Gun Rights vs. Gun Control
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There's a story that's been circulating in the national news this week that dramatically illustrates the value of gun ownership for self-defense. The story involves Donnie and his spouse Melinda Herman - residents of the great state of Georgia - and how Melinda successfully defended herself and her children from an intruder armed with a crow bar who had broken into their home.

The following are extracts from an article now online at which describes the events that transpired last Friday in Loganville:

"Loganville, Georgia (CNN) -- This is not a movie. There's no dramatic music in the background. A happy ending, far from a guarantee.

The concern in Donnie Herman's voice was clear as day. So was his stress. With two telephones to his ear, he listened to his wife, Melinda, as she fled into an attic of their Loganville home. With her: Her two 9-year-old children and a loaded .38 revolver.

In the house: An intruder with a crowbar.

On another line was the 911 operator Donnie Herman had called for help. Herman's words to his wife, as he sat helplessly, an hour away from the home, were recorded.

"Stay in the attic," he instructed her, calmly.

"He's in the bedroom," she told him. He repeated the words to the 911 operator.

"Shh. Relax," Herman said, trying to calm his wife.

Then he instructed her to do what was fast becoming a realistic possibility.

"Melinda -- if he opens up the door, you shoot him! You understand?"

Donnie and Melinda Herman own two guns for protection at home, but until two weeks ago, she had never fired a gun. Her husband told sheriff's department investigator's that he took her shooting so that she'd be familiar with the family's guns if she ever had to use one.

Now, clutching the .38 revolver, Melinda Herman was in the middle of a heart-pounding crisis inside her own home.

She had already locked multiple doors before she and her children took refuge in an adjacent-room attic -- the kind with a small door that you have to bend down to go through.

The intruder had used the crowbar to break through the front door and then two other doors upstairs, and she could hear him coming closer and closer.

On the phone, Donnie Herman calmly instructed his wife about the use of the weapon she had practiced on.

"Remember everything I showed you. Everything I taught you," he told her, and he reassured her that help was on the way.

What happened next has made the Hermans the new faces of the right to bear arms:

Melinda Herman fired her six-shot revolver at the intruder, hitting him five times, in his torso and in his face. Surprisingly, he managed to flee.

"She shot him. She's shooting him. She's shooting him. She's shooting him. She's shooting him. ... Shoot him again! Shoot him!" Donnie Herman said as the 911 dispatcher listened.

He then lost phone contact with his wife and children. His anguish and the pain of not knowing what had happened may be etched in his mind for eternity. But they were safe.

He learned later that his wife fired all six shots, and hit the intruder with all but one bullet.

Not realizing she was out of ammunition, she ordered the man to stay on the floor as he bled. She then fled the house with her children.

Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman -- whose office responded to the shooting at the Hermans' home -- said he believes the mother and her two children were in a life-and-death situation and she had no choice but to exercise her constitutional right to self-defense.

"Had it not turned out the way that it did, I would possibly be working a triple homicide, not having a clue as to who it is we're looking for," he told CNN.

Despite being shot five times, the suspect, identified as Paul Ali Slater, still managed to get back into his SUV, but he drove off the road and crashed a short distance away.

He remains hospitalized. Due to privacy laws, the hospital cannot divulge any information on his condition."

A very dramatic story to say the least. The article goes on to say:

"Gun rights groups say this shows that law-abiding citizens should be allowed to buy their weapon of choice and as big a magazine or ammunition clip as they like.

They remind people that Melinda Herman had only a six-shot revolver.

"It's a good thing she wasn't facing more attackers. Otherwise she would have been in trouble and she would have run out of ammunition," said Erich Pratt, director of communications for the Gun Owners of America. "She shot him five times and he still didn't drop."


To me, this story illustrates the other side of an issue that seems to be getting extremely one-sided coverage in the recent press. Thankfully, this one had a happy ending for the Hermans, although they will undoubtedly carry psychological scars from the incident for many years to come.

Latest Activity: Jan 11, 2013 at 7:43 PM

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up2sumptin commented on Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 20:59 PM

I agree she had every right to protect herself and would go to the grave saying so. I am betting meth had some involvement here but, of course, that is another issue altogether. Had she had more practice she could have put him down permanently with one or two shots. She doesn't need a clip of sixty bullets or a machine gun. Yes Seb, the entire family will bear the scars for the rest of their lives. My prayers go out to them.

