Video: Home invaders pick the wrong house

Three men kicked in a door, guns in hand, looking for trouble — and found it in a woman who had prepared to defend herself. WSB in Atlanta has the video from the surveillance system from the home invasion a week ago, showing the resident taking the initiative and shooting at her would-be assailants. Police released the video late yesterday because they want to find two of the men. They already have the third … in the morgue, a result of his own very poor choices.

The video makes it very clear that the woman faced a life or death situation:

Police are hoping someone can help identify two home invaders. They were caught on camera as a woman in the house shot at them.

“She exercised her right to defend her livelihood and property,” Cpl. Deon Washington with the Gwinnett County Police Department told Channel 2’s Nicole Carr.

Surveillance video from inside the home shows the Gwinnett County woman rush from her bedroom and then unloads all her bullets on the three men who kicked in her front door. …

She heard the three intruders break into the home around 4 a.m. Friday. Video shows the men have guns clearly in hand.

In other words, they had a clear intent to do grave harm to whomever they found in the house. The woman and her housemate were in clear danger of their lives, and without effective self-defense in the form of firearms, would almost certainly be dead today. Police know this, in part because of the unusually extensive surveillance system in the house. Given the crime scene, though — door kicked in and a dead armed suspect outside — it wouldn’t have taken investigators long to figure it out even without the video.

One reason to highlight this video is to remind readers that firearms are a necessary part of self-defense. But this video also touches on another aspect of self-defense shootings: the aftermath. The reporter notes that the woman has to be consoled after the shooting, and is still dealing with the trauma of defending herself. No one buys a firearm for self-defense in the hope of having to use it. It’s a last resort, and it’s a terrifying prospect. As my late friend Joel Rosenberg once wrote about his own self-defense experience, it’s the worst feeling in the world to know that you have shot someone — short of being murdered.

As did Joel, this woman exercised her right to self-defense and defense of her property against people clearly committed to attacking both. This is one example of why we must remain vigilant in protecting that right. Hopefully, the police will find the other two men and give the people of Gwinnett County a little extra measure of peace.