Last October, I got to witness something truly amazing. I had spent the day with my mom and my younger brother in San Diego for my mom's 70th birthday. We arrived that night to our home, filled with family from San Francisco and some relatives. At about 10:45 that night we all paused when we heard screams by the front door. We all thought it might be the kids just playing and being loud, but we came to the front to check anyways.
My mom's best friend fell through the front door, shouting "He took my purse!"
Maybe it was adrenaline, but my brothers and I took off running after the guy. One of my older brothers grabbed the guy, but let him go when he looked like he might be reaching for a weapon.
My younger brother chased down the thief's car to get the plate number while I called the police.
When this all happened, my oldest brother had thrown himself over our nieces to protect them.
Because we had all reacted so quickly, the police were at our house within minutes. They chased the car down the freeway until the man crashed and fled on foot. The K-9 unit following him released a dog on him, and he surrendered after being bitten.
Later that night, the police found that the man had a gun in his car. We all would like to assume that it was our strength in numbers probably prevented him from having the opportunity to use it.
It goes without saying, but when it comes down to it, you protect the ones you love; it's the most valuable lesson we've learned from my mom.