U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- On August 12, 2019, at about 9:52 p.m., in Omaha, Nebraska, an apartment resident named Mark had some friends visiting him. He heard persistent knocking at the door. It got louder, so he looked out the peephole. Outside, he saw an unknown man at the door with another behind him who had a mask on.
He locked the door and went to get his rifle, a Ruger AR 556 (AR-15 clone). In the video, just as he returns, the door is kicked in with a rear spear type kick. As the home invader turns around, he sees the rifle pointed at him, and flees, all in less than two seconds, according to the camera clock.
John Correia, of Active Self Protection, does a running commentary on the lessons learned from this encounter, on one of his videos. John interviewed Mark, which is where we were able to obtain details such as police response, lack of media coverage, and Marks mental process. Mark and his friends were not engaged in any illegal activity, nor did they know or recognize the home invaders.
Several things stand out. The first is Mark used the peephole to discover something was wrong, rather than opening the door. That allowed him to lock the door as well as to retrieve his rifle. He had situational awareness. On the video, it took Mark 22 seconds to retrieve the rifle and return. Mark has some cover from the closet on the left of the screen.
The reaction of the invaders shows one of the primary values of the AR-15 type system: easy recognition leading to effective deterrence.
Mark did a good job. He was aware. He had an effective self-defense tool easily available and knew how to use it. In my opinion, Mark would have been justified in shooting the home invader. Mark reports to John he did not see any weapons, so he made the split-second decision not to shoot.
It worked well in this case. If he had been further from the door, he might have had a bit more time to make the decision.
There was no news coverage of this defensive use of the AR-15 type rifle. Mark reported the incident to police. We are told they arrived in five minutes. They took a report. No arrests have been reported.
A simple police report will not show up as a defensive gun use (DGU) in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR). The FBI UCR does not have a category for defensive gun uses. They have a category for justified homicides. It only catches about 20% of justified homicides. Justified homicides are a tiny fraction of defensive gun uses.
The vast majority of defensive gun uses are not reported or recorded in the media.
Several surveys show defensive gun uses of between 500,000 and three million a year, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million (Kleck, 2001a), in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008 (BJS, 2010).
Only a few thousand are reported in the media each year. My experience as an instructor and member of the gun culture for 60 years, is most defensive gun uses are not reported to police; a very small subset of dgu reported to the police are recorded in the media. Most of the dgu recorded in the media are in small, local markets. It is very rare for a dgu incident to make national news. The lack of reporting skews how people think about the issue. In many markets, people think dgu are rare.
In the video, after having stopped the violent home invasion, Mark goes into the hall. Later his friend goes even further. Mark is careful not to point the muzzle at his friend.
Mark and his friend may have exposed themselves more than necessary. They stopped the threat before they went into the hall.
This is a timely example of a common defensive use of an AR-15 type rifle. It refutes the current propaganda that such rifles are not useful for the defense of self and others.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.
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