Scenario: Why I Carry

This is a discussion on Scenario: Why I Carry within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; On Christmas Eve in 2002, I took off work early to stop by the local Home Depot and buy my wife a new coffee pot ...

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Thread: Scenario: Why I Carry

  1. #1
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    Scenario: Why I Carry

    On Christmas Eve in 2002, I took off work early to stop by the local Home Depot and buy my wife a new coffee pot for Christmas. Since I work in a relatively high crime area in downtown Phoenix, I normally carry a S&W Model 5904 9mm with me to work most days. I was carrying on that day.

    There were quite a few people doing last minute shopping when I arrived at the Home Depot near my home. I found a parking spot on the north side of the parking lot along the chain link fence surrounding their Christmas tree lot. The fence had nylon windbreak fabric attached to it to which made my car somewhat secluded from view unless you were parked in the outer area of the parking lot. For those of you unfamiliar with Home Depot's store layout, you enter the store on one end of the building and exit at the other so, one way or the other you have to walk past all of the merchandise they have in front of the store. I had a pretty good walk since I was parked near the entrance on the north end.

    After nabbing the last coffee pot they had in stock and paying for it, I exited the store on the south end and started the hike across the parking lot toward my car. As I crossed the aisles in the parking lot, I noticed two guys walking toward the entrance to the store talking. As I passed them, out of the corner of my eye I noticed the man on the left turned left (away from the store). Since I am a naturally a somewhat susicious, and very aware, person it struck me as odd, but I continued on my way toward my car. As I walked, I continued to watch the person without making it obvious. I moved into the parking area, weaving through a couple of cars to see his reaction. His movements seemed to suggest he was attempting to intercept me somewhere along my path. My alarms were going off that something was indeed being planned for me. I reached in my pocket for my car key/remote entry and got ready to unlock the door with the remote. One last look revealed that he was still a ways behind me but still coming in my direction. I hit the remote to unlock the door, opened it, got in and closed the door, tossing the coffee pot in the floor of my car and reaching in my canvas briefcase for my handgun. As I pulled it from the case, the door of my car opened, I swung the pistol to the opening between the door and the doorjam and the guy found himself with my Smith about 2" from his chest. His left hand was still on the door handle, his right in his coat pocket. For what seemed like an eternity, he looked at the barrel and I looked at the third button on his shirt. A round was in the chamber, the safety came off as the barrel was coming onto target and my finger had assumed it's position just barely touching the trigger. My mind was processing what had and what was about to happen with amazing clarity. Time seemed to have stopped. I knew, with absolute certainty what my course of action was going to be. If the hand in his pocket moved AT ALL or he made ANY aggressive movement, I was going to send him to meet his maker.

    After a few seconds, our eyes met, he took a step backward, removing his hand from my car door and he ran. I sat in my car, barrel still on the spot that his shirt button had occupied for a few more seconds before moving my finger outside the trigger guard, pushing the safety back on and putting the gun down in my lap. With the mental clarity and calmness subsiding it never even occured to me to follow or chase him or otherwise see where he was going. I simply set there for about five minutes allowing my heart to slow down to a more normal rate and then left for home. It occured to me when I pulled into the driveway that I probably should have called the police.

    Several things surprised me after it was all over. The most notable was the "zone" that my mind seemed to have entered as the pistol came out of the case. The adrenelin rush that I was experiencing a few seconds earlier seemed to be gone and as time slowed, it seemed that I had all the time in the world to decide what I was going to do. His actions in opening the door and mine of getting on target seemed distinctly choreographed or rehearsed. It was almost as if I was watching a movie. In the space of no more than a couple of seconds, I had completely reviewed what had taken place and decided his fate if he made the wrong decision. Having gone through the police academy many years earlier as a reserve police officer and being an observant person, you would think I could have described the person in some level of detail. I couldn't, except for the button. It was a round, cream-colored button with four holes. It had been hand sewn on by someone that wasn't very good at sewing. He was a male. He was of mexican descent. He could run fast. That is the best decription that I can come up with. Go figure.

    Did he believe me to be a non-threatening businessman that was not likely to be armed? An easy mark to rob? Or carjack? Or did he just want the coffee pot? I don't know what, exactly, his intentions were, but I have to give him credit for ultimately making the right decision. I'm glad I didn't have to shoot, but he will never know how close I came....

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  3. #2
    New Member Array Buddy's Avatar
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    It's this sentiment that was stressed over and over in my ccw class. Judgement and restraint are still possible in \"crazy making\" situations.

  4. #3
    New Member Array fiVe's Avatar
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    Bumper,

    Your calm & control in such a situation is truly amazing.

    I have not experienced any kind of danger, but two events contributed to my decision to get my CWL.....

    Sept. 11 - looking back I see that this day planted a seed inside me about my protection and my family's protection. This seed would 'germinate'for a year.

    The Carr Brothers & the Wichita Massacre - I found this story in Sept. 2002 & for some reason it just really hit me hard. The lone survivor stated that as she was being raped on the floor, the guy had laid his pistol (a Bersa .380) right beside her. She said it would\'ve been so easy to just pick it up and shoot the animal, but she did not know how to use it, and therefore did not even try. It was just such a tragedy to me, and I determined then that I needed to be ready for such (heaven forbid it ever happen) and that I wanted my wife to at least know how to handle a gun. Thus, after the necessary preparation, paperwork, fees, waiting, etc., I received my FL CWL in early April, 2003. I'm a federal employee and cannot carry at work, but whenever I can, I carry.

