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Defining Moment(s) that led to your decision to CCW

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by Wasatch, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. Unk


    Jul 27, 2010
    West Central FL
    The realization that you can accomplish more with a kind word and a gun, than a kind word alone.

    74 now, I've been carrying since I was 18, when our Uncle provided the 1911..and ammunition for it..fed and clothed me too.
  2. Mholnic


    May 26, 2012
    Hayden, Idaho
    (Long. Was feeling wordy, as is usual for me.)
    There was no single defining moment.. more a series of events and thoughts that culminated in my decision to arm myself.

    Years ago I read a news article (I don't remember where) about a young couple that was assaulted by several men. The guy was beaten to a pulp and then forced to watch as they repeatedly gang raped his girlfriend. It was just one story but it stuck with me, and I never looked at groups the same way again.. in fact I sort of obsessed over it.

    I started researching group dynamics and psychology, I read some incredibly gruesome accounts and watched some pretty gory videos. There's a shocking amount of footage out there showing different factions doing almost unimaginable things to each other. Beheadings, beatings, burnings, torture, etc.

    It changed the way I looked at both groups and individuals. It's not that I assumed that every group of guys walking towards me intended to beat me up and take my stuff, it's more that I came to recognize that if they wanted to there was nothing I could do about it. If they wanted to gang rape my SO I'd be powerless to stop it.

    That said, I was still strangely willing to interact with people I didn't know. I'd often give people rides.. I go stargazing a lot so I'd be coming home at 2-3am and if I saw someone on the side of the road I'd usually pull over and let them in. Most of the time I'd feel reasonably safe. Still, sometimes I had that uneasy feeling. Other times I was forced to reckon with the knowledge that the stranger in my car intended to do me harm.

    I picked a guy up around 1am, it was 27~ degrees out and he was walking along the Highway with a sleeping bag in his arms. We picked up his girlfriend and headed to the address he'd given me when he first entered. When she asked where we were going, he gave a second address... but we were not headed in that direction. Visibly confused, she asked a few minutes later. He gave a third address.

    I had the overwhelming feeling that I was about to be 'jacked' and was fortunate enough to see a local Sheriff out on an early-morning patrol. I flashed my lights at him a few times, pulled over and jumped out of the car. The homeless guy bolted, leaving his girlfriend in the car. The deputy drove up and asked if everything was alright, I explained and he called it in. Turns out the guy had a history of carjacking and they found a knife tucked into the sleeping bag he dropped a few yards from my car. Not sure if they ever caught him, but I'm glad I never found out what would've happened to me if I hadn't run into that deputy.

    Still, even that was (somehow) not enough. I just told myself that while it was dangerous, it was a situation I could easily avoid by not picking up strangers. Which.. amusingly, I still do. Way to mitigate risk, self! :whistling: So like I said.. it was the little things. It was going out for a late night run (pattern: night owl) and realizing that an approaching car has slowed down just a little too much, for a little too long. It was being screamed at through my driver's side window by some drunk who had gotten out of his car and was pacing around blocking traffic. It was Virginia Tech. It was Utoya (Norway). It was the ever-increasing feeling that the person most likely to defend me was.. me. And I was unarmed.

    I had the mindset and I was aware of my surroundings, but I lacked the ability to do anything about danger even if I saw it coming. I was constantly on my family about leaving the doors unlocked but I didn't put a lot of thought into exactly what I would do if some undesirable gained entrance to my house. Poke him with my knife?

    I had this desire to assist people when I was able, but overlooked the risks inherent to doing so. In fact the most recent event (the 'tipping-point', if you will) involved just that desire. I was pulling onto my street, seconds from home, as I happened to look up and see a man very clearly pushing a woman through their open 2nd story window. There was no doubt about it. He'd pushed her. I pulled into my driveway, got out and started walking to their house. Then I stopped. "What the hell am I doing?" I turned around and went home. Mad. Unlocked the door, walked in, locked the door. Really mad. Went to my bedroom, put away my stuff. Livid.

