It never fails that when a terrible tragedy occurs involving a firearm, all of us responsibly armed Americans seem to get the blame. It’s erroneous. It’s unreasonable. It’s infuriating! When a drunk driver causes a deadly car wreck, no one says everyone who drinks is at fault. No one points fingers at those who drink alcohol moderately or responsibly or who choose to get a ride home after a long evening with the glass or the bottle. Nevertheless, when a violent criminal uses a gun to take the lives of innocent people, even more innocent people get hurt … as they become the recipients of evil looks, appalling treatment (online and in real life) and even death threats.
Dawn, a friend of mine (who is a fellow USCCA Training Counselor, firearms instructor and leader of The Well Armed Woman), shared something the other day that verified what all of us should already know: Those of us who support our 2nd Amendment right can be the targets of those who don’t. That’s why we must always be aware, always be careful, always be consistent and always be safe … especially when these folks decide — for whatever reason — that today’s the day they’re going to confront us, berate us or even try to harm us.
Here’s the incident that happened to Dawn recently (in the wake of the terrible Las Vegas shooting tragedy), in her own words:
As I waited at the light on Route 24, I had no idea there was a crazy man behind me until I made a left on 29 South, headed home. Apparently, he took offense to my license plate, which says, “We Shoot,” because I am a firearms instructor.
He passed me on 29, sticking his arm out the window, giving me the finger and screaming obscenities at me. He then pulled in front of my car and hit his brakes multiple times. So I slowed down and stayed quite a few car lengths behind him. He changed lanes several times, slowing down and trying to get me to come up beside him. But I refused.
He then got into the right-hand turn lane to turn at a street, stopped his car and waited for me to go by so he could scream more obscenities at me and wag his middle finger. I stayed calm and drove on … because that’s what law-abiding, legally armed citizens do.
Dawn mentioned that her only regret was not immediately calling the police. She stated she was so focused on driving carefully that she did not want to reach for her phone.
I admire Dawn’s calmness and her clear-headedness in this scenario. It can be easy for us to become angered, frustrated and distracted when someone is behaving so poorly … and so dangerously. And it can be maddening and disheartening to know that someone is acting this way toward us because of our personal choice to support a natural right for self-defense.
Thankfully, Dawn was physically unharmed. But the incident is not one she — or any of us — should soon forget. It’s an example. It’s a reminder. It’s a lesson. Bad things can happen to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. And, sadly, in today’s world, our desire to follow laws, be safe and never cause harm to innocent parties can be the precise reason for some people to do just the opposite.
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