OK DGU: Sarah McKinley’s Big Mistake?

The story of the young Oklahoma mother who defended her home against invasion has already been chronicled on TTAG and throughout the mainstream media. Within hours, eighteen-year-old Sarah McKinley became a poster girl for the right to bear arms debate in the US. And why not? Her reaction to a home invasion makes a pretty strong case for the cause. She dispatched a guy who, among other things, never listened to Sean Connery’s advice in ‘The Untouchables’ vis a vis the-knife-to-a-gunfight clause . . .

McKinley’s legal position is well-protected by Oklahoma’s Castle laws. Few would find any logical argument to criticize her actions in view of the situation. If the circumstances described in the media accurately reflect reality. I would emphatically agree that anybody faced with the same circumstances would be well-advised to pull the trigger.

My only concern stems from the aftermath of the shooting: the shotgun pose provided by Ms. McKinley for the ABC cameras. Watching the Nightline piece, I was amazed at her composure after the shooting. She was calm, cool and collected about the entire incident. Shock? Natural resilience? I can only imagine how I would react to the same circumstances.

One thing is certain: I would not agree to a photo shoot that included a long look down the barrel of a lovingly cradled shotgun.

Posing with my child as a strong argument for her defense of property and family? Sure. But I find the shotgun-packing mama image deeply disquieting. McKinley had just—and I mean just—made the biggest decision that can be made with a firearm: she pulled the trigger and took a human life.

It’s not that the image glamorizes guns or violence. It’s that the timing of the image trivializes the toughest decision that can be made with a firearm. No matter how righteous a shoot, gun owners do themselves no favors by macho posturing. Or what looks to be macho posturing.

When it comes to defensive gun use, TTAG’s advice to STFU should extend to photo ops.


  1. avatar CarlosT says:

    Not exactly sure what your objection is here. I could definitely see her holding the shotgun in high regard as the thing that allowed her to continue her life with her child, especially so soon after losing her husband.

    1. avatar WB says:

      Hypothetically, some tort lawyer could try to portray the invader as the victim, wantonly killed by a gun nut who loved her shotgun more than human life.

      Which tactic I abhor, but it would not surprise me if it was tried.

      1. avatar Mark E says:

        Fortunately that tactic can’t be used in Oklahoma. The “Make My Day Law” in Oklahoma prevents any form of civil liability.

  2. avatar Tam 212 says:

    I can see how posing in this fashion could give the wrong impression…

    And it definitely goes against the STFU principle.

    1. avatar HAVE GUN says:

      “I can see how posing in this fashion could give the wrong impression…

      And it definitely goes against the STFU principle.”

      There is no upside for the young lady posing like that.

    2. avatar Todd94590 says:

      I believe her pose may have been in response to a reporters question. Not sure as I did not see the piece, nor am I aware of what questions were asked of her by the reporter/photographer.

      Perhaps youthful indiscretion (in the form of ‘reenactment’)

      Me, at 49, would certainly STFU, and seek to speak to a priest ASAP.

  3. avatar Gus says:

    I had similar thoughts about that photo. She’s 18. She shouldn’t have been ask to pose with the gun. I don’t blame her for that photo. I don’t think she said “Hey, Wait up! You wanna see me hold the gun?”. ABC did that to her.

    As far as her composure after the fact? Maybe she just didn’t feel that bad about it afterwards. Maybe she was just glad that it was over. You shouldn’t analyze her.

  4. avatar Ropingdown says:

    Sarah McKinley was just doing what women alone have been doing for 150 years+ on the Great Plains. When some sick bastards decide she’s pretty and vulnerable and they go to prey upon her, she blows a good hole through them. Whether it’s a Winchester ’73 in 1875 or something more modern in 2012 changes nothing significant in the facts. The photo provided was, I conclude, a very good and natural act on her part. Forming a plan to attack some helpless window in the night? Feeling big and tough? Remember what the business end of a 12 gauge double-gun looks like as the widow holds the gun, punk. Remember the photo. Expect a re-enactment. Still feeling big and tough? That’s a good message for her to send.

  5. avatar Steve says:

    One of the things that struck me about this story was the headlines in Huff Post and other more Liberal leaning news outlets.

    They all read something like this:
    “No Charges For Oklahoma Mom Sarah McKinley, Who Shot Intruder To Protect Baby ”

    As though it would somehow be surprising that a there would be ‘No charges’ in a clear cut case of self defense like this. Only the most idiotic of people could think that there Should be any charges against this young woman.

    Interesting fact: According to one of the reports I read, she was on the phone for over 20min with the 911 dispatcher before the perp managed to break down her barricaded door and stop a load of buckshot. Makes you wonder where the Police were for those 20min. Have another doughnut Officer, there’s no hurry.

    When seconds count, the police are ….more than 20mins away. WTF.

    Also, Props for her choice in home defense weapons. Nothing says “Get off my Lawn” like a double barrel 12ga.

    1. avatar DrewR55 says:

      I agree completely with the statement that ‘when seconds count the police are minutes away.’

      To be fair, though, Blanchard is a rural town and this sort of response time in not uncommon for even EMS and fire. The law enforcement in Grady Co. is actually pretty good but they have only a few officers with alot of ground to cover. (and the responding officer may have had to go back to the station for more then the one round he is allowed to carry for his .38 revolver).

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        (and the responding officer may have had to go back to the station for more then the one round he is allowed to carry for his .38 revolver)

        Please tell me you’re joking.

