Montgomery, Alabama

From the Montgomery Advertiser of March 18, 2007

Granny’s got a gun

Frances Babington, 65, is a pistol-toting grandma, who says she is a “fighting person.”

“I’m the type of person … (that’s) not going to let someone take something from me. I decided I wanted to get the better end of the fight,” Babington said.

“When I started carrying the gun, I made it a priority to be instructed by the Montgomery Police Department about how and when to use my gun. To my surprise, the officers spent about 75 percent of the course time teaching how to avoid having to use a weapon but did not neglect the shooting aspects.

“Having said that, you would-be criminals take note! The next time you attempt to rob or break and enter into the home of an elderly, gray-haired lady, it might be me. If you enter my home I would consider my life to be in peril and would not hesitate to blow you out of your socks.”

Babington said she and her husband Tom, 65, a retired pharmacist, took the gun-safety class together. Tom was robbed twice as he left work, and Babington had a close call of her own when she worked downtown at the old St. Margaret’s Hospital.

Babington was headed to her car in the parking lot after work when she noticed a man walking near her. She said she noticed the man turn suddenly about 12 feet away and came up behind her.

“I reached in my purse grabbed the gun and showed it to him,” Babington said. “I looked him directly in his eyes. He turned away. It worked. I didn’t have to use it, but it worked. If he had attacked me, I would have felt comfortable using it.”

The Babingtons have identical blue steel revolvers, and a gold police shield in their window they got from the Police Department that lets people know trained gunmen protect their property.

Frances Babington believes that anyone seeking to bear arms should do it the right way.

“I think that having a class ought to be part of getting a gun permit,” she said. “You’ve got to know what you’re doing with it if you’re going to carry it.”

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