    Bumper, I have to believe that if you had pulled the trigger it would've been a righteous shoot. He may never know how close he came to eternity, but hopefully the utter shock of that barrel instantly reformed him into a law abiding citizen.

    Thanks for posting your story.

    R/ fiVe

  5. #4
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    I really don't know if it's amazing or not. I suspect that it is just normal. I always thought that I just didn't have the time to do anything but what I had to do. My heart was anything but calm after it was all over. My firearms training kicked in that day, my observation skills failed miserably as far as being able to describe the guy in any detail.

    I don't know how it would have gone had shot him. I guess that depends on what was in his pocket and whether he was a documented bad guy or a lifetime alter boy. I would like to think they would have just stamped "justified" on it and let me go on my way. In today's world I'm not so sure.....

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    New Member Array Fignozzle's Avatar
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    fiVe- you said
    I have not experienced any kind of danger, but two events contributed to my decision to get my CWL..... 9/11....
    Funny, but I grew up hunting and did some military time early on, but had become a bit of a sheeple/hippie/blissninny until 9/11. It awakened something in me as well. I realized at that time I had to become a Sheepdog.

    Also, shortly thereafter, my wife was accosted. Since we had both begun to take steps to prepare for such an event, it ended favorably for us. Thank God.

    I\'ll post the story when I get time to find it.

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    Well done, sir. You did exactly the right thing. Bad guy gone,(needing new pair of shorts), no use of force beyond display, and no lengthy court case/civil suit/legal fees.
    As for me, I work in prison. I see the scumbags that walk around breathing our air. I worked lock down for 2.5 years, and looked into the face of Pure Evil. Why do I carry a gun? Because Evil gets out on parole next Tuesday....

  8. #7
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    I don't know how you remained so calm, you done good! A guy trying to make entry as into your car has many unknown issues attached. Over our way there have been just to many cases that when the intruder gets what he wants(the car) he will turn and kill you as you lay on the pavement. You are one alert guy, a lesson for us all.

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    Bumper...

  10. #9
    Member Array JCox's Avatar
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    I love it, I just love it.

    Bumper, if you are still here, read your U2U, ASAP

  11. #10
    New Member Array John R's Avatar
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    You done well, I hope if I'm ever in a situation like that I'll do as good.
    :kay:

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    My girlfriend (at the time) and I had 2 experiences while being together. One was plenty enough to change her negative perception about why I carry ALL THE TIME, even in "paradise." Since that time, she has acquired a handgun for herself, and makes sure I don't forget my gun when we go out . It's a long write, so sometime in the future I will try to share it on this board.

  13. #12
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    In high school I was beaten by eight attackers - one of them armed. When the gunman realized his buddies weren't going to stick around to watch him shoot me, he lost his nerve. Twenty years later while working in a convenience/fishing tackle store an armed lunatic vowed to shoot me because I refused to check in his illegal deer.

    The first time I wasn't armed - the second time I was. When my second armed assailant started to draw his S&W .357 - he must have seen something in my eyes. Only I knew a .38 Charter in a shoot-thru pocket holster was in my hand and pointed at his chest. His revolver thankfully did not clear the holster so we did not reach the point of no return.

    Both of these situations happened in full view of multiple close witnesses. They all just stood and watched.

    If/when it happens - you are more on your own than you can imagine. Your vision "telescopes", time slows, the adrenaline dump makes your whole body hum. Weapon/ammo/holster/mode of carry/practice/tactics - yeah it's all important - but not nearly as important as keeping your gun and a clear head with you at all times. Alertness, focus and self-control are worth more than all the fancy gear in the entire world. While I certainly didn't choose it - experience has proven to be the best training I have ever had.

    In recent years my eldest daughter has been stalked by an ex-boyfriend who has not only vowed to kill her - he has already tried once. Out of fear for her safety, she and her three sons currently live with us. Next Monday morning the psycho will be in court for the third time to answer to various criminal charges - one a felony. The system may work yet - I have to believe it will. Still - he has repeatedly vowed to kill both of us. So unless the law expressly forbids it - I am armed and always will be.

    When it comes to facing a violent criminal - after these experiences - I've come to realize it's no longer "if" but "when".

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    New Member Array JepCheroke's Avatar
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    fiVe,

    You listed Sept. 11 & the Carr Brothers (who may no longer be put to death) as your reasons - there is one other that you forgot, the other Wichita favorite, BTK. My g/f's apt was entered MANY times (I say entered because nothing was ever broken) by a unknown person(s). Cops were called several times for B&E. I carry my Glock 17 probably about 50%. Now you guys may say why carry at all if I only carry like that. Well, I live in Wichita, and CCW is still illegal here :( . But illegal or not, if needed, I can & will have the ability to protect me & mine

  15. #14
    New Member Array christn waryr's Avatar
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    Thank's Bumper for sharing your episode in the parking lot. I read it to my wife to reinforce my telling her to be alert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by christn waryr
    Thank's Bumper for sharing your episode in the parking lot. I read it to my wife to reinforce my telling her to be alert.
    You're welcome and I think it is a good example of how most of these things go down, unexpectedly. The biggest thing I did wrong was not carry my gun on me....
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

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