Gun owners seem to subscribe to that old piece of proverbial wisdom, “It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”
YouTube user Fate of Destinee is one such gun owner. She revealed that she’s been carrying a concealed firearm for months now. She started off being hyper-aware of her firearm – she would constantly adjust her clothing and regularly think about when to draw her weapon.
After a while, though, she got used to it, so much so that it’s become a part of her daily routine as second nature as grabbing her purse before walking out the door.
“The responsibility of carrying hasn’t lost any of its weight, but the thought that I have a firearm on me isn’t popping up into my head all the time,” she said. But that led her to ask the question, “What if I had to draw my gun? I’m curious… have you ever found yourself in a conflict where, in a self-defense situation, you had to draw your firearm? Or even fire it?”
It’s a good question, and one that’s easy to overlook in the gun world. We as a community do tend to spend a lot of time focused on the future. We talk about what we will do on that fateful day when somebody crosses a line and forces us to draw. For some gun owners, though, that adrenaline-pumping day has already come and gone.
Fate of Destinee’s question elicited 31 pages of responses on her YouTube post. Not all of these commenters answered “yes,” of course, but many of them have been through that harrowing moment and shared their story. Perhaps it would be useful to take a step back and get some advice from somebody who’s already been through a life-or-death situation.
YouTube user conatuslife recalled, “I had to point my gun at someone once. He didn’t have a weapon but he was threatening to kill me. As soon as I presented the gun him and his buddy stopped dead in their tracks with the biggest eyes I’ve ever seen on a person. I had such bad tunnel vision I didn’t even notice the car with more of his friends 45 degrees to my left.”
Kingpepsi added his own story: “I have been carrying for 15 years now and I have only had to draw my gun once. I was driving home around 1 a.m. and I stopped behind a Ford Explorer at a stop sign. They weren’t moving so I honked my horn. Just as I did that four rather large men got out of the SUV with bats in hand and started off towards my car. They got about three steps in and I pulled my SIG and rested it on the dash in full view. I have never seen grown men drop weapons and run so fast. The looks on their faces were priceless.”
Some of the responses were a bit unexpected. Sharkinfested’s close encounter with a bear made him reconsider how he carries his firearm.
“While taking my dog out, I opened my door to a bear cub sitting in my backyard. My dog gave chase and then a second later she was running back with an angry mama bear on her heels! I drew my gun (a meager .38) and screamed at the bear. That startled her and she slowed just enough for my dog to get back in. I closed the door as the bear hit the steps. These days my dog is on a leash even in my backyard and my 1911 is on my hip. I’ve considered upgrading to a Ruger Alaskan in .454 Casull.”
Those are just a few of the replies. You can see the full list of responses here, but we’re more interested in our own set of readers. How many of you have actually been forced to draw your weapon? Did you learn anything from your experience? Is there anything that you wish you’d done differently?
Help out your fellow gun brethren by sharing some of your wisdom. We may make frequent trips to the range to practice with our firearms, but nothing can really replace genuine experience. Who knows? The real-life tips you offer could help to save someone’s life.