Yesterday I recounted my tale of thwarting a home invasion. I explained that a group of 3 or 4 older teen thugs attempted to enter my home at nearly 2:00am last Thursday while Angry Baby slept and I happened to be up writing. If you haven’t read it yet, please do so now, otherwise, the rest of the post will make little sense.
In February of last year, I took my Concealed Handgun License (CHL) course and subsequently passed my shooting/written tests, and became the proud owner of my very own protection pistol. I chose a Ruger LCP, and carry it everywhere the law allows.
Until last week, I had never even thought about using my piece. Oh sure, I go to the gun range to practice and stay accurate, but I’d never drawn the gun for possible firing. That changed 5/3/12 at 1:45am.
There really is no clever or eloquent way to describe the fear that registers upon seeing a group of thugs wearing ski-masks on your doorstep in the middle of the night. Everything on me felt as if it completely stopped: heart, breathing, and even my mind was void of any thoughts other than “Gotta protect that kid.” Imagine the shock of cold water thrown on you, that initial millisecond where your body registers a twinge of panic. It’s a similar feeling, only extended for minutes, which happen to feel like hours.
If you had asked me before last week, I would’ve said I was 100% fearless, thanks to my trusty gun, always in my purse, waiting to protect me and my child. Now? I’ve learned some things.
1. I need to get comfortable with a shotgun.
With handguns I’m a great shot. To shoot the Ruger is a smooth and almost toy- like experience, there’s no kickback, it’s not very loud, and the trigger is easy. Oh sure, it will mortally wound or kill any attackers, but it’s precious.
Seriously, it’s a very cute gun (hardly intimidating to a pack of marauders.) A shotgun is the classic home defender and I need to get more comfortable with our shotguns. Time to remedy my trepidation NOW. I highly doubt the scumbags would have continued knocking had they heard my shotgun loading from the other side of the front door.
2. Having a gun doesn’t make it any less scary.
In the moment, your adrenaline is pumping so hard, the base of your skull tingles. Your stomach lurches, and you pray to whatever God you can get to listen: “Please, please don’t make me have to shoot this.” Since the incident, my family and friends have all given advice, I quietly listen and file it away. A popular one I’ve heard is the following: “You should have opened the blinds and shown them the gun.” Until last week I would have completely agreed with you, in reality, that’s the last thing you want to do.
Why? Having a gun in a potentially dangerous situation is both insurance and accelerant.
Let’s say the jerks had bust through my front door. In my hand, ready to go was a fast, method of dealing with the intruders, paired with an accurate shot. Game Over.
By keeping a cool head, and not flashing them my weapon, the situation quietly resolved itself. A group of thugs that were, merely guilty of knocking on my door and refusing to get off of my property, were able to come to the conclusion that “I wasn’t the one,” and split for the night. My gun is the last resort, not a first deterrent.
The minute you flash a gun, it escalates to the endgame.
Prior to the attempted attack, I would have said I’d answer the door with it, pointed right at the kids. However, in that moment my gun was seen as the last f*cking resort. I’m so glad I kept calm.
Was I prepared to defend my and my daughter’s life by shooting them all (and doing as much damage while I did so?) Yes. I steeled myself for the worst, but it didn’t console me in my moment of desperation. Having the capability to kill and or maim a group of thugs is cold comfort when your safety is being threatened.
I knew the responsibility that came with me carrying a weapon, but I didn’t fully understand just how awful a situation it has to be before the gun enters the equation. Yes, I will do whatever it takes to defend my family. Don’t mistake my cool head as weakness, or mercy for that matter.
This pistol packing Mama learned that the Beatles had it all wrong, happiness is not a warm gun. Happiness is escaping a horrible situation with as little drama and damage as possible.
That being said, I’m going to the gun range this weekend to bone up on my shotgun game, who’s with me??
-The Crib Keeper
A special thank you to the friends, family and beloved readers that have sent me love and hi-fives. Y’all rool.