        1. avatar ScottA says:

          I’m thinking Andy Griffith reference here

        2. avatar DrewR55 says:

          LoL Yes sir, I am. But Blanchard really is a lot like Mayberry and while my comment may have been tongue in cheek it was also an attempt to illustrate the town. Thankfully, this really is a small town in Oklahoma and things are just a wee bit different down there.

      2. avatar rt66paul says:

        The one round is carried in his top pocket.

  6. avatar DrewR55 says:

    As a fellow Okie I feel shame that there is a criminal element in my state that would attack this woman (what ever their reason be it drugs or worse). At the same time, I am happy to say that the authorities are charging the other criminal with murder. Thank you Mrs. Sarah for making Oklahoma a little safer.

    This is why my wife carries and knows her way around her pistol and the 12 gauge we use for home pertection.

  7. avatar great unknown says:

    This a woman who has had to go through events that would challenge and break most. First, she lived with a husband who was dying of cancer; then he finally died less than two weeks ago. Then someone who has been stalking her since high school was attempting to break in on her and her baby – while she waited TWENTY ONE documented minutes for help to arrive or all hell to break loose. Remember that the waiting is usually worse than the action. Finally the guy breaks in carrying a foot-long knife.

    If she comes across as tough and not regretful, good for her. Many in her position would be whimpering with PTSD. She on the other hand was illustrating, to the world and to fate: “You want a piece of me, come and get it.”

    Ropingdown, you nailed it. And we need more women – and certainly more men – like that.

    On the other hand, I understand where the STFU approach is coming from. Shakespeare was right about “lawyers first”, especially liberal DAs. Maybe we can take the country back someday.

  8. avatar irock350 says:

    I think your missing the point of the pose, it is supposed to provide a reenactment of her phone call. I for one was interested in how she was able to, cradle the phone, shoulder the shotgun and hold a pistol all at the same time. As this photo illustrates, she cradled the phone on her shoulder, held the shotgun as normal and loosely held the pistol between her index and middle finger as she gripped the forearm of the double barrel.

    As for her picture in the paper being able to derail her legal defense, I think it is pretty solid and justified.

  9. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    Individual reactions to extreme stress can be very different. Some soldiers experience crippling terror in combat but others find the act of swapping high-velocity lead with the enemy to be thrilling and exhilarating, almost to the point of being addictively pleasurable.

    Ms. McKinley’s extraordinary composure was probably enhanced by the fact that she knew she was prepared and equipped to survive, even if the police were unbelievably slow to finish their donuts and run code to assist her. That calmness isn’t proof of malice aforethought on her part, just evidence that she can keep an exceptionally cool head under pressure.

    But she still should have avoided unnecessary press, especially in menacing poses with a firearm.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      I don’t think she felt too much fear for herself. She was focused on protecting her baby and not herself. Connecting with a higher power or cause can do wonders in losing one’s fear.

  10. avatar Phil74501 says:

    Ain’t a jury in the state of Oklahoma that would side against her.

  11. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    Here we have a very young widow with a baby. She absolutely did the right thing, in my opinion, by killing her assailant. She had little choice. The thing that I really don’t like is with all of the media crap taking advantage of her vulnerability and needlessly putting her in the spotlight which, by extension, could put her in harm’s way again. Were I her father, I would council her to keep a very low profile. She has been through a lot more than most people her age and she seems like a young woman of strength, courage and resolve. I just hope that she has a few angels and family members watching her six.

  12. avatar Skyler says:

    I don’t like this philosophy that one should be embarrassed for using a gun or even for being happy to have killed one’s enemy.

    First, it’s a myth perpetuated by the media and popular culture that killing someone reduces any sane person to a catatonic or at least a sobbing state. Most people, unlike in the movies, don’t recoil in horror and drop their gun with revulsion.

    It is natural to be glad the creep is dead and it is natural to exult in it. She should be encouraged to brag and to pose with the weapon she used.

    PTSD is real, but our society’s insistence that we should all suffer from it detracts from the minority with the real problems.

    And we should never be afraid to voice our joy and killing a bad guy who deserved his fate.

  13. avatar Mike OFWG says:

    If I’m on her Jury, she walks. Apparently, true guts are so rare in this country that when we are exposed to someone with them we question them and ourselves. Would that we had more men with her fortitude, and at such a young age! But then, maybe she is just another like those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, bless them all and those that raised them!

  14. avatar sdog says:

    this young woman is the definition of “true Grit.”

  15. avatar caffeinated says:

    I don’t see what the uproar is about either. She did what was legally in the right. If she wants to pose with the SxS standing on top of the dirtnapper, I wouldn’t fault her. It tells potential burglars, rapists, and murderers to think twice. If law enforcement and the DA/SA have already cleared her and she is protected by law from civil suits, the STFU need not apply. She should be proud she saved potential lives from this idiot as well as tax dollars from you and I.

  16. avatar William Berger says:

    As she is a very young woman, any impact of the photo on others (the anti’s) likely never crossed her mind. Probably the center of a huge media circus right now as well

  17. avatar Anthony Meruelo says:

    I definitely understand the worry about how someone like P-MSNBC could argue about the “macho” posturing, yada yada. As for why she would have allowed this picture to be taken, it’s to show the tactics she employed of shouldering the shotgun, cradling the phone against her face and, oddly, holding the pistol with the fingers of her support hand while it’s supporting the shotgun.

