Jeremy Schenkel felt safe – right up to the moment he came face to face with one of the dozens of violent black mobs that terrorized Philadelphia last summer.
Schenkel survived the ensuing assault with no major broken bones. A few minutes later, the mob’s next victim was not so fortunate: They left him beaten, bloody and unconscious.
Roger McBride and Lulu Campbell did not want to depend on luck. They used a gun. It may have saved their lives. It certainly kept them from harm.
They are just two of the more than 100,000 people who last year defended themselves with guns when luck was not enough.
Victims of black mob violence often say it was just a case of bad luck. But when the mob saw Schenkel and decided he was an easy mark, they could not contain the joy at their good fortune. A CBS affiliate tells his story:
“The kids were laughing as they beat and kicked (Jeremy,) and not only was there the attacking mob, there was also a group of kids cheering them on.
“Almost like an admiring group that was following them, just kind of ragging on people, and one of those guys said, ‘It’s not our fault you can’t fight.”
“(The suspect) shouted, ‘Give me the (blanking) money and open the (blanking) door!’” Campbell told The Telegraph, describing her ordeal. “I said, ‘Oh my God, somebody is going to rob me.’ I said, ‘Baby, you’re going to kill me anyway, so I don’t have to open it!’”
Campbell says the man fired at her, missing. The 57-year-old fired back, striking him in the chest. Her truck sustained eight bullet holes in the hood, one in the grill. Both front side windows were destroyed. The second man fled after she shot at him.
Out in Kansas City, Roger McBride interrupted a mob of 40 black people – still in uniforms from a local school – while they were kicking in doors and breaking windows at his neighbor’s house.
He asked them to stop. They declined. McBride told his story to a local TV news program:
“All of a sudden, this one kid with corn rows comes out and he’s like yakety yak, (expletive), da, da, da. He’s like we’ll kick your (expletive) too you don’t (expletive) own this neighborhood, and they are like, literally, 12 of them, start running over here,” said MacBride.
MacBride says the teens surrounded his house, picking up rocks and throwing them at him. That’s when he says in his eyes, the mob stopped being a bunch of kids and became a big threat.
He says the teens were reaching for his door handle when the sight of his Soviet rifle had an instant reaction:
They ran to another neighborhood where they started all over in a more congenial environment.
“Dude, I’ve got guns everywhere. I’m a very well-armed individual,” he says. “I love my little place. I love my neighbors. I’ve got the best damned neighborhood in Kansas City, in my opinion.
“And I’ll be damned if a little bunch of f—- – I know they’ve been taught that ‘if there’s a bunch of us, people won’t fight back. … Just take what you want and run.’ Until they mess up, and I start shooting them in the head.”
If they didn’t know it then, they know it now.
An eerily similar situation took place in Philadelphia at about the same time with a different result.
the attackers pounded on his front windows and kicked his wooden door so hard, it flew open and some of them entered his house.
“The first guy hits me with a pipe. The second guy knocks me in the face. All I’m hearing is my wife and kids screaming,” said LaVelle, who feared that the next time they saw him, he would be in a casket.
He said that he was able to push the attackers out the door, but then a third man – who had a gun – tried to extend his arm. LaVelle grabbed onto the gunman’s lower arm and shoulder so he couldn’t raise the weapon. Then, police sirens screamed in the neighborhood, and the mob turned and ran.
LaVelle did not own a gun. Maybe that is why, two hours later, the mob returned to threaten even more violence if he testified.
Call it the Case of the Missing Gun.
Just a few months before, it took a gun to save a U.S. Marine and his wife from a mob. While home on leave from Iraq, Federico Freire and his wife were trying to watch the movie Little Fockers at a mall in Bradenton, Fla. A group of 20 black people sitting two rows in front of them were talking loudly.
Freire asked them to stop. They did not. After a brief ruckus, the manager kicked them out. When the Freires left the theater, this group of 20 had grown into an angry gang of 300. They attacked the family, beating them and knocking her out.
A gun owner brandishing a weapon took the fight out of that crowd. At least temporarily.
“On our way out of the movie theater, my wife gets surrounded with about 10 to 15 girls that were about to attack her,” Freire told FoxNews.com. “As soon as I saw this I immediately ran and got her out of harm’s way.”
