“Protecting yourself goes into our Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. And thousands of people died to give me the right that saved my life,” said Erin, who asked to be identified by first name only, after having defended herself and her son from three masked men who broke into her home.

Erin had just put her son to bed when she heard a noise coming from her room. She took off running only to be confronted by three masked men and their gun, which was directly pointed at her. She offered them her television—the most expensive thing she owned—but they wanted cash instead.

“Somehow the way it happened, as they were going down the hallway, I told them sometimes I keep money under the mattress, which is not true. But I needed to get to where my gun was,” she said.

The men followed her to her bedroom.

“I was pretending to move the mattress. It’s really heavy, so I was trying to move their attention to the mattress because they wouldn’t take their eyes off of me. I needed a split second for them to take their eyes off of me. I said, ‘It might be under here.’ They started talking to each other in Spanish and then a roll of duct tape came out,” said Erin.

At this point, Erin said she prayed for something to distract them so she could grab her gun. She said her prayers were answered when her dogs ran in and started barking.

“They all turned around and looked. I grabbed my gun, cocked it, I turned and shot him right in the stomach,” said Erin.

Two of the men escaped. Erin said she pointed a gun at a third suspect, but he went after her before she could shoot.

“We wrestled around in my bedroom and he came after me. I had my gun like this. He kneed me in the face. He just jerked the gun right out of my hand and took off,” she said.

Erin immediately went to her son, got another gun and called the police. There’s no doubt her story would be much different if she didn’t have her gun.