Friday, May 13, 2011

A personal Gun story you won't see on the news!!

Every now and then I am truly amazed at the restraint which my fellow citizens are capable of. This is one persons true account of an expereince which we all hope to never go thru.

A little background
People who have read my other posts will know that I often talk about carrying a gun for the past 15 years, without incident. I have been in a few scuffles over that time, and I have never needed to pull out my gun, or even mention that I have it. There was even one occasion where the police came and questioned me after a fight, and it was no problem.

I am not a "sworn" officer, but I work for the state, and I do have permission to carry my personal weapon, even on state property. I had to jump through a couple of hoops, to make full disclosure and get an opinion from the legal department, but that is all done now.

Just for the record, I am also a decent sized guy, and the belly has recently gotten more than decent! I have salt and pepper (mostly salt) hair, I ride a Harley, and I have a little 95lb, blonde-headed wife, that attracts a lot of attention. (It is important for the story, I promise.)

So here's the story
My wife and I took off work last Wednesday, because we were fighting a red-light traffic ticket. After court, we went on a nice long motorcycle ride. I was wearing denim overalls, biker boots, and no shirt, my wife was wearing a little tight tank top and short cut-offs. We rode out deep into a state park, and after about 15 miles from the last main road, we stopped on a river bank and put down a blanket. We laid around for about an hour and a half. Long enough for me to smoke a nice big Camacho cigar.

When we got ready to leave, my wife grabbed the blanket, went up to the roadside, and proceeded to put the blanket into the saddle bags on the bike. I was still down a slight hill and out of sight putting out the cigar. This old beat up truck starts to drive by, then hits the brakes, pulls in slowly across from my wife. This was the first vehicle in almost 2 hours. Two nasty looking guys get out of the truck, and meander around for a second (they still don't see me, just a little blonde girl). I waited to see what was going to happen next, and sure enough, they both started walking across the road and back towards my wife. These guys look like they are straight out of Deliverance. All of my spidey senses were tingling. Then a nasty ol' lady gets out of the truck, puts the tailgate down, and starts moving things around to make room in the back?!?!? All of this happened in just a couple of moments. My wife stands up, notices everything, glances over her shoulder at me, and I just nod my head. She walks around the bike so that it is between her and them, and I start up the hill toward them.

NOW......this is where the gun comes in.
I reach back into my overalls, and flip the safety off of my .380. I reach into my front pocket and make sure my knife is quickly accessible, and I find the release button that springs it open. (Spring-assist knives are legal in Florida.) I stride up the hill, past the back of the bike and make eye contact. This is the first they have seen of me. Immediately, the woman by the truck stops what she is doing, and turns to watch. The two guys that are now approaching my wife and my bike, shuffle to a stop and kind of glance at each other. One is older, shorter, and rough looking, while the other is younger, and tall and lean.

I say, "Howdy fellas," and then stop and gingerly lean against the backrest on the bike, I maintain eye contact, and I keep my right hand just out of their sight. Now, my motorcycle is directly behind me, my wife is behind the motorcycle, and both men, the woman, and there truck are all in a line directly in front of me.

They didn't speak, but they stopped advancing, shuffled around in the road for a second, then the younger taller one begins to look up and down the river. The older one backs off slowly, but he is still very suspicious, because he doesn't just turn and walk away. He backs away until he can turn and say something to the woman. When he speaks to her, she starts to walk around and get into the truck, and I am afraid of what her intentions might be, so I speak again. I say, "Howdy, ma'am. You getting ready to do some fishing?" And, I start to walk towards them. As soon as I speak and start walking, the woman freezes, and the younger, taller man turns away quickly and goes to the back of their truck. The older man is mumbling something, he gets into the driver's seat of the truck and shuts the door. The woman gets in next, and then the young man jumps in the back. They drove away slowly, and as soon as they were out of range, we jumped on the bike and high-tailed it back to civilization.

Moral of the story
My record is still intact! I didn't have to pull my gun, or even mention my gun. BUT!!! It WAS a MAJOR factor in the encounter. The possible perpetrators knew that Florida permits concealed weapons, and they knew someone like me was likely to have one on me! Also, I knew that I had the gun, so I was confident in being assertive and diffusing the situation with my dominance. The gun played a major role, yet it never came out of its holster.

How many ways could this have gone wrong?

What if I had played a victim?
I could have attempted to just get on the bike and go, but Harleys don't always fire right up, and they likely would have gotten to me, before I got the bike started.

I could have acted like "prey" and attempted to befriend them, ignore them, or run from them, and they likely would have instinctually taken the role of "predator," and gave chase.

I could have acted overly aggressive, and then they would have been forced to defend themselves, and since I was outnumbered, things could have escalated quickly and ended badly.

Instead, I acted dominant, assertive, and confident enough to be a hard target, yet I didn't force them into a situation where they had to defend themselves. My wife used the natural cover of the bike to buy a little time, and they wisely chose to move on down the road somewhere. Everyone got to go home safely.

As soon as we reached a main road, we pulled over, and my wife was just shocked and stunned. I've been in many tense situations in my lifetime, but this was new to her! She said she had never felt the "willies" that bad in her entire life. She was scared to death! They were very obviously up to no good! I was also scared to death! I knew I was outnumbered, isolated, vulnerable, and with some enticing booty (literally and figuratively!!!)!!! We did the only thing we could do, and we got lucky, and it worked!

I don't know what their true intentions were, but I feel very lucky that this story has a boring conclusion, and I give 99% credit to the fact that I was carrying a gun! 1% goes to the fact that my wife and I have discussions about scenarios like this often enough to know how to react, and we kept cool heads.

These are the "Gun Stories" that never make the news. They are impossible to put into statistics. They won't make any headlines, and lawmakers won't hear about them. These are the "Gun Stories" that are more common than you might think!!

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