An 11-year-old girl in North Branch Township, Michigan, did the only thing she could think of Friday night when a a pair of burglars invaded her home when she was left home alone: she armed herself.

The girl heard a knock at the door, and declined to answer it. When the burglars didn’t get a response, they forced her way into the home, at which point the girl grabbed a shotgun and hid in a closet, and did what she had to do to survive.

When the man broke in the girl pointed the gun at him, ultimately scaring away the intruder.

A short time later a 53-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman from Detroit were arrested in Imlay City in connection to the break-in.

While the home defense story was ultimately a successful one, it isn’t an easy story to write about, as it brings up several uncomfortable points.

Why was an 11-year-old child “home alone” on a Friday night? In some states it is illegal to leave children this age unattended, and it isn’t a particularly good idea regardless of the law if the parents or caretakers were gone for any length of time or were very far from the home. Even “good” children are know of making dumb decisions when home alone, due to a lack of emotional maturity that is a simple function of age.

On top of that, why was a child left at home alone with access to firearms?

Almost every accidental (negligent) shooting involving children is a story about a child having access to a firearm while unsupervised, and before you say it, yes, too many of these stories involve children whose parents thought that their children were trained/educated to leave firearms alone.

In this particular instance access to a firearm led to the criminals fleeing the scene, but it just as easily could have lead to a negligent discharge that left this girl injuring or killing herself.

While the girl was ultimately successful in defending her home, it is quite possible that her family is going to end up the subject of a child welfare investigation for leaving her home alone with access to firearms.

Parents, please don’t leave your children in this position.