Mary Shepard is an elderly woman who was a treasurer at her church in Southern Illinois.  Anna, Illinois would seem far removed from the problems of city life, but in  2009, at her church during off hours without many people around, she and another elderly lady volunteer were attacked by recent parolee, a six-foot, 240 lb man.  She suffered many injuries, including a skull fracture and numerous broken bones.

Prior to this attack, Ms. Shepard had received five different licenses to carry a concealed firearm. However, in Illinois at that time, Illinois did not have concealed carry and so she was not allowed to use her skills to defend herself.

Thanks to Mary's lawsuit Shepard v Madigan and her long suffering, the weak among us can now protect themselves from attacks - both in public spaces and even spaces we would hope would be safe such as churches.

In this interview from 2011, Mary Shepard describes her attack and her efforts to enable concealed carry in Illinois. This video was taken prior to the law passing in 2013.