I worked at a house today, that belonged to a break in victim. I think her story drives an important point home, one that we may not understand until we are in that moment. How will we act or react with faced with a break in scenario?
Mrs X. was home alone one evening with her husband out of town on a business trip. Late in the evening she heard the front door rattling. Living in a gated community, she assumed one of her neighbors was at the front door, for how could it be any more sinister living safe and cozy IN A gated community?
As she walked towards the front door she noticed a shadowy figure that didn't feel right (her feelings, not the shadowy figure). Her survival instincts immediately kicked in and she ran into her bedroom to get her gun. She crouched down and got in a ready position prepared to shoot whom or whatever came through the door (she had learned in a gun glass that when you pull a gun you (she) had better be prepared to use it).
She waited while the man continued to try to jar the door and then decided she would talk to the criminal. She yelled to him that she had a gun, which may or may not always be a good idea, mostly depending on if they have a gun as well, no sense allowing them to know what level of force you have (but that's an argument for another day). She informed him that she wouldn't take any pleasure in doing so, but would shoot him if he entered the house.
Then... he left. Story over right? Wrong. Now that he had left, and after waiting a few minutes, she began to stand up. However, she was still quite disturbed from the situation and "accidentally" pulled the trigger. Which would bring a frown to Conservative Scalawag's face after braking (breaking) one of the four pillars of gun safety. Fortunately, the round was a hollow point and just went through the wall and into a very expensive dinning room chair.
Now, how will you respond if/when the time comes? Will you be prepared to take action? Will your hands shake uncontrollably? Will you think clearly?
I'd like to tell another story that happened to me a while back. My wife and kids were out of town, which meant free time for me. The first night they were gone I got to act like the king I am. I popped in a red box video (Terminator Salvation) and began the night. At about 2am I heard a strange noise in the foyer (our bedroom is right off the foyer. I had the door closed so I turned down the volume and listened in. It truly sounded like someone was breaking the front door in. So I grabbed the shotgun and positioned myself in the master bath with the lights off (I did this because I would be behind the door when it opened, allowing me to see the person as they came through the doorway). I waited, and waited for a half and hour. Just when I thought I was imagining the whole thing I heard a noise in the foyer hallway. Crap, they're in the house. I figured I wasn't in a position to exit the room, and lose the "upper hand",so I'd wait them out.
And wait I did. But I kept hearing what I imagined was rummaging of our property. Finally after a little over and hour of waiting I came out balls to the walls. Only to find an enormous... Beetle Creature. The stupid thing kept banging on the walls throughout the house. Ha Ha.
What I did learn is my adrenaline makes me shake a bit. The first five minutes I was in the bathroom I shook a little. Then I calmed myself down, and focused on what was at hand. Even though I was a complete idiot (being I was imagining this), this was one of the best things that could have happened to me. I learned how I would react in a situation that I could never stage or prepare for, unless it was the real thing. Well at least I thought it was the real thing, good enough in my book.
So the next time this happens I'll be prepared right? I'm not sure to be honest. What I do know is that if I have to protect myself or others, I will be able to fall back to the time I was under attack by the Beetle Creature, and know I can get through it. I know I'll be able to calm myself quicker than roughly five minutes. But most importantly, I know I have the strength to do what must be done.
Make sure you know how to use your weapon by going to the range at least once a month (fire at least 2-4 magazines). Make sure you practice with both hp and fmj. I now a lot of people who use fmj at the range and then load hp in their firearm never having made sure their gun can handle that particular manufacturer of hp. Just make sure you don't hit your expensive dinning room set.