Generally speaking, most of the self-defense stories we hear about come from the United States. It's interesting, then, when international stories of citizens protecting themselves from harm within legal boundaries hit our desk.
Just as they can in America, however, that fine line between what is and isn't allowed while defending yourself, your family or your property can easily be crossed.
According to the French news website The Local, Stephan Turk, a 67-year-old jeweler from the town of Nice on the French Riviera, shot and killed an armed robber, 19-year-old Anthony Asli, who tried to flee after holding the jeweler at gunpoint around 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11.
Witnesses say Asli and another man robbed Turk at his shop, La Turqoise, then made their escape on a scooter. Turk pursued the men on the adjacent street and fired a 7.65x17 mm — or .32 ACP — semi-automatic pistol at the men, striking Asli, who was pronounced dead at the scene shortly thereafter. Turk was arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter, as prosecutors allege Turk fired his gun at a time when he was no longer in danger.
"After he was threatened the jeweler grabbed his firearm, moved toward the metal shutters, crouched and fired three times. He said he fired twice to immobilize the scooter and a third time he fired because he said he felt threatened," said Nice prosecutor Eric Bedos, who added Turk's pistol was in fact illegal. "I'm convinced that he fired to kill his aggressor. When he fired, his life was no longer in danger."
Even Asli's sister reached out to media to condemn Turk.
"He shot a kid in the back. He's a traitor, he's a coward," Alexandra Asli told reporters.
Despite the charges levied against him, millions of people across the Internet are showing their support for Turk. A Facebook page called "Soutien au bijoutier de Nice" — meaning "Support to Nice jeweler" — already has 1.6 million fans; social media tracking sites show over 79 percent of those users are from France, while .4 percent hail from the U.S.
It's interesting to see the reaction from French citizens apparently fed up with a perceived plague of delinquency and violence in their cities, particularly coming from Europe, which doesn't exactly have a friendly rapport with private gun ownership.
Still, there are parallels to be made with American self-defense laws. In Peoria, Ill., where G&A's online office is located, the fact that the robbers had already made their getaway wouldn't be enough of a defense to justify the shooting, and the argument that Turk was simply fed up with robbers and thugs certainly wouldn't hold up.
What do you think? Was Turk justified in firing at the robbers at that point, or was it no longer personal defense at that point?
Joe Biden's Baffling Home Defense Advice
In one of the more mind-boggling statements of 2013 — so far, at least — Vice President Joe Biden offered his sage home-defense tactics
during on online interview. In situations where his wife feels threatened at their home, Biden said, his advice is to "walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barreled shotgun, and fire two blasts outside the house." Of course, anyone with half a brain knows firing a weapon into the air is not only unsafe, but illegal, so it's puzzling why the Veep would encourage citizens to commit crimes in the name of self-defense.
Biden didn't stop there, saying in another interview if you want to keep someone away from your home, "Just fire a shotgun through the door."
Wisconsin Marine Stops Assault with Concealed Firearm
Marine Corps veteran Charlie Blackmore was driving home from work at about 4 a.m. one March morning when he noticed a large man kicking something on the sidewalk
. Turns out, the man was brutally attacking his ex-girlfriend, and Blackmore — a CCW holder — was quick to respond. He pulled up and told the man to stop, but when the man continued, Blackmore pulled his handgun and told the man to get on the ground, then held the suspect at gunpoint until the police arrived. Semper fi, Marine.
Elderly CPL Holders Thwart Armed Robberies in Detroit
On Feb. 1, a 70-year-old girls basketball coach at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Detroit was walking two of his students to their cars when they were approached by two males
— one a student at the school, another recently expelled. When the pair tried to rob the coach and pulled a gun, the coach — a Michigan concealed pistol license holder and reserve police officer — pulled his concealed handgun and opened fire on the would-be robbers, killing one and wounding the other.
That same day, an elderly gentleman on Grand River Avenue in Detroit was held up by another robber who had picked a bad target; the older gentleman, also a CPL holder, drew his pistol and shot the criminal. Both incidents are a perfect example of the reason behind and effectiveness of concealed carry.
Naked Utah Homeowner Holds Burglar at Gunpoint
In March, St. George, Utah, homeowner Eric Martin was awoken by noises inside his home
. After grabbing his handgun, Martin found an intruder, Clinton Keller, who then fled outside, tripping over some of the items he'd already removed from the home. Martin kept his 9mm trained on Keller until the police arrived.
And oh yeah, Martin was completely naked throughout the entire ordeal — even when the police arrived on the scene. 'Imagine five police cars and seven officers rolling up to a scene with a naked man holding a weapon pointing at someone, and holding him down on the ground, ' Martin said. 'The police got a kick out of that. '
72-Year-Old Woman Shoots at Intruder
When 72-year-old Jan Cooper noticed 31-year-old Brandon Alexander Perez trying to force his way into her home
, she grabbed her Smith & Wesson .357 and fired a shot — missing him, but scaring him senseless. Perez, already on parole for burglary, was apprehended by Orange County deputies. After being put away, Cooper sent a message to Perez: "Well Mr. Perez, you have no idea how lucky you were to be able to walk away from my house."
