Kelly Carlson may seem like an unlikely advocate for firearm ownership. Carlson, a Minnesota native, played Kimber Henry on the long-running series Nip/Tuck, and has worked in Hollywood for fourteen years. When police couldn’t resolve her stalker problem — which included break-ins and wiretapping — Carlson availed herself of the self-defense option that she calls “life changing,” in this Fox News interview (via Smart Girl Politics):

“Owning a firearm…was life changing for me because women for sure, but even men too can be in a very, very vulnerable position with no options if you have intruders or any scenario where you’re being dominated physically,” Carlson told FOX411. “[A firearm] is the only equalizer you have.”

The 39-year-old revealed a person in her past began stalking her in 2012 and even hired people to break into her home and tap her phones. After several break-ins and being followed on the streets, she contacted law enforcement who were not sympathetic to her situation.

“Law enforcement, they didn’t take me seriously. probably because I’m an actor but also because my situation was a little crazy,” she admitted.

Carlson tells Fox News that she hasn’t gotten much pushback in Hollywood for being an advocate of legal gun ownership and her work with the NRA, In fact, she was surprised by the support Carlson received from her colleagues, albeit quietly:

According to Carlson, “people think Hollywood is very anti-guns but California is huge and we have way more support than people think and I’d like people to know that…that was surprising to me and I was happy to know there’s such a huge [firearm] community and that you have a lot resources for safety training.”

A week ago, the NRA released a new NRA All Access episode with Carlson, explaining why she owns firearms and how her terrifying experience has turned into an opportunity for empowerment:

My friend Cam Edwards interviewed her for NRA News’ “Cam and Company” as well, on which I regularly appear:

Carlson is hardly alone in discovering the life-changing aspects of self-defense. The Crime Prevention Research Center released a study today showing that the issuance of concealed-carry permits increased more than 15% in the past year. At the same time as permit issuance has soared, the murder rate has decreased, and permit holders tend to be much more law-abiding than even police officers overall. Be sure to read it all.