Gun-owning journalist recounts frightening encounter with intruder in DC home: ‘I’m glad’ I was armed

by Tommy Grant

A journalist confessed he was “glad” to have a gun after waking up to an intruder in his Washington, D.C. home late one evening.

“Here’s the thing: I keep coming back to that moment when I stood less than six feet from that man, holding the loaded revolver at my side, not knowing what he might do. I was struck by how much I did not want to use my firearm that night unless there was no other choice. But I’m glad I had a choice,” recounted former longtime Washington Post journalist Fredrick Kunkle in his Monday opinion piece.

Kunkle described how he was startled awake one night last April by a man wandering around inside his house. The intruder became belligerent after Kunkle yelled at him to leave.

After calling 911, Kunkle heard the man rummaging through his kitchen and decided to get his gun in case the intruder was looking for a weapon or had accomplices.

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“In that moment, I kept thinking how much I did not want to shoot anyone. But I also decided that if he came toward me or made some threatening gesture, I would fire,” he wrote.

Kunkle said he went downstairs to see if the man was gone and found him in the living room. He yelled at the man again to leave but did not brandish his weapon. He waited on the stairs with his gun for the police to arrive, deciding he would shoot if the man drew near. Thankfully, he wandered out of the house sometime later without incident, shortly before the police arrived.

The reporter explained how he was comfortable around firearms, despite living in a city hostile to gun rights, because he grew up “immersed in a culture of hunting and guns” in rural Pennsylvania.

“I bought the revolver — the only firearm I’ve ever purchased, as the others had been gifts or hand-me-downs — after the Sandy Hook school shooting. I knew gun laws would be tightened, making it more difficult to obtain one. The possibility I might use a handgun in self-defense seemed like an afterthought,” he wrote.

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D.C. Police and U.S. Capitol

Police tracked down the intruder, who officers said had no prior criminal record. They assured him that they had taken down the intruder’s information in case he ever tried to break into another person’s home. Kunkle decided not to press charges, figuring the person may have been intoxicated and seemed to pose little threat. He later learned the police report “made no formal record of the intruder’s ID that night.”

The frightening experience, however, reinforced his support for gun rights.

“I was glad I had a gun that night — very glad, especially as homicides, carjackings and other violent crimes seemed to be spinning out of control in the District and other U.S. cities,” he wrote in the op-ed.

“This is why there’s a Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights,” he wrote on X afterward about his experience.

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DC Metro police vehicles

A record number of Americans say they or someone else in their home owns a gun, according to a recent NBC News poll, which found increasing ownership among Democrats in the past ten years.

Kunkle said strict gun laws made gun ownership nearly impossible in Washington, D.C., for decades. However, he cited police data to show concealed carry permits have skyrocketed in recent years since the Supreme Court struck down the city’s gun ban in 2008.

The D.C. city council will vote on a massive public safety bill Tuesday. The legislation is an urgent response to the district’s surging crime and aims to crack down on illegal gun possession and retail theft and would broaden the definition of carjacking, among other reforms.

In 2023, there were 274 homicides in the nation’s capital — a 26-year high — and robberies spiked 67% from the year prior, according to Metropolitan Police Department data. The surging violence has led some residents to flee the city and caused several businesses to shutter.

Fox News’ Megan Myers and Matt Leach contributed to this report.

Read the full article here

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