    I knew what I saw, but I'd turned around because I wasn't sure how to handle it. My cowardice and indecision were really pissing me off. What do I say when they answer the door? What will I do if she's hurt? I'm not very physically imposing (both a source of some shame and motivation as I hit the weights)... what if he attacks me? My anger won out. I walked back out, knocked on their door and the guy answered. I told him I'd seen a woman being pushed and asked if everything was alright (as my heart rate skyrockets).. he laughs and says yes. I say I'd like to hear it from her.. he calls, and she comes out saying they were just playing.

    No fireworks finish, just me looking stupid on my neighbor's doorstep. Still, I felt simultaneously relieved and disappointed. Relieved that she was unhurt and disappointed that I had, however briefly, entertained the idea of letting what appeared to be a violent domestic dispute continue. After my adrenaline dissipated and I managed to get to sleep, I woke up and started looking into carry options. I'd never carried but I've handled firearms enough that I'm comfortable with them.

    A few days ago I purchased a Glock 23, and I'm looking into something smaller (LCP, PM9) for those times when I can't conceal it. I won't fool myself into thinking that I can handle any situation, but I also won't be too tempted to turn my back on someone again.
    Last edited: May 28, 2012

  3. PaulMason


    Feb 10, 2010
    I would caution you that you are not the police. Most would say your primarily carry a gun to protect yourself and your family.
  4. Mholnic


    May 26, 2012
    Hayden, Idaho
    I realize that, I simply meant that what kept me from checking on her in the first place was an uncertainty and fear about what might happen to me if I was grossly overpowered by an angry abuser. That (fortunately) wasn't the case, but it could have been. Calling the police in that situation, prior to knowing what I know now, may have been wise.. but I figured that if anything was happening I should put a stop to it sooner rather than later. If she had been hurt I'd have certainly called the police, rather than trying to physically intervene. There was just that concern about what might happen to me in the interim.

    Basically I began carrying because I wish(ed) to feel less vulnerable on those occasions when I'm potentially at the mercy of someone able to do me great harm. I'm not a white knight of any sort, and don't intend to run around rescuing damsels in distress and looking for a reason to shoot someone. :cool:
  5. Chris Brines

    Chris Brines

    Feb 11, 2012
    1. Off duty police officer shot in the parking garage of my apt. complex, 15 minutes after I had left for work and in the exact spot my truck was parked.

    2. Man senselessly murdered, shot in the head while changing a flat tire, at a gas station I had been at a few hours earlier.

    3. Shootings, shootings and more shootings in my city, in my neighborhood, and for a 30 mile radius of my house

    4. What Thomas Jefferson said, every single one of his quotes are ingenious.

    5. It's a crazy world out there, and those of us who say "why carry a GUN?" I say, "why not?"

    They usually can not answer that question. You'll never catch me trying to be the "neighborhood hero", or the "hero who saved the day", but I will say this much...if someone pulls a gun in my presence for criminal intentions, then my life is in danger. I am not sitting around waiting, hoping they don't decide to shoot me while robbing the store, bank, or whatever else.

    For young bucks armed with nothing but fists, I have pepper spray. I would not wanna be the next you know who, but I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6, at least in Texas. God Bless America.
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  6. G23Skadoo


    Jun 4, 2012
    Well, the world has become much scarier in all aspects than when I was a kid. After my granpa passed away I wanted to know I would always be ready to protect my grandmother at a moments notice if ever need be. That feeling was reinforced once I met the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with.