    I’m going to patent an underbarrel pistol attachment for a shotgun, brb.

    1. avatar DrewR55 says:

      The devil with that. You should find a way to attach a 12 gauge to the underside of a 9mm carbine. Maybe slung under an AR-15 chambered in 9.

      I’d love to have one under my AR.

      1. avatar joecr says:

        Red jacket did that a while ago. Although the shotgun they used looked like it had a shorter barrel then the minimum length allowed for a civilian to have.

        1. avatar irock350 says:

          Well if you are going to have to go through the paper work to mount a firearm underneath a rifle you might as well.

        2. avatar Richard W. says:

          They used a Saiga S12, and basically cut it as far as it would still operate. It was classified DD I believe, So $200 stamp + 6 month wait.

        3. avatar Gossven says:

          They existed well before Red Jacket did it. It would probably qualify as an AOW though which is only a $5 tax stamp.

        4. avatar irock350 says:

          $5 is the transfer fee, its still $200 for the creation of an AOW.

  18. avatar ST says:

    Here is the defensive gun user’s dilemma vis a vis the media:

    In order to spread the word about legal carry and defensive gun use , one must deal with the national media. Its unavoidable. A majority of U.S. citizens still get their news via the 6 o’clock broadcast.This woman did more to advance the cause of 2A rights by allowing her story to be broadcast than she would have if she ‘kept quiet’.

    This brings up the other side of the sword-the media is inherently opposed to the 2nd Amendment and the rights thereof, as such one risks a slant and biased reaction to any situation of DGU they report.

    This is a case that literally couldn’t be slanted ;unlike a white male who uses a gun to prevent being robbed by a 16 year old scumbag black man, no amount of spin could be made on a case of a mother defending herself and her kids from a Caucasian scumbag with a knife.

    Personally, I would decline any sort of media attention, as the headline “Veteran shoots gang member with college dreams” would be posted the day after the interview.

    1. avatar Steven says:

      >>This woman did more to advance the cause of 2A rights by allowing her story to be broadcast than she would have if she ‘kept quiet’.

      I agree with you completely. If there is one thing the MSM can not resist is it ‘endangered white woman with baby’. There is no way this story could be spun against her.

      1. avatar sdog says:

        agreed on both counts.

  19. avatar Darren says:

    It is not as if she’s posing over the carcass of the perp like a deer hunting photo, holding up the head and showing off the Meth Mouth. I agree with irock350’s comment, picture a phone under her right ear and you have the position she spent 20 unpleasant minutes in, waiting for help that never came.

    I’m not surprised she isn’t torn up by the whole thing, there is a societal expectation that we should feel bad for shooting someone but her circumstances are pretty clear-cut. Sarah Palin’s comments about Mama Grizzlies are pretty correct and women can be very decisive and unapologetic if you cross a line they consider significant. My wife and daughters would shoot you dead and go eat a sandwich if you were threatening our family and breaking into our house.

    Sometimes events occur in well-defined circumstances where people walk away from things feeling pretty good about how they turned out, how they personally performed and they don’t have much in the way of moral qualms about what went down. Good for her. She directly confronted one of the worst situations a woman can face, did precisely the right things in the right order and the outcome was about as good as can be expected. Why exactly is she supposed to be shocked, repentant or shy?

    Now, if it was my wife who dropped the scumbag, any interview would be with someone other than ABC, would be done in a studio and no pictures of my house or the weapon involved would be allowed. I doubt I would encourage her to talk to anyone. Nightly news segments are going to tell your story in the “short” package (50 seconds) or the “long” package (70 seconds). I don’t trust a generally hoplophobic media to get the circumstances, identities, events and decisions correct. You want to talk? Talk to my lawyer.

  20. avatar Tom says:

    The biggest problem is they need to pin the Pour Le Merit Medal to her blouse.

  21. avatar Ralph says:

    There’s not a thing for her to lose by posing for this picture. She was on the horn with 911 the whole time that events were unfolding, so STFU is probably the wrong thing for her to do.

    My advice to MEN would be to STFU, always. My advice to WOMEN, who are presumed to be easy prey, is to tell everybody how scared they were for their lives, or in Ms. McKinley’s case, for the life of her baby.

    It wouldn’t matter if she did her best impression of Sgt. York at the presser. Young and very recent widow, home alone with her kid, got advice from the 911 operator to do what she had to do — she’s golden. She’s a lawyer’s wet dream. She’ll probably get write-in votes for governor.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      Bingo Ralph, you got it. Advice to men and women, and by state and cities can go more than one way. She’s a heroine. She’ll be fine.

  22. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I don’t see any wrong with posing for the picture because she did nothing wrong. She saved herself and the baby from two criminals who would have most likely raped and killed this poor woman. She seems to handle stress pretty well and she has nothing to be ashamed of for killing to scumbag.

  23. What? No critique of how she’s got a revolver dangling precariously from her fingertips?

    No, I wouldn’t allow a news camera crew to video record me posing with my weapon after a fatal shooting shooting… but I’m fully willing to cut widow McKinley a break. She did the right thing to protect her eighteen-year-old self (i.e. the intruders weren’t after her baby boy).

    I blame the ABC journalists for exploiting an unsophisticated (i.e. lacking media savvy) young woman for a cheap video opp. It’s a different kind of rape from what the dead perp was attempting.

