Martha Salomaa is an inspiring, badass mother who saved herself and her two daughters by shooting an intruder. You can watch her amazing story in this just-released CarbonTV web-series pilot, “Saved by the Second.” For more about Martha, and how her life – and that of her children – has changed since that dangerous encounter, check out the exclusive Q&A and watch her story below.

 

DM: First, it’s an absolute pleasure to meet you, and congrats on your recent marriage. Even though your last name has changed from Lewis to Salomaa, I’m guessing that not everything has changed . . . including your belief in the right to defend your family and home?

Martha: Thank you, Dave.

I certainly still believe in the right to defend my home and family. My husband is an immigrant from Finland, and he respects and admires the Second Amendment of our Constitution. He counts it among one of the great aspects of American life. My daughters continue to practice good, practical self-defense measures. The four of us still occasionally shoot together when the girls come home.

 

DM: You were taught from a young age to take care of yourself, to not rely on other people. Did you get that from both your mom and dad?

Martha: I come from a long line of strong people. My mother was an incredibly driven woman, a tough woman who wanted her daughters to be able to take care of themselves. Although she died of cancer when I was 11, her legacy has made and continues to make a tremendous impact on my family’s life. About a month before she died, she told me, “You’re going to have to be strong.” She was right.

My father has always been a solid rock, regardless of the circumstances life has thrown at him. He is the epitome of “grace under pressure.” He stressed that we “not rely on a man.” He expected certain things from me, and I never dared to defy him.

I have spent much of my life trying to live a life worthy of my parents.

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t add that my family, both immediate and extended, has helped me through some hard times – times that called for me to rely on other people. My sisters, brother-in-law and nephews have always had my back. My aunts are strong women from whom I have always drawn strength, and my cousins are ever-ready in a time of need.

I certainly accepted help from my church, my community, and others in our county after the April 27, 2011, tornado. In Walker County, Alabama, people take care of each other.

DM: It’s clear you’ve taught this same important message to your two daughters. I was so impressed in the film where your daughters stand by your side with weapons (axe and butcher knife) in hand. At what age did you introduce them to guns?

Martha: I think both Barbara Ann and Hannah had shot a pistol and a rifle by 9 years old. They both enjoy shooting a bow. When Barbara Ann moved away for college, my father gave her a shotgun. Each girl has a handgun now as well.

 

DM: Your dad had preached: “You keep the gun where you can reach it.” I couldn’t agree more. How did you decide on a .38 revolver?

Martha: Prior to the tornado, I had other weapons. However, after I lost those, my brother-in-law gave me his .38 Taurus. I like that type of gun because it’s simple and effective. That’s what I needed at that time in my life.

Taurus .38 Special

DM: When the intruder appears, I was so impressed with your “I am NOT going to be a victim” attitude. You and your daughters had been through some tough times, and pardon my French, but you were pissed off that he entered your home. How did you channel that anger into action?

Martha: My daughters and I had made the resolution to not be victims years prior to this event. Once that decision was made, we made preparations. We were surprised that we had an intruder, but we were not caught off-guard.

 

DM: Experts believe that training is key to acting effectively when under stress. You stated in the film that you had discussed “what if” scenarios with your kids. After this event, did they say that these talks helped them stand by your side?

Martha: We’ve done “what if” so often that it’s just a part of us. This isn’t the only crisis we’ve faced. Regardless of what may be happening prior to an event, when the situation calls for it, my daughters go into action immediately. Rather than patting ourselves on the back for preparing, we were evaluating what we could have done to improve our reactions.

I am proud of the strong women my daughters have become.

 

DM: My favorite line from the film is: “Lord, guide my hands.” Like you, I have faith in God, and also like you, I sleep with a revolver in my nightstand. In addition to hoping God guides my hands, I’ve equipped my .357 Mag. with laser grips. After all, if a bad guy breaks in, it’s most likely to occur after dark. Since your home invasion, have you changed your choice of defense handgun?

