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We preach it all the time. Home carry. It’s important. No matter how rosy you’re rose colored glasses may be, you’ll never have time to get to your gun if something happens because it will happen fast. An unidentified man in Antioch, California knows that now. . .

He was home with his son, minding his own business last night, and heard his doorbell ring. When he didn’t answer immediately (he was peeking out the window to see who was there), the man on his doorstep began to kick the door in. We’ll let take it from there.

“(The homeowner) just jumps the guy and realizes the guy has a gun,” (Antioch police Lt. Diane) Aguinaga said. “He somehow (got) it away from him” and shot the intruder three times in the torso, then called police, she said.

The intruder died at the scene, and his semiautomatic handgun was recovered. He was identified as 18-year-old Jeremiah Stovall of Antioch, who police say had a criminal history that included weapons violations.

The resident and his son were not hurt. Their names were not released. Police said the man would not be arrested.

Two accomplices were waiting outside. One’s been arrested, the other is still ‘at large’ as the police like to say.

The article goes out of its way to establish how unusual this kind of thing is for that particular neighborhood. Kind of.

It was the second violent incident in as many months in a neighborhood unaccustomed to such mayhem. In January, a shooting at a sweet 16 party less than a mile away on Wilmont Court left six people wounded, including a 13-year-old boy.

“This neighborhood at one time was considered the primo neighborhood, right next to the golf course,” said (Chronicle photographer Lance) Iversen, referring to the Lone Tree Golf Course. “We’ve never had any violence, and now all of a sudden we’ve had two shootings.”

The shooting was the second time in recent months that a home intruder has been shot to death in Antioch.

On Nov. 5, the owner of a vacant home on the 200 block of West 17th Street shot and killed a burglar after catching the man stealing copper wire.

Maybe the neighborhood’s not so primo any more. In any case, we couldn’t be happier with the outcome of this particular episode. But you can’t count on being able to tackle an armed home invader and disarm him. No, better to make sure you have the means to defend yourself and your family and keep that tool readily at hand. As in strapped to your side. No matter how quiet (or formerly so) your neighborhood is.

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      • He did the right thing, and he was lucky. Once a gun is in play, if you can’t escape/evade and you don’t have one of your own, charging it is the only option that gives you a chance. I’m glad to read that he took his chance, literally.

  1. This is the sort of thing that really troubles me. I have two young children in the house (6 and 5) and they know nothing about Daddy’s guns. We did this for two reasons – first of all, they won’t go looking to play with what they don’t know exists and secondly, because we don’t want them talking to their friends about the guns (which they most certainly would). The guns are kept locked in safes in the bedroom as well as downstairs so little hands can’t get to them but big ones can if necessary. My wife is not 100% in favor of guns. She has declined numerous invites to come shooting with me and I think she simply tolerates their existence as long as they are not too prevalent.

    So, while I would like to be able to home carry all the time, it just isn’t going to happen for me and I think other people might be in the same boat. When the kids get older, things may change, but I’m stuck with the status quo for the moment and nothing short of an armed break-in somewhere in our neighborhood is going to change my wife’s mind.

    • Jim,

      How about adding a couple of good size dogs? The dogs don’t have to be vicious, they just need to set up enough of a ruckus to give you time to arm up.

      By the way, I’m quite sure if anyone were to try kicking in my door, they wouldn’t run the risk of getting shot, because the dogs would scare them off.

    • Jim,
      I was in your situation (spouse not gun friendly) not that long ago. We’ve got that sorted out, but that’s not what I’m writing about. I believe that keeping your kids in the dark about your guns is not the right thing to do. Children are curious, especially about things they haven’t been told about, and even more especially about weapons. I do not for one second believe that any safe is child-proof, unless there is some sort of biometric component involved. I secured my guns against little fingers in the following manner: I told each of my kids that they could touch any of Daddy’s guns any time they wanted, as long as they asked first. Sure, it’s a pain for the first day or two. After that, the novelty and mystery wore off. One of them will test me from time to time to see if the policy is still in effect. It always is, and they typically hand my unloaded gun back to me in under 30 seconds. Good luck changing your wife’s mind. “” might be helpful.

