The headlines on the pages of USA Today on Wednesday included “Black mom with assault weapon stops attack, saves children” and “Woman alive thanks to sidearm; calls 911, then shoots attacker.”
They may have jarred readers a little, but primarily because such messages seldom are seen in most of America’s media.
And, in fact, the stories were a compilation of true reports assembled for a paid ad sponsored by GunLaws.com.
Called “The First-Responders Report,” the section also included headlines, “Robber picks the wrong store, brings knife to a gun fight,” and “Black bystander with a gun saves mother, helps capture assailants.”
The last story, for example, describes how a mom out shopping with two small children in Houston was dragged across a parking lot by suspects in a car, who apparently were intent on stealing her purse.
“Witnessing the event, a pair of innocent bystanders were the first responders, quickly rushing to the woman’s aid. One of the two men, thanks to several recent common-sense changes to Texas gun laws, was legally carrying a fully loaded sidearm and was able to subdue the two suspects, holding them face down at gunpoint until police were able to get to the scene, later. No one was injured…”
Most gun owners are familiar with the darkly funny quip, “When seconds count, the police are just minutes away,” and the new ad/report is publicizing those stories about someone who is able to respond in seconds.
The Wednesday publication of the report was the first in a series that is planned to appear in the paper on an ongoing basis. Each will be printed as a paid advertisement assembled and sponsored by Bloomfield Press, an Arizona-based publisher and distributor of books related to firearms and firearm laws.
The publisher’s website, GunLaws.com, features hundreds of titles including the “Gun Owner’s Guide” series of books describing the gun laws in each state in plain English, and titles such as “Your First Gun” and “After You Shoot.”
Alan Korwin, the founder and publisher of Bloomfield Press, is well known in the firearm-training and gun-rights community. Korwin is also the founder of TrainMeAZ.com, a cooperative of professional firearms trainers and organizations committed to providing reliable resources for people interested in firearm safety and their effective use.
In an interview, Korwin said “The First-Responders Report” is being published as a paid advertisement because too often such stories are overlooked or avoided by major mass media.
“All of the research shows that citizens use firearms to stop criminals hundreds of thousands, or millions of times every year in this country,” said Korwin. “And in most cases, they do it without ever firing a shot.
“The media outlets love to promote stories,” Korwin continued, “of armed criminals and lunatics committing atrocities with firearms. But stories of citizens using guns to stop crimes, capture criminals, and save lives rarely seem to make it past a brief report on a local TV station or a short story in a local paper. We want to change that, so we put together a team to find and convey those stories, and the funding to get them published.
“Since the major media won’t report the stories as news, we decided we’d work on getting them published as advertisements. It’s expensive and a lot of work, but we think America deserves to see the other side of the picture the media has been inaccurately painting.”
Korwin said new editions of “The First-Responders Report” are scheduled to be included in USA Today over the next several months, and that it will be an ongoing feature and be expanded into other newspapers and markets. Those interested in sponsoring the work can reach him at GunLaws.com, he said.
“We want the whole world to see these stories and understand that guns save lives every day,” Korwin said. “This isn’t about politics or legislation, this is about public safety and the value guns add to our society.
“Bad people will always find ways to do bad things, but guns in the hands of responsible citizens are often the only effective means for good people to get the upper hand. These are stories that deserve to be told, and if paying to have them published is the only way to get them out there, that’s what we’ll do.”
The stories include the stunning report from KSAZ-TV in Phoenix, which reported a woman was confronted by a man who rang her doorbell, then tried to force his way into her home. She dialed 911 and grabbed her sidearm.
He kept attacking, with a gardening tool, even after she retreated to the bathroom, and she was struck several times before “she could get the gun up and fire, stopping him.”
Police arrived later to “escort the wounded assailant to the hospital.”
“I once had an AP bureau chief tell me they don’t want to run stories like this because they don’t want to encourage this kind of behavior, it could create copy cats,” Korwin said. “That stunned me. … What was wrong with having people stop criminals? And if the AP was afraid people would copy behavior they wrote about, how can they run incessant stories about people who go berserk?”
The GunLaws website explains it simply: “A person confronted by an active shooter or a crime in progress has two basic choices – do nothing and hope the maniac leaves you alone, or do something to protect yourself.”
The first ad: