- Posted January 11, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Gun control debate: Background checks
Home Invasions and Guns
This morning I read the CNN article about the "new faces of gun rights" - the mom of nine-year-old boys who shot a home invader five times to protect herself and her children and her husband. I think it's great that they are ok and everything worked out for them. However, allow me to offer two alternative scenarios.
When I was about 12 years old, my home was broken into. The thieves, later determined to be local high school boys, trashed my home, stole everything of value, and also killed my pet gerbil on the floor of my bedroom (presumably with a knife, but the mess was cleaned up by the time I got home from school). Luckily no one in my family was home at the time. If we'd owned a gun, however, it likely would have been stolen and pawned and just become another gun on the street.
Fast forward about 10 years. I was staying in boyfriend's second floor apartment in his gated apartment community. There was a visually impaired woman that lived below him on the first floor and she would regularly come upstairs to ask us to keep it down (I suppose we should have gotten the hint, but we never felt we were being overly loud - just normal walking around and watching TV). One night during The Tonight Show there was a knock on the door. We both assumed it was the woman from downstairs. I don't even remember if the door had a peephole to check - and honestly, how many people do that anyway? So my boyfriend opened the door. He found a .22 pistol in his face as he was being shoved backward into the apartment by a large fella wearing a ridiculous afro wig. He was followed by another unarmed man. At first I thought it was my boyfriend's friends playing a prank on him. I had no idea what was going on.
We came to learn that the larger man called himself "Big Boy", so that's what I'll call him. Big Boy ordered my boyfriend and I into the bathtub in the bathroom in the back of the apartment and stood watch over us with the .22 pointed at us the whole time while his friend ransacked the apartment looking for anything of value. My boyfriend remained calm and talked to Big Boy throughout the majority of the ordeal. At one point, the second guy came in to get Big Boy to go look at something. We could hear them across the apartment, so my boyfriend got up and called 911 from the telephone in the bedroom. He didn't say anything, just left the receiver off the hook on the table (this was in those olden days before cell phones were popular). Big Boy came back in and saw the phone off the hook and cut the cord between the phone and the answering machine. And, here's the funny part, the 911 operator called back - that part's not funny, that's protocol - and she left a message saying someone from that number just called 911 and did we need help. We heard the whole message. All the while, Big Boy has a .22 pointed at us. We were a little bit nervous. But his friend came and grabbed him, telling him that the police were coming and they needed to get out of there. So they left.
They got a leather coat that was in the closet and my boyfriend's wallet with about $5 in cash. They also got caught.
And here are my two points: (1) you don't need a gun to defend yourself from a home invader - I know because I've lived through it (and how many people who actually own guns can say that?) and (2) If we HAD owned a gun, it's HIGHLY unlikely that my boyfriend would have armed himself before he opened the door and the home invaders likely would have found the gun and stolen it, leading to them having a second gun with which to conduct more home invasions. Even though my boyfriend was able to get out and call 911, it's unlikely that he would have been able to get a gun, if we'd had one, because the invaders probably would have found it by then (or it would have been somewhere that he wouldn't have felt safe getting to, given that the perpetrators were still in the apartment at the time).