Freire said he was kicked and punched as he and his wife tried to run from the group.
“I leaned down to grab my purse and there were literally 100 teens around us,” Kalyn Freire said, “While the manager was in the corner with his mouth open and not doing anything.”
Freire said one bystander stepped forward and told the couple to follow him to his car, saying he could scare the crowd off with a gun.
They got the gun. Saved the girl. Six people were arrested. The family went to the hospital.
“They’re lucky to be alive,” said Crawford, with big stitches decorating his skull. “That’s it. If I wasn’t in a good mood, they would have carried them away.”
Crawford is not in danger of prosecution because of Florida’s “Stand your Ground” law. “It’s a good law,” he said. The police “cannot be everywhere to protect everybody, so you have to protect yourself. Period.”
McClure escaped and gave chase, gun in hand. He caught them and, thinking one of the looters was reaching for a gun, killed him. Police soon had two others in custody. After checking for the presence of anyone in the area wearing an electronic ankle monitor, they found the fourth nearby in the bushes.
Another good shoot, said local prosecutors.
In Detroit, four black men in 2011 ambushed a pizza delivery driver. He killed one. Police caught the others. The delivery man had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Every year hundreds of delivery drivers are robbed. Most do not carry guns. That is why the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls it one of the most dangerous jobs in the country.
Back in Florida, John Lee, a father of four, was on his way to work at Sam’s Club when four black men demanded his money, and opened fire on him.
“I got my concealed weapons permit a few years ago,” he said, “Hoping I would never have to use it.”
But he did, driving the thieves away, not before taking three more rounds in his arms, leg and abdomen.
In Wilmington, Del., three black men apparently set on righting ancient wrongs recently assassinated a sports leader at point blank range on the sidelines of a crowded soccer field. No one will ever know how much havoc these three gangsters intended on wreaking on the rest of the crowd. Before anyone found out, several spectators pulled out their guns and returned fire, killing one of the assassins, driving off the other two. They were soon captured. Police found shells from 14 different guns.
Curiously, of the hundreds of people at the pitch that day, not one of them got a look at the Good Samaritan gunners. Let’s just say the chances were slim they had gun permits.
No one knows how often guns are used for self defense. The Cato Institute says anywhere from 100,000 to one million times a year. But of course, the work of author John Lott is the best place to go for more of this kind of information.
Lots of journalists could use it. Like two reporters at the Fox affiliate in Philadelphia who were heartsick at the news that some suburban folks were buying guns.
The story started out as a follow up to a report that 20 black people did a flash rob at an Upper Darby department store. All on video.
Those who expected any congratulations for making their neighborhoods safer had another thing coming:
“I couldn’t believe when I heard this one earlier,” said the worried anchor. “It sounds like a ‘I’m going to get them before they get me’ mentality.”
Before he had a chance to explain why an attitude of self-defense was bad for anyone but the predators, the reporter in the field started talking about “how afraid people are about getting caught up in one of these flash mobs. And they want to be ready. It sounds unbelievable. But law enforcement says believe it. It is a nightmare in the making.”
Please note: The nightmare they are talking about is people protecting themselves.
“I talked to a number of private citizens tonight who said they used to keep their guns near them,” said the reporter. “Now they take it with them everywhere they go.”
Steve Kates knows the issue firsthand.
This Phoenix area talk show host and gun safety instructor says more and more people are taking personal responsibility for their own safety – and that is the way it should be.
“Every state has its own laws regulating how you can carry and use a weapon when you feel threatened,” Kates said. “So you have to know what they are. But having said that, a lot more people are feeling a lot less safe. With good reason. So having a firearm and knowing how to use it is more important today than ever.”
All over the country, states are reporting record surges in concealed carry permits and gun sales. Sturm Ruger gun company is selling so many guns that three months ago it had to stop taking orders until it cleared its backlog.
For some, getting a concealed carry permit is not an option. One Philadelphia area homeowner made do with what she had when she was (almost) a victim of a wave of black-on-Asian home invasion robberies over the last two years.
The invaders had already tied up one of the occupants and were holding a gun on the other.