I stumbled across this article today in the Arizona Daily Star. In case you don't feel like clicking, a University of Arizona student shot and killed two armed home invaders early this morning.
I'm trying to decide how I feel about this. On the one hand, how terrible that two people lost their lives in such a grisly manner. On the other hand, here's hoping they were the same two guys who were terrorizing our neighborhood earlier this month. I'll stop short of saying I am glad they're dead - perhaps "relieved" is a better word. Relieved that there are two fewer bad guys out there, and relieved that the victim wasn't harmed by their - or his own - gun. From all accounts, it sounds like the U of A student was just a normal guy who happened to have a gun nearby (or brought it with him to the door, depending on which article you read) and wasn't afraid to use it.
And that brings me to the larger issue at hand. Until very recently, I've always thought that having a loaded gun in the house is a very, very bad idea. Jeremy went through a brief phase a couple of years ago where he read up on gun laws (The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide: Who Can Bear Arms, Where are Guns Forbidden, and When Can You Shoot to Kill? I'm not kidding), but it never amounted to anything.
I am still against having a loaded gun in the house. A gun in one secure place, ammunition in another secure place, whatever. But what good would that do you in a situation such as the one described in the article? And yet I just can't reconcile keeping a lethal weapon relatively accessible in a home where there are also small children. Because it would have to be relatively accessible to be of any use against the type of crime we're talking about.
I realize, of course, that it doesn't always turn out so perfectly. I think this particular U of A student was lucky to escape from the whole ordeal entirely uninjured. I hope that in time, he will be able to recover from such a harrowing experience. I also hope he realizes that basically the entire city of Tucson is behind him and approves of his actions, at least according to the comments on the news stories (but maybe right-wing NRA-types are more likely to populate internet newspaper article discussions...?).
In the meantime, I guess we have our baseball bat, stashed beneath our bed, always at the ready.