A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Comment to comment On

A quick note: this is not my story. It appeared in my comments, and I thought it deserved a more prominent place on the blog. It was obviously written shortly after the occurrence, when the adrenaline was still coursing through the writer's veins. I have reproduced it here as it was in my comments. Follow the links to the gentleman's blog for more.
Xavier -- First time I had to draw my gun in self defense tonight. just posted at Infidel Bloggers Alliance:

TERRIFYING
I've never had to draw my gun in potential self defense.

Until tonight.

11:30 p.m. EST I'm in the family room watching 300. Daughter #3 (11 yr old) fell asleep on living room floor watching a DVD. Her mom dozing off on the couch. Daughter # 2 (21 yr old) in her bedroom getting ready for bed.

Front door is mostly closed but open enough to let cool night air in until my own bedtime.

Daughter #1's Good Infidel Dog (feisty little fox/rat terrier) is visiting for a couple weeks while said daughter is taking late night classes in Philly.

Suddenly that dog goes absolutely apeshit.

Groggy wife thinks he needs to go out and do his thing. Leashes him up, opens the door. . .

and is face to face with someone getting ready to come in. As she describes him a light skinned male wearing a hoodie with hood up. Best look she can get in the dark.

She let's out an "Oh Jesus Christ!" and slams the door. Daughter # 2, who came to the living room when she heard the dog, screams at the top of her lungs. Daughter # 3 keeps sleeping.

People, this is where training with your weapon, rehearsing in your mind over and over again what you would do if this then that comes into play.

I'm out of my lazy boy, drawing my gun from my hip (ok, for those of you who want the details, tonight it was a Smith & Wesson 642 Airweight loaded with Cor-Bon 38 SPec. +P hollowpoints coming from a Don Hume J.I.T. Slide Holster). Up the steps my arm clearing the stairs wall gun eye level pointed at the front door.

There's my wife and daughter, screaming and staring at the closed door.

For anyone who has heard that in such a situation you get extreme tunnel vision let me assure you it is true. My focus is on that door, wife & daughter just to the side.

Training training training.

No apparent threat gun still drawn right to the bedroom flip on the light. Dammit missed the switch knocked the cover off the thermostat (more training needed) grab the shotgun (again -- for those of you detail minded - Remington 870 Wingmaster 20 gauge pump action 22 inch barrel loaded with Remington #3 buckshot). Back to the living room.

All in under 10 seconds.

My wife calls 911, since we don't know exactly where the foiled intruder has gone nor whether he had any friends lurking nearby. The police are here within 5 minutes, take the information, don't question the gun on my belt, and tell us there had been a breakin across the highway a little earlier this evening. They will be patrolling the area.

So. Lessons learned/reinforced:

Know your weapons, Know where they are and how to get to them. Go over it again and again in your head. If this then that. Practice drawing them until it becomes reflexive.

Despite their quick response a gun in the hand is STILL worth more than a cop on the phone.

Be prepared to pull that trigger. Strangely I felt no fear during the incident and knew I was ready, had I seen someone within my home, to counter that threat. Of course the adreneline rush I'm experiencing right now is like no high you can get from any drug. Might be awhile before I can get to sleep.

Little dogs making big noise are worth a million bucks.

Can't stress the training enough. I remember when I first handled a sidearm, shaking as I tried to load it. Now it's second nature. But had I just bought a gun and never practiced with it I would have been far less useful in this instance.

Gun control statistics are bullshit. This is one drawn gun incident that will never be reported as such because no shots were fired. How many more like this for every time a shot is fired in self defense?

In truth, my wife was the one who scared off the perp, though we didn't know it at the time. She did exactly the right thing by slamming the door, screaming and getting my attention. But it could have played out far differently with a more determined intruder. Might not have had time to get to the shotgun.

In the house, that sidearm on your belt is your first defense but also primarily intended to buy you time to get to something far more substantial if possible.

In an event like this, pandemonium and chaos will ensue.

The rest here.

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17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

X,
Thanks for the post. A great "lesson learned" (true) story! We are all responsible for our own safety! All of my colleagues here at the university think I'm nuts cause I advocate carrying guns for self-defense, except one. She and her husband live in the same neighborhood as me, and it's the highest in home invasions and burglaries in our liberal, university town. Not a bad neighborhood either.

Mike S.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Kudos to you sir for your honesty in typing this and taking the time.
More and More of this is going to happen as the economy is the way it is.