Police Chief: Guns Are Not Defensive Weapons
It's"https://www.gunsandammo.com/2013/04/17/police-chief-ken-james-guns-are-not-defensive-weapons/" target="_blank">Emeryville (Calif.) Police Chief Ken James took the microphone during a February press conference and used the opportunity to condemn civilian use of firearms.
"One issue that always boggles my mind is the idea that guns are a defensive weapon. That is a myth. A gun is not a defensive weapon," James said. "A gun is an offensive weapon, used to intimidate, and used to show power. Police officers do not carry a gun as a defensive weapon to defend themselves or their other officers, they carry a gun to be able to do their job in a safe and effective manner and face any opposition that we may come upon. If it was a defensive measure, why did we lose 55 officers last year to gun violence?"
87-Year-Old Shoots Man Attacking Pregnant Woman
In February, a 24-year-old pregnant woman was doing laundry at her apartment building with her 3-year-old daughter, when 49-year-old Larrell Stell began harassing her and making sexual advances toward her
. When she refused, Stell pushed her, so she grabbed her daughter and ran to the landlord's apartment. Stell caught up with her there and began punching her repeatedly, so the 87-year-old landlord got his handgun and shot Stell. When Stell tried to attack the landlord, the landlord shot him again.
"From the information that we've been given, we think it sounds fortunate that the landlord was armed in this case," said Lt. Britt Snyder of the Chaves County (N.M.) Sheriff's Department. "He certainly would have been no match for a man that's 40 years younger than him."
New York Student Uses AR-15 to Stop Home Invasion
In March, Chris Boise, a college student in Rochester, N.Y., came face-to-face with two home intruders in his apartment
, one of the men pointing a gun in Boise's face. Boise's roommate, Raymond, heard the commotion and grabbed his AR-15, which scared the intruders away on sight.
Plenty of folks may want to ban the AR platform, but this story proves these rifles have a place in today's society.
Liquor Store Owner Pulls Gun on Armed Robbers
Having been pistol-whipped and tied up by robbers back in 2011, 69-year-old Arturo Taveras was no stranger to armed criminals with evil intentions. So when an armed robber entered his store on June 2
, Taveras wasn't about to give in. Instead, Taveras pulled his own pistol on the robber, scaring him away before a single shot could be fired. When push came to shove, Taveras showed he was willing and able to end the threat himself; sometimes that's all you need.
W.V. County Tries to Prosecute Teen Over NRA Shirt
Jared Marcum, a 14-year-old West Virginia student, caused quite a stir after he refused to take off his NRA T-shirt at school
. After being verbally reprimanded by a teacher, then suspended, and finally arrested for charges of obstruction by his school's safety officer, Marcum was faced with jail time over a T-shirt emblazoned with an AR-15 and the phrase, "Protect Your Right." County officials began treating local media with hostility and refused to answer reporters' questions, making an already ridiculous story even goofier. Charges were eventually dropped against Marcum, putting an end to one of the more bizarre stories of 2013.
Kidnappers Force Couple to Rob Bank, Shot by Husband
After 20-year-old Jordan Kutach and 21-year-old Preston Kutach kidnapped a couple
, forced the wife to steal an undisclosed amount of cash from the bank where she worked, and forced the husband to drive them down the highway, they were dealt a little Texas justice by the perturbed husband. A reserve officer with the sheriff's department, the husband drew a firearm he had concealed in his vehicle and shot both suspects, killing Preston Kutach and critically wounding Jordan Kutach. Authorities did not release the husband's name, but it's believed he will not face charges.
Iowa Hostage Kills Escaped Fugitive
Having recently escaped from prison, 38-year-old Rodney Long led authorities on a four-day manhunt
, shooting and wounding a deputy in the process and wrecking a stolen truck. Entering the home of 71-year-old Jerome Mauderly, however. After he and his wife, Carolyn, were held hostage for four hours, Mr. Mauderly finally decided enough was enough, grabbed his shotgun and confronted Long, firing one shot and ending the threat once and for all.
Pizza Restaurant Owner Thwarts Armed Robbery
On Aug. 16, two masked men entered Steve Sahin's New Haven, Conn., restaurant, Pizza Heaven II
, shortly before midnight, brandishing a rifle and demanding Sahin empty his cash register and his pockets. However, the robbers got greedy and demanded Sahin take them to his office in the back to grab more cash. The robbers were shocked to see a pistol in Sahin's drawer, which he pulled on the robbers. Surprised, the wannabe rifleman stumbled and dropped his weapon — which turned out to be a mere pellet rifle.
Liquor Store Clerk Pulls Gun on Robber
Hollywood actors can't hold a candle to 54-year-old Jon Lewis Alexander. Now a liquor store clerk, Alexander is a 30-year veteran who has done four tours in Iraq, has extradited federal prisoners, and has worked as both a prison guard and a private investigator. Needless to say, this guy is tough, and he has little patience for petty thugs. One would-be robber in Marionville, Mo., found that out the hard way earlier this week when he tried to hold up Alexander, only for the clerk to stick the business end of his own pistol in the criminal's face
French Jeweler Shoots Robber, Charged with Murder
Stephan Turk, a 67-year-old jeweler from the town of Nice on the French Riviera, shot and killed an armed robber
, 19-year-old Anthony Asli, who tried to flee after holding the jeweler at gunpoint around 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11. However, the shooting has prompted many to question whether the shooting was justified, as Asli had already fled the store. What do you think?