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This week, a criminal shot a gorgeous young gal scheduled to marry into my family when she arrived home just before noon. Thankfully, her injury isn’t life threatening. She’s expected to make a full recovery, and hopefully it won’t delay this year’s wedding. However, there are some scary lessons in this incident.

When she arrived home, the open garage door didn’t raise any red flags. She proceeded into the house, discovered “loot” staged for a quick escape, saw furniture out of place and before she could exit a bad guy confronted and shot her. Obviously, there’s a lot more to the story, but my lack of detail is to ensure the integrity of the investigation underway. If my experience with the justice system is any indication, I might be able to fill in the missing pieces 18 months from now-if there’s no appeal.

How did the criminal know the home would be empty? He works, so that’s a given. She’s a stay-at-home mom, with a toddler (who thankfully escaped injury) who keeps her busy.

Lesson One: Social media status updates are good at giving away your movements. The perp is still at large, so this is nothing more than family conjecture at this point. However, I know I’ve been guilty of telegraphing house vacancy in the past. No more. Does your profile list city and date of birth-the first security questions a bank asks? Can you say identify theft?

Lesson Two: There’s genius in routine. If that garage door is religiously closed every morning and night, it telegraphs something is amiss, immediately.

Lesson Three: Those things moved by the criminal for theft will probably be held as evidence that you might see back in 18 months-if there’s no appeal. That includes the firearms owned by law-abiding victims with a fresh concern for their family’s safety, even if the perp is still on the loose.

Lesson Four: If you know someone who takes and passes the concealed carry course, but is “too busy” to process the paperwork at local law enforcement, tell them this nightmare. She passed the course. He did too, but neither of them went downtown to finish the paperwork. Things might have been different had she been carrying. His gun with him at work wouldn’t have helped that morning, but at least they’d have a something with which to defend themselves if the criminal returns-whenever she gets out of the hospital.

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