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Citizen Self Defense: "F you and your high powered rifl

3969 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Nose Nuggets
"F you and your high powered rifle!" The Gary Fadden incident - The Ayoob files
American Handgunner, March-April, 2004 by Massad Ayoob

Situation: A road-rage incident escalates into a deadly pursuit.

Lesson: Keep communications as handy as your gun. Bad guys fear resolutely armed people, not weapons. Remember that full auto can stop a fight--but start an indictment.

It's amazing how often a criminal will say something unbelievably stupid just before he forces a decent citizen to kill him. For many years I've been piecing together a book subtitled "Famous Last Words of Scumbags." The working title will come from the most memorable such incident: "F*** You and Your Automatic Rifle!"

The shooter was Gary Fadden. The incident took place some 20 years ago. Only now is Gary comfortable speaking of it, in hopes that others may learn from lessons that cost him very deeply.

The Incident

Sunday, February 24, 1984, approximately 2 PM. Gary Fadden, 26, and his lovely 22 year old fiancee are driving from a birthday party in Martinsburg, WV, into Virginia to look at some property for what they hope will be their starter home after their marriage. It's a bitterly cold day, and with the winter coats in the back of a new '84 Ford F-250 supercab 4WD diesel pickup, the Pendleton-clad Fadden looks from a distance like a harmless Yuppie. That means he and the pretty brunette look like prey to another kind of person.

Heading east on Rt. 50, they are passed by a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with two people astride, the operator cutting in front of him so sharply that he has to brake suddenly. Gary comments to his fiancee how cold they must be riding a bike on a low 30s day, and that driving as carelessly as he is, the cyclist needs to worry about sudden patches of ice.

A few minutes later, he spots a Chevy pickup in his rearview mirrors. It contains three people. One passenger is gesturing to him to pull over. Gary doesn't know what these scruffy guys want and he ignores them. But then he sees the passenger waving a knife, and the driver bringing up a revolver.

Gary says to his fiancee, in what will probably be the understatement of his life, "We've got a bit of a problem here."...

The full story can be found at

Untill a year ago I lived right near where this happened and drove the same roads as described. It's pretty much in the middle of nowhere and aside from a rarely ever manned State Police weigh station there rarely ever are any police around aside from within Middleburg proper which on a Sunday morning is going to be just one or two cars toward what is a wide area. Had this gentleman not just happened to have legal defensive weapons on him as well as ability to think quick he and his GF would have most likely been toast.
Shit happens everywhere even in the otherwise quiet country where this occured.

- Janq
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I can't describe how this makes me feel.

I feel respect for the guy.

I want to find that prosecutor and slap him.

Good story with a mostly happy ending, thank you for sharing.
Additional to this story keep in mind Northern VA is very much gun friendly and is the location of NRA's headquarters which is just a 20 minute drive up the same road where this occured in Fairfax, VA just over the county line.
As this occurred in Loudoun County likely the case was tried in Leesburg court which in the day was rough going as per my own adventures in that same court for far lesser (see the NASIOC archives).

Had this occurred in neighboring MD, DC or worst in Arlington County, VA all of which are notoriously and long time gun (and citizen self defense) negative then he very likely would have had some sort of charge levied against him.

Agreed Karst the then prosecutor deserves to be bitch slapped.
Nay, better yet he and his wife should be placed in the exact same scenario as passengers to ride along and see exactly what it's like to be fighting for ones own life and that of others (e.g. the prosectuors and his wifes own).

I forwarded this to my wife who is strongly anti-CCW though largely out of gun fear and ignorance of the fact that bad things do happen to 'nice' and 'good' people and that life is not a snow dome with pretty settings.
At one time she actually had the nerve to tell me that people who carry guns (as in myself and other CCWrs) draw bad things & people toward them causing their own troubles to occur. A completely idiotic statement yet a great many others have said as much in real life as well as at OT who otherwise are persons of average or higher intelligence.
I suppose if my life hadn't been the way it had been to date, very much imperfect and with no Snow Globe, I guess I too would think same similar. :shrug:

- Janq
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I can't believe they attempted to try him for murder. It's unfortunate that the majority of society cannot see the need for personal protection, not to mention respect the resolution it takes to perform said acts to preserve his and another's lives :(
I think that the guy's lucky to be alive. Operating an unfamiliar weapon under stress like that, and finding the resolve to pull the trigger when the time came. Those two aren't a good mix of challenges in any situation. I think that it's bullshit that he lost his job over it, but I think that it's cool that HK picked up some of the legal bills on it.
damn.........I really don't know what to say about that.

Being chased for 22 miles with no help coming has got to be the scariest real-life situation I've heard yet. With three armed and VERY determined thugs on my ass, you can bet when it's go time I'd grab the largest, most powerful weapon at my disposal too. That man had a lot to lose, damn good thing he was up to the task, $45,000 is a small price to pay for your life.

no regrets
Damn, people are crazy.

Carrying gun in your car + having a car that will go 150+mph FTW!!!

Bump because this came up today at another thread and I cross posted it there.

- Janq
I was irritated that some program caught "ammo" and turned it into "amino."

Good article.
i just read it again because it was such an amazing story.

i almost broke my keyboard when the lawyer tried to explain how he had shot one attacker in the back.

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