I have a new hero. His name is Harry Carpenter and he is 83 years old. Mr. Carpenter suffers from chronic pulmonary disease and requires oxygen. He has been married to Jackie Carpenter for 57 years. On Wednesday November 16, 2005, Mr. Carpenter took on 2 young thugs and refused to be a victim.
According to a story by Bret Bell in the Savannah Morning News, the Carpenters were at home on Wednesday night when someone knocked on their door. Expecting a delivery of oxygen from the medical equipment company, Mr. Carpenter opened the door. It was not the medical equipment company – it was two hooded thugs armed with knives. Mr. Carpenter was forced to sit on the sofa at knifepoint while one of the intruders grabbed Jackie Carpenter while she was doing the dishes. It is a tragedy in the making.
Hold on. Mrs. Carpenter, who is 80 years old, faked a fainting spell while thug #1 ransacked the bedroom for cash. Thug #2 left Mr. Carpenter to see what the commotion was. Left alone, Mr. Carpenter got up from the sofa and retrieved his old bolt action shotgun. According to the Savannah Morning News article, Mr. Carpenter had this shotgun since he was a child. The gun was not loaded. Thug #2 appeared while Mr. Carpenter was trying to load the shells. Undeterred, Mr. Carpenter “slammed the bolt home and aimed the empty weapon at the intruder”. Both intruders high-tailed it out of the Carpenter home slowing only long enough to unlock the deadbolt.
Thank goodness Mr. Carpenter had the gun in his home. Even though it was not loaded, just the presence of the gun and the sickening thud of the bolt closing was enough to prevent an increase in the crime rate in Savannah. The quick thinking of Mrs. Carpenter, who certainly qualifies for an Academy Award, was just enough of a distraction for her husband to whip out the old “squirrel killer”. Thoughts of “what if” brings to mind carnage and suffering. Only the good Lord knows what would have happened if Mr. Carpenter did not have a gun in his home. The article in the Savannah paper could have been an obituary instead of a testament to self-defense.
Unlike San Francisco, Savannahians are still allowed to keep guns in their home. The PC police and the Brady Campaign have not infiltrated South Georgia with their 2nd Amendment violating actions. We may not be able to smoke in restaurants, but we can still have our guns. We are subjected to editorializing in “news stories” reported by the media but that is as far as it goes. Not one single gun in Savannah has jumped off the shelf, loaded itself with ammunition and hopped down the street spreading death and destruction.
Law abiding Americans have a right to protect themselves and their property. Imposing additional gun laws does not deter gun crimes. Those that commit crimes with guns have no concern about laws – they are criminals. Despite gun registration and waiting periods, thugs still have access to firearms. Instead of penalizing citizens that obey laws and are responsible gun owners, our judicial system rewards criminals with prison sentences that amount to nothing more than a slap on the wrist. We have laws – the punishment is what is lacking.
But Mr. Carpenter doesn’t live in San Francisco. He and his wife can continue to spend their twilight years together. Did Mr. Carpenter’s experience have an impact on his opinions on gun ownership and keeping guns in his home? It certainly did. Mr. Carpenter said that from now on he will “keep the damned thing loaded”. That is why Mr. Carpenter is my new hero.