    • [no snark]Hopefully it’s not your house.[/no snark]

      Unless I’m going somewhere I’m not allowed to carry, for me it’s pretty much if I’m dressed, I’m carrying. I’m thinking of getting something like the new XD-s as a Mr. Rogers gun, so I can have it in my Remora holster when I’m wearing something that can’t take a gun belt.

      As we all know, a gun in a proper holster isn’t going to “go off”. I don’t know how you’d go about convincing your wife of that fact, since I’ve never had to do that.

    • Jim Barrett, a Smith & Wesson 642/442 will carry as easily and comfortably in your pocket (with a neat pocket holster) as your keys or spare change, and less noticeably (no jingle). You’ll always know it’s there, yet She Who Must Be Obeyed will ignore it.

    • Jim:

      There are many reason to home carry (round chambered) or “store on your person” (magazine in place, empty chamber) but one of the best benefits is that it is the most secure place to keep your piece. It will always be under your direct control.

      I second Blake on dogs. I have two coonhounds who “announce” the presence of anybody approaching the house. I am almost certain that my female will attack anybody who she thinks is threatening us. My male is a chicken but if he decides to go for it the intruder will wish I had shot him — he was bred to hunt down bear.

      • tdiinva, I kinda agree about the dog(s),we got two and they do let us know…when someone walks by the house,down the other side of the street,plastic bag,the leaf that blows across the yard,pretty much everything. So much for the dogs back to plan A.

        • There is a difference between the dog’s going nuts at noon when the mailman shows up and at two in the morning when the bad guy decides it a good time to pay you a visit.

          It also depends on the breed. Coonhounds have a large repertoire of barks, growls and howls. They may bark at someone across the street but they go absolutely berserk when someone crosses the property line.

    • Jim-

      Educate your kids. For the sake of all of us, it’s your responsibility teach them. I’d much rather I be the one that taught my children than their 14 yr old friend someday in his dad’s basement or bedroom with a loaded gun.

      Just shootin’ straight.

      • I second that.

        The other day my grandkids were over while their folks were off getting some adult time when my 3-year-old came and told me he’d found some of my guns in my study, and I needed to put them up so he would not get hurt.

        The guns were two old non-functioning BB guns – but he recognized them as guns and had been trained what to do when he found them.

        I put them up, too.

    • I have two young children in the house (6 and 5) and they know nothing about Daddy’s guns.

      I did at that age, and so will your kids.

    • I’m glad everyone here (for the most part) respects Jim’s wife’s wishes. Nothing undermines spousal trust more than going behind a wife’s/husband’s back. I have a friend in the Bay who desperately wants a shotgun — locked and disassembled would be fine — for the inevitable disorder following The Big One. But his wife is adamantly anti-gun and that’s that. (I promised him I would drive out there with a station wagon full of long guns to extract him and his family if it came to that!)

      Not that anyone needs another story, but my wife was mystified why I carried all the time, but didn’t object specifically. I came home routinely from work with the gun in my pocket or IWB and being invisible it ceased being an issue. But she’s sharp, so I know she knows it’s there. Women are smart that way, so prevalent or not, I’m guessing she knows, but can’t get over her cultural duty to object. YMMV. But on the kids’ curiosity, I must agree with everyone in educating them. They need to know your gun is no toy, and also not to go shouting to everyone around “MY DAD HAS A GUN!”

    • I like a Kahr CM9 or PM 9 in a pocket holster. It can go unnoticed by wife and kids. I agree with other that you have to bring you kids up to speed on gun safety early. If you don’t then some other kid will.

  2. I’m willing to bet that most people would have just stood there and hoped that the intruder would let them live.

    • I will second that opinion as I have seen many people do just that (and I live in a “stand your ground” state).

  3. Good to see a good DGU in California, and a gun takeaway from a
    bad guy DGUWBGG (defensive gun use with bad guys gun)! Violent crimes certainly will happen in ‘good’ neighborhoods.

    I still carry at home for that just this type of scenario, and am fortunate
    to have a Weimaraner alert system as well (Rroowwrr!).Fortunately, my wife is understanding on the issue of home carry which is one of the many reasons why I married her.

    The sad thing is that few people can appreciate violent crime until
    they personally experience it. When that time comes, they are often
    shocked and unprepared. Thanks TTAG, for stimulating those who are
    already prepared, and educating those who aren’t.

