When I was a kid, nothing riled me up more than the idea of someone messing with my mother. While my father got “messed with” plenty, he was a police officer, and that went with the job. Besides, those people ended up in jail for their efforts. In other words, Dad could take care of himself. Mom, on the other hand, was tough enough, but she wasn’t someone who could hold her own in a confrontation. So I felt I had an obligation to protect her.

A couple of Texas kids apparently feel the same way about their mom.

A woman shot her husband Thursday after he broke into her northwest Houston apartment and choked her, police said.

According to investigators, just after 5 p.m. the man, identified as Derek Martin, broke into his wife’s apartment in the 12000 block of North Gessner and began choking her in front of their four children. Their 8-year-old daughter hit her father while their 5-year-old child got a gun, police said.

Martin’s wife took the gun from the child and shot Martin in the arm, police said.

A couple of points here.

First, we see what good the restraining order the mother had against her husband did. Something between “jack” and “squat.”

Restraining orders don’t do anything except give the police an excuse to arrest you for simply being somewhere. This isn’t really a bad thing, mind you. I’m not saying they are. What I’m saying, though, is that if someone intends to harm another, a piece of paper isn’t going to stop a soul.

The only people it will work against are the people who weren’t going to hurt anyone in the first place.

Second, let’s also note that it was the children who got the gun and got it to mom. There are people out there that would lose their crap over this, and I can see their point. Children and guns can become a very tragic combination.

However, in this case, the child having access to the firearms may well have saved the mother’s life. She was already injured in the attack. How bad would it have been if the kids couldn’t get to the gun?

The trick is to make sure the kids who know where the gun is also know to leave it the hell alone when it’s not needed. Kids who show an interest in guns, however, need to be handled carefully. Frankly, they need frequent range trips and some opportunity to handle guns regularly enough that they’re less likely to go plundering the closet or nightstand when the adults aren’t aware.

Ideally, we wouldn’t need children to know anything about guns. We wouldn’t have to teach them about how to use them and how to defend themselves or others at such young ages.

But we don’t live in a world that necessarily allows that. We live in this one, where the monsters come when they’re least expected and will prey on the innocent.

Frankly, I’d much rather read a story like this than one where an intruder murdered a kid.

Raise the kids right, teach them gun safety and responsibility, and you’re not likely to have to worry about them. They’ll do what’s right.

Kind of like these kids.