Dana Loesch is taking no chances. She has a handgun near her bed to stop any intruder – at least until she can access her home arsenal of rifles and shotguns.
She sometimes tucks a gun in the small of her back and even carries a knife in her bag.
Ms Loesch is the spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association (NRA), the slick-talking, fearless voice for gun rights who has shot to global prominence after the February 14 mass shooting at a Florida high school.
Before the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school attack that claimed 17 lives, few had probably heard the name Dana Loesch outside the United States.
Today, she is approaching the status of household name, the telegenic face of the fight against gun control in the US, and poster child for the conservative right.
But her pedigree would not make her an obvious contender.
Ms Loesch grew up in a Democrat-voting household and first gained a profile as a soft-mannered mummy blogger who never raised the issue of gun control among her posts on hand-me-downs and homeschooling.
In fact, she never even endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but rather Ted Cruz.
The 39-year-old mother-of-two was galvanised into action after she reported being threatened with violence by a listener of her radio show, The Dana Show. She soon took handgun classes and evolved into an outspoken advocate of gun rights.
“I wanted my kids to be able to look at their mom and be like, ‘She can take care of herself’,” she said at the time.
Ms Loesch claims she still receives constant death threats and has had to move several times for her family’s safety.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) October 16, 2017
Her modest desire for self-defence has since mushroomed into “an arsenal of firearms strategically placed in safes throughout her home”, according to a profile by The New York Times published last month.
She also keeps a sign in her front window which reads: “This home protected by the good lord and a gun. If you came here to steal or do harm, you might meet them both,” the NYT reported.
Ms Loesch was raised in the swing state of Missouri by liberal, working-class parents who were not vehemently pro-gun, but she remembers her father owning a gun to shoot the odd racoon or deer and recounts how her grandfather taught her to shoot a slug-gun in their backyard.
She was a Democrat while a journalism student at Missouri’s Webster University, but claims her faith was shaken by the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal. Her transition to fully fledged Republican was complete after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
From mummy blogger to gun lobbyist
Ms Loesch started her apolitical mummy blog, Mamalogues, in 2004, which was picked up by a St Louis paper as a column. Her arrival on the national landscape came with a nationally syndicated radio show, The Dana Show, which soon became a ratings winner.
She helped found the St Louis branch of the Tea Party, then joined Andrew Breitbart in 2010 at his alt-right website Breitbart News.
But she fell out with sacked Trump adviser Steve Bannon, Breitbart’s new executive chair, and in 2014 moved to Dallas, Texas, to work for conservative news network, The Blaze.
In 2014, she wrote a book, Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America, and was appointed the national spokeswoman for the NRA in February 2017, quickly stirring up a hornet’s nest with this incendiary and controversial recruitment ad.
The ad proved too much even for conservatives, with neoconservative commentator Bill Kristol calling it “ludicrous”, while some interpreted it as a belligerent threat to journalists.
She also courted controversy in 2012 when she applauded the US Marines who urinated on dead Taliban fighters.
“I want a million cool points for these guys,” she told her radio show audience.
But with an unprecedented mobilising against the gun lobby in the US, and the #boycottnra movement gaining real traction after the Florida shooting, Ms Loesch will be fronting arguably the NRA’s toughest challenge yet.