor's driveway. He was taken to a local hospital and is expected to survive. Late last year, Slater was released from the Gwinnett jail after serving six months for simple battery and three counts of probation violation. Slater has six other arrests dating back to 2008. Because she had a gun and knew how to use it, she was able to protect herself and her twins.

Again, the question must be asked; what would have happened if she didn't have that revolver, and understood how to use it?