As you may know, I’m living on my own in California until my house sells while my husband works in Wyoming. When our son turned three years old, my husband made the drive back to The Golden State. We’d made plans on the phone and I was expecting him on Friday around noon. However, his boss ended up letting him off work early so he could come see us. He decided to surprise me . . .
After falling asleep around 9:30, I woke up at just after midnight to the sound of my front door opening. My husband wasn’t supposed to be home until noon. I immediately reached for my gun on the night stand. As I was preparing to switch on the light, I recognized his footsteps.
“SARA! It’s me! Don’t shoot me!”
I put the gun down and went to greet him. He made the right decision identifying himself, even at the risk of waking our kids.
I’ve heard tragic stories of people shooting their loved ones by mistake. I’ve also read articles about drunk people entering the wrong house and paying for their mistake with their life. As gun owners we can assume that a stranger in the wrong place at the wrong time is a threat. But we must always be sure of our target and its intentions before pulling the trigger.
Some people recommend calling out to a home invader, issuing a threat of deadly force. This gives the bad guy(s) a chance to leave or, if they are not what they seem to be, identify themselves. Other gun owners believe they should remain silent, so as not to give their position away. Either way, one way or another, it’s imperative that you know your target.
Our new house will have an alarm system. That will help reduce the risk; it signals the person triggering the alarm that they should ID themselves or leave. Outside the home, it’s important not to shoot to protect innocent life unless you know that’s what you’re doing. (There are such things as undercover cops.) Hold your fire unless you’re absolutely certain that you’re doing the right thing. Once you pull that trigger, there’s no going back.