I live in one of those multi-building apartments that have a room in the basement of one of the buildings which is used as a laundry area (washers, dryers, folding tables, chairs and magazines to read, etc.). It became a habit to do my laundry after 10 PM since there was seldom any competition for the facilities that late.

During the cold winter months, it was not atypical to find a homeless person or two in the laundry room (which wasn\'t locked) trying to keep warm. Most of the time they didn\'t cause any trouble. Every once in a while they\'d ask for pocket change or a sandwich, and I\'d often oblige them. A couple of times, however, I\'d come in to do the laundry and one of these folks would be in there who was just a bit too drunk and extremely belligerent. In those cases, I\'d call the cops to remove them. One particularly memorable person wanted to pick a fight with me. After that, I became a bit more wary of these folks and started carrying a concealed pistol in with me - just in case.

During one of my late night trips to the laundry I had just finished loading my stuff into the washing machines when a tall muscular man (caucasian, in his late twenties or early thirties) came in the door. He looked a bit startled to see me there. I happened to notice that he had a crowbar in one hand and a large screwdriver in his back pocket. It didn\'t take long for me to figure out that he was there to rip off the coin boxes on the washer and dryer machines. When he saw that I had an inkling of what he was up to, he raised his fist (with the crowbar) at me and demanded that I hand over any money I had on me.

I happened to be carrying my pistol with me that night in my belt - concealed by a large sweatshirt. There was a folding table between me and him and he was between me and the door, so I couldn\'t run. He grabbed the table and started to pull it away so he could get to me. At that point I pulled up my sweatshirt so he could see the gun. He mumbled something that sounded like \"mother____er\" and ran out the door before I could get the gun out and point it. I stood there shaking for about a minute, until I got up the courage to look out the door and see if he was there waiting for me, or if he\'d gone. He appeared to have gone, so I beat feet out of there back to my apartment.

Now I had a choice to make. Should I call the cops or not? The state I live in allows you to keep a loaded gun in your home, your car or in your place of business. With a permit, you can carry a gun concealed on the streets with some limitations. I had no permit. I was sufficiently concerned about whether laundry room equals \"home\" that I didn\'t want to find out the hard way, so I did NOT report the incident. No one got hurt, and no shots were fired. No need to risk being charged with a possible misdemeanor.

I don\'t know if the guy\'s intent was to kill me or just scare me enough to give up my wallet (which I didn\'t even have on me - I left it back in my apartment). I couldn\'t take a chance finding out. By merely showing the gun, the situation was defused and no one was hurt.