January 5 2012
A young Oklahoma mother shot and killed an intruder to protect her 3-month-old baby on New Year's Eve, less than a week after the baby's father died of cancer.
The young mother was Sarah McKinley, who told reporters that a week earlier, on the day of her husband’s funeral, a man named Justin Martin came to visit, saying he was a neighbor. The 18-year-old mother refused to let him in that day.
Martin returned with a friend and a 12-inch knife on New Year's Eve and the two men began trying to break into Ms. McKinley’s house. McKinley put a bottle in the baby’s mouth, got a 12-gauge shotgun and a pistol and called 911. It is a pretty remarkable scene:
"I've got two guns in my hand -- is it okay to shoot him if he comes in this door?" the young mother asked the 911 dispatcher. "I'm here by myself with my infant baby, can I please get a dispatcher out here immediately?"
The 911 dispatcher confirmed with McKinley that the doors to her home were locked as she asked again if it was okay to shoot the intruder if he were to come through her door.
"I can't tell you that you can do that but you do what you have to do to protect your baby," the dispatcher told her. McKinley was on the phone with 911 for a total of 21 minutes.
When Martin kicked in the door and came after her with the knife, the teen mom shot and killed the 24-year-old. Police are calling the shooting justified.
I concur with Sarah Palin, who said of McKinley in an email to National Review Online:
“I love that young woman. I’m all in favor of girls with guns who know their purpose. She fulfilled a purpose of the Second Amendment. I’d advise my own daughters to do the same. This mom protected an innocent life. Kudos to the 911 dispatcher, too.”
Sarah McKinley was inside her own house so some of the regulations discussed in Anna’s story were not germane. Still, this is still a story about how guns in the hands of decent people can be used to fend off bad people.
I am from a part of the country where people are fond of hunting with guns. But I’ve never liked them, never been comfortable around guns. I do know, however, that people who advocate ever-tightening restrictions on guns, including the kinds of restrictions Anna wrote about, don't do much to help good citizens. Too stringent rules could ultimately take the right to own a gun from law-abiding people like Sarah McKinley.
Taking away a woman’s access to effective means of self-defense makes her an even more attractive target. As a woman and a concealed-carry permit holder, I should not have my right and my ability to protect myself and my family depend on what state issues my permit.