Last weekend, I spent almost my entire Saturday in a classroom to test for my CHL (concealed handgun license). As of last year, it’s actually referred to an LTC (License to Carry) because the state of Texas passed open carry laws.
I’ve always enjoyed shooting sports. I love long-range shooting and I have a blast on the clay course. However, handguns were never my cup of tea. So, my decision to start carrying did not stem from my enjoyment of shooting. It stemmed from about 30 seconds when I was alone and afraid for my life.
I’ve always been an early riser. I like to wake up early, have my coffee, and get on with my day. At my last job, I was the only early bird. Every day, I was the first one in my office, and one of the first ones in the parking lot. One morning, as I pulled into my office parking lot, I noticed 4 men walking past on the road. I took notice, but didn’t pay it too much thought as behind our building there were a couple different apartment complexes. I had no reason to assume that they were doing anything other than walking home.
I parked my truck, stepped out of my vehicle, and then opened the back door to grab my laptop case and work bag. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the 4 men walking very quickly towards me from across the lot. My heart dropped and I looked around my truck quickly. I looked down at my buck knife in the door, but made the split decisions that I didn’t want to allow them to even get close enough to me to attempt to use it.
So, I ran…
I slammed the door of my truck and booked it towards my building, pacing up the stairs. The men didn’t stop, they just increased their speed, trying to get to me before I could make it in the doors.
I looked over my shoulder, another car pulled into the parking lot and they stopped in their tracks. I recognized the car as one of my co-worker’s. The men watched me go through the glass doors, and then turned to look at her car. She was smart to notice them and stay in her vehicle.
At that moment, I was afraid to leave her there in her car by herself. So, I made sure the men noticed me watching them from behind the glass. They stood there for a short moment, decided to cut their losses, and disappeared into the trees.
In those rapid moments, I felt helpless. The first thought that came to my mind when I saw them jogging toward me was “I wish I had a gun”. There was nothing I could have done to have protected myself. Had I not been aware of my surroundings or my co-worker hadn’t pulled up at the moment she did on that morning, the ending might have been very different.
That helpless feeling didn’t sit very well with me at all. I never wanted to feel that way again.
Women as Victims
It’s no secret that thieves and criminals often view women as easier targets. Most women aren’t as physically strong as a man, and a lot of women are often buried in their phones and not paying attention as they go about their days. Having a “get-off-me” cannon is not a guarantee that I won’t ever become a victim…but is sure as hell increases my chances of coming out of similar situations safely.
I want to be able to protect myself if something like that I ever happens again.
I’d encourage every woman to do everything they can to insure that they don’t become victims. If you’re not comfortable carrying a firearm, find something else that works for you. There are plenty of other options, including tasers and pepper spray. Always stay aware of your surroundings. Situational awareness could save you in a similar instance.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!