by Robert A. Waters
ocala4sale.com | May 11, 2000
CNN. CBS. ABC. NBC.
They're out there 24 hours a day, dragging
their tentacles through the heartland, and into the cities, country villages,
and towns of America. They uncover even the thinnest cases of criminal use of
firearms—then they blast those stories onto our television screens.
But they didn't find this one.
You'd almost think they're biased.
On November 17, 1999, each of the major
networks should have opened their evening newscasts with the following story:
"Today, a teenaged boy and a housewife used guns to save their Oregon
neighborhood from a crazed killer." Instead, it was a local newspaper that
carried the story. Even then, the heroics were only mentioned half-way down the
column, and briefly at that.
Had this sixteen-year-old shot up a few
students at his high school, the nation would have known about it in minutes.
Had Nancy Rabine, a housewife who lived a few doors down from the teenager, gone
door-to-door shooting up houses, it would have been headline news.
But since all they did was to save their
neighbors from a desperate, murderous thug, the major media washed their hands
of the story.
It happened in Lebanon, Oregon.
Marc Mealy Holcomb, Jr. was a career criminal
and crack addict. While serving time in the county jail for forgery, he was
suddenly sprung when a paperwork snafu caused him to be released prematurely.
Not being one to learn from his experiences, Holcomb immediately called a friend
and described his plan to rob two brothers who were alleged to keep large
amounts of cash in their home. The friend signed on, so late that afternoon,
they drove to the home of Dean Frederick Pruitt and John Oliver Pruitt. After
forcing his way in the front door, Holcomb shot and killed and Dean, and wounded
John. Given Holcomb's luck, there was no money.
Compounding his ill fortune, Holcomb's
accomplice, waiting outside, panicked at the sound of the shots and fled. Now
the killer was without transportation.
Holcomb, determined to steal a vehicle, made
his way on foot to Rock Hill Road. Police later concluded that he had no reason
not to kill anyone who got in his way.
Using a semi-automatic pistol, he shot through
the door of the first home he came to. As he entered the home, the lone
inhabitant fled out the bedroom window carrying his car keys.
The frustrated carjacker went to a second home
but found it vacant.
He then made his way to the home of the
un-named sixteen-year-old who was babysitting his seven-year-old brother while
his parents worked. Again, Holcomb used his gun to announce his arrival,
blasting several slugs through the front door.
But this time, when he entered, he was met by
the teen who was armed with a .22 rifle. The boy yelled for Holcomb to leave.
Instead, the killer charged. The frightened teenager then took aim and drilled
Holcomb with a bullet to the chest. The murderer staggered out the door and
lurched on to the next house.
Still determined to find a car, Holcomb
proceeded to the back door of Nancy Rabine's home. Using his pistol, he smashed
out a window near the doorknob and reached through it in an attempt to open the
door. Rabine, who had heard the breaking glass, armed herself with a 9mm
semi-automatic handgun and confronted the desperate man.
"I told him I had a gun and would use it
if he didn't back off," Rabine later told a local reporter. Holcomb then
handed her his own weapon before fleeing.
Now disarmed, the fugitive broke into yet
another home. Using a kitchen knife, he attacked the occupant, an elderly woman
who lived alone. Holcomb forced her to give him the keys to her van. The
sobbing, bleeding woman was later taken to the emergency room to be treated for
But at last the neighborhood was quiet. Because
of two armed citizens, many lives were undoubtedly saved. Police later arrested
Holcomb. He faces life in prison if convicted.
But on November 17, 1999, where was Bernie
Shaw? Where was Dan Rather? Where was Peter Jennings? Where was Tom Brokaw?
I'll tell you where they were.
They were still scouring the country for a
crime that would make gun-owners look bad. Or for an accidental shooting of a
child. Or for a soundbite from some camouflage-clad militia redneck whose very
presence on the screen would be certain to frighten the soccer moms into calling
for more gun control.
The media know that most Americans believe what
they see on television. And conversely, what they don't see never happened.
So CNN, CBS, ABC, and NBC omit stories of armed
citizens who save themselves. Or their families. Or a stranger.
Or a neighborhood.
Instead, they wait impatiently for the next
school shooting. Or the next fired office worker who goes postal and guns down
his co-workers. Or the next child caught in the crossfire of a gang war.
They don't do self-defense with guns.
In Journalsm 101, it's call a
Mr. Waters is the author of The
Best Defense: True Stories of Intended Victims Who Defended Themselves with a