AP Photo/Michael Conroy

A Florida family is alive today, thanks to a woman who saved her husband and daughter from a pair of violent home invaders with the help of her legally-owned AR-15.

The woman’s husband suffered severe injuries to his head, including a fractured eye socket and sinus cavity, after a pair of masked strangers burst into the family’s home in Lithia, Florida last week. Jeremy King says both were armed, and not only did they brutally assault him while demanding money, they grabbed the couple’s 11-year old daughter as well.

King said one of the men started pistol-whipping him while another kicked him repeatedly in the head. His wife, who is eight months pregnant, was in the back bedroom and peeked out to see what was going on.

King said one of the men shot at her. She retreated, grabbed an AR-15 and returned fire.

“When he came toward the back door in her line of sight, she clipped him,” King said. “He made it from my back door to roughly 200 feet out in the front ditch before the AR did its thing.”

When officers arrived on scene minutes later, they found one suspect dead in front of the home, but the second suspect was gone.

Jeremy King says he has no doubt that his wife and her rifle saved his life.

“Them guys came in with two normal pistols and my AR stopped it,” King said. “[My wife] evened the playing field and kept them from killing me. “

While King says he doesn’t know the suspects, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says they don’t believe the attack was random, and are investigating why the pair of armed intruders targeted the family.

We still may not know all the details surrounding this violent home invasion, but we do know one thing: the AR-15 rifle allowed a woman who was 8-months pregnant to protect her husband and her daughter. It’s highly unlikely that she would have been able to take down either suspect by using her fists or feet and could very well have ended up a victim of the armed assailants instead.

Gun control advocates love to ask “why do you neeeed an AR-15 or a 20-round magazine?” I happen to think that it’s not about need, but about our rights, but here’s one reason why someone might choose an AR-15 or a similar rifle for home protection. You might find yourself outnumbered by violent intruders intent on hurting or killing you or the people you love. As it turns out, an AR-15 is a fine home defense firearm, as this armed mom proved the other evening.

I’m glad this mom had access to an AR-15 and was able to prevent this shocking home invasion from turning into a triple homicide. In those few terrifying moments when she saw her husband being beaten, her daughter grabbed, and shots fired in her direction, this woman had the presence of mind to grab a rifle and return fire. Some moms may demand action on gun control, but this one exercised her right to keep and bear arms in defense of her family instead.