By Dan Wos
When I was a kid, my Dad took me out hunting and target shooting. He loved anything having to do with guns. Me, not so much. It just wasn’t my thing. I tried, but I just wasn’t interested. I mean, I didn’t dislike guns and I wasn’t scared of them. I just wasn’t all that interested.
When he would buy a new pistol, he would show it to me and I could tell he loved these things. Of course I showed interest and they were actually kinda’ cool, but I was more interested in my guitar so I never really jumped on board with the whole “gun thing.”
My Dad would even build his own rifles. I remember going down to the basement where he would be assembling old muzzle loader replicas, oiling the wood, staining and working on those things with such passion. I would later come to recognize and understand that kind of passion. For me, cars would bring out the same thing.
I was always aware of an “anti-gun” niche of people and they never really mattered to me because I didn’t have a vested interest in guns throughout most of my life. I just thought, “Some people like guns and some don’t. So what?”
It wasn’t until later in life that I started to see the importance and value of firearms.
One night my wife and I were coming out of a late movie at the mall theater in Albany, New York. We were walking down the dark sidewalk to the back parking lot. Sue was in the center of the sidewalk and I was to her right (closest to the curb).
A guy was walking the other way, coming directly toward her, also in the center of the sidewalk. He was about six foot five, maybe two hundred and fifty pounds. He wearing a hoodie, so I could barely see his face, but somehow I could tell that he wasn’t happy and he would not be moving to the side.
When you’re in a situation like this, it’s hard to rationalize it away. The “fight or flight” mechanism kicks in. As much as some people will tell you not to judge people or assume they are bad and looking for trouble, I challenge you to quiet your internal alarm bells when your mind and body are reacting to perceived danger. I don’t care who you are, you get scared. Fear creates a visceral response, whether we like it or not.
As this creep got closer to Sue, walking straight toward her, I was boiling over with adrenaline and trying to keep calm. “He is not moving to the side,” I thought. “He’s gonna run right into her.”
When he got about three feet away from her, she quickly moved to her right. He bumped her so hard in the shoulder that she bumped into me and knocked me off the curb. We both almost fell over. The hoodie-wearing guy kept walking down the center of the sidewalk like he owned it. This was no accident. He was clearly looking for trouble and trying to elicit a reaction out of me.
I turned around still holding her hand and was about to lay into that asshole. But before the words came out, visions of my wife, my son, my beautiful life and everything I’ve worked so hard to build flashed before my eyes.
I had a moment of reality in a time of sheer anger and fear. To be honest, I didn’t want to get hurt. Most importantly, I didn’t want my wife to get hurt. And if something extreme were to happen, I didn’t want my son to be alone.
Back in the time when I didn’t have those responsibilities, I would have given that thug a piece of my mind. That very well could have escalated from there. But somehow I had that moment of clarity. We slowly walked to the car as I bit my lip.
Once we were in the car we were silent for a few minutes. I slowly put the key in the ignition, turned to look at her, feeling more shameful, irresponsible and incapable than I have ever felt.
I told her I was sorry. I was sorry I’d put her in danger. I was sorry I could not have defended her against that monster if a life-threatening attack had ensued. I was sorry I was unable to protect and defend one of the two most important people in my life.
I realized in that moment that life is vulnerable and it is my responsibility to take care of and protect my family. I didn’t and couldn’t have done that and I was ashamed.
Throughout my life, I’ve seen some wild things, done some wild things and been in some wild situations. Let’s just say it’s a miracle I’m still here.
But I’m older now. I’d like to think I’m wiser, too, and beyond the point in my life that I want to be rolling around on the ground exchanging punches with anyone, let alone someone who has six inches and a good 50 pounds on me. I told Sue that as long as she was with me, I would never let her be defenseless like that again.
I told her I was getting a gun. I was driven by fear.
As I discuss in my Good Gun Bad Guy books, fear increases or decreases in direct proportion to the amount and quality of available information you have relevant to your needs.
Without a gun, my fear of an attack is greater. I don’t have enough information as to how to survive an attack. With a gun, I have a great deal more information about how to prevail. It doesn’t mean I will. But I have enough to keep my fear in [relative] check. Carrying a gun reduces my fear of violent attack and makes it easier to defend innocent life.
But to make this leap, first you have to get over your fear of guns.
Anti-gunners and the media (BIRM) constantly work to instill the fear of guns in people. They manipulate statistics, wave the bloody shirts of victims of firearms-related crimes and portray gun owners as trigger-happy, emotionally unstable, white supremacist racist rednecks.
They want people to think that guns just “go off” all by themselves. That guns are dangerous just sitting there. That we are less safe just by having them in our homes.
They use fear to manipulate people into supporting their agenda. They do their best to keep information about the positive side of gun ownership out of the mainstream media and fight against genuine gun safety education. They don’t want people to have access to any positive information about guns.
Many people don’t know how ignorant they are about guns…until they suddenly discover that they need some hands-on information right now. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky as I am. Not everyone lives to acknowledge and correct that ignorance. To see the importance of armed defense. To embrace its value, master its practice and promote it to others so they, too, can protect themselves.
Those who don’t find out the truth about guns until it’s too late risk dying in fear. And that’s no way to go.
Dan Wos is the author of the Gun Gun Bad Guy series of books.
RE: “They manipulate statistics, wave the bloody shirts of victims of firearms-related crimes and portray gun owners as trigger-happy, emotionally unstable, white supremacist racist rednecks.”
