My Wake Up Call-Why I Carry A Gun

3 A.M. Wake Up

When I was 16 years old, I woke up at 3 a.m. to a stranger taking my cousin away into another room at knife point. It took me a minute to process the shiny object that was pressing against her neck and the cries of terror coming from my big sister, who was already tied up in the other room. In complete shock and confusion, I just stared at him. He looked back at me and he said, “go back to sleep”. Compliant and terrified, I laid back down and pretended to go back to sleep as he continued to drag my cousin out of the room.

For a moment, I thought to myself “I CAN’T MOVE” and I’m going to lay here and wait for him to return to get me. What else could I do? I was 16 years old, had no way to defend myself and the people I love were already in the hands of a monster. In those few minutes, that seemed like an eternity, I began to pray.

The Silent Hero

Words can’t describe the terror you feel, when a stranger has invaded the sanctuary of your home with the intent of inflicting harm on you. In the quiet of the night,  I could hear my dear sister pleading for MY life. She selflessly offered herself in my place and begged him not to harm me. She was 20 years old at the time.

My sister, was sleeping on the bed closest to the bedroom door and so, he took her first. “Scream and I will kill them”, he said to her. She stayed completely quiet as he brutally raped and tormented her, hoping that her silence would save the rest of us.  He promised her he would leave us alone, if she complied.  Of course, he lied.

A Monster In My Room

Make no mistake, evil people exist.  Evil people hunt other people and as a hunter myself, that is the creepiest thing imaginable.  The man that broke into our apartment that night was a serial rapist whose crime spree was escalating to murder. After stabbing his prior victim, which to his misfortune survived; I believe he was on a mission to fulfill his darkest desires.  This man stalked us for 2 weeks prior to the attack. He knew our routine, who would be at home and what time we went to sleep. He was hunting women.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are people out there hunting you.  They are armed and dangerous and don’t care about your life.  What are you going to do about it?

RUN!

When defeat sets in, lives can be lost. As I laid there in the seconds before he came to get me, I began to reflect on my short life and how tragically it was about to end. I was giving up when I heard a voice say . . . “RUN”. It sounded like a loud pop followed by a burst of energy, surging through my body that demanded action. In an instant, I bolted out of the nearest sliding glass door and ran faster than I ever have in my entire life.

The voice that I heard that night saved our lives; because as soon as I ran away the attack stopped and the perpetrator left. I often wonder if I heard the voice of an angel or if it was just the pure sheer will within me to live telling me to fight.

Fight OR Flight

The fight-or-flight response (also called hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. It was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon. His theory states that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, preparing the animal for fighting or fleeing.

Since every situation is different, the key is to have a plan and be prepared. Until you’re there, you can’t understand how fear can paralyze you.  Therefore, you have to spend a lot of time mentally preparing yourself for something that hopefully will never happen. Some people call the fear of “what if” paranoia but I like to call it “situational awareness”.

Hindsight IS 20/20

In the years since the attack, I have had countless sleepless nights to think about what if. While running away saved my life that night, next time I may not be so lucky. A gun could not have prevented a rapist from breaking into our home but it would have put an immediate stop to his crime spree. For when an intruder flees from your home, he is also free to continue harming others.

In conclusion, a firearm alone can’t prevent an evil act from materializing against you. However, together with situational awareness, proper security measures, and mental preparedness you will be able to make split second decisions that can save your life in any situation.

Aftermath

The incident I survived shaped me into the person I am today.  Personally, I carry a gun anywhere I can legally carry (with my concealed handgun permit).  I regularly shoot firearms because a gun won’t save you if you don’t use it properly. Daily, I practice situational awareness by familiarizing myself with exits, being aware of my surroundings and keeping a look out for anything suspicious.  At home, I have an alarm and  two dogs to alert me to outside activity when I’m asleep.  I have a trauma kit in my purse, car and home.  As a survivor of a crime, I choose not to live my life in fear but to live my life prepared.

Be vigilant, be armed, be prepared.

 

(15) Comments

  1. Kenny S. says:

    I strongly agree with your stance and your thoughts keep it up

    1. liberteaustin says:

      Thanks Kenny

  2. Adam Price says:

    You are doing good work and are a positive role model. Your story is inspirational in that you made and stand then and continue to make a stand now against being a victim.
    It takes proper training physically and mentally but this is what evens the scales between predator and prey.
    God bless

    1. liberteaustin says:

      Thank you so much. I think it’s important people understand the mental preparation.

  3. Liberte-
    I had no idea this happened to you ! I am so sorry, that’s horrible…glad you ran.
    Mark

    1. liberteaustin says:

      Thanks Mark

  4. James Dubel says:

    All I can say is wow! I’m glad you and your family are ok. It is pretty sad to think that there are people like that out there. But you’re right, it is reality.

  5. liberteaustin says:

    Thank you so much

  6. David Reese says:

    Spot on. That was a terrible action that took place to you and your family. The stance you have taken is a strong one. Keep reaching out to all that you can, maybe just maybe it may save their life and those around them. God bless and shalom.

  7. Bruchlet says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry this happened to you.

    You are a strong and positive role model for women everywhere.

  8. Ernest Alcala says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure it will help other people. I was in 6 grade, my parents just divorced and now I was the man of the house. My aunt, who was 18 yrs old woke me up late one night and said my mother was in trouble. We went to her room to find a strange man in her bed trying to take advantage or her. She was passed out and not waking up. I told him to leave and his response was “I will leave when I am done and get the f*** out” I left the room and got my fathers pistol. Walked back into the room and told him he was done and he needed to leave. I pointed the gun at his head and racked the slide. He complied and left our home. I had forgotten that incident until I read your story. Thank you for sharing, God bless.

  9. Kevin says:

    I can’t imagine the horror you and your sister went through that night. Your sister sounds amazing. I’m so glad you were able to listen to that inner voice and escape. Sounds like you and your sister saved each other that night. God bless

  10. Armando says:

    Awesome, so glad
    You survived , I know you didn’t go in any details but I hope your sister and cousin are as strong as you and have the same great way of thinking as yourself

  11. WenJie Chen says:

    I’m sorry because I can’t change the past for you. I don’t know what to say because no matter what I say, it will not change anything for your cousin and sister. I’m really sorry about the tragedy that happened to you. I know saying sorry can’t save those innocents. I think you are tired for hearing sorry from others. You don’t need our sympathy because you are a strong woman, but I still wish that you could get a different past. I wish that it never happened in your past. Take care yourself, God will bless you.

  12. I think that’s awesome you can share that story with others to be able to empower other people by your sacrifice and misfortune. That is the sign of a very strong person to be vulnerable in order to be strong for others. I believe God will only give you what you can handle. God bless you and yours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *