Illustration by Jim Brown

I was sent out of town to partake in a continuing education training program for work. One evening, one of the companies sponsoring the event held a dinner party at the restaurant in the hotel where I was staying. After my share of free food, I headed outside for a cigarette. When I was done, I turned to go back inside but the door was locked. Before I could leave the small, railed-off area, I was stopped by a man claiming that he had car trouble and needed money. His story was elaborate, and the more he spoke, the more it didn’t make sense. Though I’m not from the city where the training was being held at, I am very familiar with the area and the location of the major expressways that surround the city. He told me that he had hit a pothole while exiting the off-ramp and it destroyed his tire and his wheel and that the car was towed to a garage a few blocks away and that he was $40 short of getting it fixed.

While telling me his story, I immediately knew that this guy was full of it, and, by his appearance and mannerisms, he was high on something. I kept trying to maneuver around him and he kept stepping in front of me. I also kept telling him that I had no cash and couldn’t help him out. After several more minutes of this guy arguing his case, he finally said, “Look man, you gotta have SOMETHING on you!”

At that moment he looked as if he was going for a weapon in his pocket. I immediately replied, “You’re right!” I lifted up the right side of my coat, revealing my compact 9mm. The man immediately stepped back, threw up his hands and loudly stated, “We’re cool, man, we’re cool!” and ran away.

I am thankful that I did not have to draw the weapon. I am even more thankful that I live in a state that allows law-abiding citizens to carry protection. I have read many similar stories in these pages where the outcome was significantly different. ——CP, IN

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Illustration by Jim Brown I was sent out of town to partake in a…