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]

While attending a CCW class a few years ago, I met several very nice individuals from all walks of life. There were two physicians, one Rent-a-Center manager and a self-employed financial analyst. I looked around the room only after the instructor asked us to say our name and occupation, and why we decided to take the class. Some of the responses were common, with the exception of one from the financial analyst (who just happened to be a female). She said she had worked hard all her life, paying her own way through school with student loans and was a single mother, and felt that it was her right to protect her and her son lawfully. I thought to myself, “of all the bulls— things she could have said,” but she was totally sincere about her reason for getting her permit.

As we finished the classroom session and proceeded to the range part of the class, I noticed everything from a Colt Gold Cup to a Nighthawk Custom .45ACP. I myself had brought my Kimber Pro Elite (that I had carried since its purchase and have fired many, many rounds through). The lady I spoke of previously had a battered snub-nosed .38 Special. I heard some of the gentle giant-sized men make a few jokes about her choice of weapon, one saying, “Where’s the pink grips, honey?” She looked over at them and with a small smile said, “This was my father’s gun and when he passed he left it to me along with this.” She reached into her jacket pocket and showed them a badge. Once they looked at the badge, their arrogance and joking manner disappeared. Each one came over to her and shook her hand and apologized gracefully. At first I did not know what could have changed these guys so suddenly, but after the range part I heard what that badge had said. The badge belongs to a Sheriff of the county where we were mostly from and what he did in his decade of service was more than a lifetime of achievements for most Sheriffs. I really wish I could have put his name in this story, but due to the daughter’s privacy I will not.

Several months later, while at a convenience store waiting on my gas tank to fill, I looked over to the third set of pumps and saw “Sarah”. This was the financial analyst that had been in my class. She had seen me about the same time I had seen her and we motioned to meet each other across the street to talk briefly. She finished before me and went in to pay. As she came out of the store a man approached her and appeared to be asking for money. I later learned that she told him she would go back inside and buy him something to eat and drink, but refused to hand over any cash, knowing he would be going back into the store, but not for food, only drink.

He appeared to be intoxicated and although it was early summer, he had an old ranch-style coat on. As she made her way to her car, she had her keys in one hand and small bags of groceries in the other. As she began to put the key into the door and reach in to unlock the back door, I noticed the man walking toward her car and the closer he got the faster he appeared to be going. As I was getting out of my car (I was already across the street), I pulled my Kimber and just before I was going to make a verbal command, Sarah turned quickly, reaching into her pocket holster and stuck that same snub-nosed .38 Special right in front of him about 7 to 10 feet away. She said in a very calm voice to another patron going into the store to tell the manager to call 911 and tell them there was a guy very intoxicated making threatening gestures. Then she told the man (in the same calm tone she had requested a 911 call) that she had not killed anyone that day, but if he moved toward her in any way, he would be her first.

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