Skip to comments.Guns in the Home Surprise Criminals
Posted on 01/15/2013 8:52:32 AM PST by Kaslin
(This true-crime event took place the night of Nov. 13th 1981.)
A duck hunt loomed in the morning so I hit the bed early, where my wife Shirley (six-months pregnant) was reading. Elaine, her sister, was due home from the show any minute
Suddenly all hell broke loose downstairs door crashed in, shrieks, bumps, whacks. Shut-up!
Oh NO!! NO!!
SHUT UP, I SAID!!
Geezum! Somebody broke in?! And I could hear Elaine screaming. I leaped from my bed to the gun rack, grabbed the pump shotgun and started slipping in shells.
Dont shoot! came Elaines cry from the darkness downstairs. She could hear the loading (sha-wucksha-wuck.) She knew me. Dont shoot, Humberto! PLEASE!
Geezum, I thought. You rehearse these things all the time in your head at least in high-crime cities like New Orleans. Now its happening! And Im standing here in my underwear with a loaded shotgun, finally facing game that can shoot back. I swear I wasnt scared at the time (that came later, and big-time.)
Dont shoot, Humberto! my terrified sister-in-law shrieked again.
To heck with that, I thought. Im gonna shoot up a storm! Not every day you get the jump on some scumbags, and a legal excuse to splatter their guts around. The saps had no idea they were walking into an armory. Hah! Cant wait to see their eyes when they look down this barrel. Ill scatter their brains all over my den. Heck, were insured.
The hallway was dark as I moved toward the stairway. My finger was tense on the safety and trigger. Under fire, a mans powers of life heighten in proportion to the proximity of death, writes Phil Caputo in Rumor of War. He feels an elation as extreme as his dread. His senses quicken.
Phil has a point. This was a far cry from combat. But there was some of that feeling here. I swear I wasnt scared (that came later, big-time). I got to the stairs, hit the light switch, and aimed--ready to start blasting away.
But that would have been very stupid. At the foot of the stairs stood my sister-in-law, a grimy hand covering her mouth, and two dreadlocked savages gripping her from each side. Theyd been staked in the bushes and grabbed her as she opened the door. One held a revolver to her temple. The other pointed a .44 straight at my face. He looked like Snoop Dog, his partner like Bob Marley. Elaines eyes looked like cue-balls. Hmmmmm.
My sweet 16 pump was aimed at Snoop, who was aiming at me. He was about 30 feet away. The bead covered his ugly, filthy head, everything but the dreadlocks, which came to his shoulders.
Put it down man! he snarled. Put the (expletive deleted) gun down man!
I didnt budge. The bead was steady. The safety was off. My finger was tensing. I swear I felt no fright, right then. In combat he attains an acuity of consciousness at once pleasurable and excruciating an elevated state of awareness. Thats Caputo again. And again hes right. I simply dont recall being scared at the moment. But I definitely felt that acuity of consciousness.
And the same applied to them. They sure as heck didnt look scared either. Elaine? Well, thats a different matter. Her eyeballs dwarfed Marty Feldmans. Snoop was even starting to smile, displaying some fancy gold bridgework. This confused me.
Geezum, I thought. Its not supposed to go this way? In the movies criminals are always cowards. Now heres a guy who should be jailed just for his looks, hes got a shotgun pointed at him, and hes smiling. In fact hes walking up toward me! So what now?!
He took two steps and stopped. He adjusted the grip on his gun for a split second, waving his fingers around the grip just like Lee Marvin as Liberty Valence. These guys were pros.
I cant believe this, Im thinking. My bead was on Snoops nose now, barely covering from his eyes to his mouth ... time for a decision. I know what youre thinking, but the Dirty Harry dialogue was in my own head. This is your Teal gun, right Humberto? With the open choke, right? Is it tight enough at this range? Will it blast the scumbags face into black-bean chili? Or will it also riddle Elaine? And you cant take both thugs out with one shot. Either you or Elaine will get it. Elaine for sure. So you might ask yourself: Do I feel lucky today? Well do....
Put the (expletive deleted) gun DOWN, man! Snoop snarled. LAST time!
Then he took another step, as did Marley, shoving Elaine along, the barrel hard against her cheek. Her tear-streaked face nodding helplessly, begging me to drop the gun, thinking it was over if I didnt.
Up another step. Up another. Finally Snoop was ten feet in front of me. Put the gun DOWN!
