By Regina Slater
I’ve never really been a big “gun enthusiast,” never really thought I needed a gun to protect myself. I stay away from “could be disastrous” situations, I’m very situationally aware of my surroundings and I’d like to think that my lifestyle keeps me off the criminal target list. All of that took a swift 180 degree turn on a cool summer night while I sat watching a less-than-exciting movie with my lazy but loyal dogs . . .
It was like any ordinary night, I had been home from work for only about 3-4 hours and my stomach begged me to ravage the fridge. I turned on the kitchen light and from my kitchen window I can see the rest of the neighborhood is sound asleep, or so it seemed. I barely opened my fridge when there was a stern knock at my front door. The dogs went crazy and as I walked closer to the door I heard from the other side “Las Vegas Police, Open the door!”
Surprised, confused and suddenly terrified, the first thing that popped into my head was that something had happened to my husband who was obviously not at home with me, but was supposed to be at work at the time. I yelled out “I’m putting the dogs away” and in reply I received “Ma’am put the dogs away and open the door, NOW!” Now I’ve had my traffic run-ins with the police but never had a bad experience with them and surely if something horrible had happened they wouldn’t be so rude and demanding.
After the dogs were securely locked downstairs, I slowly opened the door, fearing what kind of news would await me on the other side. To my surprise there was no cop standing in my front doorway but a mid 20-something-year-old wearing shorts and a washed out T-shirt. Before I could blink he grabbed my arm and tried pulling me out of my house. Luckily for my quick reaction time I pulled my arm back and tried pushing the door closed. But before I could close the door all the way, a tip of a tennis shoe popped into sight. I put all my force on the door, hoping that his tiny foot wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure, but I’m only 120-something pounds and you can guess that’s not going to have a lot of force.
It felt like an eternity that I was standing there pushing on the front door while from the other side, the force of a mid-20-year-old pushed back. I couldn’t stand there all night so I had one of two choices; 1) Somehow get the front door closed, which didn’t seem that likely since I was already getting tired, or 2) Make a run for the bedroom where my husband kept his Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm and hopefully reach it in time to protect myself before this young, up-and-coming criminal could catch up with me. I made the move and rushed up the stairs like I was going for the winning touchdown of a Super Bowl game, reaching the bedroom and locking the door behind me just as I heard footsteps at my bedroom door.
Now I’m not completely unknowing of how to handle a gun. My husband had me take a couple shooting classes just so I could get myself familiarized with the guns he kept in our home and also had me memorize the lock code to our safe, just in case anything happened. I payed attention and humored him, but in the back of my mind I always thought that this information would never come into play.
I was wrong and at the very moment that I retrieved the gun from the safe, my bedroom door came flying open. I turned around and to the surprise of this young buck who clearly had ill intentions from the beginning, instead of being face to face with a scared women who was home alone, he was staring into the barrel of a 9mm. With a little more courage and a hell of a lot more power backing me, I gave him a clear warning, “Take one more step and I’ll shoot.”
Luckily this young man was no idiot and at that moment probably valued his life more then he ever has and took to the stairs quicker than I could blink. With a sigh of relief, I picked up the phone and dialed 9-1-1 and relayed the events that had just occured and then phoned my husband. As I filled out the police report and waited for my husband to come home, the police officer told me that another officer had caught the man just a few blocks away trying to hop a wall and that I could now rest easy knowing he will be behind bars.
Needless to say, that event changed my life for the better. I educated myself on all the guns my husband has in our home, regularly go to the range and practice with each and every one, and am even in the process of obtaining my CCW. I watch and listen to the news all the time, hearing about break-ins, robberies and all the horrible things people do to each other. In the back of my mind I can’t help but think how some of those situations could have ended differently if that person had a gun and could have protected themselves and or family.
I’ve come to realize that guns aren’t all bad. Not only can they protect you but can save a life, like it did mine. I would never want to go through what I went through again, but I know if it does…I will be ready.