  24. avatar Aharon says:

    Time for the talk-show circuit, a book about her life, a movie, maybe a line of baby foods, and cosmetics. Afterwards, she can open a consulting practice. Oh yeah, she can probably get paid well to model for gun manufacturers: ‘Every young mother should own a SxS 12 gauge’.

    1. avatar Female says:

      You predict quite a future for this young lady. Of course if she hadn’t had a gun available and knowledge of how to use it she probably would not have HAD a future. She’s a high school dropout who married very young and is now widowed with a child. She’s more than entitled to tell her story to anyone willing to pay. It’s more honest than resorting to the government dole for the rest of her life. I hope she makes wise decisions and lets this tragedy be the beginning of a turn of luck for her. She has my best wishes and the dead burglar won’t be breaking into anyone else’s house.

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        Unless, of course, the zombie apocalypse comes, but then he won’t be alone.

        1. avatar Aharon says:


          I got my SxS loaded and ready for them zombies.

      2. avatar Aharon says:

        I wish her the very best. I was mostly being sarcastic regarding modern American culture. However, I find no moral or other issue with the young mother is she can turn this terrible incident into financial help for herself and her child.

  25. avatar John D says:

    Yeah, and her new publicist would be well advised to hire Oleg Volk!

  26. avatar Pete B. says:

    I guess her cross dominance eye problem didn’t get in her way of defending herself.

  27. avatar GS650G says:

    Show the morgue photos on the 11 o’clock news. Crime rates would drop the next day. A nice before shot (mugshots) and then the after shot. Even vermin can figure that out.

  28. avatar mike0101 says:

    Sorry fellas but I have to agree with Jim. The photo was a bad idea and the media knew it and took advantage of the young lady.

  29. avatar Graybeard says:

    Give the poor girl a break. She’s 18 & this is her 1st time to run into the media. I’ll betcha dollars to doughnuts that a photog staged that shot. She doesn’t know – yet – not to trust reporters & photographers, but she’s about to learn.

    I really think that she’ll be torn up by how she’s portrayed by our 4th Estate.

  30. avatar Stephen H says:

    She was calm, cool and collected about the entire incident. Shock? Natural resilience? I can only imagine how I would react to the same circumstances.

    Good for her. I hope it’s not shock. Hell, I wouldn’t even hold it against her for being a little proud about the whole thing. The poor, fragile, 19-year-old widow very capably defended herself and her child. And the world is less one scumbag because of it. I can only imagine how I’d react, too, but my guess is I’d be more upset about my broken front door and the mess on my floor. These talk show hosts need to stop insinuating she should somehow feel bad. It’s not like the guy gave her much choice.

  31. avatar Steve H says:

    She may be somewhat more sophisticated than it would appear. As a recently widowed young woman with a baby she is probably n need of some souse of income. Being somewhat famous for being brave and capable may well help.

    I certainly wish her well, she has done cause of gun ownership a world of good. Her segment on Fox news, this AM, sounded like a paid add for strong Castle Doctrine laws. About time the media gives the truth about firearms.

  32. avatar racer88 says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, yet. But, watching the story on NBC news tonight, my wife and I talked about her matter-of-fact composure. I commented that she’s amazingly well-composed, especially given her youth.

    Here’s why it doesn’t seem right to some… cultural differences. This was in Oklahoma. My wife is from Oklahoma. And, she said, “Of course she’s matter-of-fact about it. She’s from Oklahoma. That’s just how people are there (about dispatching criminals, especially).”

    So, someone whose sensibilities were germinated outside of Oklahoma may not understand the lack of hysterics or the absence of an emotionally-laden mixture of regret and relief. She’s from rural Oklahoma. And, according to my Oklahoman wife, it all makes perfect sense and doesn’t seem out of line at all… even the photo pose.

    1. avatar ralphrotten says:

      Agreed… my Okie wife said pretty much the same thing

      the local buzz here is that they (the two perps) thought there were pain meds in the house, since her husband died of cancer recently. According to the perp that is in custody, their plan was to steal the drugs…they were locally known meth heads. The perp in custody is being charged with felony murder 1..

      Tulsa, OK

      1. avatar racer88 says:

        I think the felony murder law (we have it here in FL, too) is the coolest law on the books. 😀

  33. They would have used a stock photo anyway, or just photoshopped something together.
    Welcome to ‘merica.

  34. avatar Aharon says:

    Here’s a link to MSNBC story on her. The liberal mass media seems to be eating up this home defense story since the shooter is a single mom who was defending her baby.

    It is interesting that she said she wouldn’t have done it if not for him (the baby).


  35. avatar Rokurota says:

    A lot of commenters are missing the point. No one here (?) disputes the righteousness of what she did — rather, the IGOTD pose she struck for the cameras. I saw this also when the Roanoke Times published the list of CHP holders and CNN came out to interview a woman who had a gun and CHP to defend against an abusive ex-boyfriend. Of course, the camera crew had her take the pistol out and pose with it.

    Both of these instances make me cringe. If the camera operator didn’t know enough to let someone point a gun at him, the gun owner should have. But more than that, the playfulness these two women exhibited with their firearms gives the impression that gun owners don’t take life-and-death situations seriously, that it’s just a game to us. This only bolsters the other side’s argument that only cowboys or gangstas want guns. I wish one of these women told the reporter, “For your safety, I’m not going to show you my gun or pose with it. That would be irresponsible.”

