A Response to Sarah Jernigan Allen’s Comment on Alarm Systems as a Substitute for Armed Self Defense

About 12 years ago, I wrote an article about a teacher who used her gun to fatally shoot a convicted felon who broke into her home at 5:00am.  More recently, a comment was posted on that article suggesting that citizens should user burglar alarms instead of defending themselves.  That comment, and my response, follow.

The original article from 2008:


As reported 62 year old Florida middle school teacher Juanita Enzor fatally shot a home invader. Mark Johnson, who was convicted of multiple felonies in 2007, reportedly broke in to Juanita Enzor’s home at about 5 AM and attacked her. She then fired one shot in self defense, which eventually proved fatal to the home invader.

Thanks to her willingness to defend herself, Juanita Enzor’s students will continue to have their teacher in class, alive and well.  Other residents of Florida may also have been saved from such an ordeal in the future, as this home invader will never be able to victimize another innocent person.  Cases like this are why I have a gun, and why I cannot understand the thought processes of pacifists.


Sarah Jernigan Allen’s Comment from 2019:

OR….and this is me just spitballin here, you could get a home alarm that will scare the perp away AND notify the police without you raising 1 single finger for the phone or to MURDER someone. Imagine that! New, state of the art confagled devices I’ve heard of, like ADT and the million other home security alarms out there available for literally less than $1 a day, with no casualties! Easy peasy, and no gross bodily fluid clean-up.

My response:

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We know from experience that there are criminals who are not deterred by an alarm.  Here is an example, where an intruder heard the alarm, saw the home owner, and and still circled back around to try and break in again moments later.  Alarms won’t deter attackers who act irrationally because of low intelligence, mental health issues, drug addiction, etc.

Defending oneself is also not murder, contrary to Sarah’s claims.  Instead, it is the morally-right course of action to take when attacked.  More on the morality of armed self defense can be seen here.

That is not to say that alarms are useless. An alarm system is a great addition to armed self defense, but it cannot take the place of a gun.  I see my alarm system mainly as a means of reducing the risk of property theft while I am gone, and as a means of alerting me to intruders when I am home, so that I have more time to wake up and grab a gun. If an intruder runs off after setting off an alarm, that is excellent.  But, I won’t bet my life or my children’s lives on that intruder being scared away.