Three men North Dakota men that thought flower shop owner Jeff Gegelman would be be a pansy are very lucky they aren’t pushing up daisies.

Gegelman was home alone around 3:30 p.m., when the three men drove a small car into his yard, came up to the house and knocked loudly at the door.

He didn’t like the looks of them, so he remained quiet in the house while they got back into the car. They made a U-turn in the yard, and two got back out and came up to the door.

In the meantime, he armed himself with a .22 handgun. When the two knocked, pushed opened the door and called out, Gegelman stepped into the room, pointed a gun and said, “You came to the wrong house today.”

He said one of the men immediately started shooting and he returned fire, shooting the gunman in the back as he took off from the house.

“I was watching the one who was shooting, watching his gun, the smoke and fire. I’m too damned old to be shooting at people,” Gegelman said Monday. He said he estimated the shooter’s age at about 20.

After the shooting, Gegelman followed the car out of his yard and was able to get a license plate number. He drove to Beulah, where he was able to contact police and get medical help.

He said the shooter must have been behind him out on N.D. Highway 200, on his way to the hospital, and was picked up by police shortly afterward. Gegelman said he suspects the other two were dropped off, somewhere in Golden Valley.

Connie Gegelman said she still can’t believe her husband was back with her — albeit with a big bruise — after getting shot in the chest.

“It’s a miracle, an honest-to-God miracle,” she said.

Gegelman said he plans to get himself a bigger gun and more bullets.

It appears that the thugs who shot Gegelman were also shooting under-powered cartridges as well, as he took two shots to the arm and one to the chest and was still able to follow the men out of his home get the license plate number of their getaway car, and drive himself to get medical attention.

People can and have been killed with .22LR and other small-caliber firearms, but the most effective way to stop a threat is to fire the largest bullet that you can shoot accurately that penetrates deeply to vital organs, while damaging the most tissue along the way.

Mr. Gegelman learned this lesson the hard way from both sides of the equation, and won’t make the mistake of being under-gunned again.