9:30 PM  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Thank you for putting this front page good sir. Posted it right after the event while still very fresh. hoping others can learn something from it OR get the resolve to finally buy a gun and learn how to use it to protect their own.

10:01 PM  
OpenID reflectoscope said...

Little dogs making big noise are worth a million bucks.

This is a great story about a lousy evening, but he has this right: A dog is a hell of a sensor but not generally a good guard. Good on his wife for having the sense to slam the door rather than stare at it, too.

Jim

12:45 AM  
Anonymous TJP said...

I have a remote switch for the kitchen light on my night stand. (Not one of the tiny ones like a car alarm remote, but a big wall mount type.) I tried doing the regular table lamp in a hurry once, and discovered that fine motor skills are required to turn the little knob. (I ended up knocking the lamp off the table entirely.)

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Kristopher said...

It didn't take long for some victim-disarmament dumbass out of nowhere to find that post and start the usual "endanger your family" spew.

Are the Bradyites actually paying people to do this astroturf crap?

3:06 PM  
Blogger DouginSalcha said...

All I can say is, "Good Doggie..."

I live in a rural area and most neighbors are law-abiding and would not dream of breaking into another's home while they know there is someone there (most people in rural Alaska have guns handy if not actually "on their person").

Hadn't thought about it but I also have a dog (have had one for about a year) so I will have to pay more attention to her when she "announces someone outside"...

3:21 PM  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Thanks all. I note last night when I took the trash out around midnight for the first ime in ten years every porch and driveway light in the usually dark neighborhood was on. News travels fast.

Kristopher -- that dumbass you talked about has no understanding that my family was never endangered by my gun -- no one's is as long as you take the time to train and practice with it. The only person in danger was the knothead trying to invite himself in. And the dumbass taht left the comment if HE ever faces such a lousy evening :)

3:55 PM  
Blogger James said...

This reminds me so much of what happened to me a couple of years ago. I was sitting with a fairly new girlfriend on her couch watching a movie about 4:00 in the afternoon when 2 young men came through her living room screen door. That day I was carrying a Sig P220 in an OTW clip on holster. It was uncomfortable to wear while sitting so I laid it on a chair several feet away.
When they came through the door, I reacted without thinking. I remember sitting on the couch, the next thing I remember was knocking the holster off of the gun with my left hand as I came up into my stance, training and visualization is everything. Tunnel vision was in effect as I never saw their faces, but I can tell you that the first one had a red shirt with white buttons and I knew exactly where the first round was going to go. My hearing went away, the girlfriend said that they said something, but I didn't hear it. As the original poster said, I had no doubt and knew exactly what I was going to do if they kept coming. They made an immediate exit and burned rubber, both shoe and Tire, getting out of there.
No shots fired, no police report, though I have come to realize that that was a bad idea for the future.
I am old and fat, but the GF said that she had never seen anybody move so fast or have such a scary expression on their face.
Congratulations to the OP, carry always, train and visualize, be the one that is safe in the end. Ignore the second guessers, they weren't there, their family wasn't at risk, you did right.
That girlfriend, now an ex, learned to shoot and got her carry permit, maybe you wife and/or daughters could become backup for you.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous ChiefMinion said...

"The dog is the least of your worries. Beware of owner."

My "Katie the Wonder Dog" would be absolutely, without a doubt, worthless beyond imagination in defending me or the homestead, but she'll alert on the slightest little thing out of sorts. Alerts range from just ears up to low growls to full on "ape shit" mode. All the false alarms are forgiven the first time the real thing turns up.

Speaking for myself, this is the real self defense value of a dog. It's something a chihuahua can do just as well as a mastiff.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man that makes it so real... I never imagined it like that.

Is there some way to get rid of tunnel vision? I remember that 20/20 did a biased "experiment" on school shooters and self defense that "proved" that no one should ever use a gun to protect themselves or others. Their argument was strongly regarding tunnel vision. American Rifleman magazine recently did a article on that 20/20 segment.

