As the U.S. Senate debated gun control in D.C., citizens used guns to protect themselves in Ohio

by Chad D. Baus

News of the (failed) push to pass gun control legislation in the U.S. Senate, as well as the terror attack on Boston, dominated the media last week for good reason. But here in Ohio, a series of events that might otherwise have received wider news coverage went virtually unnoticed.

Saturday, April 13

Toledo Police say a homeowner shot and killed a man who was attempting to break into his home.

From WTVG (ABC Toledo):

Residents in the 4500 block of Douglas woke up to a scary scene on Saturday as police investigated the death of 24-year-old Lucas Hassen.

Police say around 1 a.m. Saturday morning a homeowner woke to the sound of his side door being kicked in. Officers say 45-year-old Bryan Loyer grabbed his gun and alerted the suspect that he was armed.

Loyer told police the suspect continued kicking in the door and that's when shots were fired.

The suspect fled and was found unresponsive two houses away in Joan Rutherford's backyard.

Rutherford says she doesn't blame her neighbor for shooting. "I'm all for the homeowner doing what he did because I think a few of our houses have been broken into in the past. I think the homeowner was in his rights, cause I'll tell ya, if anything happens like that in my house, I'm doing the same thing."

Sunday, April 14

A Dayton resident told investigators he was doing work in the backyard of the house when two men approached him, demanded his belongings, then pulled out a gun.

From WDTN (NBC Dayton):

The victim, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, fired several rounds from his pistol before one of the suspects could pull his trigger.

The suspects then fled the scene, but officers brought in a K9 unit and found both men nearby in an alleyway.

One of the suspects suffered a gunshot wound to the back and was taken to Miami Valley Hospital.

Monday, April 15

Smail Gueddari was working in the back room of his store, Mazagan Urban Ware, around 8:30 p.m. when, suddenly, he heard his wife, who had been manning the cash register, screaming from the front of the shop.

From the Hamilton Journal-News:

Gueddari rushed from the back room to find a robber, with the lower part of his face covered by a makeshift black bandanna, pointing a handgun at his wife and motioning with it for her to empty the store's cash register. When the robber spotted Gueddari rounding the corner, he fired a shot at the store owner, but the bullet narrowly missed him and instead struck two mannequins before lodging into a nearby wall.

Gueddari said that's when he pulled his firearm and shot back twice, hitting the robber once in the torso. The robber, identified Monday as 26-year-old Jeremy Scott Irvin of Fairfield, tried to escape with some of the stolen money after being wounded, but collapsed on the sidewalk just outside of the store located at 201 Main Street. Irvin would be pronounced dead shortly afterwards at Fort Hamilton Hospital.

Gueddari, in his first interview since the incident, told the Hamilton JournalNews that Irvin's actions caused his own demise.

"Anybody in my place would have done what I do," Gueddari said on Monday. "I didn't kill him; he killed himself."

Tuesday, April 16

Shaelynn Burton, 25, fought off a woman who forced herself into her Youngstown home around 4 a.m. and threatened to kill Burton and her children, including her 5-year-old son.

From NewsTalk 570 WKBN:

Burton, an avid hunter and target shooter, said [40 year-old Shanon] Stanley claimed to be a cop and busted through the door. She said the woman seemed high on drugs.

"She threatened to kill me and my kids," said Burton. "She told me she was here to do the wrath of God and all this other stuff."

Burton told police she pinned Stanley against the wall and the two wrestled around her living room. Burton said she told Stanley she had children and Stanley said "I'll kill your kids and you," reports said.

Burton's 5-year-old son started crying and Burton went upstairs and grabbed her shotgun.

"I went back downstairs. She is now in the my living room, and I have it locked and loaded," said Burton. "It's a pump-action, so it's got one in the tube and I said I am going to call the cops, and you can either leave right now or you can deal with the cops."

Stanley refused to leave and Burton called police as she held her at gunpoint.

"They were here in a matter of minutes, which is kudos to them because if she would have moved, she would have had turkey shot all over her," said Burton.

Neighbor Tamara Scrivens said that several homes have been broken into in the last several months, and she is glad that someone has finally taken a stand against crime.

"With the economy, people are armed, and I know we are armed. Because you never know what is going to happen cause now people are taking people's stuff like it is their stuff, and that can't happen and people are sick of it," said Scrivens.

We are thankful that these crime victims were able to exercise their right to bear arms for self-defense, even in cities where anti-gun legislators are constantly seeking ways to rob them of their rights.

As Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine pointed out in follow-up coverage concerning the Toledo self-defense incident, Ohio's Castle Doctrine law has given homeowners and people driving their own vehicles the presumption of innocence — something that had been lacking in such situations before 2008.

It is also worth noting that, not only did these incidents happen in urban areas, but the comments made by supportive neighbors are also coming from areas where legislators claim their anti-gun votes are based on their constituency.

In fact, as the map (which was given to legislators in December and which does not include incidents which have occurred since then) shows, the vast majority of CHL and Castle Doctrine cases happen in the exact same places where elected officials claim voters want gun rights restricted.

It is high time for these urban legislators to recognize that their anti-gun votes do NOT reflect the values of law-abiding voters in Ohio's cities.

A complete list of known incidents involving Ohio CHL-holders defending themselves is available here.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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