I have been reading your blog for quite sometime. I worked at a gun shop in Southern Indiana and you are very well respected in Kentucky and the southern Indiana region. I suggested your blog to may people coming in asking for advice on security and SHTF scenarios.
My wife's family is from Argentina and immigrated to the US in the 60's. My mother in law went back to open a business after retiring. She lives in Sante Fe and my father in law used to work at the federal prison near the Beagle Canal at the southern tip of Argentina. I am writing to thank you for your blog and to let you know your reporting on home invasions led me to begin answering the door with a weapon. I have a cc permit and have carried for quite sometime. Whenever I came in I would take the gun off and put it in a cabinet and put it back on when I left. I began answering the door armed after reading a few home invasion accounts you gave and that is where the gratitude stems from.
New Years eve at 4:30 in the afternoon while I was in the basement on the computer surfing the web and my wife, cousin, and daughter were in the next room over doing the same there was a banging on the front door and my bird dog began barking. I ran upstairs and was half way to the door when I decided to tuck my gun in my belt. I thought it was my uncle picking up my cousin but instead it was a well dressed, middle aged black woman, with short hair, who bore a strong resemblence to Wanda Sykes, the comedian. She was at the door begging me to open it up, she said two men in a white truck had tried to rape her and that she had broke loose and needed my help. I was armed and began to open the door when something just didn't feel right. I told her I would be back and yelled downstairs for my wife to grab her gun and to call 911 and tell them a woman is on our porch claiming to have been raped. I went back to the door and noticed she was wearing a sling and had her other hand inside as if to keep warm. She again asked me to open up the door. I told the lady to hang tight. She then said she needed a ride. By this time my wife was asking for a description of the woman and the police were telling her that officers where on the way. I again, within ear shot ask my wife if she was armed and while looking down at the womans face through the door I began giving a very detailed description. She knew at that moment I was on with the police and took off. My wife was watching the back door (she had my back so to speak) while I was at the front and she was on with the police. The police pulled up, two cars, 2 minutes after she took off. They asked where she was and I told them which direction she headed and one of the officers told me she had just held a knife to a guys throat a block away and got his wallet. They took off in the direction I pointed. I found out later that another witness saw her get in a white truck with two black males. The attempt failed. I am assuming she was to get in and threaten me and the guys in the truck would have pulled up and came in behind her. If I would have opened the door and she would have attacked I am confident I would have killed her but I am equally confident I would have been cut in the process. This woman did not look like a thug. She looked like a school teacher. I have second guessed myself as some of my friends say they would have went outside and tried to hold her for police. All I knew was me, 5 shots of .38, and a door was all that was between my family and danger and I was not going to open that door on my own. What is still bothering me is how close I came to doing so. What if she would have been crying and a better actor? What if I would have noticed the sling right away and thought. "Oh my. She is hurt." and opened the door? What if I would have done that and not stopped on the way to my door and armed myself? I just wanted to share this story you. My wifes cousin is coming up from BS next month and that is good because my wife is running out of mat'e!
Clarksville, IN USA
Congratulations Richard! You handled that very well.
People sometimes concentrate too much on shooting and visualize that as the best self defense outcome, winning the gunfight. But no, avoiding the confrontation entirely is by far the best outcome you can hope for, and awareness discipline is something no shooting school teaches.
I know what you mean when you say you almost fell for her story, it happens to all of us. Some are very good actors, or have good stories and they know what buttons to push ( help the poor raped lady, use your good will and good nature against you) but the important thing is that you did everything as you were supposed to. You had your gun with you, called 911 and kept that door shut.
You were right about not opening the door.
You're not supposed to hold her for the police. Going out you risk ambush and confrontation. Never open the door until 100% sure. Just do what you did, call the cops and let them handle it, give them an accurate description and that's it. What I do when some crime incident occurs is tell my neighbors so that they are aware of the scam and prepared in case the same person tries it with them, or the same modus operandi.
Some may be asking themselves "What to do when there's no cops answering the call?". What I would do is stay inside also, call my neighbors and warn them, ask them to look through the windows in case they see them from some blind angle. Just letting them know and being ready in case they come back is the best thing to do.
Two very important things about your story:
1) Consistency is the key for home security. There's no holidays, no fever, no I'm too tired, there's no excuse for not being consistent about your security habits. The day you slip, the day you were too tired to and got careless, that's the day they get you.
2) The school teacher look. This woman brought that image to your mind. Look how well she must have been doing her number, looking so innocent.
No one opens the door to a maniac with a hockey mask holding an axe covered in blood. It's the school teacher type, the petite teen that looks like your daughter, the guy with the clean hair cut and suit... those are the ones much more likely to make you doubt and open the door.
3) If she was armed with a large knife, at such close range, even if you shoot her she's likely to stab you and knife wounds are statistically more deadly that gun shot wounds, so I'm extra glad you didn't open that door. For contact range, the knife is better than a gun.
I hope people are reading this and taking note. These are the things we live with in Argentina on daily basis; women, very young kids, even very old ladies that look totally harmless committing crimes.
Thanks for your email Richard. Hope you had a good Christmas and New Year, and take care.