Blanchard Mom's Home Defense Brought Up In Gun Control Talks

Thursday, January 31st 2013, 6:42 pm
By: News 9

A Blanchard mother's act of self-defense is grabbing national attention for a second time.

The young mother who shot and killed an intruder to protect her baby fell in the spotlight in 2011. Now her case became a part of the gun-control debate in Washington D.C.

Sarah McKinley, the widowed young mother, did not testify during the gun control hearings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Still, a heated point of debate centered around her frightening confrontation with two would-be intruders a year ago.

"I have two guns in my hands, is it OK to shoot him if he comes in this door?" asked McKinley to the 911 operator during that harrowing home invasion.

During the 911 call, lasting approximately 20 minutes, McKinley shot and killed Justin Martin, one of two intruders at her home in Blanchard. Following the incident, McKinley said the decision to pull the trigger was not an easy one.

12/31/2011 Related Story: Blanchard Mother Shoots, Kills Suspect In Home Invasion

"They made the decision to break into my house and I made the decision that was right for me."

Now, McKinley's case could help lawmakers reach their own decision on the big gun control debate to ban assault weapons and strengthen background checks.

"In a violent confrontation, guns reverse the balance of power," Gayle Trotter, an attorney with the Independent Women's Forum, used McKinley as an example the new gun laws are unnecessary. "Ms. McKinley explained, it was either going to be him or my son, and it wasn't going to be my son."

During the debate on Capitol Hill, Trotter said, "Guns make women safer."

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse fired back, pointing out McKinley used a shotgun for protection.

"That [shotgun] would not be banned under this statute, correct?" Whitehouse said.

"I don't remember what type of weapon she used," replied Trotter.

"Well trust me, that's what it was," Whitehouse responded.

Trotter maintained her stance just as she says McKinley did against the intruders. Whitehouse says the bill wouldn't change that.

1/1/2012 Related Story: Authorities Release Names In Fatal Blanchard Home Invasion

"My point, simply, is that she did it adequately and successfully with lawful firearms."

News9 could not reach McKinley for her comment on the issue Thursday, but she's previously said, "I carry a gun 24/7 and I'm always ready to use it for protection."