Mom leaves kids in unlocked vehicle. Shoots would-be carjacker.

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There's been a lot of praise lately for the Texas mom who shot a would-be carjacker to stop him from stealing her vehicle which contained her two small children in the back seat.

I'm glad the two children were not taken. I'm glad they were not physically harmed. 

But I'm having real difficulty praising the mom the way everyone else seems to want to.

Why?

Because this incident did not have to happen! If the mom truly believed that "I would do what I need to do to protect them by any means necessary," why did she leave her children alone in a vehicle with the doors unlocked, the key in the ignition and a loaded gun in an unlocked glove box?

It was 10 o'clock at night when the mom stopped to get gas for her vehicle. She left the vehicle to go inside to pay for the purchase. It was then that the would-be carjacker jumped into the driver's seat.

Luckily, the mom managed to get back in the vehicle before it took off. She told the man to stop. When he didn't, she grabbed the loaded gun from the glove box and shot the driver in the head. While her children watched.

If she was truly concerned about her children, why did she leave the vehicle unlocked with them in it? Why did she leave the key in the ignition? And why would she keep a loaded gun in an unlocked glove compartment where anyone, including her children, could get access?

Believe me, I am truly glad that the mom was able to save her kids. And I am truly glad that they were physically unharmed. But I wonder what psychological effect the shooting will have on them. I shudder to think what would have happened had she not been able to jump into the vehicle. And I don't even want to think about what could have happened if the children discovered the gun. Maybe not that night, but some other time.

I can imagine some of you saying, "But if the gun had been locked up, she wouldn't have been able to get to it easily and shoot the bad guy." My response is, if she had locked the vehicle and taken the keys with her, the bad guy wouldn't have been able to jump into the vehicle in the first place.  And, if she had taken the gun with her (carried on her person in a holster) she would have been able to get to it faster.

I am a supporter of the Second Amendment. I believe we all have to right to use armed self defense when necessary. But I also believe that when we carry, we have the responsibility to do so safely. And I believe we have the responsibility, as parents, to do what we can to protect our kids from harm.

Lock your gun in a gun safe when you leave your vehicle. Or carry the firearm with you. Then lock the doors and take the keys with you. The best way to defend yourself and your family is to do everything you can to make yourself an undesirable target for bad guys.

As always, remember that gun carrying laws vary in every location. Take the time to learn the laws in your area.

Stay Safe...

Sources: ABC News | NBC News