Kim Lyle is an average mom. She takes care of her kids and she’s willing to use whatever force is necessary to protect them. It’s lucky for her, then, that we don’t yet live in the gun-free “utopia” so strongly desired by average citizens eager to give up their responsibility for themselves, as well as their well-guarded presidential candidates.
You know, the ones who are surrounded by armed body guards 24/7.
Kim Lyle can’t afford a 24/7 guard for her house. She CAN afford an alarm system (possibly) and handgun and those paid dividends Tuesday night, when career criminal Nathaniel Snowton, 54, entered her home though her back door.
Alerted by the back door chime, Kim grabbed her firearm, went to the top of her stairs and warned Mr. Snowton that she was armed and would fire. Having hopefully delayed her assailant, she then called 9-1-1 and summoned police while she kept watch at the top of the stairs.
Snowton elected to leave the house and Kim did not have to shoot him.
FIVE MINUTES LATER, the police arrived and started tracking down Mr. Snowton. They found him hiding on the balcony of a carriage house nearby.
In this case, we do indeed have enough data to discuss some of the good and bad things that happened.
Let’s start with the back door. Kim heard the chime, but the alarm didn’t go off. Why not? Was her alarm system off? Was it malfunctioning? Was it literally just chime attached to the door? Most probably, if she has an actual alarm system, she failed to turn it on.
Alarm systems are much less effective if you don’t activate them. They’re not totally useless, though. Even when unarmed, some of them will still detect sounds like breaking glass and set off the alarm.
But, regardless of what kind of chime producing device she had on that door, what other noise did she not hear? She didn’t hear the glass or wood of the back door shattering. She didn’t hear it because, at least from the story, Snowton didn’t need to break in. He simply opened the door and walked in.
This was an absolute failure on Kim’s part. Your house doesn’t have to be Fort Knox, but a few basic security precautions for preventing casual burglary are simple common sense. We realize that Savannah doesn’t have the same crime problems as New York, Chicago, DC, or Los Angeles, but it does happen.
So, she heard someone enter and then she went to the top of the stairs and warned her assailant that she had a gun and the wherewithal to use it. Then called the police.
We don’t necessarily have an issue with this. One of Murphy’s Laws of Combat states that, “If it looks like a poor plan, but it works, then it isn’t poor.” Her reaction was not a bad one, but we do see some holes that may need to be addressed in the future.
She grabbed her gun, but not her phone or a light source or even hearing protection. In theat of the moment, without having trained for this, we can excuse this.
She went to the top of the stairs. Did she stand right at the top, skylined, or was she offset from the top, where she could see without being totally exposed?
What about her kids? Are they in separate rooms? Should they have been alerted and standing by to flee? Do they know what to do in the event they need to run to a safe(r) room? Have they rehearsed this?
After all of this, though, Kim’s big question is: How was Snowton running around loose in the first place? In the last five years he’s been arrested for theft and burglary three times. He’d been out of jail less than thirty days when he decided to pay this mother and her children an unannounced, unwelcome visit.
Perhaps, in addition to ceasing to focus on such irrelevant issues as making it harder for law-abiding moms such as Kim Lyle to gain access to the best defense tools on the market, our Dear Leader in DC and his cronies in both state and federal governments can sit down and take a good, hard look at something that would keep repetitive repeat-offenders such as Mr. Snowton off the streets or gainfully-employed.
Maybe, after his first burglary, if he’d received jobs or trades training though a diversion program, he may not have been arrested again, or again, or again.
Conversely, perhaps he WAS afforded the opportunity to better himself while incarcerated and simply decided that it wasn’t for him. In that case, perhaps some kind of permanent incarceration program may be in order. It could be similar to LA’s controversial “Three Strikes” program, but for violent felonies, only.
We don’t have all the answers here, and this post has run on forever, but we hope we’ve given you something to think about.