I defended myself and my 1 year old son with a shotgun once. Strangers kept driving slowly past our house at about midnight one summer night in 1976, and we were the last house on a dirt road in a farming area in Missouri. They turned at the dead end and came past several times. My husband was out of town. I became alarmed for the baby,and got the shotgun,loaded it, turned on the front porch light, and when they drove slowly past again, I pumped it,chambering a round,glaring at them. They sped off, and I unloaded the gun and returned to bed. Possibly I saved us both from getting killed or harmed.