TIME: Your mother, she was your protector. She often carried a gun, she seemed very fond of guns. Did you inherit your mother's fondness for guns?
ANGELOU: Well, I do like to have guns around. I don't like to carry them. But if someone is going to come into my house, and I have not put out the welcome mat, I want to stop them.
TIME: Have you every fired a weapon?
ANGELOU: Of course!
TIME: At a person?
ANGELOU: I've fired it period, not at a person I hope. I was in my house in North Carolina. It was fall. I heard someone walking on the leaves. And somebody actually turned the knob, so I said, "Stand four feet back because I'm going to shoot now!" BOOM! BOOM! The police came by and said, "Ms. Angelou, the shots came from inside the house." I said, "Well, I don't know how that happened."