This isn't the first time I've had to use a firearm in self-defense. It's merely the first since I started blogging. But, several things come into play which I want to emphasize to anyone who happens to be reading this.On Sunday, I was hanging out with my daughter at my fiance's house. My future in-laws were there, the ladies doing wedding planning, my daughter and I watching a Narnia marathon, and a relaxing day being had by all. After the snow fall of the week prior, I decided it would be a good idea to wash the salt from the car before it had any more chance to corrode my paint and undercarriage, and make me another victim of the steel buckle of the rust belt.
As such, I asked my daughter if she would like to accompany me to the car wash. Her eyes lit up, and after the Narnia movie which was playing at the time ended, we were on our way.
Upon pulling into the parking lot, I noticed two young guys sitting on a curb along the back portion of the lot. They didn't strike me as significantly out of place, as there is a fair amount of pedestrian traffic there. This is not a bad part of town by any stretch of the imagination, and there are always people milling about.
As I rounded the back end of the car wash, I asked my daughter whether we should use the 'spray it yourself' or the automatic wash. She chose the automatic, as she enjoys watching the machine do the work. Since this particular car wash has no brushes or rollers or other 'things-which-hold-dirt-from-other-cars-and-use-it-to-scratch-mine' I conceded, and proceeded to the far end of the building, getting in line behind a dark purple Pontiac Grand Am.
At this point, I noticed that the Grand Am was a significant distance behind the next car up in line, but attributed that to the driver having the vehicle in park while waiting for others to move up, and being in no hurry, so I brushed it off. I looked into my mirror to chat with my daughter, and noticed out of the corner of my eye movement in my passenger side-view mirror. As I shifted focus to that mirror, I saw the aforementioned young men walking in the direction of my car, from behind. I then noticed that they both had their hands clutching things in such a way that I could not see what was in them. At this point, my senses went into overdrive, and I started taking in every detail of what they were doing.
They split up behind my car, one coming to the driver, the other remaining on the passenger side. At this point, I knew hesitation COULD prove to be a problem, and taking a simple precaution would cause no problems. So, without interrupting my daughter (who was talking about something which for the life of me I can't remember now), I drew my firearm from my holster, and held it against my chest, with the barrel directed at the driver's window. As the kids reached the front doors of my car, they turned to face it from both sides. I turned to look at the one on my left, made eye contact, raised my gun ever so slightly. His eyes widened, and he turned to run. I then looked to my right, and saw what was in the hand of the kid on the other side of the car. An ASP. At this point, I started to swing my firearm in his direction, expecting to have to fire it after he broke the glass. As soon as he saw what was in my hand, however, he also bolted. After he ran, the car in front of me (remember that dark purple Pontiac?) turned a tight turn, and booked it around the corner.
The kid who had been by my driver's side door ran through one of the DIY carwash stalls, shoving the guy who was washing his car. I watched him on the other side, as the other kid reached him, and then the car. They jumped in, and took off up the street.
My daughter, meanwhile, was blissfully unaware of the encounter. As a parent, I'm exceedingly grateful that I was not only able to protect her, but I was able to do it in such a fashion that she never had to feel any fear, and was able to continue her story with only a slight pause when she noticed the guys run from the car.
The entire incident took a very short amount of time. I couldn't begin to guess how long it did take, but even reviewing the slow-motion capture in my head, there was very little time involved.
Remember I said I wanted to point out a few things? Well, here are they key factors:
1 - It was broad daylight.
2 - It was in what is considered to be a safe area. A 'good part' of town.
3 - This area, on the whole, has a lower crime rate than most of the rest of the USA.
4 - I was not out looking for anything, instead trouble found me.
5 - If I did not pay attention to my surroundings, things could have gone very differently, especially if I was not already preparing as they were approaching.
6 - They did not have (that I was able to see) any firearms of their own. That would not have prevented them from perpetrating violence upon myself and my daughter.
7 - If I had been unarmed, or prevented from owning or carrying a weapon, it would not have ended so peacefully.
8 - One person against many doesn't stand a chance, without something to balance the odds. The threat of violence was sufficient to bring resolution to the situation without the need to follow through with the threat.
9 - I hope the thugs who sought to ambush me (or whoever happened to pull into the lot behind their getaway) will reconsider their plans, and realize that their victims may not be willing to be victimized.
This is just another reason why we have a 2nd amendment. Personal responsibility. Only I am able to protect myself and my family. I cannot rely on anyone else to do so.
UPDATE: I spoke with the police, and let them know about the event. I provided as detailed a description of all the actors as best as I was able, and they have filed it as something for which to be alert. No incident report, nothing else exciting.