Yes, it’s true; as a new mom I never really even wanted a gun in my home. That all changed several years ago.
I was preparing for bed in our master bathroom. It was incredibly hot outside, and we didn’t have air conditioning so I cracked the window open slightly, just trying to get what little cool air there was into our room before retiring for the night. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary: our infant son was asleep in his crib down the hall, the late night edition of the local news could be heard from the living room TV, and my husband was making his nightly rounds to check windows and doors before turning out the lights.
Something caught his eye as his passed by the main hall bathroom. Across the patio he could see a man peering into my bathroom window – watching me prepare for bed (while also fondling himself). I heard my husband scream something unintelligible and I saw him run out the back door with a baseball bat. I had no idea what had actually happened until my husband returned moments later.
My heart sank. I was physically ill. I felt so violated. In my home I had always felt safe, but that safety and security was now gone. A million thoughts raced through my mind. But the one that kept repeating itself over and over was the thought that I couldn’t protect myself or my son. All we owned was a baseball bat. What if my husband wouldn’t have been home?
We called the police, and immediately after describing the events and the man at my window, the officer had a good idea who had been in our yard. He fit the description of a known peeping Tom in the area. A man who had an extensive record of criminal trespassing, methamphetamine use, robbery, and a slew of other offenses.
Later that night he was arrested just a few blocks down the street and charged with trespassing.
I wish I could report that the offender learned his lesson, served his time, and never bothered me again, but I can’t. Unfortunately, that night was just the beginning of a very long ordeal that would change me forever. He didn’t stop preying on me. In fact, he returned to our home at least four more times.
The last time was once again on a summer evening – but this time he couldn’t see me through the newly installed obscured glass windows. I was tipped off to his presence by the motion detector lights that had been put up just days before. I saw his shadow through the glass in the back patio door. As he approached, I grabbed another new addition to our home – a shotgun. I chambered a round next to the door and the unmistakeable sound sent him running.
My husband was out of town that evening on National Guard duty, and I knew no one else should be in my yard. It was just me and my son – and my shotgun. I can’t imagine how differently things might have turned out that night if I had no way to stop him from entering. Knowing what I know now about this man’s drug use and criminal record I have no doubt he would have entered my home if allowed.
This man wasn’t going to be easily deterred. Even after serving multiple jail sentences, his pattern continued and his crimes escalated. He repeatedly trespassed and stalked other women, but he never came into my backyard or near me again. Later, during a court appearance, I let the judge and the offender know that I would protect my home, myself, and my children with deadly force if necessary.
I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment and a legal gun owner not because I want to be, but because I have to be. I have realized that no matter what laws are passed ‘to protect’ me, no one is responsible for my protection and the protection of my kids but me.
For those advocating for more laws, ask yourself why all the laws on the books didn’t stop my stalker from trespassing, entering my backyard, and peering into my window. Laws didn’t stop him, but a shotgun did.