This past December I took my wife and nine-month-old baby to do some Christmas shopping. When we arrived at the local store, the parking lot was full. After some driving we found a parking space at the back end.

That particular night it was 40 degrees outside. I slid on my jacket, and thought to myself, “just zip it up a little.” I opened my wife’s door; she was sitting behind the driver’s seat with our baby. As I picked up the diaper bag I noticed out of my peripheral vision someone walking towards us.

He was across the driving lane, by the other row of parked cars, shabbily dressed (only a dirty, light sweater on) and way bigger than me. It perked my curiosity and set some alarm bells off. After all, I was at the far end of a parking lot. There’s no reason for him to be walking directly to me. I looked up and gave him a friendly Texas smile and nod. He looked straight at me stone faced, and continued walking towards me. I quickly looked behind me to see if someone was coming up. There wasn’t, so I squared my stance and made sure I was between my wife, baby and the perceived threat. By then the man was halfway through the lane. He was staring straight at me, and had picked up speed. I unzipped my jacket and started to move my shirt. I could feel the Velcro strap of my pancake holster holding my Bersa.380ACP. The man stopped dead not more than 10 feet away from me. No words, just two cold stares exchanged between us. After a couple seconds he took two more steps towards me. I popped the strap and started to pull the gun’s grip. The look on his face changed. He made a perfect left hand turn and quickly walked away from the store and me.

Fortunately, I spent the rest of that shopping trip a shaky, sweaty mess, rather than becoming a victim, along with my wife and baby, of a violent crime. There is no doubt in my mind that following my instincts, as well as having my concealed carry, saved my rear end that day.

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