Graeme245 commented on Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 at 07:43 AM

If she had been using a .45 chances are she would have dropped the intruder there on the spot, the problem is/was the calibre of bullet she was using. The Army switched from .38 to .45 during the Philippines Insurrection 1898 because they found that the .38 wouldn't keep a drug-charged opponent down. Now that they have switched to 9mm I'm sure history will repeat itself.

Loganville has been the scene of several deadly home invasions in the past 6 months(I've been personally effected by 2), a lovely rural bedroom community to Atlanta that is only a car-ride away for any criminial element. Taxpayers can't afford to place a police officer in each home for protection, and budgets have been cut or skewed that law enforcement is at best reactive, honest citizens deserve the right to protect themselves.

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 at 10:55 AM

yea, I am a gun totin liberal democrat and am glad she shot the intruder. I would have done the same thing, but not, even if I had one, with an assault rifle.

froggy commented on Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Me too Jimmy. I am single and I always have my gun, because to be honest I worry about someone breaking in.
And if they do, it will be the last step they take.

An Assault weapon? There is no need for them. The only one's that use them are the people who shoot up people, the people who stockpile them to protect themselves from a Government take over. And Ted Nugent, need I say more. He is insane. And then this guy is a perfect example of who I surely don't want to have them. His big mouth got his gun permit taken away, lol.

What I want to know is. And I asked and got no response. Why do so many people think "Obama and the Liberals" are coming after ALL the guns???

I see people who think this and I don't even argue with them, it's like you don't even know what you are fighting for!

I see comments like "if you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have guns", And people flat out saying Obama is coming after all our guns.

There was a post about the Obama and the Secret Service protection on here and there was a comment made by someone named Rand. "I thought he was going to disband the secret service since he plans on taking all our guns away.
If no one is armed why does he need the SS?"
Then another comment to his from Sebekm
"I guess for protection from all the "outlaws" who will have the remaining guns...."


Nobody wants all your guns.

sebekm commented on Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 at 12:18 PM

""If everyone who had a gun just shot themselves, there wouldn't be a problem." George Harrison"

That would solve everything, wouldn't it?

"If she had been using a .45 chances are she would have dropped the intruder there on the spot, the problem is/was the calibre of bullet she was using."

I agree. The term is "stopping power," and anything less than a .40 cal/9mm supposedly comes up short in matters of self-defense. I have one .45 cal ACP Colt Defender for home protection. I have three seven round clips. (When the gun was delivered from the manufacturer at the store in Midway, it came without a magazine. When the order was finally fulfilled a couple of weeks later, the manufacturer sent along three clips. I guess that was supposed to make up for the lack of one when the gun arrived.) Like the Herman's, I've taken my wife out to the range to practice, and she knows the combo to the gun safe.

The Hermans probably had a .38 revolver because revolvers are generally easier to operate by the inexperienced - especially in times of crisis. I'm not sure whether revolvers much larger than .38 caliber are sold nowadays. (The .45 cal revolvers I've seen way back when were somewhat "unwieldy.") With a semi-auto like my Defender, you have to deal with charging the weapon (assuming you don't keep a round chambered); the safety; and they also are more prone to jam than a revolver. In fact, I'm not sure that a revolver even with minimum maintenance will "jam." So Mr. Herman may have considered the "stopping power" issue and if so, his assessment probably was that Mrs. Herman would be better off - all things considered - with a revolver.

Of course, the NRA and the gun control opponents are going to use this event as an example of why Mrs. Herman should have had three AK-47s with 25-round banana clips at the ready - just to make sure Mr. Paul Ali Slater didn't have several armed buddies waiting outside to provide a helping hand in case there were problems with the burglary. It's a tough situation to balance. I guess that's why there's such controversy.

sebekm commented on Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Froggy: My comment about outlaws was sarcasm. I know it's hard to tell. But when I think about the concept of "if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns" - I can envision the scenario:

First - if guns are "outlawed" - presumably permitting only law enforcement to legally own firearms - what you're left with is a total reliance on law enforcement for universal population protection. Also, "outlaws" have always been able to acquire weapons. There's no reason to believe that would change. We don't have a "police state" and law enforcement can't be everywhere. So in the case of Mrs. Herman and her two children, we may very well have had a triple homicide instead of a situation where the "outlaw" was stopped.

