My story is one of a woman traveling alone, in the middle of the day, on a rural highway and came up behind an older model, slow moving pickup truck with a middle aged man driving it. I noticed after a mile or two that he was making sexual gestures in his side mirror at me. So, the next opportunity I had to pass him, I did. Should be the end of that story, right? Well unfortunately it got much worse. Now he was tailgating me down the hill coming into town and now had my whole rear-view mirror to work with. He started taking off his shirt and looked to be touching himself. I was mortified to say the least. I blew through a yellow light and turned onto a busy highway and he stopped for the red light. I pulled into a gas station not far down the road because I needed to use the restroom and wanted to get something to drink. Not the best idea, looking back. I waited with my doors locked until I saw that he had moved on and passed me up. I had parked nose in facing the convenience store and he pulled in behind me and blocked my car in. This is when I grabbed my walther pk380 and had it ready to go. He came up to my door and reached for the handle only to see me holding my gun in my hand and turning to aim at him. He just had to see the gun in my hands to send him scrambling back to his vehicle to hurry and drive away. I called in the plates to the police and it was all over with but I was on high alert for several days following.
I have told my story countless times and about 70% of the time, someone will ignorantly say to me, “if you have to pull your firearm, you must use it!” I’m sorry but these people are very WRONG! In my case, I had several things working against my being able to shoot. He was at an angle next to my vehicle that I was not able to get a clear shot. Second, there were a lot of cars and people around and if I missed I could have hurt someone else who was not involved. Also, he was not carrying any kind of weapon to assault me with. You always have to consider the aftermath of shooting someone in self defense. If all things were working together, I was prepared to shoot but my situational awareness kicked in and it was not a good option.
There are other instances of not shooting but being able to safely mediate a situation just by having your firearm in hand. I recently watched this video which started my train of thought on writing this piece. Not every situation where you are forced to pull a firearm needs to end in tragedy.
The other example I can recall is the Clackamas mall shooting in Oregon a couple years ago. This was where I grew up so it hit very close to home and I visited the mall and paid my respects to the people who lost their lives on that tragic day. It could have been much worse than it turned out though. I think it was only reported locally that the shooter ended up killing himself because he saw a man had a pistol locked on him but was unable to shoot him because of all the people around and was not comfortable taking the shot at the risk of hurting another innocent person. The media didn’t spend very long on this story because it was very close to the Sandy Hook shooting but I think it was also because it had an outcome that didn’t agree with the anti-gun narrative. This man is the hero in my book!
The moral of the story is that just because you conceal and carry a firearm, ready to go in an emergency doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train with the thought that you may only need to pull it and not fire it. Which, as many feel, is the most optimistic outcome of all. Good training equals good shooting and awareness! Just because you draw your weapon does not mean the situation is right for you to shoot. Train yourself for situational awareness and you too will be well prepared!!
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