The average gun owner’s worst nightmare: a random home invasion by armed, determined, possibly psychotic strangers. While it does happen, invasions are hardly ever random. Or entirely unpredictable. In this case, as ydr.com reports, “Over the years, [Douglas E. Downs] has been robbed and his home burglarized, with items taken on numerous occasions. ‘I just got tired of being robbed,’ he said. ‘I just thought, ‘I’m not taking it anymore.'” Well good for him. And the harrowing account above—including his justified suspicion that one of the bad guys was wearing a bullet resistant vest—shows what can be done by a determined defender. But—
According to a photo caption in a later report, the .32 caliber firearm Down used to defeat a crew of four robbers was “one of about a dozen kept in their home.” It seems pretty clear Down didn’t have any of his guns on him. In his own words, when his dog Peaches distracted an attacker, “that’s when I grabbed my pistol where I had it at.”
I suspect that Down, like many gun owners, kept a number of firearms spread throughout his house in hidden locations. In this case, he lucked out. There was a firearm within arm’s reach when he needed it. Or not. Down tooled-up pretty late in the game. In fact, it’s a miracle the Keystone stater lived long enough to counter-attack.
We can analyze the wisdom of drawing on a drawn gun, or giving an attacker a chance to retreat (instead of launching a counter-strike without warning), but there’s a more important point: Down needed his gun from the git-go. He should have had it on him. He should have been home carrying.
I don’t know how many stories like this it will take to convince reticent readers that home carry is the single most important self-defense strategy they need to embrace to defend their crib and the innocent lives within it. It’s more important than caliber or even training.
If something bad goes down in your home, you do NOT want to have to win a footrace to a gun. Or wait for your dog to distract a potential murderer. You want to have your firearm right there, on your person, ready to rock and roll. You want to go all in as early as possible, and a gun is the best tool for the job.
Now is the time to home carry, not after a criminal assault. That said, I wonder if Down has changed his strategy. He should, considering what happened to the man he shot . . .
On Sunday evening, Herlth was discharged from York Hospital. He was immediately arrested by troopers and taken to the county’s central booking unit, where he was arraigned on charges of robbery, burglary, receiving stolen property, possessing instruments of crime, making terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, simple assault and reckless endangerment.
Herlth was taken to York County Prison but was released the next morning after posting his $50,000 bail, a prison official said.