Also - if you speak to anybody who lived in Nazi Germany (very few are alive nowadays) - they would tell you that the lack of an "armed population" or "civilian militia" made it a hell-of-a-lot easier for Hitler and his henchmen to keep the furnaces going.

"Why do so many people think "Obama and the Liberals" are coming after ALL the guns???"

I take this as a talking point consistent with the "slippery slope" argument re: gun control. The staunchest gun rights activists are selling the concept that once you give up ANY gun "rights" (assault weapons, high capacity magazines, etc.), eventually the laws will expand - little by little - until "the government gets what it REALLY wants" - a total ban on private firearm possession. I must say - to me there has always been more than a little bit of paranoia in this mindset.

Funkentelecky commented on Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 at 22:43 PM

Passing more gun control laws that keep responsible people from procuring weapons is ludicrous. Any law abiding citizen should be able to purchase as many weapons that they choose to have and can afford. Draconian gun control laws didn’t work in Chicago and more than 2.5 million people defend themselves each year with guns. Over 400,000 believe if not for their gun they would be dead. Here is an interview with Jesse Jackson trying to defend the failed gun laws of Chicago.

And here’s another article by Larry Elder featuring “Ice T” defending the right to keep and bear arms and some more astonishing facts on how often they are used in self defense.

The bottom line is if you don’t want to own a gun that’s alright, if you want to own one that’s ok too; however no one has the right to tell any other law abiding citizen what type or how many weapons they should own. Just leave the machine guns and automatic rifles for the military.

We have armed secret service to protect our president and other elected officials, we have armed guards protecting our money being transported or at a bank. Why don’t we have armed professionals protecting our schools and little children? Aren’t they important enough too? That would help deter some of these tragedies along with electronic entry points accessed by a proximity card issued to occupants of the school. The Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora and Newtown shootings had one thing in common that the lunatic salivates over, a no guns policy and no opposition; it’s time for a change in our thinking of protecting the innocent and the Obama administration approach is the same old failed policies that never work!

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The word shall is absolute in legal terms, and is used strategically within the constitution.

sebekm commented on Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 13:11 PM

Hi Funky.

"Just leave the machine guns and automatic rifles for the military."

I agree. I do think you need to have something done on the "hardware" front. When the founding fathers contemplated an armed "regulated militia," they did so at a time when they were battling an "oppressive government" from which they fled across an ocean and which later came and attacked them. To think about the Second Amendment in this day and age as a means to arm the civilian population to fight government law enforcement and the armed forces of the United States seems - on its face - to be foolish and wrong-headed.

My thought is that the politicians who are working this problem should view it from the standpoint of what kind of weapons does the civilian population-at-large need to feel "safe and secure in their homes" and in their "persons" - as opposed to "what do I need as an American citizen if my local/state/federal law enforcement and/or state/federal military services attack me in my home." They should also examine what can be done to improve identification of the "mentally ill" in order to prevent their acquisition of guns, but this will never be totally successful.

There also are cultural aspects to be examined. I saw something in the news the other day where video game marketers were claiming that "studies" had demonstrated no connection between violent video games and gun-related mass murders. To me, that smacks EXACTLY of the tobacco companies telling everyone that cigarettes weren't addictive and didn't cause cancer.

There are many aspects of the problem to be examined, but - IMHO - you have to look at the types of weaponry, magazines, ammunition, etc., as well. These are the TOOLS of the mass murderer.

sebekm commented on Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 13:16 PM

....and on its face, it does seem like we have the right Commander-in-Chief to be in charge when we tackle this issue. I was watching The McLaughlin Group on GPB about an hour ago, and they had a promo for a Frontline program titled "Inside Obama's Presidency" which is airing Tuesday night at 10 p.m. on GPB and SCETV. In the promo, the narrator described President Obama as:

"The only Nobel Prize winner with a kill list.

JimmyMack commented on Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:45 PM

Yes Sebe, we gotta off the evil-doers.

Funkentelecky commented on Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 19:07 PM

I agree with you Chief and JimmyMack; however come Tuesday I don't want to hear any new laws that prohibit law abiding citizens from purchasing what they want or need.

I want to see something passed that helps the good guy proure firearms, and prohibit the bad guys.

JimmyMack commented on Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 13:15 PM

Me too, Funk. Just as long as they can not get their hands on drones armed with missles.

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