With a bang, life can take you by surprise. It happened to Terri twice this past year.
"I had two robberies in my home," said Terri, who did not want her last name used for this report.
During the second break-in, Terri was home.
"I heard a crash, a loud crash coming from (a downstairs) window," the York County native said. "I screamed."
So Terri, a nurse who works at two local hospitals, made a decision that tens of thousands of people just like her have done.
"I decided having a gun in my home was something I wanted to do and that I also wanted to carry a gun with me for defensive reasons," Terri said.
Though Pennsylvania does not maintain a centralized, statewide registry of License to Carry Firearms permit-holders, Terri is far from alone. For example, there are 45,922 people who have concealed carry permits living in Dauphin County, according to Dauphin County Sheriff Jack Lotwick. Adams County has approved 430 new applications so far this year. A representative with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Department told CBS 21 News they average about 25 new applications a day. And in York County, they have processed, but not necessarily approved, 1,993 concealed carry permits in 2010.
"If I ever have to use it, I want to know how to use it properly. And be accurate with it," Terri said about her new handgun. "I don't want to be shooting ten people around because I don't know how to hit the target."
That is why Terri was one of a handful of student who recently completed a weekend-long defensive handgun training course hosted by the West Shore Sportsmen's Association in Fairview Township, York County.
This particular course was run by Mike Warsocki, of the Insights Training Center, which is based out of Washington State.
Warsocki is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel with over 23 years of active duty. And it shows. His handgun is more like an extension of the highly-trained weapon that is his body, and he gives commands to his students like their lives are on the line. The fact of the matter is, someday, they might be.
"We in this country have a right to carry arms. We can argue back and forth to what degree, but fundamentally the Supreme Court has said you have a right," Warsocki said. "But if you carry that right out, you also have a responsibility."
Part of that responsibility is to learn when not to use your weapon. That is why Warsocki runs his students through several scenarios with targets, standing in for armed assailants, in which some will "pull guns" on them and others will "pull cell phones" out of their pockets.
Warsocki told CBS 21 News that his hope for his students is that they will be one step closer to becoming "sheep dogs."
"Today, if you look around, we know there are wolves," Warsocki said. "We know there are criminals out there, and they will hurt you."
"And we also know there's a lot of sheep," Warsocki said. "And what I mean by that is these are the people who really are quite oblivious to the world around them."
"So what stands between sheep and wolves? Well, sheep dogs."
"I'm getting close to being a sheep dog," Terri said.
Her official training complete, Terri is now authorized to carry a concealed weapon. Life at home is normal, again. But it could change with a bang.
When asked if she would be prepared to use her gun if someone came into her house again, Terri's answer was crystal clear.
"Absolutely," Terri said. "Absolutely."