Armed and safer

A gun at home can save lives.


Gun control advocates will have a tough time brushing this one off.


      Early Tuesday, a Las Vegas homeowner shot and killed an armed burglar and scared a fellow intruder into fleeing the scene, leading to his eventual capture.

      It's quite likely that had the resident been unarmed, he and his wife would have died at the hands of the robbers.

      The deadly encounter is at least the eighth occasion over the past three years that local home or business owners have used lethal force and killed intruders. The incidents reinforce the benefits of individuals arming themselves for their own protection.

      On Tuesday, the resident was awakened by his dogs about 5:15 a.m. He grabbed his handgun and went downstairs to see what caused the commotion. When he opened the door of his den, the armed burglar was standing only two feet away. A gunfight ensued.

      Police say the intruder fired three shots, the homeowner eight. The burglar died on the scene, but an accomplice fled the house and drove away in a Jeep. Officers arriving on the scene chased the man to a fast food parking lot several blocks away, where he was apprehended and arrested.

      By being armed, the homeowner was able to protect his family long before the police arrived on the scene.

      Those who advocate strict regulations on the private ownership of guns would leave us at the mercy of violent predators. And make no mistake -- an armed intruder like the one killed Tuesday is unlikely to be some misunderstood prankster who merely wishes to break into a home, swipe some of the family silver, and slink quietly into the night. In Tuesday's case, the dead man had been arrested a number of times for burglary and battery over the past 18 months.

      Gun-control advocates argue that we must rely on police protection. But it's neither possible nor practical for cops to hang out on every street corner or keep watch on every garden gate. The cost in both tax dollars and personal liberty would be too high.

      The advice of Greg Block, of Huntington Beach, Calif., who teaches cops and civilians firearms safety, is worth repeating: "I always say it is better to have a gun and never use it than to wish you had one when you really need it."


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