I read this morning about a woman who shot an intruder in her home in Blanchard, Oklahoma. Apparently he’d been stalking her, and when he and an accomplice broke into her home, she killed him with a shotgun:
Sarah Dawn McKinley was home alone with her three month old son at the time.She says she heard a knock on her door and looked through the peephole to see two men, one of whom she’d met a couple times before.“I saw that it was the same man. He had been here Thursday night and I had a bad feeling then,” said McKinley.McKinley says she moved her couch in front of the door, grabbed her son and her shotgun, called 911 and went in a back room.She says for an agonizing 21 minutes, she listened to the men try to break in.
“He was from door to door trying to bust in, just going from door to door,” said McKinley. “I waited till he got in the door. They said I couldn’t shoot him until he was inside the house. So I waited until he got in the door and then I shot him.”
Those twenty-one minutes must have lasted an eternity, another example of “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” And to paraphrase Tam, if you don’t have your own gun, you may have to wait the rest of your life for the police to arrive with theirs. But here’s the part that has me scratching my head:
McKinley says she made the tough decision to shoot in order to protect her son. “There’s nothing more dangerous than a mother with her baby. But I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for him.”
(My emphasis.) I was reminded of a post I read recently at A Girl and Her Gun – Labels, Labels, Everywhere, But Not A Single One For Me. In that post the author talks a bit about her decision to become a gun owner. (She discusses that decision in greater depth in another post.) In “Labels-labels” however, she says something very similar to young Ms. McKinley. Discussing her recent reading of the book Boston’s Gun Bible, she says:
When I read…
“Mothers defending their offspring can exhibit terrifying ferociousness, but they must be trained to become ferocious when protecting themselves.”
I actually lost my breath for a minute.
That about sums it up for me.
The old me.
I wonder what would have happened if my daughter wasn’t with me that day. I bought some time by doing things to distract the guy while I tried to get her to a safe place. I never one time thought about myself. In fact, for weeks, she was the only thing I thought of.
I wonder, if I had been alone, if I would have bothered to fight at all or if I would have just given up the second he approached me.
I instinctively knew she was worth every effort to protect, although I was totally unprepared, I didn’t just hand her over to the creep. I didn’t have to be taught that she was worth my life.
What I had to be taught was that “he” was NOT worth MINE.
I am not sure if I am a sheepdog or a warrior. I don’t know if any label fit me before or if any of them fit me now.
What I do know is that I no longer have to be taught to be ferocious.
Read the whole piece, please.
But the old mindset is the one I just don’t get. Being oblivious I get. But being unwilling to defend yourself? I don’t get it. Why is it that people need to be trained to defend themselves? I’m not talking about self-defense skills, I’m talking about self-defense mindset – as she puts it: “I will fight and you will lose.” Honestly, I’d never even considered the question before. It had literally not occurred to me until I read her post, and to see it twice in this short of a span makes me think that the attitude is not the exception.
Discuss. I really want to hear what you have to say, especially those of you on the distaff side of the question. Is it a male/female dichotomy as Boston T. Party states, or is that just a sexist papering over of something that is not uncommon regardless of plumbing?
ETA: Is this part of it?
Edit #2: AGirlandHerGun comments below. Excerpt:
I have read story after story in my email box and on other people’s sites of similar mindsets to my old one and it does not appear to be a plumbing an issue.
Lots of men are exactly the same way. We have socialized the “aggression” right out of society.
It’s a problem. To raise boys and girls to believe that everyone else’s life is more valuable than theirs is stupid and it is making the bad guys job a whole lot easier.
I am reminded of another old post, Americans, Gun Controllers, and the “Aggressive Edge” about the casting of the film Aliens in the UK. Casting Agent Mary Selway spoke of the difficulties she had finding… well, let her say it:
“It was INCREDIBLY hard to do, because, um, James kept saying, ‘State of the art firepower. They’ve got to be incredibly, sort of on the cutting edge of American military…’
“So, what often happens here when American actors come to live in England, they become a bit Anglicized, and they don’t… they lose that really, sort of aggressive edge if you like, that this sort casting required.”
And we’ve been doing that to (some) of our children for generations now. I guess that answers the question.