Mother of three shoots home intruder: “I’d have killed him if I’d had to”. Afterwards (the intruder fled, and was later captured, with non-life-threatening wounds), the mother told reporters that she’d never thought she’d use the family gun, “but I was calm”.
I’m grateful that the mother was black and the man kicking in her door was white, thereby sparing us all from the usual tripe TV news serves up on these incidents, and the story’s a nice testimonial to the adage that “when seconds count, the police are just minutes away”, but I was especially taken by the mother’s determination to protect her children. I’m friends with a retired special forces warrior and we once had a conversation where I expressed some doubt over my ability to shoot another human, even if I feared he was going to kill me. “If you’re protecting your child or your wife you’ll do it instantly”, he assured me.
What he said rang true to me, and this woman’s reaction seems to bear him out. Which interests me: for some of us — me, at least — the instinct for self-preservation might be just weak enough to cause me to hesitate before pulling the trigger on someone I perceived as a direct, immediate threat to my life, but threaten one of my kids, or a loved one like their mom, Pal Nancy? You’re dead, MF.
Bears and other animals seem to react the same way, which makes me think it’s all part of our genes.