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A friend recently asked me how I felt about residents of my hometown – Detroit – carrying guns to protect themselves in a city where violence is still commonplace.

I can say without hesitation that I’m glad Paris Ainsworth, a 51-year-old grandmother affectionately nicknamed ‘Granny Rambo,’ was packing a pistol. Ainsworth was shot four times – and survived – during a night time shootout last week with two men who tried to rob her in the driveway of her home.

But the no-nonsense grandmother wasn’t having it. When the two would-be robbers approached Ainsworth, she reached for her .45 caliber handgun just as one of them men opened fire. “He said, ‘Don’t pull it,’ and he shot immediately,” Ainsworth returned fire. “I said, ‘You mother f—-r,’ and pulled out (my gun) and started shooting,” Ainsworth told reporters.

Ainsworth — who has four grandsons — was hit three times in the side and once in her left hand, but she still managed to hit one of the suspects in both legs as both men tried to run away. Both men were arrested. “If I wouldn’t have had my gun, I would be dead today,” she said.

She practices with her legally purchased handgun often. Ainsworth is a courageous woman who is signaling to thugs that Detroit residents are arming themselves and fighting back – and shooting back – to avoid being robbed. There’s no doubt that Detroit is a dangerous place where unfortunately shootings occur all too often.

Ainsworth is not alone.

According to the Detroit News, more Detroit citizens are willing to open fire on thugs. There have been 10 fatal self-defense shootings in the city since Jan. 1. Detroit has traditionally had a large percentage of the nation’s justifiable homicides by citizens, according to the Detroit News.

In 2012, the last year for which national figures are available, there were 25 justifiable homicides in Detroit, which made up 8 percent of the 310 seen nationwide, the newspaper reported. Last year, there were 15 justifiable homicides in the city.

“It’s horrific what’s going on in the city, where people have to defend their homes with guns,” the Rev. Barak Holmes of Diverse Deliverance told The Detroit News. “We have to pray for our city.” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said at a press conference last week that in his 37-year career, he’s never seen as many homeowners defending themselves by shooting criminals.

“It does appear more and more Detroiters are becoming empowered,” Craig said. “More and more Detroiters are getting sick of the violence. I know of no other place where I’ve seen this number of justifiable homicides. It’s interesting that these incidents go across gender lines.”

“People who are faced with a dangerous situation are taking matters into their own hands,” Craig said. “We’re not advocating violence; we’re advocates of not being victims. We’re advocates of self-protection. We want people to be safe.

“This should be a message to those who continue to perpetuate violence on Detroiters that enough is enough. You’ve got to be concerned about good Detroiters who aren’t going to stand for it,” Craig said. “Detroiters are fed up and they are taking action.”

Meanwhile, Ainsworth is lucky to be alive.

“This is ludicrous, the way that they are just robbing and trying to take stuff from people, and killing people,” Ainsworth said.

Ainsworth is an inspiration to other residents in Detroit who want to take back their neighborhoods from thugs. It’s a good thing Granny Rambo was packing.

What do you think?

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