Exercising the Right: "... the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms, Shall Not Be Infringed."

Article excerpt

Shooter Haunted by Dead Burglar

Sixty-three-year-old Elzie Pipkins, a great grandmother who lives on her own in Shreveport, Louisiana, was forced to take the life of a 16-year-old burglar and is now tormented by it.

Huffington Post reported on January 9 that Pipkins had been robbed before and decided that she needed a handgun for protection. Unfortunately for the would-be burglar, she had it loaded and ready when Devon Antonio Young decided to burglarize her home.

Young was armed with a shotgun and burst into the home while Pipkins was babysitting her granddaughter and great-grandson. Young demanded that Pipkins give her all the money she had in a safe.

As Pipkins unlocked the safe, she said a prayer to herself and asked "God to give me strength, to get through this, it'll be me or him." Pipkins was able to retrieve her pistol from the safe and fired at Young, hitting him in the chest with the first round.

Young ran from the home but collapsed and died nearby. Even though Pipkins survived the ordeal, she finds herself traumatized by having had to take a life. "I haven't slept at all, I have not been asleep at all," Pipkins said. "Every time I close my eyes I just see him."

Even though Pipkins is haunted by having had to take a life, she recognizes that she acted properly under the circumstances. "I did what any parent or loved one would do and that's try to protect her own," she said. Supporters who feel likewise have been lining up to sing her praises.

The Shreveport Times ran a series of reader comments lauding the great-grandmother for her heroic actions. Times reader Mary Ellen Briehn wrote, "None of us know what we would have done had we been placed in the same situation; she did what she had to do.... Being a loving, caring person, she felt badly about the outcome. God bless Ms. Pipkins."

Gun enthusiast and firearms store clerk Helen Helverson, of Ron's Guns in Bossier City, wrote, "It helps people feel like they have the ability to defend themselves.... The lady's gun was in her safe when she pulled it out and shot that guy. She was flat defending herself and her home.... The one thing that most concerns me is them [the government] taking away the average citizen's rights to bear arms.... To take away the guns because of a few bad apples is like taking away cars because of a few accidents."


NRA spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen explained why this story touched so many. "Firearms are the great equalizer, and this story really illustrated that.... Elderly people, small people and women, especially, find that firearms are a great equalizer and are a great way to protect themselves and their families. People relate to that, so this woman's story really touches a chord with a lot of people."

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