    Ms. McKinley has been on the news every 20 minutes it seems. I’m sure the fact that she’s young, white and pretty has nothing to do with it.

    1. avatar racer88 says:

      I wish one of these women told the reporter, “For your safety, I’m not going to show you my gun or pose with it. That would be irresponsible.”

      Ms. McKinley has been on the news every 20 minutes it seems. I’m sure the fact that she’s young, white and pretty has nothing to do with it.

      I can’t disagree with any of that. 🙂 If Casey Anthony was “fat and ugly,” we would have never heard of her case.

  36. avatar Bobby says:

    I take issue with this. Although the MSM would want us to act and look like the prey sheep they want us to be, we have a duty to show that defending yourself is no something to be ashamed of whatsoever.

    No reason for us to appear how they want us to act. If it is disrespectful to the “sanctity of life” that is fine, because some life isnt so sacred, and only deserves both barrels, and a smirk afterwards.

  37. avatar 101abn says:

    Good shooting Lady………..

  38. avatar Elizabeth Lowney says:

    Praise to Sarah McKinley! She’s my new hero! She’s 18, a single mother, a widow, and she just shot an intruder who broke into her home w/ a 12″ knife coming after her and her son. I hope she gets a medal of honor, a book and a movie deal b/c her life sounds like a bad country song. She defended herself and her child, the police didn’t charge her w/ a crime, and there’s nothing to criticize about her actions. So some idiot has to find fault w/ the photo? Really? That’s all you got? I have an 18 year old college student and I don’t think there are many 18 year olds out there with the guts to have survived that incident, let alone make good photo decisions afterward. Give the kid a break!

    1. avatar Aharon says:


      No one is an “idiot” for questioning the potential legal dangers of such a photo image with America being such a politically-correct legal landmine country. Owning, caring, and using guns in self-defense might be a moral right yet it is one that government and the courts are often opposed too. The Medal of Honor is for combat soldiers not civilians. There are plenty of 18 year old male and females that can survive such an ordeal. They are often called soldiers. Sometimes simply private citizens and young adults. Go take your meds.

  39. avatar the gun wire says:

    I think if I were in her shoes and had to put down a home intruder, the bulk of my energy, even just after the shooting, would not be expended on the shock of the events that had just transpired, but instead would be expended on worrying about whether or not I’d be prosecuted for my actions. Perhaps I’m being naive.

  40. avatar Aharon says:

    1. Two dangerous intruders were breaking into her locked home.
    2. The police could not reach her in time to prevent the break-in.
    3. The intruders could have murdered the baby and the mother with a knife (those guys didn’t need a gun to cause bodily harm).
    4. An armed home owner was the only defense that could have stopped the case from turning into a real tragedy with the innocent being murdered, raped, beaten, or terrorized.

    Take that one Eric Holder, Sarah Brady, Chicago, NYC, Washington DC, and San Francisco.

  41. avatar Cindy says:

    What hasn’t been published by the media is that her husband was almost 60 years old and that she new the intruders. I have a feeling that there is more to the story.

    1. avatar Aharon says:


      Her husband was sixty years old? The photo the media showed of her husband appeared to be a man in his twenties. Either way, I don’t see how her husband’s age, either way, is an issue. The media has reported that she recognized one of the men as someone possibly stalking her, and another media source said she was in the sane high school, at the same time, with the man she shot. That doesn’t seem too surprising for people living in a rural area.

      1. avatar Progressive=Commie says:

        That picture of him looked dated for sure–and he might have been way too old to be with her–but I don’t see what that has to do with her killing an armed intruder.

        1. avatar Laura says:

          Okay, first of all, yes, her husband was 58 and she was 18. She actually did know the man. Also, it was the circumstances that I find odd… Her husband died a week before this happened, these men had TRIED TO COME IN BEFORE, and she asked if she could shoot them. There’s just something off about it. I think that the man she shot could possibly have been the father to her son.

    2. avatar Robert Farago says:

      There is always more to every story.

      1. avatar Aharon says:


        Last night, I would have generally disagreed with you. However, there does seem to be some “interesting” additional information that I have read this morning about this case which just might alter the initial common view of the shooter and the relationships between named people. Maybe not. Since I’m not much of a tactical gun owner, I think it’s cool that she used a classic SxS to defend her home.

      2. avatar IdahoPete says:

        Part of the “more” is that she shot the scum 21 minutes into the 911 call. How’s that for “protect and defend”? Seems more like “dial 911 and die”.

        1. avatar Ron54 says:

          I believe that if the law had arrived she would have put the guns down and let them do their job. The guns were nothing more than a backup. She said the shotgun had not been fired in two years and that she had only ever fired it once herself.

        2. And the fact that she did wait that long proves there is no malice on her part like some of the anti gun Brady nutcases would like to believe.
          They cant have it be what it simply IS because this story utterly decimates their lunacy about guns being some tool of evil…this time the tool KILLED EVIL….and the Brady Hive Mind cannot cope with that.

      3. Yeah, Robert…and the second guy told that story…in case youre too ignorant to READ something every now and then.

        EVEN IF the guy she shot and killed were the father of her child as some keep asserting IT DOES NOT GIVE THE MAGGOT THE RIGHT to BREAK IN WITH A KNIFE..

        Does this compute?

