Two men break into a home in Oklahoma. A widowed young mother and her infant are alone in the house. The mother calls 911 to ask if it is okay to shoot the intruders:

“I’ve got two guns in my hand — is it okay to shoot him if he comes in this door?” the young mother asked the 911 dispatcher. “I’m here by myself with my infant baby, can I please get a dispatcher out here immediately?”

The 911 dispatcher confirmed with McKinley that the doors to her home were locked as she asked again if it was okay to shoot the intruder if he were to come through her door.

“I can’t tell you that you can do that but you do what you have to do to protect your baby,” the dispatcher told her. McKinley was on the phone with 911 for a total of 21 minutes.

When Martin kicked in the door and came after her with the knife, the teen mom shot and killed the 24-year-old. Police are calling the shooting justified.

She will not be charged, prosecutors say.

How have we come to the point that this young mother’s first reaction was to ask permission to defend herself in her home?

Well, for starters, the law is muddled.  The so-called Castle Doctrine is not universally adoptedWisconsin and Pennsylvania, for example, only recented passed legislation protecting homeowners.

Kudos to the 911 operator.


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