    But after a man ate another mans face off BY GOD I WILL CARRY A FIREARM.
  7. 19x9


    Jun 7, 2012
    Jacksonville, FL
    I have three reasons. 1) My family, I have four, five, and seven year old daughters, and a wife that is very out spoken. Well lets just say for the better of myself and my family. 2) This world is definately not the same. While those of us with hope are still hanging on, there are alot of us that gave up years ago. That type of person doesn't care about their life, and you and your family are not even a concern when the thought of killing someone comes to mind. 3) Its my constitutional right, and im using it.
  8. ReyFufuRulesAll

    ReyFufuRulesAll Pantless Wonder

    Oct 30, 2006
    Crappleton, Wisconsin
    When WI started allowing it. :whistling:
  9. gibsonman


    May 20, 2012
    Not one moment, there are just are too many bad people, with bad intentions who will kill you if they can.
  10. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    In grade school my father (had served in Cook County during Prohib) informed me that I was going to learn to shoot.

    Spent two years (2 to 3 days a week, Summers) training me. I liked shooting.

    When my state law was passed permitting CCW, I funded the family with guns and training and permits. Since I could, I did.

    Later, my SIL got upset with me paying for my daughters divorce (for physical abuse), he was a convicted Felon, and said he was going to kill me and my wife and my daughter, and the kids, if they were with my daughter.

    Her attorney asked why I wasn't worried. I told him I caried a gun, my Daughter carried a gun, my whole family carried guns and we like shooting.

    He got a big laugh out of it. Turned out the BG SIL and his brother were afraid of guns.
  11. uaengineer


    Jun 21, 2012
    Bham, AL
    1. My constitutional right. Grew up shooting and loved it. Bought my 1st carry pistol at 21, got a permit right after, and carried to this day.

    2. Remember a story a few years back about a guy that stopped at Walmart on his way home from work to pick up some diapers for his new baby, and two thugs aged 19 and 17 I think, walked up to him and shot him in the head and stole his truck.

    3. Close calls I've had at various parking lots and gas stations. (If you're not aware of your surroundings, I believe pumping gas is one of your most vulnerable situations..along with anything in a parking lot). Used to live in sketchy areas and still pass through them.

    4. From above story and various stories about home invasions, gang rapes, etc that took place in neighborhoods around me and ones that you'd never think these things would happen, the determination that no one or group is going to do harm to myself or my family in any shape or form if I can help it. We don't have to back down, and we will never back down.

    5. Someone I work with's friend got stabbed getting out of his truck in his driveway a couple months ago. Was able to get to his LCP with Crimson Trace..put the laser in between the bad guy's eyes, pulled the trigger, and click..nothing..bad guy ran away(but that's another story I won't get into).
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  12. JimNH


    Sep 28, 2011
    I decided to carry a gun because being defenseless is foolish.

    There's no single defining moment; it came more in a series of conversations with friends who'd been robbed or were theorizing about what they'd do in the event that they were robbed. To me, most of their thinking came down to this:

    "My jewelry/money/other property is not worth my life, so I'd just give the guy what he wants."

    And they were often really defensive about this attitude, the same way people are often defensive about other "common sense" issues that are beyond the scope of this post. But, clearly, it was fear speaking for them, and fear tends to make pretty poor decisions.

    My attitude, however, is that you should always fight back if you have a reasonable opportunity. I imagine this attitude is more popular on this forum than in the general public. Not doing so emboldens criminals (and, frankly, makes a sucker out of you). If they have to wonder about whether they'll survive the incident, they'll sure as hell think twice about robbing or attacking someone.

    But I had some cognitive dissonance about this. When I was younger, I was robbed twice while working nights at a gas station, and I didn't employ any kind of defense either time. Part of it was that I was forbidden to do so by my employer, but the other part was this "common sense" idea of letting robbers have whatever they want, even if they give you a chance to shut 'em down.

