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Guns Save Lives

3 Lives Saved by Guns (This Week Alone)



This is your friendly reminder that the subject of one of these stories has been entered into a database as a “gun violence victim.”

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably already savvy to the fact that being an armed citizen makes you safer than those who don’t exercise their gun rights. The problem is that it’s tough to quantify exactly how much, because the fact remains that the majority of confrontations between potential criminals and gun owners end without a shot being fired. Since no crime was completed or committed, and there’s nothing to investigate, most of those confrontations never make it to a police blotter or a news outlet. On those occasions, however, when an armed citizen is forced to use their gun in self-defense and it hits the news, the anecdotal evidence piles up high enough to start counting. In fact, here are three lives saved by guns in the past seven days.

Oh no, that face is not going to haunt my dreams tonight, nosiree bob. (Photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

1. The Good Pastor

Let us take a moment to examine the above mugshot. Now let us imagine that thing coming at us, in all its methy glory, in the sanctuary of a church. (In fact, that’s pretty much a 90-minute feature film on its own. George Romero, call me!) The good pastor Brant Adams got to experience exactly that a few days ago, when Mr. Otero-Rivera, pictured above, broke into his church and began a vandalism spree with damage in the tens of thousands of dollars. Pastor Adams was able to hold Otero-Rivera at gunpoint until the police arrived. (Full article here.) Leaving aside all the admiration I have for the good pastor’s sang-froid and patience, this is one of those armed-citizen confrontations in which nobody was hurt, including the perpetrator. That’s why this incident only made the local Tampa news…but that doesn’t mean that Pastor Adams didn’t save a life with his gun.

Pictured: My mental image when reading this story.

2. The Neighbor From Hell

Matthew Knapton was not a well man, not at all. He was clearly very seriously mentally ill, believing that his hapless neighbors were “using devices to manipulate the electronics inside his home.” He had attempted to break into his neighbors’ home once before…but this time, his personal demons had driven him to do so with a pair of butcher knives in one hand. But due to the previous incident, his neighbor had since armed himself with a Glock handgun–and once Knapton kicked in his door, the homeowner fired, hitting Knapton in the chest. He survived his wounds, and the 64-year-old homeowner was found to have acted in self-defense. (Full article here.) It’s sad that Knapton’s mental illness drove him to this pass, but the fact remains: That armed homeowner is alive because they had a gun.

Never bring a machete to a gun fight, no matter what Hollywood tells you.

3. The “Gun Violence Victim,” aka, “The Bad Guy Who Got Shot”

Remember when that Bloomberg group referred to Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev as a “victim of gun violence”? Well, according to the way they count things, he was. As is anyone who is shot by law enforcement in the commission of a crime…as well as the subject of today’s story. Nobody knows why 42-year-old Andrew Strauss decided to arm himself with a machete and break into his neighbor’s house. What everyone does know is that he started by breaking several windows, then he came inside. The homeowner, who wasn’t named in the article detailing the incident, shot Strauss to stop the attack…and Strauss did not survive his wounds. Because of that, Strauss’ name may well be read one day as a “victim of gun violence,” and he’ll definitely be included in the statistic that’s quoted on the side of the red truck in the picture that leads into this article.

Just remember that the anonymous homeowner’s name belongs on the side of the blue truck on the right.





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