10 months, 1 week ago
Late one night in the spring of 2008, I was jolted awake by the sound of yet another a burglar trying to break into my Atlanta home. We’d already had a series of scary close calls, but this time I was ready: I had staged my shotgun and a box of shells in a broom closet right by the back door, next to the umbrellas.
While my girlfriend called the police, I ran into the kitchen and looked out the window just in time to see a human form rush to hide in the shadows behind my car. I grabbed the gun and fumbled for the ammunition in the half-light, spilling most on the ground, but finally found one cartridge I was able to slide into the chamber.
I worked the action furiously, once, twice, and again, realizing dimly as I did that in doing so I was actually ejecting the shell, unspent, and basically unloading the weapon. But the unmistakable sound of the pump carried to the backyard, and, in a flash, the prowler was gone — a blur of raggedy jeans and tattered flannel sliding across the hood of my car and vaulting over the picket fence into the night.
I couldn’t make out his face or tell if he was armed. The next moment I was in the bathroom, vomiting hot puke all over the floor and toilet, water from the bowl splashing my face and eyes. Later, my girlfriend told me I had made her feel safe, protected. I just felt ill.
Codrea calls him an effeminate weasel, or something like that. It does cohere with what Amanda Ripley says happens when your brain gets around guns.
But the research on actual gunfights, the kind that happen not in a politician’s head but in fluorescent-lit stairwells and strip-mall restaurants around America, reveals something surprising. Winning a gunfight without shooting innocent people typically requires realistic, expensive training and a special kind of person, a fact that has been strangely absent in all the back-and-forth about assault-weapon bans and the Second Amendment.
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Under sudden attack, the brain does not work the way we think it will. Millbern has seen grown men freeze under threat, like statues dropped onto the set of a horror movie. He has struggled to perform simple functions at shooting scenes, like unlocking a switch on a submachine gun while directing people to safety. “I have heard arguments that an armed teacher could and would respond to an active shooter in the same way a cop would. That they would hear gunshots, run toward the sound and then engage the shooter,” Millbern writes in an e-mail from Baghdad, where he now works as a bomb-detection K-9 handler. “I think this is very unrealistic.”
A U.S. army veteran who uses a wheelchair confronted a burglar with a pistol, scaring the intruder away from his home.
Mark Sikes of Bogart, Georgia, tells MyFoxAtlanta.com that he was watching TV when he heard a noise at his door and saw a man appear in his hallway.
Or this mother:
Investigators are looking for three burglary suspects who forced themselves into a Magnolia home where there was a mother and her 6 year-old child inside.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says around 9:30 last night, they were called out to a home on the 18700 block of Mink Lake Drive in Magnolia. Investigators say three male suspects went into the home where they found a 33-year-old female with a pistol in her hand and her 6-year-old child alone inside.
Investigators say the mother fired the pistol at the burglars and thought she hit one of them, but they all escaped.
Rock on, folks. Don’t listen to Amanda, or the weasel either.