    • I know what you mean by “appreciate” but it made me think of someone being a violent crime aficionado or something like that.

  4. I carry all the time at home. By Diamondback DB9 (Miss Debbie) fits easily in my pocket, as does our nice Smith 642 (Miss Scarlet).

    My city home is in a nice neighborhood, though we do get the occasional attempted break in. I have a home office and work here frequently throughout the day. A month or two ago, two kids tried to break into a home two doors down – my neighbor caught them and they took off.

    Lesson learned

  5. As someone who has taught hundreds of women about guns and their defensive use, you might see if there is a women’s only gun course available, or consider paying to have her take a more formal course.

    Some women just do not want their husband to be the one to teach them about guns.

    It may not make sense to you, but I have seen it many times. It always makes sense to the woman for one reason or another.

    Going to a gun course with her, where both of you receive instruction, can often work.

    • “Going to a gun course with her, where both of you receive instruction, can often work.”
      This. There’s a guy in my state who’ll do husband and wife carry permit classes for $75 per couple. Hell of a deal.

  6. My dad used to carry at home when he worked at home. He dealt in expensive collectibles, a fact that, unfortunately, was fairly well known. Our neighborhood was nice but had the kind of access to main roads that made it attractive to burglars. We had no home invasions while we lived there but several houses, including ours, were broken into more than once while empty. My parents were big lefties but drew the line at the Second Amendment – my mom carried, too.

    Where I live now there are about 2-3 burglaries/year for 10,000 residents and almost no violent crime, so I decided against carrying at home. But if anything ever changes …

  7. I recently made a reluctant trip to New York City (<– said with best derisive Texas accent). A trip around Central Park having the horse buggy driver describe, amongst many other subjects, the differences between the politics of the Upper East Side (new money, liberals) versus that of the Upper West Side (old money, staunch conservatives). If'n I was a BG and determined to break into houses, I'd be much more inclined to break into the house of a known liberal, Hope and Change bumper sticker Prius than the house of the W or NRA stickered Cowboy Cadillac. Is is the same for neighborhoods? Their are "primo" neighborhoods which lean both directions. I wonder if this is one of them and the BGs know it?

    Dogs — All, of my adult life, I've had a working or sporting class dog in my home. The first, a Black Lab, would love on anyone coming through the door, but bark and run all the way there. Because of that she was very intimidating and everyone in the starter home neighborhood I lived in at the time was very aware of her. My current dog, an Australian Cattle Dog, is atypical of the breed. She will tear the neck off of any intruder. I have to introduce strangers to her or she wants to kill them. She sleeps in the Lazy Boy next to my bed and alerts me when anyone comes near the house. She is the best crime deterrent I can think of.

  8. My parents are oblivious. My father recently was diagnosed with Lebersheriditary and hes lost most of his central vision. My mom cant handle herself under pressure very well. She’s one of those “Oh my god I cant believe this is ACTUALLY happening to me in my own home” kind of person. I’ve tried talking to them about home security and not being oblivious to the neighborhood activities and recent crimes. I even had the gun talk. They refuse to accept the possibility, however remote. Better to have a gun than not have one when you need it.

  9. I found my dad’s “well hidden” pistol when I was around 8. Recently I was having a talk with my nephew and he admitted that he and his sister knew where their dad “securely” kept his guns when they were about the same age.

    Jim, this story plays over and over again in house after house all over the country. Your kids will find your weapons and they will play with them. I was lucky and my nephew and niece were lucky that we all played with loaded guns and lived to tell about it. I think you should even up the chances some more with your kids…

  10. The joke goes something like this: a Democrat is a person who has not yet been mugged.

    Seriously, if you have children visiting or staying in your home then lock up your loaded firearms. A bit of planning allows for a locked pistol or shotgun that can be accessed quickly enough. Perhaps the seconds needed to unlock the combinations may help clear your mind. More importantly, start early on training your self and your child(ren) of safely handling guns so they do not confuse toys with deadly and painful tools. Training might also help prevent the onset of irrational fears of weapons that promote the kind of deluded thinking that enables criminals to be armed, but needlessly hamper the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend self or save lives with wise use of weapons.

    Be happy and be prepared. 🙂

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