A reader who wishes to remain anonymous writes:
My apartment was burglarized. It happened, as these things tend to, on a particularly stressful Wednesday a few weeks ago. From what the police, my complex staff, and my neighbors can gather, some thoughtful and patient crooks scouted our complex for weeks, looking for early risers who left their homes at crack-o’-dawn thirty.
They busted in our doors and, in my case, took anything they thought could be used as a weapon, including my Ruger LCR .38 revolver, stored in its safe, hidden where my children would not find it. All of my other neighbors who were robbed had weapons stolen, too. None of us were home when the crimes took place.
“They were looking for guns,” the officer who investigated said.
Having to be escorted to your front door, which is hanging wide open, the door frame utterly destoyed, by the maintenance staff who worked to repair it that night and much of the following day, is unnerving on a level that I can only explain by comparing it to the sense of violation victims of rape experience. While nowhere near that level of personal invasion and terror, walking into my home that evening was…horrible.
Everything had been touched, rifled through and messed with by faceless people whose actions show the only things they value are those which wound, kill, and destroy.
I didn’t sleep for three days.
Relatives and friends immediately came to my aid, offering safe places to sleep, various alarm company and weapons recommendations, someone to talk to or someone to be quiet with. The insurance people were gracious and fast. The investigating police officer was attentive, smart, and thorough.
My boss gave me a day off to get everything taken care of. Several co-workers offered to replace my stolen gun. One friend, attempting to make me smile, said, “How about I rent you two Samoan sumo wrestlers to stand guard at the doors?”
I thought a lot about what to do next. I’ve decided not to replace the gun. Here’s why:
1. I have never been comfortable owning a gun.
There are several reasons for this, two of the main ones being I have a moral objection to killing another human being, and I have teenage sons.
I don’t want to elaborate on my moral objection to killing; I shouldn’t have to. As a free American, I deeply respect the opposite moral stance taken by others to defend those they love and their home and hearth with a gun, and I would never ask them to defend that deeply personal decision, especially after a burglary. I know those who hold our freedoms in high regard will afford my decision the same respect.
My sons are level-headed, responsible, and have been trained on how to safely handle a firearm. But my sons are also teenagers. I always felt a sense of low-level anxiety having a gun in the house, even though it was hidden and stored in a safe.
Whether that is rational or stupid is irrelevant; that anxiety could affect how I acted in an emergency, and it did affect how I stored my gun. I kept it hidden, and the time needed to grab the gun if I needed it could have been all the time that an attacker needed to harm me or my kids.
2. Guns are what thieves want.
“They were looking for guns.” It was a statement, not a question, not even a guess. While the authorities don’t think the thieves who burglarized my home knew I owned a gun, the fact that weapons were essentially the only things they took from all of the apartments they entered gives the police pause.
I live in a gated apartment complex in a nice part of town with security patrols. It’s just the sort of place in a major metroplex that thieves would scope out if they were looking for people who had enough money to afford firearms.
3. I will hesitate to use a weapon that I know will likely kill an attacker.
Had I been home or, God forbid, had my kids been home, and an armed robber broke in, I would have hesitated to shoot them. That hesitation could put my kids or me in danger. I needed another option, so I went with the weapon the thieves missed: the TASER Pulse.
The Pulse is non-lethal and for me that’s its biggest selling point. For others, it’s a huge drawback. All I want is time to escape a dangerous situation and the Pulse, used correctly, can provide exactly that. It’s also compact which is awesome if you’re petite like me, or if you want something discreet. It’s easy to operate regardless of whether you’re right or left handed.
I can legally own a Pulse without having to register it with a soul, and in this day and age when Alexa or that creepy Google pod thingy is recording people 24/7 so Big Brother and Mark Zuckerberg know even more about us, that sense of privacy is also a great selling point.
The Pulse retails for $370-400, and can be shipped to my house in a couple days, which is less money and time than a typical revolver or 9mm + the concealed carry class (if one needs it) + license fees + waiting period + frustration of buying a new gun.
I know most people who read this are gun owners who deeply believe in their Second Amendment right to defend themselves with arms. I do too; I’ve just chosen a non-lethal option. That, along with increased security in and around my home, a new safety plan and more time getting to know my neighbors is helping to restore my lost sense of security without compromising the moral stand I need to have.
I love that in our country, we are each free to make choices that work for us, and innovative enough to make quality products that meet the needs of different types of people.