Lessons Learned From Defensive Gun Use

Lessons Learned From Defensive Gun Use

Las Vegas Woman Defends Herself Against Burglar In Late Morning Break-in

This will be a regularly recurring theme of ours on a monthly or twice per month basis. We’ll examine a recent defensive gun use story in our own news write up of that story (so we can properly share all the details). That story will then be followed by a constructive breakdown on the circumstances of that incident, as well as what may have happened differently, both good and bad. 


Ultimately, our goal is to learn from these incidents. 

The Story

This time out of Las Vegas and reported by Fox 5 Vegas on December 28th, a woman opened fire, shooting one shot, at a man who attempted a burglary in her home while she was there. 

At about 11:15 am on Knoll View Drive, the woman heard the sound of shattering glass shortly after hearing someone knocking on her door. The woman ignored the initial knock.

Lt Ray Spencer of the LVPD Homicide Department told reporters that the 30-year-old man broke the back sliding glass door and entered, at which time the woman retreated to her bedroom to get her handgun. 

It was at this point where the attempted burglar confronted the woman and lunged at her, causing her to shoot one round at him. The man fled the scene, ran back through the now-broken glass door, and drove off in his Kia. 

She dialed 911 to tell police what had happened. Lt Spencer said that police found him about half of a mile up the road at an intersection where he ran into other cars. The alleged burglar was taken to the hospital where he died. 

Police think he sat in his car for many hours checking the area out before he settled on the woman’s house. 

At this time it is believed that the woman acted in self-defense. 

Now let’s break this story down to see what we can learn from it --

The Breakdown

We don’t know many of the specifics like the type of gun or ammo that was used, why only one shot was fired, why her gun was in her bedroom, etc. But, not knowing these things in no way prevents us from learning from this story.

First, it’s a common misconception that break-ins and burglaries don’t happen in the daylight hours for all to see. This is a popular time for a break-in because, oftentimes, people are at work leaving their residence unattended. 

The unnamed man likely sat in his car for hours because he was trying to make sure nobody was home, and we’re led to believe this further because he knocked on the door. The door knocking also leads us to the next point which is actually a double edged sword with an outcome that differs from one criminal to the next. 

First, when she didn’t open the door it likely showed him that nobody was home, and he felt bold enough to break the glass on the sliding door to gain entrance to the home. Just her presence may have been enough to deter him from choosing her home. Then again, maybe not, which brings us to point number two ...

If she had opened the door and he was intent on breaking in, it wouldn’t have mattered and she would have likely gotten hurt, or worse, died. Remember, she was unarmed and went back to her bedroom to get her gun. Her not opening the door to a stranger likely saved her life. 

While it sounds crazy to some folks, we recommend carrying a gun during all waking hours, to include when you’re comfortable in your own home. One needs to not look any further than an incident like this, or any of the other break-ins that happen each year, for a reason why we advocate carrying your gun in the home. 

We can only speculate, because we don’t know for sure, but what would have happened if she hadn’t gotten to her gun on time? Again, we always recommend that you carry a gun in your house for just this reason. You just never know how a criminal will react if he or she finds you on the inside of your home as they’re ransacking it. It’s better to be prepared for any circumstance than be caught without your life-saving device.

Thankfully, she was able to get to her gun and was able to fire a shot off, which brings us to another important consideration. This time, we’re talking about the one stop shot. In the world of handguns there is rarely such a thing as a one stop shot, or stopping power. To prove that, this man got shot one time, ran back to his car and drove half of a mile before stopping, and even then, didn’t die until he was at the hospital. 

The truth of the matter is that the human body is willing to do amazing things to stay alive, even with a gunshot wound causing the body to bleed profusely. This is an important consideration because if he had his own weapon with the determination to use it, he clearly had enough time to do damage of his own. 


Before opening your door make sure you know the person on the other side. If you don’t know him, don’t open the door. Carrying a gun on your person even while in your own home guarantees that you’re prepared during an unexpected break-in. Anything that could have happened differently in this particular situation, down to the smallest detail, could have changed the outcome. For example, if she was on the other side of the house when the glass broke and didn’t have enough time to make it to her bedroom, things might be drastically different. 

Being prepared with your gun on you, is the only way to ensure survival--especially since a break-in can happen in the daylight hours when you’re home.

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