[Edit on 12/09/2010]: I requested a change to the thread's name, and I've decided to add something to this OP to better clarify the thread's intent.
There are dozens of threads, if not hundreds, with the subject "Why I/you/we CCW"...which is why I started this thread in the first place: to ask specifically about "Defining Moments" that you may have had, which led you to the decision to CCW. I haven't kept track of exact numbers, but a considerable portion of the posts -- particularly those more recent -- have been along the lines of "I CCW because..." which doesn't fit the thread's intent.
I'm not trying to play Moderator here, nor am I criticizing those who've posted "Why I Carry" responses to this thread; I'm simply wanting to remind folks that this thread is meant to be different from those "Why I Carry" threads.
[End of 12/09/2010 Edit]
I want to briefly describe two incidents that led me to the decision to carry a firearm for self-defense. And if YOU had a defining moment--or numerous ones--that led to your CCW decision, then I think it would be interesting to read about them.
My story isn't very exciting, but I do hope you'll share your "defining moment(s)" with your fellow GT'ers.
I grew up in a family that only occasionally hunted. My dad had a .22LR rifle and a bolt-action .30-06 for large game. As for "incidents," I'd witnessed a few road-rage episodes and the like, but no weapons were ever involved and no deadly threats--perhaps one possible threat of serious bodily harm at age 15 (road rage).
It was around October of 2002. My wife and I were talking about starting a family, and my mind was occupied by the responsibilities of a husband and future father. One morning I was listening to a local radio talk show (Bob Lonsberry -- www.lonsberry.com
) and he was talking about CCW (he's a CCW'er and a vocal advocate for it), and he urged his audience to read a column he'd written regarding CCW entitled "This is Why I Carry a Gun." (He wrote two versions: one version for a general audience and another version for Guns & Ammo
I read both articles, and it was as if lightning had struck me. Paternal instinct? Maybe so.
Long story short, from late 2002 till early 2003 I conducted my own crash course in firearms (handguns mostly) and CCW -- did so via the Internet, books, magazines, friends, etc. I'd handled Glocks in the gun shops and took a particular liking to the Glock 19, but budget constraints forced me to settle for a Kel-Tec P-11, which I eventually purchased in early summer of 2004 and could legally carry concealed one month later, UT permit in hand. (I eventually purchased a G19 and subsequently sold the P-11.)
Like I said, it's not that exciting a story.
Anyway, I hope you'll chime in and tell us about your