One lived in Texas, the other in Oklahoma. One was with her parents, the other with her child. One was in a cafeteria, the other was at home. One had no gun, the other was armed.
The first woman watched an armed gunman shoot her father, tried to escape with her mother, and then realized that the gunman had killed her mother as well. Her parents were among the 20 victims killed by the gunman. She owned a gun, but since she could not bring it into the cafeteria, it was "safely" locked in her car parked over 100 feet from the place where her parents died.
The second woman heard two men trying to break into her home, where she was caring for her infant son and grieving over the very recent cancer death of her husband. The men, it was later reported, were attempting to steal the husband’s pain-killing drugs that they believed were still in the house. The woman shot the first intruder. The second fled and was later apprehended. The woman and her infant were unharmed.
In the media barrage after the Oklahoma woman protected herself and her child, one reporter asked her why she didn’t run. One reporter decried that fact that she didn’t warn the intruder that she was armed before she fired a shot. One asked her how badly she must feel after her actions.
Let us imagine for a moment what the scene in that Oklahoma home must have felt like. A young woman, alone with a three-month-old infant, is sitting in her home. It is dark. Suddenly she hears more than one man beating and kicking on her door, trying to break it in. She grabs her baby and calls 911.
She asks for help, but has no guarantee that it will arrive in time.
Throughout the call, she can hear the men trying to enter her home, violently attempting to break her door down. She knows that with her arms full of baby, she will not be able to fight. She knows that she cannot run through a door that the intruders are breaking through. So she asks what she is allowed to do. The dispatcher tells her to do what is necessary to protect her baby.
Before help arrives, the door bursts open and intruders rush into her home. The first man is brandishing a weapon. There is a second man right behind him. She has no idea what kind of weapon the second man may have. She has a split second to act before the men are close enough to disarm her.
So she shoots. The first man drops and the second flees. She and her baby are safe.
When she was asked about regrets, she calmly stated that if she hadn’t shot the intruder, the outcome for herself and her son would have been very different. It was a choice – dead intruder or dead baby. She chose dead intruder. The woman in Texas would agree with her decision.
The Texan watched her parents die because she didn’t have the means to defend them. And she has spent the years after that moment working to assure that no other woman would ever have to stand in her shoes. The mother in Oklahoma is living proof that her efforts are effective.
Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens do, in fact, save innocent lives. Three-month-old Justin is just the latest example.