73-Year-Old Man with Gun Stops Home Invader in His Tracks, Says 'They Picked the Wrong House'


A 19th-century adage goes something like this: “God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal.” Colt, of course, was the man behind the first successful revolver.

Daniel McGown wasn’t carrying one of Mr. Colt’s first models. However, he certainly managed to show one home invader why over a century and a half after that bromide was coined, a firearm is still the greatest equalizer of all.

According to WEWS-TV, McGown, 73, heard a commotion at his house in Akron, Ohio, a little after 5 a.m. Tuesday.

McGown told officers someone rang the doorbell several times. He then heard a voice inside his house.

That’s when the grandfather grabbed for the equalizer tucked away under his pillow: a 9mm pistol. He then made his way from the second-floor bedroom to the living room on the first floor, where he found the home invader.

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“I pointed the pistol at him and said, ‘If you don’t move, I won’t shoot you,'” McGown said.


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“He said, ‘Don’t shoot me.'”

McGown then had to get the intruder upstairs, since he realized he left his cellphone there. He told the man to walk ahead of him as they went to the bedroom.

“I told him, ‘You’re going to walk ahead of me and we’re going to go upstairs where I can get my cellphone and call the police,’ and he said, ‘Please do call the police. Please don’t shoot me,'” McGown said.

“I told him to get down on his knees in the front of the bed, lay down on it with his arms out, and I called police and they showed up and here he was,” he said.

McGown had been robbed recently while he wasn’t home; laptops, guns and ammunition were taken.

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While that property hasn’t been recovered yet, at least McGown’s latest intruder was taken into custody by police.

Thomas Gaffney, 51, faces a charge of second-degree burglary in the incident. Fox News reported that (surprise, surprise) he was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police are trying to determine whether he was involved in the first burglary as well, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Police Capt. Dave Laughlin also said officers are investigating 10 other break-ins at other homes and businesses in the area over the last eight or nine weeks.

As for McGown, he said he “wasn’t adrenaline-fueled” when he confronted the home invader.

“My home was being violated and here was a guy doing it in my presence. Here’s the guy, and I just wanted to make him stop doing that,” McGown said.

“They picked the wrong house.”

And that they did. McGown is a concealed carry permit holder and managed to defend himself and his domicile against someone who clearly shouldn’t have been there. He said he was prepared to shoot.

“If he had reached his hand towards a pocket or something where I thought he might have had one of the guns that went away last night or the night before, I might have been tempted to do that,” he said. “But I’m glad it didn’t come to that.”

Yet, what would have been the case without a gun? Seventy-three is usually a lot different from 51 in terms of physical ability, after all. Would he have gotten beaten? Would this have ended up with McGown in the hospital — or worse?

We don’t know, of course. What we do know is instead going to the hospital, McGown went back to sleep after the burglar was taken away by police.

How could he sleep after something like that?

“I’m 73 years old, I can sleep almost anytime,” he said with a laugh.

Sleep well, Mr. McGown. Sleep well.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture