The decision to carry a concealed firearm for protection is a very personal one. It was for me. It is a decision that puts you within a split second of the ability to take a life or disfigure another human being. It is a decision that requires you to make profound changes in the way you conduct yourself while going about your daily routine if armed, and forces you to act more responsibly than you may be capable of. It is one of, if not the most important decision, you will ever make during your lifetime. To exercise this uniquely American right, the right to keep and bear arms…requires you to make an unbridled commitment to carry your firearm with you everywhere you go, every single day.
After receiving my permit, I became a fervent supporter of the right to concealed carry and practicing as much as possible with my firearms became a passion.
My Personal Self-Defense Experience
Several years ago, while driving down the road one Friday evening, I had a gun flashed at me while stopped in traffic. I had honked my horn at the car ahead of me for failing to move through a green light. I realized then that I deserved to be shot for being so foolish as to expect someone to move forward at a green light; however, everything turned out OK. It was at that exact moment that I made the decision to go the extra step and obtain a concealed carry license. I was fortunate that this incident did not lead to further violence as I was unarmed and most likely wouldn’t be here writing this article.
Firearms Became My Passion
After receiving my permit, I became a fervent supporter of the right to concealed carry and practicing as much as possible with my firearms became a passion. I took “one-on-one” personal tactical training and became a NRA Certified Instructor in three disciplines and although I had my permit and trained regularly, I still found myself carrying only when it was convenient—and comfortable. For example, I found myself leaving my gun behind when I went to get the car washed or to a movie with my wife. These places were right down the street from my house in a very nice area of town. I was certainly safe in my own neighborhood, right? I would soon find out just how wrong I really was and how lucky I was to be armed one particular morning.
Using My Concealed Carry in Self Defense
Shortly after the birth of my first child, while en route to work at 6:30 am, I found myself witness to an attempted carjacking directly in front of my vehicle while stopped at a traffic signal. When the two criminals were unable to get into the automobile in front of mine, they immediately turned their attention towards me. Within a split second, I was forced to make a life and death decision. I chose life—my own. From under my shirt, in an inside-the-waistband holster, I retrieved a Glock 36 and leveled it at the man bent on violently attacking my person in an attempt to take my car or worse. It was at this point that I realized just how valuable my training would become.
As my gun rested upon the steering wheel, business end flush against the windshield and held firmly in my grasp, everything I had been taught began to explode in my mind. My first thought was “watch his hands, not his eyes”, after which I began thinking about what or who was behind this dirt ball in the event I had to fire my weapon. Would I permanently lose my hearing from the explosion of my gun while firing inside the enclosed car? Where was his partner? Would my rounds continue in the intended direction after exiting my windshield? Watch his hands—watch his hands—WATCH HIS HANDS!
You must never take your safety for granted, as it is the ONE time you don’t have your firearm that will be the one time you let your guard down. It will be that ONE time that you become a victim…
This encounter had ended peacefully, but I had become a statistic. I became one of the estimated 2.5 million times a gun is used in self defense, in particular, one of the 90% of that 2.5 million who never had to fire a shot. The mere site of my firearm pointed directly at his chest was enough to stop the encounter in its tracks. The two individuals retreated to their car (probably not theirs to begin with) and escaped into traffic. But something more important had happened that morning…myself and those around me went home safe that day. My beautiful daughter Lindsey, now 2 years old (and her new baby brother Ryan), still have their father. The lone woman in that car in front of me wasn’t harmed, and any other potential victims of these two scum bags were spared, at least at that particular event.
It Ended Peacefully Because Someone Was Armed
The reason this situation ended peacefully was because someone was armed. If I had not had my weapon strapped to my body that morning two weeks before Thanksgiving, something terrible would likely have occurred. Someone may have been killed and that someone could have been me. My daughter would be fatherless, my son never born and my wife a widow.
A person more knowledgeable than myself who had been the victim of a violent armed assault and kidnapping once told me, “Never leave home without it, don’t get gas at the familiar station down the road, don’t go grocery shopping at the local market, don’t walk to the store to get your newspaper without your firearm”. You must never take your safety for granted, as it is the ONE time you don’t have your firearm that will be the one time you let your guard down. It will be that ONE time that you become a victim—And you may never get a second chance.