There is a fantastic comment in the WaPo today in an article about (duh!) the dangers of keeping a gun in the house:
>As for shooting a burglar, first, you're assuming that because someone breaks into your house, regardless of what happens after that, they deserve to die?
No. When I was 12 years old, my family, living in Ohio at the time, was the victim of a home invasion robbery. My father, who was smoking a cigarette in our unlit garage, got to watch as two men pushed a car backwards up our driveway in the dark, and proceed to try to crowbar their way into one of our windows. He went inside and retrieved a .22 caliber pistol from the basement, sent us all into the attic, called the police, then turned on all the lights in the house and brandished the firearm at the two men, telling them he would shoot them if they did not leave. I have talked to my father quite a bit about that moment, pondering it now as a grown man, what that was like: staring at two men who could have easily beaten him to death, one with a crowbar, watching them ponder their chances, then watching one walk to their car silently while the other circled around the house. I really hope that if the time ever comes, I can measure up to the actions of my father.
My father never fired a shot. When the police arrived, and the police report was filed, no shooting was on record, and what happened to us never made it into a single gun statistic. I remember this incident because it was formative for me. When I hear people say that the only purpose of a gun is to shoot an attacker, I smile. When they tell me gun statistics compiled from self-defense shootings are accurate, I smile. I smile because I have a ring-activated Tarnhelm smart gun behind a fingerprint activated safe in my house, available to me inside of five seconds, but never available to a child, an intruder, or a robber. I smile because I know that the people who wish to ban guns are advocating a different path for my life: beaten to death in my house at twelve years of age with a crowbar. I smile and I remember.