Thursday, July 27, 2006

My friend, my friend, he's got a wife

Yup, that's me. Shooting a friend's AR15 out in Apache Junction, AZ.

So J's uncle, who's also a cop, was relaying a story of how his wife, hereafter referred to as Aunt C, freaked out one night while he was out of town. She heard noise, grabbed a gun and a phone, and crawled out on the roof of their house. Called her son-in-law as 'back-up' (he drives a delivery truck) and waited. Nobody was in the house, so it was quite an amusing story. Especially picturing Aunt C (who's a little goofy but terribly lovable) in her nightgown on the roof.
There have been times when I have heard a noise, one or both of the dogs freaked out, and of course I grabbed one of the guns and went to investigate. But I've been trained to use them, too. If I hadn't ever fired a gun before, my husband would have taught me gun safety and usage anyway. Plus it's usually recommended that you familiarize your spouse with your weapons anyway, right? I guess I don't really think about it that much.

Except last week, when we found out our neighbor had been robbed at gun-point on the front porch. This was when we were still dog-watching my mom's two boys, and I have no doubt this was one of the (many) times they went bonkers when I was trying to sleep. I said to J, "What specifically do I do if someone is actually breaking into the house?"

His response? "Shoot them. Empty the clip. Don't warn them. Ask if it's me, and if it's not, they shouldn't be in the house. Shoot."

I don't think I would be scared of doing something if I absolutely had to, but it was kind of one of those moments where you go, "Holy crap." You actually start thinking very seriously about the whatifs. Would I actually kill someone for breaking into my house? Given that the dogs would probably alert me and the intruder, I somehow doubt this would ever happen. If someone is just breaking in to see what they can steal, I have a guess they're going to scram before anything happens. But what if?

My SIL is terrified of the guns. She hates to even see them when he takes them off. I personally think the fear is caused by not knowing anything about them. You can respect guns without fearing them. But right now she's not at a place where she can be more comfortable with them.

So I guess I'm wondering how you feel about it.
If you're a cop, have you/would you train your spouse? Do you expect them to be comfortable with a weapon? What if the above situation happened; what would you advise them to do?
If you're a spouse, do you know how to use the gun(s) correctly? Have you practiced? Are you comfortable?
If you're not in a cop family, how do you feel about guns?


Anonymous said...

If I had a spouse, I'd teach her to be comfortable with them and hopefully practice enough with her so she can become proficient enough to fire one of the weapons in an emergency.

My extended family hates my guns. I stopped going to outings on my one side because I got tired of people bitching that I was carrying a gun. Saying "Fuck you, I carry for a reason" all the time gets old.

My non-LEO friends have become accustomed to being around me and firearms and just always assume that I've got one on me or one nearby. They're great. I've discussed with all of them that should we be in public and I tell them to walk away, they're not to ask questions and go as quickly away from me as possible. If I tell them to get help, they know to call 911 and inform the dispatcher an off duty police officer needs assistance and give a description of what I'm wearing(so I don't get shot by the good guys).

FroneAmy said...

Yeah, Jim and I have also had the conversation about the "get down now" voice. He went to a training with a guy I can't remember now, called Bullet Proof Mind, and came home with a pamphlet for spouses. It basically amounted to what to do in the event of a home invasion. Not a break-in, but a multiple person assault shoot out. It was kind of funny, even though I took it very seriously. Our friends and families are used to the gun being carried, but you always get the people who flip out when they *know* it's there. But how awful that some of your family isn't OK with you carrying off-duty!

Lugosi said...

I'm specially trained to, when confronted by danger, empty my bowels into my shorts.