And I did. I lowered it, and he jerked it from my grasp as Marley released Elaine. Down!--DOWN on the floor! ALL of you! FACE DOWN!
I was starting to regret my decision to surrender the gun. (A definite no-no, my cop buddies later insisted.)
Well looky here! Snoop suddenly whooped as his buddy whistled. They sounded genuinely thrilled, and surprised. Then I saw some sneakers walking toward my gun rack. Then the other sneakers walked over.
They emptied my gun rack. Then the sneakers walked back past us to the hall. We heard them clumping down the stairs while probably high-fiving. Then we waited a few seconds and got up. The front door was open, and theyd scurried off, obviously delighted with their booty.
Five minutes later, I was a trembling, stuttering wreck. And Elaine and Shirley were I swear laughing! The danger was over. The emotional dam had burst. Suddenly Shirley started cackling crazily:
And theres Dirty Harry! she laughed, pointing at me. Mr. Gunslinger at the showdown with his pump shotgun!
Geezum, I thought. Shes flipped! Strains too much for her, pregnant and all. Shirley was red-faced and gasping-- but from hilarity!
I could see your back through the hall, standing at the top of the stairs aiming down! Shirley cackled, convulsed, dripping drool from her lower lip, leaning on her sister Elaines shoulder. Both were convulsed in hysterics now.
And your underwear....your underwear, she cackled, your underwear was rolled up your b*tt crack!
I felt behind me. Geezum! She was right! Id slid rather than jumped out of bed. The sliding did the trick. Dirty Harry as Gigolo, complete with G-string.
Whooo-hooo! cackled Elaine. You sure gotta cute heiny, brud-n-law!
When the cops came, we learned of a spate of similar armed robberies in the area most accompanied by rapes. In our case, their unexpected haul of firearms probably altered their routine.
Oh, I know, I know, Dirty Harry Callahan faced a similar standoff at the end of his kick-off movie, if more appropriately attired. But he was quick on the draw and deadly with his aim. So he blew-away the giggling perp while saving the little girl.
The Monday-morning-quarterbacking/gunslinging by our family and friends lasted for years, mostly at my expense, especially at gatherings featuring booze. Dirty Harry, Josey Wales, Rooster Cogburn, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, Audie Murphy, James Bond, Rambo, Robert De Niro in the Deerhunter, Tony Montana in Sacrface--they all showed me up big-time, Im afraid. I made Woody Allen look like the Terminator. So be it.
How Id love a different ending so I could end this column with a proper moral or lesson. But I cannot tell a lie. The above is exactly how it played out. But Ill end with something constructive anyway:
For Americans of Cuban heritage the bit about jack-booted thugs storming your house to grab your guns is no joke. We saw it happen. Armas para que? (Guns for what?) Fidel Castro stressed in a speech in upon entering Havana in January 8th 1959. For some crazy reason the people who suffered through that gun-grab and today live in the U.S. remain the staunchest Republicans in modern U.S. history. Castros gun-grab combined with Kennedys surrender to Khrushchev (pledging not only to disarm Cubas desperately embattled and outgunned freedom fightersbut to prevent any nation in this Hemisphere from arming them) sealed Cubas doom.
Sorry, I missed the point. What was I supposed to learn from this?
I think it was something about check your underwear for twisting out of place, when you slide out of bed in the middle of the night to confront the armed intruders breaking in to your house.
It confirmed to me why I practice shooting face sized targets two at a time.
He chickened out and is lucky his family wasn’t slaughtered.
“Sorry, I missed the point. What was I supposed to learn from this?”
Ummm....sisters-in-law are expendable? /s
Don’t have a showdown with thugs in your underwear, I guess.
Good story. Times are changing, not for the good. If we are secretly becoming an Islamic populated nation under our very noses, then once again we are in HUGE TROUBLE. We obey the rules of engagement,
God help America find her way again. Remove evil plans of deception from our high offices, and our enemy has no rules other than win at any cost!!!
What was the point? He put his gun down. You don’t put down your gun.
In his situation a shotgun was a bad choice. with a handgun or rifle he could of shot the guy.
Well I don’t know how much of this article is B.S. but in 1981 Snoop Dogg was 10 years old and known as Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr.
I hope I never get put in the situation but with two armed urban ferals in your house it is 99 to one that either you or they are going to die. It easy to monday morning quarterback but I think even the author knows it is a miracle that his sister and wife were not raped and murdered.
What I got was that he thought he was a wolf, but when confronted by a real wolf, he found he was really a dog. Know your enemy and yourself, said Sun Tzu, and you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles.