    3. avatar erin says:

      agreed. i cannot believe the media refuses to mention her husband was nearly 60, that his family hated her and some say she was the mom of the guy she shot dead (meanwhile his best friend is charged with FIRST degree murder and he did nothing!)

      1. avatar Ron54 says:

        “…she was the mom of the guy she shot dead…” She’s 18 and he was 24. Where are you getting your info? I would like an answer to that one first. I’m not even going to address the rest of your statement.

        1. Erin…as far as I can tell youre just another gossip who doesnt CHECK the facts before making comments that CANNOT be factual. I really hate that sort of person because they are the reason these BS lies propagate.

        2. “(meanwhile his best friend is charged with FIRST degree murder and he did nothing!)”


          DID NOTHING?????
          What was he doing with his ARMED friend BUSTING INTO some 18 year old mothers house for ????
          Brain dead Brady drones….

    4. Hey Cindy…MY wife is 17 years my junior.
      You got a problem with that? TOUGH ****, lass.
      All that is ‘more’ to this story come from the deranged mind of the Brady Hive Mind collective.

  42. avatar David Wiechecki says:

    Dudes,I would have popped champagne after surviving a self-defense situation! Along with other joyful things. The CRIMINAL got what he brought upon himself. Period.

  43. avatar Max says:

    The reporter may have requested that she pose that way – e. g. “Show us how you reacted when he came into the room”.

    She doesn’t appear to be posturing and isn’t even looking directly at the camera. So I wouldn’t assume too much about her intentions. Also if she’d asked permission from the 911 op to shoot the intruder, as has been reported, then she may be prone to thinking that she’s done something wrong and is being cooperative with the press hoping that they’ll be sympathetic to her. Don’t assume that she’s got a strong opinion on gun rights simply because there was a shotgun in the house.

  44. avatar Kirk says:

    “…I find the shotgun-packing mama image deeply disquieting.”

    Really? My God, what a sissy wee-wee pants. This babe is frontier-tough.

    Notably, she’s not dancing a jig nor firing joyously into the air like some savages in certain parts of the world we’ve all seen on the news. Just matter of fact and composed.

    Yer pretty easy to “disquiet.”

  45. avatar Mark says:

    We’re talking about a rural-raised, barely 19 yr old girl who just lost her husband a week ago. She is not to blame for the photo shoot, the idiot from the media who told her to take the pose is because he should know better. But that would be ”reponsible journalism” and we can’t have that because it won’t sell. Also, what about other idiots wanting to avenge their thug, inbread friend? I hope someone will make sure she and her kid are both safe; and while at it, keep the blood-sucking journalists at bay, too.

    1. avatar Progressive=Commie says:

      and how is saying ‘inbred’ not racist? If this were in the hood and it were black guys trying to break in, would you say, “Stupid thugs trying to avenge their n—-er friend”? Why do people think it’s ok to demonize whites, yet not a word about the crime in the black communities? Why are ‘ghetto thug blacks’ cool, yet country midwest people ‘stupid inbred hicks’? I’m noticing lots of so-called conservatives are jumping onto the white guilt bandwagon too, and it’s quite annoying…and then they wonder why their loyal voters are getting tired of them.

      1. avatar Ron54 says:

        …hey Commie. Chill man. Inbred could mean family, you know like cousins. Or as the stereotypical joke goes about brother/sister relations in families living in the country. And ya’ know what, I can’t/won’t comment on the rest of your statement because it jumps around too much and sounds like you’re mad because nobody is offending you. Get over it man.

    2. avatar Ron54 says:

      I agree about the “blood-sucking” part especially. Don Henley did that song called “Dirty Laundry” that really applies in this case.

  46. avatar caffeinated says:

    Typically in the small midwestern towns, people know who the dirtbags are. Every family knows every other family whether they interact with each other or not. Pill junkies are the most violent of drug users I have encountered. Just think back to the random pharmacy shootings across the US. Crackheads typically usually aren’t as desperate as pill junkies. With that said, the two dirtbags probably knew her family’s business just because that IS small town USA (in the midwest). That makes her a prime target for pain pills with the full knowledge that her husband just passed away from cancer.

    As far as I am concerned, she earned the right to take a “Captain Morgan” trophy shot standing on top of the oxygen thief she shot.

    1. avatar racer88 says:

      LOL… Captain Morgan trophy shot on top of the oxygen thief she shot.

      That’s quotable gold!

    2. avatar Progressive=Commie says:

      There is a lot of crime in black neighborhoods, too, yet I don’t hear anyone criticizing them or saying, “Stupid ghetto losers.” It’s always bashing the Midwest and the South (because it’s full of white conservative christians) and calling them inbreds or rednecks or uneducated, etc.

  47. avatar Robert says:

    I’m actually surprised the liberal media isn’t making a bigger deal out irritate difference between her and her husband. She was 18 and he was 58. That’s 40 years difference.

    I’m almost surprised the liberal media isnt trying to paint her as some gun toting country bumpkin who just dropped out of high school to shack up with this way way older man who was probably taking advantage of her. They said she had been living with him for three years, and one said shed been married two years ago. Three years ago she may well have been 15, when she started living with him, even though the age of consent in Oklahoma is 16. Some people might call that living in sin.

