Shawn Douglas was selling fireworks with his family in Topeka, Kansas last week when a man approached the booth. However, instead of taking out his wallet, the man drew a knife.
“Gentleman came up to me, you know he asked if we had a certain type of firework, next thing I know he lunges at me,” Douglas said in an interview with local television station WIBW.
“I felt like he punched me, then when he pulled out his hand, he had a knife,” the victim, who suffered two stab wounds, explained.
Shawn Douglas says you just need to keep going in life. For him, that meant returning to work hours after being stabbed.
However, while the man seems to have been intent on taking Douglas’ life, he quickly got a surprise.
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“I managed to push him away and pull my gun, at that point he decided you know, to retreat,” Douglas recalled. “He started yelling racial slurs and everything else at people.”
Alleged attacker Austin Langley was arrested a few blocks away and is facing charges of attempted murder.
While Douglas' story was harrowing, it was far from unique, you can find thousands of cases in which armed citizens protected themselves or others. And as Douglas demonstrated, a gun doesn't always have to be fired in order to save a life.
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In fact, sometimes it doesn't even have to be drawn: a DOJ-funded survey of federal convicts found that eighty-one percent of participants agreed that "a smart criminal always tries to find out if his potential victim is armed.” Seventy-four percent concurred with the statement, “One reason burglars avoid houses when people are home is they fear being shot.”
Yet while people who carry guns legally might be a threat to criminals, they usually don't pose a danger to society at large. In 2018 over 1.3 million Texans were licensed to carry a firearm; one of them was convicted of murder and another three were convicted of manslaughter. If they formed their own country, it would have a per capita murder rate of 0.29 per 100 thousand. For comparison, the UK's 2018 rate was 1.2.
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Douglas will need to take time away from his job in order to recover, and a GoFundMe has been established to help him and his family (Right Edge Magazine has verified its authenticity).
Regarding his experience, Douglas said, "I think the hardest part was my kids seeing that and hearing that. It made it pretty tough." While that's no doubt true, the good news is that their father survived. Without a gun, he might not have.
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