John Rees photo
Designed with female shooters in mind, the ergonomic Ithaca Model 37 Featherlight 20 gauge pump-action shotgun provides comfort and confidence when it’s needed most.

The beam from the intruder’s flashlight pierced the blackness of the bedroom at 4:45 a.m., sweeping across the down comforter and into Eric Martin’s eyes. Outside, the streets of his Utah subdivision lay still and silent.

But as Martin rolled to the floor, reached into the nightstand drawer and drew out his 9 mm pistol, the 46-year-old executive’s mind raced with calculation: Would this man harm Martin’s fiancee or her son? Was an accomplice outside waiting? What if he pulled the trigger and hit the sleeping 8-year-old across the hall?

In the weeks since the Connecticut school massacre, some of the most intense debate has swirled around how to keep guns from criminals without infringing on the ability of lawful gun owners, like Martin, to protect themselves and their families.

Indeed, protection is now the top reason gun owners cite for having a firearm, a new survey shows, a figure that has nearly doubled since 1999.

Read more at ABC News

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The beam from the intruder's flashlight pierced the blackness of the bedroom at 4:45…