Self-defense activists are pointing to the shooting of a wanted murder suspect in Vicksburg, Mississippi as “one more example” of the value of having a defensive firearm in the home, even when children are present.
One gun rights organization is already noting that the death of Rafael McCloud, who had been the subject of a week-long manhunt after he escaped jail March 2, was the result of making “a fatal error in the victim selection process.”
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, is calling the incident a textbook example of “the importance of having the will, and the tool, to fight back.” He co-authored America Fights Back: Armed Self-Defense in a Violent Age about eight years ago
“The importance of the right to keep and bear arms is never more decisively demonstrated than in a self-defense case like this,” he said. “They used a handgun to defend themselves and their child from a dangerous predator.”
It’s the kind of reasoning that grates on the gun prohibition lobby, which typically remains silent in the wake of such incidents.
Vicksburg Police Capt. Sandra Williams said McCloud forced his way into the unidentified victim’s home and held the family hostage for hours before the man was able to free himself briefly. There was a scuffle, in which McCloud stabbed the man in the shoulder, after which he allowed the wife to leave the room.
She returned with a handgun and shot McCloud once, before cutting her husband’s bonds. He then took the pistol and fatally shot McCloud before the couple fled their house and summoned help. When police arrived, they found McCloud dead in a bathtub.
Authorities said McCloud had a criminal history. He had been jailed in January on charges of kidnapping, rape and murder in connection with the 2015 slaying of 69-year-old Sharen Wilson. He escaped custody on March 2 after pulling a homemade knife on a jail guard, according to several published reports.
“What happened in Vicksburg was proof that armed self-defense works,” CCRKBA’s Gottlieb said. “McCloud made a fatal error in the victim-selection process, and now there is one less violent criminal on the streets.”
Capt. Williams confirmed that the couple will not face any charges. They legally-owned the gun they used. Mississippi has a “castle” law, she said.
“This story puts the lie to arguments by anti-gunners that guns should not be kept in homes with young children,” Gottlieb said in a statement to the press. “The presence of a handgun in that Vicksburg home kept this family alive. A tragedy was averted because a family had a gun and used it.”