The Rifle on the Wall Story: Is It True?

I first heard the Rifle on the Wall story via radio advertisement.  Her story is compelling and provokes a common sense outrage.  But her account of the attack and her response jumped out at me as very suspicious.  Now I’ll gladly take my lumps for being a cynical jerk if I’m wrong  (probably), but here are the things that set my alarm bells off:

1) She kept a loaded gun on the wall.  Serious violation of gun safety rules (NRA Rule #3).  But since her reason for owning a gun is her personal safety, I’ll accept it that she wanted a loaded weapon to be easily accessible in case of attack.

2) Then when she was attacked, she didn’t shoot her attacker.  She had the presence of mind to grab the phone, call 911, and keep the attacker at bay.  

3) She was very fortunate the attacker didn’t grab the gun that was on the wall and in turn use it on her.

WCAX, in its reporting on the gun control debate (http://www.wcax.com/story/24550288/gun-control-debated-in-burlington), identified the woman as Amy Alexander.   But her story also sounds quite similar to the one told by Amy Lorraine in the comments section of a VT Digger story (http://vtdigger.org/2013/10/28/gun-sense-vermont-sponsors-educational-forum/):

I am not fearful Don, I am prepared. On the night of 11/17/11, a man broke in the back door of my house. I called 911 and put it on speaker phone. Despite knowing he was able to be heard by the 911 operator, he punched me in the face and grabbed/shoved me into the wall – the wall where my .44 was hanging. I grabbed the gun, chambered a round and pointed it at his chest. I walked him out the door. The cops arrived 52 minutes later and said I would have been justified in shooting him. I didn’t have to but he knew I could have and that is what made all the difference in the outcome. That rifle, and the fact that it was loaded, saved my life that night.

.

We have two versions of the event.  In Amy Alexander’s version, the man attacked her, then went into another room.  She then grabbed the loaded gun off the wall, walked him back into the kitchen, called 911, and then waited 52 minutes for the police to arrive.  In Amy Lorraine’s version, she called 911, then was attacked and shoved into the wall where her gun was.  She then chambered a round and held the man at bay until the police arrived 52 minutes later.

Interestingly, Amy Alexander also shows up to comment on the same VT Digger article in which Amy Lorraine shared her story.  So did the attack happen to Amy Alexander?  Or Amy Lorraine?  Or are they the same person?

This story could be authenticated very easily if Amy Alexander/Lorraine provided the location of the attack.  We already know it was November 17, 2011, so if we know the location, then we can ask for the police report or police log.  If authenticated, I’ll gladly apologize for questioning the veracity of Ms. Alexander/Lorraine’s account.

21 thoughts on “The Rifle on the Wall Story: Is It True?

  1. she hadn’t told it differently.  Or under different names.

    Kestral, this has nothing do to with support or not of gun control.  For what it’s worth, I don’t agree with what Burlington is doing. You can believe that or not.

    No, this isn’t contemptible.  It’s called asking questions.

  2. A couple of counterpoints to your skepticism.  1) She said that she chambered a round.  So while the gun WAS loaded, a round wasn’t chambered until she took it off the wall.  An unloaded gun is just a decoration. 2) When you’re up shit creek, you probably don’t do things as NRA protocol prescribes. Things happen fast. And in the rush of adrenaline, details are blurry. 3) I understood her description of the events to mean that she backed him into the kitchen and out the door.  THEN the police arrived 52 minutes later. 3) Maybe she, as do many women do, uses her maiden name in informal situations.  But it’s great that you attack her.  Typical.  

  3. A gun with 10 rounds in an attached magazine isn’t loaded until chambered, but it’s a split second away from being so.

    Yeah, when stuff happens, the best laid plans can go out the window.

    Yes, she could have used her maiden name.  I thought of that and hoped it would be an explanation.

    Contrary to what you and Kestral think, I’m not attacking her.  I found her story troubling (strictly due to the part about the loaded weapon on the wall) from the start, and then when I saw it described differently by a different person, I publicly asked if it was real, and laid out my reasons for being suspicious.

  4. …are close enough for police work.  Especially coming through third parties.  And that’s not a disparagement of the third parties, it’s simply acknowledgement of human error, as a quick game of “Telephone” would illustrate.

    As for your items:

    #1: Ready-for-defense counts as “in use” for being loaded.  (Depends on number/maturity of persons in household as well.)  Ideally, you’d have a fully-loaded, cocked-and-locked sidearm on your hip… but, financial issues might relegate one to the gun already available.  And carrying a long-gun around as a sidearm is a monumental PITA; just ask any military person.

