Valerie Jarrett: My Grandfather May Not Have Died If He Didn’t Have a Gun for Self-Defense

attends 2016 Concordia Summit - Day 2 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 20, 2016 in New York City.
Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Following a gun control gathering designed to mark the fourth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack, Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett suggested her grandfather may have lived longer if he did not have a gun for self-defense.

The gun control gathering was called a Vigil for Victims of Violence and was held in Washington, D.C.’s St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

Jarrett said she “didn’t have the strength” to tell her story to those who attended the meeting. Instead, she decided to write her story and publish it in The Huffington Post. It is a story about her grandfather, who lost his life after being attacked by “two burglars” in his D.C. office 45 years ago. Jarrett wrote:

My grandfather was an avid hunter and owned several guns. He practiced dentistry in an office in the basement of his home here in D.C. Forty-five years ago, two burglars broke into his office in search of opiates. They threatened my grandfather with what turned out to be a toy gun. In an attempt to scare away the burglars, my grandfather pulled out one of his guns. They grabbed his gun, then shot and killed him.

She went on to suggest that her grandfather may have lived longer if he did not have a gun to pull in self-defense. Jarrett’s grandfather, however, died at the hands of two men who overpowered him, although he was armed–which means they most certainly could have overpowered him had he not been armed.

Moreover, the attempt to use her grandfather’s horrible death to push gun control–“We are not always safer just because we own a gun”–bypasses the fact that her grandfather pulled his gun because the situation was dire. The gun the criminals held was fake, but the criminals’ intent was not.

In suggesting it was her grandfather’s possession of a gun that endangered him, rather than the two burglars’ criminality, Jarrett also misses the fact that guns are used 760,000 times a year for self-defense. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck’s work on defensive gun uses discovered this figure. His work entered the public dialogue in 1993 and has yet to be countered with “empirical evidence.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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