Guns in the right hands can save lives — but the stories about this happening just don’t get as much attention as the tragic crimes.
A man in Florida is being called a “hero” by the local sheriff after he says the resident jumped into action to help a domestic violence victim and her young children. It happened near Tampa on Wednesday, and is a prime example of the “everyday stories” where armed citizens make a difference.
According to ABC News, a man who is currently anonymous was mowing the lawn when he noticed a commotion. Someone in a nearby house “was screaming for help as they were being attacked,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.
Responding to the screams, the man found something terrifying.
A domestic violence victim in the neighboring home was so terrified for her children’s safety, she sent them outside the second story window in a desperate attempt to keep them away from the alleged abuser inside the house.
It isn’t clear if the kids were on a roof or a balcony, but think about the level of fear that would push someone to find any way possible to get children out of a house, even if it meant going out a top window. This was no ordinary situation.
“That has to be a horrific scene for somebody — a victim to be placing young children out of a second story window because they’re in such fear for their lives inside the house,” Sheriff Nocco said.
Seeing what was happening, the neighbor helped get the children down to safety. But this drew the attention of the suspected abuser inside the house, who came out to confront the worried resident.
Though the neighbor tried to reason with the alleged abuser, the situation quickly escalated.
“The neighbor went back to his property, the sheriff said, but then the suspect took out a gun and fired at the neighbor,” ABC News reported.
In response, the man who was trying to help the kids fired back. The alleged abuser did not survive — and police defended the armed citizen for taking action.
“He tried to defuse the situation,” Sheriff Nocco said, also calling the neighbor a hero for “helping another victim who was a victim of domestic violence.”
There are signs that the situation could have escalated to become much worse. According to ABC, the suspect’s house was in disarray as if from a brutal fight, and blood was found inside the home.
“Domestic violence is a horrible crime,” Nocco said. “Unfortunately it’s only spoken about when it occurs. We see a large amount of deaths in our county and regionally due to domestic violence.”
The sheriff added that he hopes other citizens will take responsible action.
“So I hope in times when we’re not here talking about it, people are trying to do something to stop it,” he said. “Because unfortunately we see that’s a nexus to a lot of crimes and a lot of deaths.”
That’s the part of the Second Amendment equation that so often gets overlooked. While some tragedies make national headlines and dominate the gun debate for months, there are everyday crimes which stay under the radar.
But the lives affected in places like Chicago or Tampa matter, too. They must be part of the debate — and so should armed citizens who are able to deal with terrifying situations and stop violence because they have the right to self defense.
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