    So, upon moving out of New York City (ugh) and into New Hampshire, I decided to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. I carry every day now, and woe to anyone who tries such a thing on me or in my presence again. Someone has to fight back, and the only person for whom I can make that choice is me.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
  13. Dustypuddle


    Apr 22, 2012
    Eastern Wa.
    I got my first ccw permit when I was 21 and let it go. I am now 58 and got another one and started to carry full time with the inside of waste band holster kahr cm9. I live in Eastern washington and we have a alot of not spose to be here's and I don't want to be with out one.
  14. Creatism


    Dec 25, 2011
    I initially got my permit cause thought it was "cool" that I could carry a gun. Had a ND and stopped carrying cause I had a LOT of thinking to do. It took about 6 months of soul searching but i came to the conclusion that i could indeed handle carrying a gun.
    Now for the incident that got me to my thinking on carrying. I fell on hard times it was pawn gun and pay rent or become homeless. So I pawned the gun and payed rent. Now while it was pawned, some idiot decided to break into my house, while I was home. Thank god I was able to get him to leave and nothing really came of it except a police report. After the incident the only thought going through my head was the "what ifs" I swear I had PTSD from it cause I new better and was unprepared for such an event, never again. As soon as I could I got my gun back and it has not left my hip since. Except when I pocket a 9mm, (my carry gun is a g36). From that day forward I vowed to be armed as close to 100% of the time as I could. So far I'm at 97-98% so not bad.

    Typed from my iPhone with my thumbs!!
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  15. JONEBGD.


    Jan 20, 2012
    My girl friend and I took a motocycle trip up to see Folsom Prison- after Johnny Cash's album from there. We were camped out by a small river close to the prison when, around, two AM, three guys walked up to our remote campsite as we lay in our bags. One had an axe and one had a pick. They said they were looking for firewood. I was petrified with fear. I had a full sized lighter that I pulled out of my pocket and flicked the top open which gave a distinct click sound in the still night air. I wished them luck - they looked at each other and moved down the river. We did not see them again. I have NEVER felt so in danger and helpless for my girfriend and myself in my life. NEVER again. I now have several hanguns. I carry and shoot for pleasure. I have never had to unholster any of my weapons, but it sure has felt good to know I am protected in certain situations since then because I do carry! That was forty years ago.... Jon
  16. Zeebra724


    Jun 19, 2012
    Mine isn't that exciting...but, I used to be a FedEx Express delivery/pickup courier in Norfolk, VA. My wife and I had just had our first son and I had considered getting my permit, especially since it was so easy in VA--also, a number of my buddies had theirs. I was delivering packages in the "projects" one afternoon and found a .357 Magnum casing in one of the sidewalk cracks--that did it for me--even though we lived in Chesapeake, if something randomly happened, I wanted to make sure it was my casings left in the sidewalk cracks instead of my (or my wife's/son's) killer's.
  17. JONEBGD.


    Jan 20, 2012
    Hey Zebra- EXCITING it doesn't have to be!!!! Increditible fear and helplessness is what I felt. I vowed I would never put myself or anyone I cared about in that position again and I have not. Good for you!! Take Care, Jon
  18. Ballisticism

    Ballisticism Spray & Pray

    Apr 29, 2012
    The pivotal moment which led to my decision to carry a firearm was when I was assaulted by 3 men who demanded money and probably attempted to rob me (I was choked into unconsciousness for a significant portion of the encounter, so I don't know what happened from the time the big guy got his arm around my neck to when I regained consciousness convulsing on the ground and he graciously granted me permission to leave), and my only recourse was to call the police afterwards and explain what happened, so that they could nod sympathetically and do nothing about it. It led me to realize that nobody else has the responsibility to defend me against attack, and that I have to do that for myself.
  19. Janieoakley

    Janieoakley G19 Packin Gal

    Jul 8, 2012
    Blaine, TN
    I decided to get my permit when I was a Realtor and had to go to some pretty dangerous areas at times. I was confronted once in my car during a drive by of a property I was getting ready to list. He was just trying to sell me drugs but when he saw the gun on the seat next to me I think he decided I didn't need any:) I haven't been without it since. I also NEVER go in Wal Mart without my Baby Glock:wow:
  20. CA Escapee

    CA Escapee Finally!

    Feb 15, 2012
    I got my permit ASAP when I moved back to the United States.

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012