Thursday, October 05, 2006

Twelve Minutes

I'm doing something that I never dreamt of doing 10 years ago. I'm buying a gun.

I'm looking at a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver. Light, compact, simple to use. That's good, because I'm no genius with mechanics. I enrolled in a class held later this month "Basic Pistol Shooting", given by a certified NRA instructor. This will give me all the information I will need on the purchase, use and maintenance of a handgun. It's a two day class and on the second day we go out on a range and shoot. After that class I will enroll in "In Home Personal Protection", which will teach the basics in how to protect oneself and loved ones if someone breaks into your house.

I live in a quiet, peaceful town. But in the past year there have been 3 incidents of violent crime in our county, all involving home break-ins. And to relay a funny story from this summer:

I was sleeping when I woke up to strange sounds outside my bedroom window, which was open. I got up and looked out the window. I couldn't see much because of the trees and the dark. The sounds were shuffling, scraping sounds. Definitely something alive was out there. This was 2 am and I wondered if someone was breaking into my neighbor's house. He's gone a lot, being a merchant seaman. So I called 911 and reported it. It took them 12 minutes to arrive. What they found, to my relief and embarassment, was a family of racoons, having a party with my neighbor's trash can.

Nevertheless, I contemplated the fact that it took them 12 minutes to get here. What if it was an intruder? What if someone was trying to break into my place? I remember how anxious I was, waiting for them to come. Twelve minutes. A lot can happen during that time.

So I've decided to start packin' heat.