A group of four thugs attacked a Chattanooga home for the second time in four days Thursday morning, and the family managed to survive both mostly due to a combination of raw determination and unserious criminals:

Chattanooga Couple Stops Second Home Invasion In One Week

Sunday night, the Buckland family woke to the sound of shattered glass inside the home they rent on Fairfax Drive.

“The very next day, we went out and bought a security system and a handgun. Those were the best purchases we ever made for this house,” says Andrew Buckland.

His wife Jessica says Wednesday night was the first time they’ve been able to peacefully fall asleep since that close call.

Everything changed Thursday at 3:15 a.m., when the security cameras captured video of four masked teenagers standing outside.

Two of them used a tire iron to break into the back door. The other two ran off.

The suspects, described by police as white males in their late teens continued into the couple’s bedroom.

One of them sprayed Mace in Andrew’s face and demanded money.

Jessica says she pretending to search for money to stall them while Andrew could locate his handgun, as their 6-year-old daughter slept in a nearby bedroom.

“My only thought was to get the gun and protect my family. Even being directly Maced in the face, my adrenaline was going so hard that I could see for about three minutes before it took effect,” he says.

Andrew was able to point his gun at the pair, who took off on foot empty-handed.

“I was there to protect my family, that was my only thought,” he adds.

Chattanooga Police say despite the stressful situation, the couple kept their cool.

“Every person has the right to defend themselves. I think in these circumstances, there is absolute justification in feeling in fear for your life,” says Officer Mark Frazer.

The Sunday incident is better described an aborted home invasion, where the suspects broke the glass and then ran off after being scared by either someone inside the home, some event taking place outside the home, or their own fear.

We commend Mr Buckland for not going into denial after the Sunday incident. He instead bought a home security system and a handgun.

Unfortunately, the criminals struck again before Mr. Buckland had a chance to get any training or learn how to store and use his weapon properly.

The Thursday incident was what certainly had to be a terrifying experience, as two of the four thugs went through with the attack on their second attempt and managed to catch Buckland unarmed.

Fortunately, they only had pepper spray instead of firearms and these thugs—I’m going to go out on a limb and guess neighborhood kids trying to get money for drugs—didn’t attack the Buckland’s with the tire iron or otherwise go “hands on” in what could have been a brutal and possibly terminal assault.

Buckland fought through the pain and eventually found his handgun, which finally caused these home invaders to flee.

The Bucklands were incredibly fortunate.

They didn’t have a firearm a week ago, clearly didn’t have time to get training between the first and second attacks, and don’t appear to have given much thought to storing the firearm they acquired in a fast-opening and inexpensive bedside gun safe, of which there are many on the market.

They managed to get through this without serious injury largely due to the tentative nature of the home invaders, but most people won’t be that lucky.

Please ensure that you have a firearm that you can access in a timely manner, and are trained in using it. Trying to play catch-up after criminals have fixated on your home is typically a losing proposition.