Fathers can be protective of their little girls, no matter how old they are. It’s a bit of a cliche, really. However, we dads do tend to look at our little girls and feel an instinctive need to keep them safe from harm.

Especially when that potential harm is as heinous as what one Florida father may have had to confront recently.

A Florida father chased away four teens who allegedly tried to kidnap his 17-year-old daughter, allowing the police to track them down. And, now, he’s being hailed as a hero.

The incident started when the girl was leaving her family’s home Tuesday evening and discovered the end of the driveway had been blocked with barrels, according to a report by DailyMail.com. She was able to maneuver her car around the barrels and make her way down the street.

However, her father noticed the situation and suspected foul play. He grabbed his gun, ran outside and found four teenagers attempting to break into his garage. The 51-year-old father shot at the suspects, who escaped into the woods, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

The police believe the four teenagers had “concocted a plan to kidnap the teenage daughter.” Police believe they put the barrels at the end of the driveway to try to force her out of her car so they could then grab her.

It was later found that the suspects may have unscrewed the light bulbs in some security lights in an effort to make a second attempt at kidnapping the young woman.

A neighbor noticed a suspicious car and called the police. That call helped officers arrest 19-year-old Keilon Johnson, 17-year-old Austin French, 16-year-old Tyree Johnson and 15-year-old Kamauri Horn. The four were found with a knife and a roll of duct tape in their vehicle.

As a father, this is a terrifying reality that happens far more often than we like to believe. While their intentions, beyond kidnapping the girl, are unknown, there are no good outcomes if they’d been successful. Only varying degrees of bad.

The father’s actions are what I’d hope any father would do, but unfortunately, I know otherwise. There are fathers out there that will undoubtedly speak negatively of this dad because of his actions. Those supposed men would seemingly prefer to see their daughters kidnapped and possibly brutalized, just because guns are icky and only bad people use them.

Well, in this case, the suspected bad people were found with a knife, so a lack of guns won’t make good people out of bad…but it damn sure evens the odds.

When the time comes, the armed will have the means to protect their families. Fathers often joke about visiting harm on people who hurt their little girls, and most of us mean it as a joke…to a point. Someone who plans something like these four are accused of having in mind? Oh, make no mistake, all those things we joke about suddenly become real and meaningful examples of how we plan to visit our wrath on those who would hurt our little girls.

As a father with a daughter, yes, this one does feel a little personal.

What isn’t personal is that it’s yet another example of a good guy with a gun.