Following a creepy break-in that left her unsettled, Tomi Ledford changed her lifestyle, got some training, and got a gun.
Guns.com caught up with Ledford at the 147th National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting in Dallas earlier this month and she took the time to share her story with us.
“I was coming home late with my 2-year-old daughter from visiting my mother’s house and we pulled up to the front of the house with the front door wide open,” said Ledford, whose husband, deployed to Afghanistan, was on the phone with her at the time listening in horror.
Her neighbor, who by chance heard the 911 call over his scanner, retrieved his gun and waited with the young mother for the police to arrive and clear the house. It was in the immediate aftermath that Ledford came across a disturbing find. While the expensive items you would expect to targeted in a burglary were still there, more ominous signs of a potential planned return visit were discovered.
“I checked everything, doors, windows, and one of the weirdest things was the front windows in the house were unlocked which is something that I never did,” said Ledford. “And later on finding out that I had a few personal belongings that were missing as well that we knew it wasn’t just a regular break-in. It wasn’t something that I cared to think about having a 2-year-old little girl in the same house with me and it just being her and I there”
She was left her first handgun by the good samaritan neighbor who did not want her to be left defenseless, Ledford sought out firearms training, got her carry license, and eventually even became a firearms instructor to help others.
Does she feel more prepared now?
“Absolutely. We actually had another incident after we moved…where we had a stranger come knocking late at night and my daughter and I were in bed….And I was armed that night. I wasn’t half as scared as what I was the first night,” she said. “It’s not my desire to take anybody’s life but when it comes to my child and my home, I will defend it no matter what.”
In the end, Ledford cautioned against making excuses for not being prepared.
“You can think of reasons why not to go somewhere, why not to get the training, why not to do the educational research that you could do, but when you have another’s life and you have your own child there, you can’t make excuses for that. Because as much as you might be able to make excuses for yourself, you cannot make excuses for your child bein’ a victim. There’s no excuse for that. I have two daughters now and I want them to know that they don’t ever have to be a victim,” she said.