Martha: As a family, we each have personal weapons. Right now I’m using a Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard .380 Crimson Trace. It’s small enough that I feel comfortable pulling the trigger, and I like having the laser for a more accurate shot.

Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard .380 Crimson Trace

DM: You stated: “If we had not had that .38 in our home that night, rather than that incident being just a bump in the road, it would have been a life shattering experience.” I admire you greatly for defending yourself and your daughters. As far as I’m concerned, the Second Amendment is vital to the American way of life. Any closing comments or words of advice to women (or men) who are tentative about firearms?

Martha: I understand someone being hesitant about gun ownership and gun use. A firearm is a powerful weapon that should be treated with respect. If a person makes the decision to own a gun, he/she needs to get the training necessary to use it and care for it properly (including keeping it out of the hands of children).

However, the wording of the Second Amendment strongly suggests that our knowing how to use a gun is “necessary to the security of a free State.” In other words, as American citizens we are – in part – responsible for the safety of the country as a whole.

We are most certainly responsible for our own safety, and the safety of those that depend upon us. The police cannot physically be everywhere they are needed, and it is absurd to believe otherwise.

I made the choice to own a gun, and I am able to tell this story because of it.

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  • Patriot4739 .

    Great story. It makes me feel proud to read about strong American women. My wife and daughter are also in that category.

  • Bud Nelson

    If we allow ourselves to be disarmed WE ARE DEAD. The proof is constant: an armed society is a safe and polite society.

    • Scooter

      How about Canada, very polite but not armed. Crime stats way lower than USA. Dont get me wrong you can carry in Canada, but you are well trained, vetted and accountable. So firearm crime committed is by illegal firearms only. I envy US citizens being allowed to just go get a gun, but at least here in Canada I can be pretty sure anybody else with a gun should have one. You have to admit the US needs tighter regs, no?

      • Logan Jensen

        I could be wrong but in the USA and maybe each state has its own rules every time you buy a pistol you have to do a current back ground check before taking it home, currently here in Canada I can buy a pistol every day and walk out of the store with it. as far as the crime rate in the USA keep in mind the population difference between them and us in Canada. I have heard rumor of a town in Texas that has a municipal by law that each house hold has to have one guns registered to it and they have a crime rate of zero. To be totally fair and proactive here in Canada or at least as individual provincial law we need concealed carry and or open carry for women, women are more of a target problem than men not every women needs to have a gun but just the possibility of her or another women in the area having a gun and the law on our side when a gun is legitimately use to defend your self would reduce the crime rate and victim count immediately with out a bullet fired I think being realistic we all can agree on that weather we are gun pro or not.

  • Larry342516

    The mother is a beautiful looking lady, and smart for protecting her family.

  • Guest

    God created men and women. Samuel Colt made them equal…

  • a_b704

    Great job. And good choice on the current Bodyguard .380. A step up would be a Glock 43 with the streamlight trl-6. 9mm is a huge step up in firepower, and the gun is not that much larger than the S&W.

    Ammo choices: .380 is notorious for bad penetration – look at the Underwood Xtreme Defender round, it meets FBI guidelines. For a nine, Federal HST 147-gr.

  • Bud Nelson

    A gentleman from Canada commented that Canadians are polite and nice without being armed, that the U.S, needs more regulations. I have visited Canada several times and have known Canadians for years and agree they are nice but Canada has a different culture than the U. S. The U.S. has been powerful and prosperous so long we have turned away from the very standards that made us great. Various interviews of people on the street show how dumb we have become. Am example is the number of times we have been attacked by Muslims and the great number of people who still think we should open our borders to them. Such a shame.

  • S&P419

    This is a good example of why we should always fight for our rights to keep and bare arms. We rarely see stories about people successfully defending themselves, or someone else with a firearm on the liberal media.This is not an isolated incident, and It is up to us to make sure that we get this story, and others like it out into the mainstream. Please share this with your friends, and others on social media. Way to go Martha!

  • Mackenzie

    I’ll never forget this story she was my 10th grade English teacher at Parrish high before it closed down she truly is a phenomenal woman love you mrs.lewis