I sleep with a loaded, cocked-and-locked, 1911A1 .45 Auto pistol beside my bed. Some of you might question the wisdom of that, especially after reading this story. The one on the left is actually an abbreviated Officer’s Model with a 4″ barrel, my favorite carry piece. These nights, it rests on my Bible on my bedside table, but I used to keep its big brother with the 5″ barrel in a holster jammed between the mattress and side rail of my bed. All I had to do was reach over the side of the mattress and my hand naturally fell right on it.
It was after midnight one night some thirty plus years ago, when I was disturbed from a very sound sleep by my wife exclaiming, “No! No! Nooo!”
Needless to say, that got my attention. In the darkened room, bleary-eyed moi looked over at Janis beside me—AND a man in a plaid shirt is leaning over her!!!!
Ninja-like, I sprang into action. In one not-so-smooth movement, I reached for my trusty 1911 while rolling out of the bed and, very un-ninja-like, my feet became entangled in the covers. I landed with my butt on the floor, my feet still up on the bed, and I was folded in half and firmly wedged with my back against the chest of drawers beside my bed. Thus positioned, I was virtually helpless!
But I am armed!
I had my pistol in my hand, observing proper gun handling by keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction (Rule 2) and my finger off the trigger until I had a target (Rule 3).
Still hopelessly jammed between bed and chest, with my left hand, I frantically pawed for the big Maglite I kept on the lower shelf of my bedside table. Flashlight in hand and arm fully extended, three “D” cells of Maglite power lit up the night on Janis’ side of the bed, and I was fully expecting to ventilate the intruder.
But no one was there.
I was thinking, my ninja-like movements must have scared him off. To be certain, I passed the beam around the room and then over Janis. When the beam hit her face, she stirred, sat up and looked at her husband still solidly jammed between bed and chest. And she sees two feet sticking up, a gun held aloft in one hand, flashlight held aloft in the other waving around like a drunken lighthouse beacon, and the top of my head about down to my frantic-looking eyes, and she calmly asked, “What are you doing?”
Well now, under the circumstances, I had to give that question some serious thought. I finally replied as evenly as my excited self could, “I am not really sure…”
After I disentangle myself from my “hole” between the bed and chest, I did a house clearing drill just to be certain there were no intruders. As expected that exercise was fruitless. Evidently, Janis had been dreaming and said what I heard, and I am sure I heard it, because it woke me up. I must have “joined in her dream” and “saw” the plaid-shirted man leaning over her and reacted accordingly.
Good thing he wasn’t there, because I would have ventilated him!