I was once told I was an extremist for carrying concealed; nothing was going to ever happen, and, what on earth could I possibly fear anyway? My answer to that person was “Absolutely nothing!” Have you ever been told you are over-dramatic for carrying a firearm, or looked at strangely as if you are paranoid for doing so? Have you ever wondered what you would do if you were alone and your home was invaded by a stranger who was bigger and more powerful than you? Yes, me too. In fact, I’ve thought about it a lot as part of my training and planning should I ever need to respond to such a situation. In the last few days, I have thought about it constantly. Why, you ask? Because it actually happened to me.
On the morning of March 12, 2014, I stayed home from work sick. When I woke I dragged my aching, shivering body to the kitchen to find some breakfast and coffee. Back in the coziness of my electric blanket I slowly sipped on the coffee and listened to my three dogs barking outside. Not unusual. After all, labs will bark if just a leaf blows by. But this sounded a little different. I heard some distant crashing; oh how they love to toss their metal food bowls around in play! But this sounded a little different.
I tore myself away from my warm bed and delicious breakfast to go check on them and hadn’t got 10 feet down the hallway when I heard another crash, this time within the garage. Quickly returning back to the bedroom, I retrieved my holstered handgun from the nightstand, and proceeded with caution toward the opposite end of the house. I heard the internal door from the garage exploding inwards, yet still had some expectation to see my husband back early, but I wasn’t understanding why all the noise. As I neared the dining room doorway I saw part of a male figure in my kitchen, only this wasn’t my husband! I drew down on the stranger with my Kahr PM40. My home and personal safety were being violated!
In the next three seconds so many thoughts went through my mind. With my gun pointing at the intruder’s chest I mustered up all my strength to command loudly “Freeze! Get down on the ground!” followed by, somewhat still in the rapidly fading hope that this was all just a big mistake, “What are you doing in my home?” In the next three minutes, through the pounding headache, fever and sickly listlessness, I drew upon every ounce of my training, fought for mental clarity, raided my wisdom bank, and was so very thankful for all the scenario practice undertaken so that I now didn’t have to freshly conjure knowledge out of thin air in this extremely dangerous moment.
My commands were short, simple and clear. He did not flee, nor try to. There was an interchange of words I am not yet at liberty to share for legal reasons, and although he did not initially fully comply with my instructions, I was still in control of the situation. As I reached for my cell phone to dial 911, the reality of the situation began to pierce through my sickness, and as I described to the dispatcher my circumstance, every episode of America’s Most Wanted that I had ever seen flashed before me. It was at this point, as I heard the wavering weakness in my voice, that I decided I was a survivor. An unsurpassed calmness came over me, and my previously shaky voice boomed into the hallway for him to stay down and still. Compliance!
We were now, for the most part, in a holding pattern awaiting arrival of the police. I recall asking the dispatcher at one point “Can I get an ETA?” to which she responded “They are 5 miles out, Lisa.” As the last four minutes passed I was thankful for all my efforts working out and being in great condition; I was surprised how heavy a handgun appeared after 23 minutes at full arm extension, but in the confines of your average house, nothing was going to make me lower it and waste a precious second if the situation suddenly escalated. Little did I know how many police were surrounding my home; I saw two officers appear at the back patio door, and without lowering my gun, I backed toward the door, unlocked it to allow the officers access, then stepped out of the house onto the back deck. The arrest was successfully executed.
Thankfully this attempted burglary ended well for me. Obviously I am now safe and able to share my story. So you’re probably asking yourself “Why should you care?”; “What’s so great about her experience? It happens every day after all, right?” Exactly! And precisely the reason why you should care…..no….why you NEED to care. If it had not been for the training, the planning, the practice, being aware of and exercising my Second Amendment rights, things could have ended in tragedy.
The days since my ordeal have been spent spreading the message to women to empower themselves through preparedness to defend their lives, their loved ones who depend on them, and their home. Nothing is more important than your right to be safe in all situations. Life can drastically change in just one preciously short second. I would encourage you all to fully embrace preparedness through firearms training, scenario training, planning and then consistent practice, so that if you need those skills and knowledge as I did, they come to you as naturally as brushing your teeth. Lastly, but not least, obtain the CHL for your state if you haven’t already and carry. Epitomize The Well Armed Woman.
Be a survivor, not a victim!
Lisa’s story has made the news.