they were robbers ,nothing mentioned about them wanting to kill the woman

how did it save her life?
Actually, it was a home invasion, and those don't generally turn out well for the innocent people involved. If a robber just wants to rob, he'll wait until the house is empty - or at least the people have gone to bed - and will usually work alone. Three guys breaking in on a woman, who was apparently alone? She was smart to do what she did.
Hmmm.. sticky subject..
I hope you won't mind my rant! :-)

Yes, the woman was lucky/smart to have a gun, in this case..

But do guns save lives?
I have my doubts..

This is what I see:
I live in a country were guns are heavily regulated, as opposed to the US, where they're not.
A bunch of guys robbing a store while holding the people inside at gunpoint is extremely rare here. When it happens, it's the main item on the national news.
In the US, unfortunately it's a bit more common.

For a bunch of guys to break in and enter a house for the sole purpose of raping the woman living there, and carrying a gun, that's unheard of here.
I honestly cannot remember the last time anything like that was on the news here..

Of course we have crime here, I'm not =that= naive.. Unfortunately, stabbing and beating people to death does happen here, too.
And yes, there's the occasional underworld shooting/liquidation, which will promptly make the headlines and be the main item on the national news, regardless of where it happens..

So what do I see? I see a coutry with regulated guns, and very few shooting incidents.
And I see a country without gun regulation, where guns are used in crimes on a daily basis.

I saw the numbers once, about 10 years ago. How many people per 1000/10000/100000 died in shooting incidents in various countries in the western world that year. These rates were by far the highest for the US (I think it was about 20 times more than the other countries where guns were regulated).

So do guns save lives?
In some occasions they do, but those occasions could've been largely prevented altogether if guns were regulated.

Just MHO
since i live in the same country ;)

the robbery to gunpoint in stores happens more then you think. 2 years ago we had 2 in 6 months time ,you dont see it on the news coz you cooperate when it happens ,give the money and the airmiles if they want ;)its in and out within 2 minutes ,not much for the news to cover
Guess I have lived and worked in relatively safe places then.. I worked in a supermarket for 3 years on busy 'koopavonden' and saturdays.. not once did I even hear of a robbery happening on another day..
I also worked in a shoe store in Utrecht for 2 1/2 years. Utrecht is the fourth largest city in Holland. Again, never even an attempt..

But you're right, robberies at gunpoint have been becoming more 'commonplace' in recent years..
It's easy to forget when drawing from my own experience (and those of my RL friends) alone..
in the 11 years i work here ,we had 5 robberies (3 with gun ) all 5 were quick and with no injuries, i was never directly involved ,usualy in another part of the store at the time ,we kind of get trained not to play the hero and just do what ever they want ,beside that you have the usual junkies and alcoholics threatening you when you caught them stealing ,just ganging up with alot of personal ( passive) usualy helps to get the people to back down and leave or escort them to the back to wait for the cops

living in the second city of the country doesnt help apperantly ;)
What I think is different is in this country, it's a lot easier to get guns illegally. Criminals aren't about to go through all the hassle that law-abiding folks have to go through in order to get one.

Yes, guns are used for crime, but the statistics of people who have used guns to protect themselves, their families and their properties is nothing to sneeze at :)
Home invasions are *very* risky for the victim. Often the people breaking in realize it's easier to just kill the victim rather than risk leaving a live witness. And the US, whether we like it or not, is very violent country, and always has been.

Speaking as someone who's buried a murdered friend, I think the woman did the right thing.