Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mother scares away burglars with a .22

There is so much going on in this story to talk about.  Where you live doesn't make you immune to crime.  It may decrease the likelihood, but it can still happen.  What you can be is prepared with some kind of plan.  If you don't have a plan, you run the risk of scrambling around trying to decide if you should use a BB gun to run off intruders or go search for that .22 rifle.  Luckily, this woman had the time to do just that.  It's pretty obvious the guys didn't know there were still people in the home.  Otherwise, it could have turned out differently.
The mother locks her 10-year-old son in a closet and goes to confront the burglars.

"I started calling 911.  I called five times.  They kept hanging up on me," the 10-year-old said.
This.  This is why you need a plan.  The police took 25 minutes to arrive.
Meanwhile, mom has found a .22 rifle and moves to confront the people that have broken into her home.

"So I put the gun up and I'm going to shoot him.  His back is to me and I realize I can't shoot a man in the back," she said.
She was obviously much more considerate of him than he was of her.  A second burglar appeared out of the game room yelling she had a gun.  The gun went off.
Sigh.  If you feel you are threatened, putting on your white cowboy hat and acting like this is a black-and-white Roy Rogers movie could get you in serious trouble.  Also, that part about her being "more considerate"  -  I didn't write that.  That's all the reporter, which I thought was pretty awesome.  Also, guns don't go "off".

Then the report trails off into a bunch of garble about how nice the neighborhood is and they have horses and stuff.  Like that is a talisman against crime in some way.  Well, maybe the "horses" are actually gun-free zone unicorns and they keep away crime.  Somehow I doubt that.

To be positive, she did the right thing with the situation she was in.  You go to war with what you have.  However, a simple game plan could have left a lot less to chance and stacked the deck in the homeowner's favor.  Having a firearm ready in the same place all of the time is a great idea.  I have a couple of firearms that live in one place.  I don't have to remember if I carried it that day and forgot to put it back if bad guys come calling.  Yes, I do take them to the range for a workout, but they get cleaned (most times), loaded and put right back.  The last thing I want my wife or me doing is scrambling around to try and find the right tool.  Maybe it's just me, but I usually carry all of the time in the house too.

I try not to be overly critical of people that go through an event like this.  I don't want to come across as negative or saying the homeowner was at fault.  She did well for not having mentally prepared for such a bad situation.  If this were my mother, I'd be proud that she did what she needed to do and showed great courage.  My mind always works at angles such as: "how can I learn from this"/"what can this teach people?"  I just would like people to realize that there is nothing wrong with preparedness.  If you aren't lucky enough to have a few minutes to get ready, you could end up in a bad place. 


  1. Glade she and son are all right. Maybe a gun shop might offer to give some shooting lessons.

    1. You're right. Training is always a good thing.

  2. Glad she survived, and yeah, no white hat, shoot until the threat is stopped...

  3. The reporter also appears to have missed the fact that while this is a "nice neighborhood" it isn't a safe or secure one if the 991 operator hangs up 4 times on a 10 year old and cops take 25 minutes to get there.

    1. Anon, good point. A nice neighborhood with poor response time.

  4. You are your own first responder. The sooner people realize that, the sooner they can start planning.

    1. I like that first sentence. It says it all.

  5. And this is why one needs touch-safes with loaded guns for every direction of retreat.

    1. Lissa, if you can afford to have mulitiples, that is the way to go if you need the touch safe (which I do in one place). If you don't need those (no children or young visitors in the house) there are a lot of non-lockable devices that are pretty sweet.

  6. Lissa.. A touch safe can add seconds to your response; that might be too many.

    It really helps to be prepared.
    Consider this:

    1. Al, I agree it can take a couple of seconds to get that touch safe open. However, it is really an option that is pretty critical for some with very young children that want to keep that firearm in a quickly accessible place. Carrying one at all times is really the best option, but have one secure and pre-positioned is the next best option. Before I had very young children, I didn't own a touch safe. I do now.

    2. Teach them.
      I learned about death at the age of seven when I killed a bird with a BB gun.
      No one had tried to tell me anything about death.
      When I understood the bird was gone and would not come back, I cried. I do think my parents knew about this.
      I could have learned before then.
      If your kids can learn to speak, they can learn about guns.
      Kids learn to swim at two to three years of age.
      They have the capacity to learn about weapons.
      If you are concerned that they might play with them then keep them above their reach but well within yours.
      When it comes to survival you do not get to be wrong, or slow, and any delay may be fatal.
      I was taught never to touch anything that was not mine.
      Teach your children that.
      Tell them about weapons.
      Tell them about strangers.
      Teach them to hide, and where to hide, if they become scared.
      Teach them to be quiet when they hide and explain to them why they must be quiet when they hide,
      When you are fighting for the survival of you and your children you do not have time for any distractions.
      You must teach them to hide while you deal with the intruders.
      If the intruders win, the only chance that they will have is in hiding and being quiet.

    3. I have been shooting since I could hold a firearm and hunting deer since I was 8. I grew up with them as a way of life. That is not effective with a 2 or 3 year old. I agree that education is a huge part of firearm safety. You can teach them not to touch and they will listen to a point (if you're lucky), but you don't get a second chance with firearms. It isn't crayons on the wall. Elevation is yet another tool and it can be employed in some scenarios. Depending on the layout of your home and where you are able to keep your defensive firearm(s) it may not be a viable or even more efficient option. I keep an additional carry gun in a place in the bedroom where it cannot be reached by little ones, but it takes the same amount of time for me to access the touch safe right next to the bed (one and a half seconds, gun in hand) as it would for me to get up and go get it. There are tools for every situation. You just have to research them and, as with all tools you use, train constantly. If you practice with the vault regularly, I've found it is just as quick to access it there as it is to stand up and access a firearm in another place.