Living Scared: Dunta Robinson

In September 2007, Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson was the victim of an armed robbery at his gated-community home near Houston. This is the first time the 26-year-old has spoken publicly in detail about the incident.

I never owned a gun, never thought I needed a gun—until I was robbed at gunpoint in my own home.

It was a Saturday. I'm watching college football on my couch. I look up, and guys are barging into my house, pushing guns in my face. Laid down, duct-taped, arms and legs bound behind me on my living room floor, with my kids pushed into a closet.

Scariest moment of my life.

You hear lots of stories about guys getting robbed, and you say, Man, what were they doing, how did they get into that situation? Flashy guys. Rude guys. Guys who act like they're better than everybody. I don't roll like that, and it still happened to me. I'm young. I have money. I have what they want. I definitely felt targeted, just like everyone in my position is a target.

The hardest part was that it involved my family. My son was 2, my daughter 4 or 5 months. I wanted to run, then I wanted to fight. But you can't react like Scarface in the movies, go nuts and still get out of the situation alive—this is real life. As tough as I think I am, I had to give it up, get down on the floor and do everything they asked. You can defend yourself by fighting or by thinking. I chose thinking.

What let me know I wasn't going to die was they kept calling me by my first name. I saw them looking at my face, then back to the football pictures on the wall, then one of the guys was like, "You're a good player, so I'm not going to kill you."

The whole thing really hit home for me a couple months later when Sean Taylor was killed. My mom called me crying, yelling, saying over and over, "You were just in that same situation." You see how quickly it could have went wrong.

As bad as it was, this experience changed my life for the better. It's a hard thing, as a player, to understand how vulnerable you are. What I say now is, "Hang with people who've got money. They won't want what you have if they have it."

I've heard the league say you don't need a gun. But if you haven't been in my situation, you really can't answer that question. I would never use a weapon in the wrong way or look for trouble. But I'll tell you this: I will protect my house.

My gun definitely makes me feel a little safer.