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Elderly Man With Firearm Levels Playing Field Against Two Attackers

Jack Goodwin was at home in bed when they broke through his window.

by
Howard Nemerov

Bio

February 3, 2012 - 3:22 pm

(Hat tip to Dan Gifford.)

World War II veteran and 87-year-old Los Angeles resident Jack Goodwin was in bed listening to the Lakers game Tuesday night, when he heard what he described as: “Boom, boom, boom, it was real loud, like a jackhammer.” He grabbed his pistol and “ran and ran to see what it was.”

With bum knees, Goodwin cannot move quickly. He’s lived the past 40 years in the Baldwin Village home, where he finished raising three daughters with his beloved wife Ruby. She passed away a few years ago.

One attacker is in the hospital in critical condition, the other remains at large.

Media reports call him an Army marksman, but video notes that was in “Carbine”, not pistols.

His interview with CBS is instructive. When asked if he was afraid, he said: “Not at all.” When asked if he could do anything differently, he said he “could run, run out the front door probably…” And this:

Goodwin says he has no regrets about how it all went down and probably would do it again the same way.

Police went on record as saying this was self-defense and plan to file no charges against Goodwin. However, the District Attorney could still do so, which is why, as in the case of another elderly man in Marin County, California, it’s a bad idea to take your 15 seconds of fame on TV.

California is anti-rights, and Dan Gifford told me about a meeting he went to where a LAPD Sergeant warned residents suffering from a spike in burglary against taking the law into your own hands, or some such silliness.

The bottom unvarnished line is that the LAPD will try mightily to find some reason to charge any homeowner with a crime for using a gun against an intruder. And since California has so many petty gun laws and technical violations, there are plenty to choose from. Charges for using unwarranted deadly force are another matter.

(By the way, self-defense isn’t “taking the law into your hands.” Each state has provisions in their laws delineating when the use of lethal force is appropriate to save yourself from grievous bodily harm or death.)

Here’s the crooked cross:

  • You say you weren’t afraid. Then why did you shoot if you didn’t feel you were in danger?
  • You say you could have run. Why didn’t you avoid confrontation?
  • You have no regrets about shooting somebody? Are you some kind of Dirty Harry vigilante?
  • You said you would do it again the same way. Do you intend to shoot people?

Good shooting, Mr. Goodwin. Let’s hope the DA does the right thing, instead of pimping for votes.

Former civilian disarmament supporter and medical researcher Howard Nemerov investigates the civil liberty of self-defense and examines the issue of gun control, resulting in his book Four Hundred Years of Gun Control: Why Isn’t It Working? He appears frequently on NRA News as their “unofficial” analyst and was published in the Texas Review of Law and Politics with David Kopel and Carlisle Moody.
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