When I was in the Navy, the family didn't have a lot of money. We bought a house in a bad section of town. It was a mini-oasis in a desert of gangs. When I went to my detatched garage to play with my computers and ham radio equipment, I always took along a Colt Mustang II .380 automatic. The neighborhood was that bad at night.

I was studying for my advancement test one evening when I heard a knock at my door. Since it was 11:30pm, I was not expecting anyone. I flipped on the porch light and asked who was there.

"It's me. Open up, Jerry."

Jerry was the kid of the last owner of my house. He was serving time for dealing drugs out of the garage. "Sorry, he doesn't live here anymore," I replied, and flipped off the lightswitch.

The nice gent then began to try to kick down the front door. This did not put me at ease, and I ordered the family into the bathroom with one of the phones. I retreived my wife's Colt and gave it to her, and I grabbed my Ruger 9mm. I put in the clip with glaser (safety) slugs in case I had to fire inside the house. I then proceeded to phone the police.

When they asked what the emergency was, I said there was some asshole trying to kick in my door. At that time, said asshole began to throw rocks through my windows. The dispatch operator could hear it and told me that someone would be there as soon as possible.

The nice visitor then shouted loudly, "I'll fucking kill your family. Open up!"

I then chambered the first round and pointed it at the door. Since I had the Ruger and the phone in my hand, the dispatch heard the loud clack-clack of my gun.

"Does he have a gun?" she asked as I heard her typing swiftly.

"No, it was mine, I will shoot him if he gets into my house." Outside, the jerk went to my neighbors house and stole their birdbath. He then tried to use it to break my door down again.

I heard tires screeching outside. Within a minute of the dispatcher hearing a gun chamber a round, there were five police cars at my curb. The jerk jumped in his truck, which he had nicely parked on my lawn, and tried to ram one of their cars to get away. He creamed his truck on a small retaining wall instead. They yanked him out and handcuffed him.

I heard someone approching the door. "It's the police, please place your weapon down and open the door."

I complied, and two cops came in. My daughters were crying (I only had two kids back then). I had to fill out some paperwork, and I also had to identify the idiot. Two of my neighbors identified him as well. He was sent off to the jail while they towed his truck away.

Later on, I was asked if I would testify. He was a known gang member. I told them hell yes. He plead guilty and paid me back for the damages and my neighbor's birdbath. He ended up losing his truck because he had some crystal meth in it.

They told him he was lucky I didn't just shoot his sorry ass. That was the closest I ever came to killing someone outside of my military service.