“It Happened To Me!”

Illustration by Jim Brown SILENT STANDOFF I had just returned…

Illustration by Jim Brown


I had just returned from a long vacation and was quietly working in the shop on my property when I got a phone call from my neighbor. She told me that an unusual man was at her door asking for permission to access the land behind her place. What she said then is, “I think he is casing the place for a burglary.”

So I quickly ran and locked my shop door. Then I grabbed my .40 pistol. I saw him open my front door and walk right in. At this point it was game on, so I quietly waited for him to turn his back to me and I snuck into a position of advantage with my pistol pointed squarely in his upper torso.

Luckily I had just shot a qualification course, along with a use of force class a week prior. But this guy was 6´3˝ and 235 pounds, and I wasn’t going to let him close any distance on me.

As he turned to look at me he was immediately startled, saying, “Oh s***! Where did you just come from?” I then told him to not make a move or he would die right where he stood.

The look on his face quickly turned from fear to aggression, and he tried to determine how to disarm me. We stood about 6 to 7 feet apart, with me now backed against my lower staircase for about four minutes. He never once complied with any of my demands to “lay down” or “back away.” He was looking me straight in the face as though he was thinking, “How can I get this gun from this guy?” But I knew for sure that wasn’t happening.

Realizing I was sensible enough not to shoot without just provocation, eventually he slowly walked toward the direction from which he came, eased into his truck and pulled away. I caught his physical description, remembered his plate, then ran for my phone and hit 911.

The responding deputies located his truck soon after. The crazy thing is, that dummy changed his plates to some stolen plates after leaving my house—tell me this wasn’t pre-planned.

He may have walked away that day, but he couldn’t run from the law. Thanks to the training I had received, I didn’t need to worry about any legal repercussions either.



In 2008, I was 22 years old. I had my concealed carry license and chose a .40 caliber for my sidearm. I was at home for summer break and taking day classes at a local community college. There, I met Stephanie, a beautiful and intelligent classmate who had no knowledge of or experience with firearms but was eager to learn. So after a little flirting and an exchange of numbers, we had a date.

I took her out to our family land 30 miles north of the college and brought along my sidearm of course, a select few shotguns and a .22 rifle. I proceeded to show her the proper technique for shooting. Turns out she wasn’t half bad. By the end of the day, she could at least hit the paper on the target. As it grew dark, we both grew hungry. We hopped in my 4×4 pickup truck and headed to town. After a nice dinner, we got back in the truck. She scooted into the middle seat and asked me if I knew of any quiet spots by the lake. Being an avid hunter and a young man, I had more than a few in mind. So we went down the road until the pavement ran out and we were on a peninsula known as Goose Island.

We found a place to park and she wanted to go for a swim so we left the truck and took off for the water about 75 yards away. After a half-hour we made our way back to the truck, but when we got in it wouldn’t start. I guessed I had flooded the carburetor, so I popped the hood. As I fiddled under the hood with her beside me, I heard the distinct sound of leaves crunching—and not like a deer. These footsteps were heavy but determined not to be. I turned around to face three teenagers who were obviously up to no good, judging by the bat, crowbar and machete.

They ordered me to stick my hands up. Stupidly I complied. I pushed Stephanie behind me, but she was not going to put up with this. As I held my hands in the air, my shirt rode up my side, exposing my handgun. She took this opportunity to remove my weapon from the holster and point it at the boys while screaming at the top of her lungs: “GET THE #$&% OUT OF HERE!” While not very ladylike, it was extremely effective—so much so that I heard one of those wannabe Deliverance rednecks swim for his life across the lake.

On the drive home, we were both rather shaken. Even still, Stephanie invited me inside. I think we both needed company more than anything, realizing that, had I not taught her to shoot or bring my sidearm, that could have been the worst—maybe the last—night of our lives. I am completely convinced that having my gun saved us both that night. Teaching the woman I cared for greatly how to use that sidearm did us well.


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