On self defense and Standing Your Ground (Trigger warning – guns and break in)

Have been tweeting about my long term disgust that Stand Your Ground laws only seem to work for men who defend themselves (or claim to have been defending themselves), not so much for women.  And that lout George Zimmerman being back in the news made me take a trip down memory lane.

I was out of high school and living in my first apartment.  Had a room-mate who brought guys over for the night often and rarely let me know ahead of time.  So it was not unusual for me to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of a man’s voice.  Well, with room-mates you have to be cool, so I got used to this.  The thing that would piss me off the most was that some of these guys thought the fun times included going to our frig and eating my food.  Since room-mate would not do anything about that, I ended up slapping locks on the frig doors.  I could not afford to replace food all the time.

One night a fellow took a wrong turn after using the bathroom and opened the door to my room and started getting into the bed.  I woke up as the door opened, grabbed my revolver, pointed it at him and started yelling “get out get out get out now” and he did.  He really had made an honest mistake and I am glad I did not shoot him.  He was glad I did not shoot him.

The thing is, if he had been a criminal ready for trouble, he might well have gotten the gun away from me.  So in a split second, little old me had to hold back from firing in the hope that he would get out, regardless of his intentions originally. Room-mate and I lost the apartment months later when she developed health issues and I never went for having a non-relation room-mate again.

That was not my only fun incident in that first apartment.  Weeks later, room-mate was gone and I had lent my revolver to a friend to practice her shooting.  So, I was home alone.  Well, somebody with a pretty good size shadow suddenly came up on the porch and start trying to wrench the sliding glass doors open.  Going out the door or a window was not an option because the layout of the apartment had no escape that was not on the same side as the sliding glass doors.

Scampered to the kitchen, grabbed a big old knife and got on the phone with 911.  I did not want to yell anything and let this guy know it was just a gal alone (if he did not know that already).  911 operator was great and she told me to stay on line if I could not escape and officers were on the way.  So, I stood with my knife watching the door behind the curtains rattle back and forth and starting to give way.

Here is the next thing I told the 911 operator:

“This guy is still trying to get in and if he breaks the door and comes in here, I am going to run over and kill him”

Notice the words I bold-faced in that sentence.  As knee-shaking terrified as I was, the “rules” of self defense I had been taught still held.  As long as the threat is outside, wait for help or try to escape.  Only try to self defend with force when you have no other option and then only if you are willing to kill.  End of story was that police drove up and guy ran and he was never caught.

And so, dear readers, those are two of the experiences that would help me develop my contempt for most of the men, bigger and stronger than me, who I have seen in news claiming they had no choice but to shoot to kill even if they could just drive away or stay in the car, or let the person banging on the screen door bang away as long as that person was still outside, etc.