…but what if YOU aren’t there?
A recent incident illustrated why every responsible adult in your household should know how to safely use firearms. As reported in The Daily Mail (11/08/2015):
“A heroic young mother was shot twice as she tried to defend her family during a home invasion. Semantha Bunce, 21, was at home feeding her four-month-old son Bentley when intruders broke into her home in East Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday morning. The mother-of-two, a combat medic in the National Guard, quickly took her son to the bedroom and placed him in the crib before grabbing her husband’s gun. When the men opened fire at her in the stairwell, she then fired back from the bedroom door.”
Even more impressive was that even after being shot twice, this remarkable young woman returned fire and sent the perpetrators running. Samantha’s husband, a medical technician, was at work at the time, and credits her quick reaction and cool performance (literally “under fire”) to her military training. As he told WSOCTV: “I think it was a shock to the intruders just as much as it was to her.”
Police charged Reco Latur Dawkins Jr., 23, with attempted murder, felony breaking and entering, and conspiracy to commit felony breaking and entering. How many others were involved is not yet known.
Happy ending? Absolutely. But what if Samantha had not been in the National Guard, or worse, had no familiarity with firearms at all? This story could easily have had a much more horrific ending.
I once had a student mention how much his wife enjoyed going to the gun range and shooting with him. Another student, a woman who was a retired police officer, agreed, saying that she and her husband regularly participated in competitive shooting together.
But several other individuals actually rolled their eyes and announced, with obvious frustration, that their spouse “would never touch a gun!” And this wasn’t the first time. Unfortunately, I often see families where this dichotomy exists.
By the way, it isn’t always the woman who is unfamiliar with (or afraid of) guns. I have a number of female friends, some with military or law enforcement backgrounds, others who are just great shooters. And in more than a few cases, it is the man who is clueless about guns.
But there are certain things that every responsible adult should be able to do, and properly handling firearms is one of them. Even those of us who are competent with using firearms for personal protection sometimes forget that we may not be there when an attack occurs. So it’s up to us to make sure that our loved ones are still protected.
And consider age-appropriate training for children. Remember that kids as young as 11 have successfully used firearms to defend themselves and family members. This is highly personal; discuss it thoroughly with your spouse or partner.
Sure, you may get resistance from those in your family who are uncomfortable with guns. But you owe it to them to make the effort. Explain why such training is necessary. You might want to enlist the aid of a firearms instructor; many people, men as well as women, will listen to a professional more than a family member.
But however you do it, get it done. Otherwise, you risk the painful experience of one day being that sad, pathetic individual who has to regretfully say, “If only…”
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