I had just gotten out of the Marine Corps in July 2006, with five years of active duty service, never thinking that I would raise a gun in self-defense or to protect others again. I decided before getting a job I would visit family members. I wanted to visit my father, step-mother, and younger sister first before they went to the fair. They would be busy the entire week showing goats. I usually take along my Springfield 1911 .45ACP and sometime take my father shooting. After all, he was the one who introduced me to firearms.

We had just finished an early dinner, and my dad and step-mom wanted to give the goats a clipping before they would take them to the fair the following day. I decided that I would help since my little sister (8 years old at the time) wanted to play with the neighbor girl and another friend. They were running around and playing on the swing set while we were busy trying to wrangle the goats. Just a normal evening at my dad’s house.

When seemingly at the same time something caught my eye at the edge of the field and one of the girls yelling, “Look at the fox!” Almost instantly the fox charges the girls on the swing set. The three of them ran up on top of the slide as the fox hit the swing that only seconds before my sister had been on. The fox grabbed hold like a dog pulling on a rope and shaking its body vigorously. I instantly sprung to action, as did my father. My thoughts went to my pistol sitting in the house. I took off into the house, up the stairs and to my old bedroom, grabbed the gun and flew back outside. I found my dad at the swing throwing an old wash brush, trying anything to get the fox away from the girls. Taking the little time that I had, I moved for a clear shot with my family so close. With the adrenaline pumping I took two shots, wounding the animal. After a slight pause I determined that the threat was stopped while not completely neutralized. I had time to compose myself. Realizing that the animal still posed a problem, off went the other five rounds putting down the rabid attacker.

With that incident behind I realize that the aggressor is not always going to be a person. So take some time at the range and practice on smaller moving targets, not all threats are man sized.

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