Saturday, April 27, 2013
I Count Myself Lucky
The other day over lunch with a friend we got to talking about carrying and self-defense. I do really count myself lucky that in my entire life I've never needed a gun or a self-defense, granted there were plenty of times where it probably would have been handy but I think my keen sense kept me out of harms way.
Some of those instances are:
In high school I was walking home from school, I had to walk through City Park (Pueblo, CO) to get home, it's a very large park. I was probably about a block away from one of the picnic pavilions and there was this van parked in front of it. I watched as this lady got out and an argument occurred between her and the man she was with. It was pretty heated and the guy drove off, leaving her there. She was crying on the curbside when I got up to that point. I stopped to ask her if she was okay and she starts telling me all that transpired, things at that naive of an age I didn't need to be hearing and really couldn't empathize with her situation but I listened.
Well, I noticed the van coming back, by this time the women had calmed down considerably but I started getting a very weird feeling about the situation. The women comment that her husband was coming back and offers me a ride home, which I declined and decided to make a hasty "got to go" and crossed the street and went down the hill. I looked back to see if they were watching and sure enough both her and her "husband" were standing at the top of the hill watching me walk away. I really don't know if they had mal-intent but I wasn't going to stick around to find out.
Another time in Pueblo I was sitting down on the levee, at night, yes I know stupid but I was young. I was about a block from my car, I was trying to find something that I had lost. I looked up and I saw someone about two blocks away walking in my direction so I continued to look, keeping a cautious eye on them. The next time I looked he was at my car going from each car door trying to get into my car, I'm not sure if he noticed me at that time or not but all I could do was look in shock that this was going on and my only thought was the things in my car I could have used for a weapon and there I was standing there with only a flashlight. Well, the man sees me and starts heading in my direction. Once again I wasn't going to stick around to find out, forget the car, I turned and ran. Unfortunately it was a long run before I got somewhere public and at that hour most things were closed but fortunately there was a salon that was open so I asked to use their phone to call my mom to come get me.
Another time, once again in Pueblo (maybe small towns aren't so safe). I was skateboarding, at night, alone (yes once again stupid). I finished up and was about to load my board into my car when I noticed a man heading in my direction, I decided not to put it in my trunk and jumped into my car very quickly and locked the door. The man approached my window and tried to convince me to open the door, I started the car and drove off.
Another time, in Pueblo, at night but not a lone and in my car. I accidentally cut this guy off, it wasn't on purpose, I tried to wave an apology but he got very angry, too angry. I got to a stop light and he was behind me, he got out of his car, walked up to mine and was yelling and screaming. At first all I could do was stare in horror. He wanted me to get out of my car (geez, I'm a girl, what's he going to do fight me over a simple error) I looked at him for a minute and then just drove off, he proceeded to follow me, I tried to lose him for a time but he was persistant so I went into the park drove up on one of the bike trails (I knew them well) and hid. I watched the guy go round and round for half an hour trying to find me. I didn't want to drive home because I didn't want the man to know where I lived.
Another moment Christmas time (Denver), sometime in the last ten years. I was loading up my car getting ready to head to the airport to pick up my brother and head to Pueblo. I saw this man walking down the middle of the street towards where I was. I instantly got a bad feeling but I chose to not show fear, I acknowledged the man, looked him in the eyes. We had a brief exchange and I thought he had walked on but when I turned to get into my car he was in my passenger seat. Surprisingly, I didn't freak out, I just asked him what he thought he was doing, he said he was going with me and I just firmly told him to get out of my car and thankfully he did. The worst part though is that he stalked my house for three weeks after that. Unfortunately not my last stalker or my first.
I've had many other moments but those are the ones mentioned. I guess when I started to consider carrying and then later decided to take self-defense it was one of the things I asked myself about "why now" up until now I had been lucky and have never needed a gun, I am fortunate to have a keen sense of danger. Honestly I can't answer that with a definite answer. But I guess it comes down to, I decided to carry because I can and before the thought had never crossed my mind and besides just because in almost forty years I've been lucky and I hope to continue to be so but I like the saying, "It is better to have a gun and not need it than need one and not have it."