    Also, if her 58 year old died from lung cancer theres a pretty good chance he was heavy smoker. In fact, given that her husband who was 40 years older than her was undoubtedly a smoker and that lots of folks in rural oklahoma smoke; there’s probably a good chance that widow McKinley is a bit of a chainsmoker herself. The rose tinted news articles say for sure about her smoking,or if she’s chain-smoking 3 packs a day or what, but I’m sure plenty of girls in her position, under all that pressure might find themselves addicted to cigarettes too, just like poor widow McKinley. I can just hear the news stories now, blaming her for endangering the babys life by living with a chain-smoking man 40 years older than her, who was probably taking advantage of her, facilitating her cigarette addiction, buy buying cigarettes for her when she was under aged, and promoting a narcotic prescription drug filled life in an isolated trailer in rural Oklahoma. Right.

    It really is astonishing the lame-stream media hasn’t tried to unfairly frame her like that. Guess we’ll see.

    1. avatar Darwin says:

      The liberal media…how out of touch with reality do you have to have to believe there is such a thing.

    2. avatar Progressive=Commie says:

      I did think that was odd at only 18 her husband died (and of cancer) too and I also thought the picture of her deceased husband looked dated, like it was from the 70s or 80s at the latest. Maybe he did take advantage of a young woman with a child (unless it was his), but it’s the Left making issues out of something that never happened or that is irrelevant to the issue at hand. I’m glad she was able to kill a burglar, especially since it was just her and a little baby at the house.

    3. avatar Ron54 says:

      They haven’t figured out how they can twist/spin this yet. Just give it time,

  48. avatar Leo Springer says:

    The writer of the last comment, about hoping someone will look out for Ms McKinley, hit the nail on the head. That’s one of the problems with her situation right now – the potential for revenge attacks by friends of the criminal who tried to break into her home. Let’s hope there’s afriendly cop in her district who will keep an eye on her. The other problem is, I can hear the “wrongful death” civil suit by the criminal’s family gearing up now. Let’s hope someone will come forward and help her relocate away from there; it can’t be a place with too many fond memories any more.

    1. avatar Blinky Pete says:

      The author mearly said “I wouldn’t have done that”…. he didn’t imply guilt. Settle down.

      Re: some of the details – Apparently her husband was 58 and had suffered from Cancer for some time. After he passed away the intruders sought the rest of his pain killer medication, which had apparently been going missing for several weeks.


      Whether more details emerge or not I haven’t the faintest, and I agree that not participating the armchair investigation is generally a good idea (look where it lead us with the Casey Anthony case), but I also agree it wasn’t the smartest thing to pose with the gun, and I think that’s all the author was saying.

    2. avatar Blinky Pete says:

      The author mearly said “I wouldn’t have done that”…. he didn’t imply guilt. Settle down.

      Re: some of the details – Apparently her husband was 58 and had suffered from Cancer for some time. After he passed away the intruders sought the rest of his pain killer medication, which had apparently been going missing for several weeks.

      I can’t seem to post the article here as it’s flagged as spam… search ‘Sarah Mckinley Age’ and it comes up under daily mail online.

      Whether more details emerge or not I haven’t the faintest, and I agree that not participating the armchair investigation is generally a good idea (look where it lead us with the Casey Anthony case), but I also agree it wasn’t the smartest thing to pose with the gun, and I think that’s all the author was saying.

  49. avatar Troy says:

    The niece of her 58(!) yr old husband has openly questioned whether the intruder that was killed (Justin) was the baby’s (Justin’s) real father.

    1. it doesnt matter if he were the father or not. It sure as hell does NOT give him any RIGHT to bust in with a KNIFE !
      She shot him dead like she should have.

  50. avatar Grace says:

    Why get into all this tabloid-esque bullshit about who the father of her baby was? I don’t know if the intruder was the father of her baby or not, and frankly, it’s none of my business, nor is it yours to speculate. Regardless if he was or not, he was breaking into her home, and he was armed. I love how the conversation can totally derail into gossip and rumors. It doesn’t matter what their relationship was, the facts stand- two men were trying to break into an occupied home, armed with weapons, and obviously had ill intent. Nothing else matters, especially not who the father of the baby is.

  51. avatar Rich says:

    I say this to Jim Sutherland, the author of the article, who states “I find the shotgun-packing mama image deeply disquieting”. Jim, what kind of pussy-boy are you. You are clearly a liberal wuss who sypathises with criminal thugs. What I find deeply disquieting are liberal pussy wimps like you!!!

    1. avatar Ron54 says:

      What I find “disquieting” is two red neck looking males, one carrying and brandishing a 12″ hunting knife, coming to her trailer and beating on the door in broad daylight for 21 minutes. Hmmm? Did you think they were Bible salesmen? Sarah was talking with the 911 lady who kept her calm (kudos to that lady) and used a very wise military tactic…don’t give away your position and try to have overwhelming force (12 ga. shotgun) when the battle begins. I’m sure that as they were pounding on the door each knock was like a sledge hammer pounding into her. I’m surprised she didn’t just shoot through the door…but she didn’t. She kept her cool and with the help of the dispatcher to calm her…she just waited…and when the moment of truth arrived she didn’t sit there thinking Hmmm, I wonder if I should do this? For her baby, she shot.

    2. No offense Rich, but I use my last name every time I blog on here. I absolutely do not sympathize with criminal thugs- far from it. The death of the intruder was acceptable to me, I made that abundantly clear in my piece. You have called me a pussy yet I have provided my full name to my posts on this site. I do not hide behind a keyboard.