    #2: Trouble doesn’t always happen when you’re expecting it, or 100% prepared.  So she adjusted to the situation at hand and still managed to keep herself safe.  Good for her.

    #3: Well, yes, but… Did the attacker know it was there?  Know it was ‘loaded’?  People under stress or mania can be pretty tunnel-visioned.  a.k.a. “Focused”.  Whatever the circumstances, it’s actually exceedingly rare for a non-LEO to have their defensive weapon turned on them.  

  5. Is Apache Trout your given name?? Is it on your driver’s license? Your twitter account? Your birth certificate?  Is your brother’s name Trouser??  Just saying. If we’re gonna throw rocks …

  6. 1)There is nothing wrong with having a loaded gun on the wall Having a loaded gun on the wall does not discredit someones story.

    2)She didnt shoot her attacker so you question her story? Not shooting someones attacker does not discredit someones story.

    3)Because the attacker didnt take and use the gun on her you feel she is lying?. Having a gun NOT taken from you in a situation like this does not discredit someones story.

    Did you ever think that she created an account with a false name to protect her from the person that attacked her?

    Did you watch the gun control debate yourself? It is available online.

    Did you consider what emotions this might bring up for Amy?

    You say you will apologize for questioning her veracity if her claims are authenticated…I think you should just apologize! What good could come of you writing this garbage? I’m really not sure what your motive is here…

  7. no reason to doubt it, after all, she had an order of protection on the perp.  

    This story is a great bloody shirt for the gun proliferation crowd, a little lady standing down a man – a man without a gun.  

    Of course, while this story warms the gun-lovers’ hearts, the ad fails to mention that women are about 70-80 times more likely to be shot by a man in a domestic violence situation than to shoot one.  

    That’s the big reason why we don’t see more of these stories, they just don’t happen near as often as, say, men killing their wives and/or families. I bet there are more kids killed in school shootings in a year than husbands and boyfriends shot and killed by their wives and girlfriends.

    While she willingly made herself the poster girl for the gun proliferation crowd, and thereby put her story up for closer analysis, you went at this the wrong way, Apache.  

    I think you’re right about one thing, though, she was very fortunate.  If she had the gun in his chest, then the man could have easily grabbed it – if he had had one or two beers more or less – either way – the ending could have been very different.

    Trying to pass these laws only made a bigger mess of things.  I bet that gun sales in northern VT have spiked since now not just Obama, but Michael Bloomberg and Miro too, are going to be kicking in doors gathering guns for the giant meltdown.  But, he, that’s what the other side does, find another reason to be paranoid so they can buy more guns.  And sell more guns.  

    So if not this then it would be something else.  It is ever thus.

  8. Here’s the POINT:  Gun Safety vs a WOMAN’S LIFE.  Apache, you are being ‘politically correct’ to a fault, as liberals and anti-gun people often are.  Would you feel better if the woman had been killed?  Your fucking safety concerns are more important than a woman’s right to have a loaded gun available in her home to protect herself from attack, rape or death if she so chooses?  And Ed, why didn’t you nail him on this?  This is the basic ‘visceral’

    issue about gun control.  Apache is upset because, to him, it seems that there are woman out there (and men too) who have ‘loaded’ guns in their home.  Hell, I had a loaded .38 revolver in my bedside draw when I lived in the country, with the hammer on an empty chamber–my ‘choice’ in gun safety.  But all I would have had to do is grab it and squeeze off two body-mass shots.  No chambering, etc.  If I were attacked in my bedroom, would you feel better, Apache, if my gun were totally unloaded–and me DEAD?

    It seems that gun control arguments are now at that ridiculous stage where gun safety is more important than a victim’s life.  The liberal is worried that the neighbor has a loaded gun in his/her home.  Oh my goodness, My Safety, MY safety!  And don’t give me the old line of shit about children.  People who choose to keep their guns at the ready should know enough about keeping them out of a child’s reach.  And if they don’t, gun safety EDUCATION is required, NOT rules about how a home weapon should be broken down to render it totally useless in an emergency.  And this woman was not attacked by a child.

    Good For Her! I say.  I can’t believe there is anything to question here about this woman’s conduct.  Or story.  

    Gun Safety?  Tell it to the Marines–in Afghanistan.  

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