“Police said the husband and wife were in bed when they heard noises outside their exterior bedroom door at 3:30 a.m.,” dailycamera.comreports. “The screen door was closed but unlocked. In the darkness, they shouted to warn the intruder to leave and that they had a gun, but [Zoey] Ripple [above] continued walking through the bedroom, and [Timothy] Justice fired one shot . . . When the homeowners turned on the lights, they saw Ripple on the floor with a gunshot wound to her hip and called 911, police said. They said they did not recognize her as anyone they knew.” As well they mightn’t. Ms. Ripple was skunk drunk. And, now, lucky to be alive. And we’re lucky to have a story to illustrate three important points about armed home defense . . .
1. Be sure of your target and who it is
One of my favorite gun gurus told me “I don’t care who it is. If they’re in my house when they shouldn’t be I’m going to shoot them.” I respectfully disagree. There are plenty of drunk ass Zoeys in this world. Your child may let in a friend. A dinner party guest might come back at stupid o’clock to retrieve their handbag. A neighbor may . . . I don’t know . . . something. Shit happens.
Don’t get me wrong; I get it. One or both Justices shouted a warning before shooting Ms. Ripple. They gave her plenty of time to ID herself and/or leave. And yes, hesitation kills. If it WAS a bad guy, waiting might have been fatal. Point taken. But here’s an idea: put night lights throughout you house so you can see what’s going on. And then look before you shoot.
2. Lock your doors, alarm your house
Anytime a newbie asks me what gun they should buy I ask them: “Do you have an alarm system?” If no, the conversation stops there. If yes, I ask them if they use it. Panic buttons? Again, it’s either the beginning of a ballistic conversation or the end. Yes, it’s that important. A shrieking alarm can prevent an armed encounter with both friend and foe.
Of course, there’s nothing quite like a soft breeze on a warm summer night. Alarm systems can exclude certain doors or windows. Equally and at the same time, a situationally aware homeowner can choose from a wide selection of security screen doors and windows.
We can’t say it often enough. If you have any kind of home invasion or violent encounter, give the police just enough information to know where you are and what you need. Then hang up or, if you are in the middle of something and you want it recorded, set the phone down.
Do not admit to the 911 operator that you’ve brandished a weapon or, God forbid, shot someone. Again, hang up or leave the phone. As soon as the situation is stable and the cops are on their way call your lawyer. You do have one on speed dial, yes? [h/t Rick L]