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Mother’s .38 kept us safe that night

I understand that some of my Democratic friends cannot appreciate what self-defense means, but I will tell the tale anyway. Firearms are essential in a civil, safe society. Guns are only as safe as the person behind them.

My tale is that of a family in a small western New Mexico town where a family of two little boys, a mother and a father lived in an ordinary home.

The father was a locomotive fireman, and this job required him to be out of town on the other end of a run for a day or two on a regular basis. He was concerned for the safety of his family and bought a .38-caliber pistol for his wife. She was a small woman who had been a Fred Harvey Girl at the Alvarado in Albuquerque where the two had met. They lived in Gallup where he was based. The town had some rough areas, so the gun was warranted. The little housewife slept with the gun under her pillow.

One night, when the father was at the other end of the railroad line, there was a horrendous banging on the front door, waking the family. The little housewife took the gun from under the pillow and went to answer the door trailed by her nine-year-old son. She kept trying to get her son to go back to bed.

When the little housewife opened the door, a large man demanded some more whiskey. To this she said there was no whiskey there. The man insisted that he had bought some there earlier and he wanted more.

This was during Prohibition, and there were bootleggers in the neighborhood.

The little housewife again told the man she had no whiskey and that he should go away. He then reached for the screen door and pulled on the knob. The little housewife pulled the pistol from behind her and pointed it at the man and told him that if he did not leave she would shoot him. Startled, he stumbled off the porch and ran at a fast clip to get away.

I doubt that the little housewife got much sleep the rest of the night, but I did. I was soon back in bed and sound asleep. Safe and sound behind a .38-caliber police special revolver.

The reader may be thinking “well that was then and this is now, and besides we can call 911.” Bad guys still exist and are looking for victims. When seconds count, the police are minutes away. Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens stop potential crimes thousands of times across the country every day. A well-trained, armed citizen is the best defense in an emergency.

Vernon Kerr is also a former DFA secretary and member of the State Investment Council

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