Editor’s Note: Combat Handguns pays $100 for each “It Happened To Me!” letter that we print. Send yours to Combat Handguns, 1115 Broadway, New York, NY 10010. Attention: “It Happened To Me!” or e-mail to [email protected]

Fourteen years ago, which feels just like yesterday, I was 13-years-old. My dad owned a construction company. He employed many inner city youth and constantly tried to help them improve their lives, teaching them carpentry, and being a good role model. My dad was the kind of person that would help anyone who wanted or needed help, a true good Samaritan.

One day he went to work, told me that he’d take me to work with him after I finished school and my homework, as he often did. Except this day, he never came back home from work. We called the police and my family tried calling him and searching for him to no prevail. As a kid, since my dad had never, not come from work before, I assumed that my dad and mom might be getting a divorce or separating for awhile. There was no other explanation I could think of to explain his disappearance.

Days went by and nothing. So I went to school for the next couple of days thinking that my parents were getting a divorce, until my entire family showed up during study hall at school. Everybody was crying. My sister said they found him, “He’s dead, somebody killed daddy.” My eyes still water like they did 14 years ago when I think about that moment that forever changed my life.

Two young boys that he’d employed, one 21 and the other 17-years-old, had decided to rob him one day. He gave them $50, his plastic watch and car. My dad didn’t have any money because he’d invested his life savings into starting his construction company. They gagged my dad’s mouth and then shot my father twice in the back of his head, execution style, with a small caliber pistol. They never found the gun, which was most likely thrown into the river, close to where they found his body.

I lost my dad and my best friend at the same time. The two murderers are doing a miniscule 15 to life, both eligible for parole this year. Many people who’ve endured what I have endured use their experiences to justify their anti-gun agendas. I, a gun violence victim, on the other hand, realize that a gun didn’t by itself, kill my dad. Two violent and “illegally armed” criminals killed my dad. I always wonder if Concealed Carry licenses had existed back then and my dad had armed himself that day, could my dad have prevented his own death. Maybe, but now it’s too late to save his life.

Packing 24/7/365 surely doesn’t make me invincible or immortal, but it definitely gives me a fighting chance to prevent my own death or the death of the innocent when the criminals shoot to kill.

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