That being said, it took big ones for him to tell the story.
Actually, I don’t believe one word of this.
He had a duck gun. At those ranges the pattern is the size of your fist. Put the bead on the side of the guy's head, away from sister-in-law, and squeeze.
The question is which to shoot first. I'm thinking that the best option is perp without hammer cocked. Or perp with gun on me.
Woman should have folded legs and fell, but this guy wasn't ready to shoot. That is the #1 problem.
If it happened as he said, it illustrates the choice that most of us hope we never have to make, but need to be ready to make if necessary.
I have arrived at the conclusion that, sooner or later, we all have to die. In a situation like this, it may be my time, but I will not go alone...
Never give up your piece. Never.
I’ll take the lesson that a shotgun is not the right choice when there is a possible hostage situation in the mix.
The guy wasn’t ready to take a bullet in defense of family mambers, clearly. The choice is shoot the sonofabitch holding a gun on the loved one and take the bullet of the other perp and try to kill that one, too.
I’m asking myself how this faux writer knew the perp was pointing a 44 magnum. I will ditto the BS call.
Well, call it ego, macho or whatever you may, BUT I would sure change my mind over ‘protecting’ my wife and SIL if the best they can do is sit there and laugh at me, when the only reason she was able to do so (SIL) was because I didn’t ‘take the guy out’.
I at least expected to see that possibly it was a ‘set up’ by your wife and SIL to show you weren’t as brave as you thought or ALL those guns in the house did you no good.
BTW, I think that is the ‘hidden message’ here, you had all that weaponry and now you have none and the bad guys got it all.
Definitely rethink the ‘worth of your SIL’ should you be in the same situation again.
Saturday, January 19th at noon at your state capitol.
Show up en masse.
No excuses. No hoping that others will attend so that you don't have to.
Does anybody out ther BUY this story??
Didn’t think so. Me neither.
Humberto was living in Cuba and his house was stormed by jackboot thugs who took his weapons. The weapon seizure was ordered in Cuba by the communist in control from Russia. That was 1959. He ended with something constructive: don’t surrender guns in America. This was a clear lesson. Those who do not learn from history are sure to repeat it. Be prepared to defend yourself.
My thanks to Humberto for the lesson.
It’s easy. You shoot the guy with the gun on ya, first. The perp with the hostage will not shoot SIL because she is his shield. Then work on getting him, even if taking the legs of everyone next.
Yup, see post #11.
Movie on TV last night....SyFy....Rona Mitra?.....hostage situation...she had a bead on the perp who held another cop hostage.....he effed up and tripped and accidentally blew his hostage’s jaw off..... His words “Oh Sh!t” realizing his protection was gone....having never dropped her aim, she emptied the mag on him....
When you are being utterly humiliated, at least make sure you have a cute hiney.
Whooo-hooo! cackled Elaine. You sure gotta cute heiny, brud-n-law!
(Either that or I also missed the point completely.)
I just lost a lot of the respect I had for Humberto.
hiney, heiny,...whatever (duh)
Yep - at 25', even my pocket guns can be made to empty a magazine into a grapefruit. My other weapons are capable of contacting a dime at that distance and I, as I age, am capable of making them contact a quarter at that range. My wife would forgive me for scaring the bejesus out of her if it left her alive and the perp with more room for brains in his shattered skull.
My daughter saw one of them looking in through an open spot in her bedroom drapes and calmly walked to my room and told me...At that point one of them forced my bathroom window open and landed on the floor. The door was closed between my bedroom and the bathroom.
I forcefully told whoever was there that if they opened that door, they were facing a pistol with hollow points and that it would give me great pleasure to blow them into Hell. They slithered right back up the wall and out.
You can put your preaching where the sun won't shine, but I do not respect a man who is not willing to fight for his family. This man surrendered. He was fortunate. If I were this man I would be glad to have survived, but I wouldn't recommend his course of action ever, let alone boast about it.
I think you may have misunderstood me. I was agreeing with you that the author was unwise to surrender his weapon, and thought it lucky his wife and sister were not violated and killed. I simply did not want to judge the guy too harshly as I have never been put in such a situation.
“I was lucky in the order.” - William Muny out of Missouri, killer of women and children (As “Little Bill” described him.)
If this guy had small caliber rifle and practiced he could have shot both of the thugs in the eye.
Humberto wrote .44, not .44 magnum.
Humberto must have long arms, to reach that far with his calipers.