By now, I'm sure that most people have heard the story of Sarah McKinley, of Blanchard, Oklahoma. She's a teen mom who called 9-1-1 for permission to shoot intruders trying to force their way through her front door. She eventually killed one with a 12-gauge shotgun as he broke into her home.
Although this may seem like yesterday's news since reports surfaced last week, her story remained with me long after I read the headline and heard the audio of the now famous call placed to the emergency dispatcher. I can't help but wonder how I would respond in a similar situation. To me, her bravery and presence of mind was nothing short of heroic.
Just imagine, you're a teen mom to a three-month-old boy and your husband recently died of cancer, leaving you as a widow and a single mom. Grieving and alone on New Year's Eve, you hear a noise outside and peak out of the window to see two men trying to enter your home. You can see that one of them has something shiny is his hand, is it a pistol?
What do you do? McKinley grabbed two guns, gave the baby a bottle to keep him quiet, blocked the front door with a couch, hid in a bedroom, and called 9-1-1. According to a report from CNN, she had a very intense conversation with the female dispatcher.
"I've got two guns in my hand. Is it OK to shoot him if he comes in this door?" asked McKinley.
"Well, you have to do whatever you can do to protect yourself," dispatcher Diane Graham responded. "I can't tell you that you can do that, but you do what you have to do to protect your baby."
As Justin Shane Martin pushed open the door and entered her home, she pulled the trigger of the shotgun and killed him on site. Authorities said that Martin was armed with a knife. The second intruder ran away but was later arrested. McKinley will not be charged because it was considered an act of self-defense.
So, back to the question, how far would I go to protect my children? My husband is an avid hunter and we have an arsenal of guns, lined up like soldiers in a gun safe. Would I have the guts to shoot an intruder? What if we didn't have guns? Would I have the same precence of mind as McKinley did, to run to the kitchen and grab a knife or even a cast iron pan? Would I panic and freeze in fear?
I think that I would do just about anything to protect my children. Since becoming a mother, I've discovered that I have a fierce side that is unleashed when it comes to keeping my children out of danger. I took a self defense class in high school and I'd like to believe that in an emergency, I could do some serious damage to the bad guys. I might even be willing to pull the trigger.
I think that McKinley said it best when she told a CNN Oklahoma reporter, “It’s not an easy decision to make, but it was either going to be him or my son. And it wasn’t going to be my son. There’s nothing more dangerous than a woman with a child.”
How far would you go to keep your child out of danger? Do you have protection in your home? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.