The PJ Tatler

Armed Mom Shoots Home Invader, Saving Herself and Her Children

I probably gave away too much in the headline. A Georgia woman found herself unexpectedly dealing with the life and death issue of having to defend herself and her children from a man who invaded their home. First, she and her children hid from him in an attic. But then he found them and opened their hiding place with a crowbar.

A crowbar is a common tool that can be used as a deadly weapon. More Americans died in 2012 from blunt force hammer blows than from rifle shots.

Trapped and facing an intruder who was armed with a deadly weapon, she thought quickly, and shot the intruder five times with a six-shooter .38 revolver. The gun was her equalizer in a life and death situation. Obviously, if handguns were illegal, she would not have been in a position to defend herself and her 9-year-old twin children. If she and her husband had not made the decision to have a handgun in their home, and if they had not learned how to shoot it, she could not have defended herself and the children. Her husband was on the phone with her as the man broke in, and says he is proud of her.

The alleged perpetrator is 32-year-old Paul Slater of Atlanta. He is reportedly expected to live, despite being shot five times including in the face and the neck. After he was shot, he even attempted to flee but crashed his car. He was arrested in February 2012 on battery, and has six other arrests in the same county since 2008. He was most recently released in August 2012. He is currently charged with burglary in this case. He may have other arrests on his record in other jurisdictions. “Catch and release” may apply to his relationship to the legal system.

The mother’s successful actions point up one under reported fact about guns and confrontations with criminals: One shot does not always stop intruders. Many on the gun control side of the debate question why anyone needs a firearm with “high-capacity” magazines. In this case, the woman fired six shots, hitting her assailant five times and missing once, with a .38 — not a small bullet. Revolvers tend to be slower to fire than semiautos. Had there been a second intruder, she would have had to reload after those six shots, and may not have had time to do that. A higher capacity semiautomatic firearm might have been a better option. If you’re facing two intruders, a 10-round magazine offers you five shots per attacker. More rounds in your magazine obviously offer you more chances to save your life and the lives of your family.