I'm new to Glock Talk and this is my first post. I am a former Police Officer of 16 years. I decided in 1999 I would hang it up and try something new. At first I felt funny not having a sidearm with me most of the time. As time went on I really didn't think about it much until about 3 weeks ago I stopped at a Shell Station to get gas. It was approx 2300 hrs and I was on my way home. A newer Cadillac with 4 young men pulled up to the other side of the gas pump. They didn't get out of there car, but I could see them out of the corner of my eye looking all around and seeing if anyone else was around. I figured turning the gas nozzle on them wouldn't be enough if they came toward me (though it was considered) so I leaned into my car and pretended like I was taking something out of my console and putting it down the front of my pants. When the individuals in the car saw me do this they backed up away from the pumps keeping there eyes on me and when they got far enough away they took off down the road. (It's funny, they must have not needed gas after all) I decided right then that I needed some protection. That was the first time I had felt vulnerable without some sort of protection. So I went to a local gun dealer and tried out several Glocks. Glock is what I carried on duty and I feel comfortable with them. I ended up purchasing a Model 19. This is a sweet shooting pistol. I scheduled to take a CWP class in mid April. Trying out these weapons was just like riding a bike. I had to make a few adjustments, but my groups were looking good and my confidence quickly returned. Plus the smell of the gun powder on the firing range brought back memories of good times. Years ago we didn't have problems on the streets like we are having now and I'm sensing things are going to get worse. The thugs are getting bolder and I am concerned for myself and my families safety. I guess the reason I'm writing this is for new gun owners. Learn everything you can about your weapons. Study some sort of self defense and weapon retention. Learn as much about civil liability and firearms safety as you can. Learn from shoot, don't shoot situations. A firearm is designed to do one thing and one thing only and you better be ready when the time comes and be responsible. I hope the day never comes, but it can come at anytime and especially when you don't expect it. If anyone reads this thread from Oakland California or Pittsburgh I am sorry for the loss of the brave men in uniform in your areas. This may well become a copy cat crime like shooting innocent kids in schools and elderly patients in nursing homes. I pray Police Officers don't become victims weekly of this type of incident. We must take our country back from these types of cowards and thugs.