-Dan

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll third the training and preparedness. I was asleep when the house alarm went off. It took me way too long (fifteen-twenty seconds maybe?) to get to my pistol and get it out of the holster. I thought I'd practiced enough - obviously not, since it was in a case beside my bed, within touching distance. (No children/ non-shooters in the house.)
It was a false alarm caused by a bad contact on a door that got blown by the wind (70 mph). That still doesn't change the need for better drilling and practice!
LittleRed1

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_169_28/ai_114475580/?tag=content;col1
This is another example of a man saving the lives of his family by having a gun on his hip in his house.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Educational story. Glad evryone was safe in the end. Just a few comments from a casual observer.... "...drawing my gun from my hip (ok, for those of you who want the details, tonight it was a Smith & Wesson...". Carrying a gun on yourself in the house is rather paranoid and probably unsafe in most circumstances. I know many gun owners (entusiasts, cops, former special forces). None carry gun on them in the house. Have it within a qucik reach, but not on themselves. If the neighborhood is so bad that one has to expect attack at any minute, then one should try to move to a different place and in meantime instruct wife to use a peephole before opening a door. True it served the person well, however, how long would it take to get a gun out os small gun safe? 5 seconds? The fact that it's a different gun every night, tells me that the person is more into guns than one should be. Just MHO of course. "No apparent threat gun still drawn right to the bedroom ... grab the shotgun ". Hah? Gun in one hand, shotgun in another? Is this a bad action movie? How about getting family in the safe room while securing the perimeter with the revolver until police comes? From the description there are at least two floors. Get the family to the room on the floor away from the front door. Secure the stairs, call police. Don't get me wrong, I agree that training is good, knowing your guns is good, recording lessons learned is good. It is obvious that there was a happy end. However, I think that true to that I should point out a few things that should have been done differently. Again, just MHO.

Yevgeniy

9:54 PM  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Yevgeniy -- points well taken but alow me to clarify -- not refute -- some things (2 weeks later).

Carrying a gun in the house -- I carry 24/7 except in victim disarmament zones (Spyderco will have to do). Carrying a gun in the house seems safer to me for a number of reasons -- quicker access for one but also because, eevry time you draw or holster the gun, for whatever reason, you risk an accidental or negligent discharge. For as often as I'm in and out that's a lot of risks per day. Thus better and safer to keep it on me (Tam at View From the Porch did a great post on this very issue some months ago). As for my daughters, all are familiar with and know how to handle the guns so that doesn't conern me. Company coming is a different matter and handled case by case. And in certain situations that 5 seconds could be too long, the difference between life and death.

"Tonight it was a Smith and Wesson. . ." I do not carry a wide variety of guns. It's summer so that night, and all summer long, it will likely be the little lightweight Smith. Come cooler weather and easier to conceal it will be either a .357 or 1911.

"Grab the shotgun. . ." No, of course not gun in one hand shotgun in the other. Smith holstered shotgun replaced it (I can chew gum and walk at the same time :)until cops arrived. Wife and kids had already moved from the door, door was shut.

Again, we may disagree on guns carried in the house and that's fine. But you won't change my mind on it and, to me, family was out of immediate danger so getting that shotgun was better than standing there with that little Smith hoping he wasn't coming back with friends.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for explaining. makes a lot more sense now!

Yevgeniy

9:49 PM  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Update for all of you 3 weeks later.

On Father's Day daughter # 1 returned to Philly with Good Infidel Dog (the hero!) but not before she and her sisters gave me a great Father's Day gift:: an 8 week old Jack Russell puppy named Murphy (if anything can go wrong in this house. . .) He and his "mentor" get along very well when they're together (that took a little work).

James -- daughter #2 (21 yr old) shoots with me often, isn't half bad and is thinking about a permit. Daughter # 3 (11 yr old) shoots with me occasionally, daughter # 1 handles a rifle but lives in Philly. The wife, who grew up on a farm handling shotguns has no interest in shooting at this time. Go figure.

Dan -- I don't know how to get rid of that tunnel vision or hearing loss -- maybe it's a natural thing for the body preparing for fight, but I do know I didn't think it would happen to me and was surprised it did. I saw that article on the 20/20 piece in 1st Freedom (an NRA option to American Rifleman). They absilutely shredded it, didn't they? And rightly so. There was no way the defenders had a chnace the way the experiment was stacked.

Little Red1 -- I keep a S&W 36-1 in the night table drawer but also found it too slow to get to in a hurry. So now that shotgun is two steps and a strong hand grab from the bed moving toward the door.

Someone left that Andrew Patti story over at IBA as well. Now THAT one is chilling.

Thanks all and be prepared, stay ready. I live in a "good, quiet" neighborhood where no one expected this. But it was all over the neighborhood in a day and now all proch and driveway lights are on at night.

9:19 PM  

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