- It is common for potential burglars to ring the bell or knock on the door to determine if someone is home before they break into a house. When no one answered, the burglar assumed no one was home and broke in. A better option would have been for the girl to yell through the door that her dad was asleep and he would have to come back later.
- A gun was available to a 12 year old. Yikes. There are a handful of 12 year olds that I would trust alone with a gun (and my boys aren't included in this group because at 12 years old their judgement could be mature and stable one day, childish and "what the Hell were you thinking?" the next). So while allowing unsupervised access to a firearm saved the girl in this situation, more often than not, kids getting their hands on a firearm without adult supervision is a stupid--and often deadly--thing to do.
- The girl called her mom first. In a scary or dangerous situation, everyone should know to call 911 first. You want help on the way ASAP.
- The girl shot the intruder through the closet door. Yes, I know she had a reasonable assumption that it was the bad guy that she was shooting at but it could have ended up that the bad guy left and her mom came home and went to the closet where she told her daughter to hide and this would have turned out very badly. tldr; shooting through a door or anything else that doesn't give you a clear view of your target is a bad idea.
The bottom line: yes it is a good idea to teach your kids how to shoot a firearm. As soon as your kids are able to, they should learn about firearms, know how to take care of them, and know how to handle them safely. However...you want to take as many precautions as possible so that a child would never find themselves in the above situation including teaching them what to do when a stranger comes to the door, having a security system with a panic alarm, and having a "safe room" that would be difficult and time consuming for the burglar to get into. Fortunately this story had a happy ending...