  52. avatar Progressive=Commie says:

    Whether or not the man she was married to was old enough to be her father or grandfather is not relevant to the story or situation, even though the picture of him looked dated (like 1980s). She was alone when intruders broke in and she shot them. She did nothing illegal. That’s her right to do so. The liberal media is always making a situation into something it’s not.

  53. avatar pcrh says:

    Judging from the way she sights in that pic, anyone think she is left eye dominant? (note the deft change of subject)

    For rightys who are left eye dominant, do you shoot shotguns lefty, or sight the way she appears to?

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      I think it’s more that she’s trying to hold the phone between her shoulder and her cheek.

  54. avatar DJMoore says:

    I want lots of pictures like this.I want pictures like this to be so common they’re unremarkable.I want every thug breaking into a home to have pictures like this seared, seared into their brains, so that they don’t die of surprise when they get shot.I don’t remotely understand how you can criticize this woman for “her composure after the shooting,” or for being “calm, cool and collected about the entire incident.”Good for her! Outstanding! More, please, and faster!What, you have a thing for weak, terrified women who only managed to defend themselves by accident?You expect to her plan every move, every word, every expression after an experience like that to fit your agenda?She successfully defended her home, her life, and her baby.It’s the old joke in real life:”What are you afraid of that you need a gun?””I don’t need to be afraid, I have a gun! And not at all by the way, proof that I can use it is lying in the driveway.”She deserves her pride and her self assurance. She’s earned it. Shame on you. Shame.

    1. avatar racer88 says:

      I want lots of pictures like this.I want pictures like this to be so common they’re unremarkable.I want every thug breaking into a home to have pictures like this seared, seared into their brains, so that they don’t die of surprise when they get shot.

      Better yet, they recognize the inherent risks of a (shortened) life of crime they choose an honorable vocation and earn an honest paycheck. Furthermore, it may serve to further normalize the notion of lawful armed self-defense.

  55. avatar DJMoore says:

    I want lots of pictures like this.

    I want pictures like this to be so common they’re unremarkable.

    I want every thug breaking into a home to have pictures like this seared, seared into their brains, so that they don’t die of surprise when they get shot.

    I don’t remotely understand how you can criticize this woman for “her composure after the shooting,” or for being “calm, cool and collected about the entire incident.”

    Good for her! Outstanding! More, please, and faster!

    What, you have a thing for weak, terrified women who only managed to defend themselves by accident?

    You expect to her plan every move, every word, every expression after an experience like that to fit your agenda?

    She successfully defended her home, her life, and her baby.

    It’s the old joke in real life:

    “What are you afraid of that you need a gun?”

    “I don’t need to be afraid, I have a gun! And not at all by the way, proof that I can use it is lying in the driveway.”

    She deserves her pride and her self assurance. She’s earned it.

    Shame on you. Shame.

  56. avatar xpo172 says:

    It looks like shes showing the cameras how she was on the phone while holding 2 guns. That’s what she told 911. It seams like a reasonable request. Not that I’d let them take that picture, or any interview.

  57. avatar Jon says:

    It appears that those photos were staged to give the viewer a better idea of what happened in the second video on this link:


  58. I like the pictures.
    I think they convey that armed women WILL kick your ass if you come busting in at 1am.
    Let this be a warning to you rapists out there.
    The next woman you try to assault could be your last.

  59. avatar Jerome Kavanaugh says:

    This discussion and the soap-opera/Enquierer ready comments that drove me away from this site months ago. Mr. Farago there are ten thousand issues, photos, stories you could blog about… and you pick this… why? It’s your blog -drive on, but this kind of grab at something to blog about that drove me at least two others I speak to away from your blog. For the record – I saw the story on Tam’s porch and figured I’d stop by see hwat was up and it just added fule to the fire. To finish – I’m a 30 year police officer-tactical officer-use of force instructor-PEACEKEEPER , ANYONE including a cop who is faced with a bigger assailant amed with a knife can shoot the attacker… I’m 55, some 20-something moron comes at me with a knife is going to get shot…oh, wait been there done that… more than once. And before the screaming starts both survived… you know, shoot’em and then save’em. LEAVE THE LADY ALONE.

  60. avatar Chalkie says:

    I do find one aspect of the shot mildly disturbing, but it might just be the angle. It doesn’t look like that gun was being held correctly. If the other guy had come in, she might have had trouble lining up the second shot quickly enough.

    As for the non-theoretical ideas that apply to her situation, I’m glad she lives somewhere with solid castle doctrine. Any place that does not respect a woman’s right to defend herself against a knife wielding attacker is a place where there is no safety and no justice.

    1. avatar zombiekiller says:

      She had a pistol as well. She did not know if she could shoot the shotgun – only did once before. Intruder #2 would have gotten a few .38’s. Got scared off though.

  61. avatar RoyRogers says:

    I agree with everything you say except there’s one thing you forget, ABC News is to blame. They wanted the “dirty laundry” report and in the end, if they can make a report out of taking her down for giving in and letting them film the way they did…they will…with glee. They will laugh at her if they get the chance. The second I saw the first report I thought, “Oh my God, I can’t believe they did that to her.” It’s the same way they treated Sarah Palin right after she scared the bajeebers out of the liberals with her acceptance speech at the republican convention that was nothing short of a work of art. That woman rocked their world and they didn’t know what to do. So they put her in the media spotlight and began to systematically tear her apart. And they are still trying.

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