Kendra St. Claire was a twelve-year-old girl who lives with her mother and a sibling. She is in sixth grade but was on fall break this week. Her mother has a job and had to let Kendra spend some time alone inside her house in Durant, Oklahoma, just north of the Texas border. While there, on Wednesday morning, one Stacey Adams Jones, 32, broke into the house.
The intrusion began at 9:30 with Jones banging on the door and ringing the doorbell. Kendra, “frightened out of [her] mind” as she later said, called her mother. Her mother instructed her to go get the .40 caliber Glock and hide in the closet in their bathroom.
Jones kicked in the back door and came in. Kendra suspects that he knew someone was home because he heard the TV. She stayed still in her hiding place until she saw the door knob begin to turn as Jones attempted to open the closet door. She shot through the door and wounded him. He fled outside to be arrested by police. He had to be flown to Plano, Texas for emergency medical treatment.
You can listen to Kendra’s call to 911. She is truly a brave girl and a real daughter of liberty.
So let us ask a question: What if Kendra’s mother had not owned a handgun? Perhaps Jones’ intentions were not as bad as they might be. I have no way of knowing. But if this had turned into a homicide story, or a homicide/rape story, no one in the newspapers or the media would have reported this as a tragic result of not owning a handgun. The media eagerly reports on gunfire accidents as reasons to ban handguns. And they report on handgun crimes as reasons to ban handguns. No matter what the story the lesson is always that American has too many handguns.
One less handgun in America might have meant one more murder victim, and no one would have cared about the one thing that could have made a difference.
Think about the reporting and commentary on the theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado. Did anyone express a wish that gun ownership and gun carrying were more common in the United States?
If Kendra’s mother had not believed in owning a handgun, and had instead hoped that the police could save her, she would probably be grievously disappointed. And she would have no legal recourse. Even though people claim that the police are our protectors, the courts have made it clear that a person who is victimized by crime has no right to sue the police for failing in their duty to protect.
The only other thing that would have made Kendra’s situation better would be two parents to protect her instead of one. For all I know, in Kendra’s own case, was never a real option. I’m glad she has a well-armed mother who loves her and has taught her well. But, if we’re going to talk in general about how to make society safer, rational people must admit that, on average, privately-owned guns and two-parent households have a far better track record than well-armed and amply-financed police departments.