By Tim F.
This past Wednesday in the Midwest it was ungodly humid and hot. My air conditioner had been on the blink and we were waiting for someone to come fix it. I am usually up late into the wee hours working in my home office above my garage but it was so crazy hot up there I opted to lay down under the ceiling fan wearing nothing but a T-shirt and my Underoos. A little back ground on myself; I grew up in the country. We lived on a secluded plot of land and had weapons around mostly for snakes and varmit that we didn’t want bothering us or our dogs. I have been around guns for most of the 35 years I have been on this earth that I can remember . . .
Now that I’m a father of two young boys and a husband to a wonderful little woman, I would do anything to protect them. I also happen to live in a subdivision in a small town with a population hovering just under 10k people. It’s a new subdivision with lots of young active families and lots of kids.
When my house was built they never even put deadbolts on the doors. It had always been on my “to do” list, but hell, there was always a lack of time and other more pressing matters to attend to. After all, let’s face it…half the time I left my front door unlocked when I wasn’t at home because I had forgotten to lock it before I left for the day and I can’t tell you the number of times it has been left unlocked overnight when everyone was sleeping.
Now as I mentioned before I own some nice weapons, some passed down from my father and my grand father and some new shiny ones that I just had to have. They all live in a fireproof safe bolted to the floor in my office as to make it inaccessible to my young boys should mom and dad not be in the room with them as they play. My 8 year old is familiar with guns as well and I’d like to think I have taught him the basics in gun safety and knows not to touch a gun if he sees one laying around at a friends house as all guns are to be assumed as loaded. My two year old, though needs a few more years and to lean, so I keep them locked up tight.
This is good to keep kids out but also a hassle should I need to access a weapon quick. Good thing nothing exciting ever happens in my neighborhood. Until it does, to me.
This past Wednesday we were laying in bed, kids asleep in their room, us trying to stay cool under the fan. The news just clicked off and Letterman came up on the screen when I heard the most terrifying sound you will ever hear, if it hasn’t happened to you. The front door had a loud thud on it and came flying open against the foyer wall.
I layed there paralyzed for what seemed like a minute or more when in reality it was only a few seconds before it sunk in. My wife said, “what the hell was that?” I reacted by throwing her the phone and telling her to dial 911. She asked, terrified. “WHY?” I responded with, “that was the f’n front door.”
I slid a pair of shorts and shoes on that were near the bed and realized I didn’t have time to fiddle with the safe to get a gun. They were who-knows-where in my house. All I knew is I wanted them out, and NOW.
I grabbed a baseball bat in my son’s room and tore down the stairs to the main floor. Instinct took over. Looking back, if they had a gun and I didn’t, that would have been the last mistake I ever made. What was I to do? I had made the guns so inaccessible to keep the kids safe, I had also inadvertently made them impossible for me to get to in a hurry.
That’s the bad news. The good news is the sound of me tramping down the hall and yelling GET THE F*** OUT OF MY HOUSE, and the ferocious barking of my terrier pup sent them packing. I sped out the door after them and chased them down the street until they darted off in the woods, never to be found by the cops. So that means they are still out there.
Will they come back? Were they just teenagers out goofing around? I hope to never find out. But I can promise you this – if they do, I am far more prepared this time around.
I have since found time to install the dead bolts on all exterior doors of my home. I have also installed a small single firearm safe on my nightstand to keep it easily accessible, but also out of the hands of curious fingers. There are also two IP cameras that never blink monitoring the front and rear of my property.
I should have been prepared this time. I wasn’t. I learned from my experience. I hope someone else can to. I can’t tell you the fear that you feel when something like this happens to you and your family. My wife still isn’t sleeping soundly. Now is the time to be prepared. Again. Still. Always.