Why yes Gun Control zealots do and they received almost no push back for it in the article. Opportunity to define their Gun Control as an agenda rooted in racism and genocide was squandered. Score another one for the anti gun crowd.
Anytime you fail to ground and pound gun control with the Truth About Gun Control the 2A loses.
Are you sure gun control is rooted in racism and genocide ?
I need clarification…..
Is gun control REALLY rooted in racism? I MEAN, IS IT REALLY..
… REALLY ROOTED RACISM???
I don’t understand….. can you please explain again…. what’s the root of racism…. and gun control….f k…. NOW I’M CONFUSED
Yes, the first victims of modern American gun control were slaves, freed men, people of color born free and abolitionists. Things got worse after the Civil War.
You wont believe us when we tell you that gun control started in many places and many were based in racism. In NY, it was to prevent the Italians from owning guns. California used it against African Americans. The worst thing about gun control is that most people don’t realize that it is based from racism. Please look it up so that you can be certain that no one is lying to you.
As for the statistics, it is a forgone conclusion that having a gun at home increases risks from being shot. If you don’t have a gun at home, you risk being among the 20,000 who die from non gunshot homicide.
If you own a gun, we know there are at least 60,000 to 2,600,000 defensive gun uses each year, which far outnumber your risks of homicide (as long as you aren’t a black male 18-35 years old). And if you are a black male 18-35, you still have some advantage.
So at the end of the day, you can choose to be a victim of crime or choose to accept a very very small risk of unintentional gun shot by being a firearm owner.
16 years old driving home from working the hay feilds. Got in a car race with poc waving ball bats out the window. I’ve carried a gunm ever since.
Picked up a hitch hiker once, he pulled a knife, I pulled a .44, he didn’t like riding with me anymore. Sometimes just having a gunm is enough, you dont have to shoot every time.
I had a similar revelation with my dad taking us shooting with his 22’s. Not my thing at the time either. But I was pretty big & strong for some 40 years from weightlifting & powerlifting. Not so much nearing 70. And my wife is quite adept at self-defense having taught it to other women. So I(WE) have multiple guns.
Just got home from the Lehigh Valley Tea Party meeting. Six candidates for various local and state primaries gave speeches. A few voiced strong support for the 2A. Black woman running for the state Supreme Court said “I am a black woman who lives and works in Philadelphia…so you know I carry”. Brought down the house.
Bought a couple of “Gun Raffle” tickets. They say one in every 100 tickets will win. So, I’m psyched. 🔫
Why didn’t you buy a hundred and hedge your bets?
I should have thought of that. You are one smart possum!
STAY SAFE N ALERT , IF CAN GET OUT OF THE WAY . FEAR OF GUNS , REALLY
FEAR OF IDIOTS CRAZY HUMAN / HUMANS WITH OR WITH OUT A GUN , WEAPON .
Fear the Humans, destroyers of all.
You dont know what you’ve got till its gone
put up a parking lot.
AAhhhhhh, Man, they used F4’s for target drones, Bummer, that’s almost sacrilegious. it is Sacrilegious.
Wheres Bloomberg’s money when you need it, I’d have bought a couple dozen.
Racism is rooted in genocide and gun control.
The Indians had Bows&Arrows.
F4’s were pretty jets, still hold records. As a Navy carrier guy once told me, the F4 Phantom is proof that with a jet engine, concrete can fly. Check out the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4CX-9lkRMQ
Station in Kyrgyzstan, went off base and got a taxi. Not sure where he started taking us but it sure wasn’t where we wanted. We ended up jumping out when he slowed down enough. I really wish we had our m-16s but even when we were on security, they gave us empty mags.
Avoidance is the first line of defense. See a dude like that on the sidewalk, change sidewalks! The only reasons not to are a) don’t see the threat; b) don’t want to look insensitive. Plenty of smart women walking alone in the city have crossed the street to avoid me — I never hold it against them, and neither would any honest man. Your safety trumps some invisible internal notion of righteousness.
I am armed at all times. When I see potential trouble coming toward me, I cross the street. Why not? I’d rather avoid trouble than have to defend against it. That’s just prudent.
If potential trouble follows me across the street, then I know it’s for real. Otherwise, it was never trouble to begin with and I can go back to Condition Yellow.
“Dan Wos is the author of the Gun Gun Bad Guy series of books.”
Is that book series Gun Gun Bad Guy a sequel to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?
Walking down the street on the way to lunch, black-guy-in-a-hoodie passed us by, turned around and started approaching us from behind. There were three of us—two old white guys and a very attractive women in between. Suddenly, hoodie-guy decided it would be a good idea to cross the street. Later when I talked to my street-smart friend he explained that he had clocked hoodie-guy, had pulled out his knife and held it open against his leg so it was just visible enough that hoodie-guy could see it. That was enough to cause him to decide to change direction. Lesson learned. The Really Bad Thing can happen anywhere. Always be armed.
If the author is actually implying he would have called out the bully if only he’d been armed, then he hasn’t learned anything at all.
Know where the exits and tactical cover are. Look around and pay attention to potential trouble before it gets too close. Avoid conflict. The gun must always be the last resort and never let your carry piece give you a false sense of power or righteousness.
having a gun with you at all times is always a good idea. but in the story above a gun would not have changed anything. learning to avoid, as well as learning some sort of reality self defense, and having other alternative weapons on you is also a good idea. non lethal or less lethal weapons gives you more options, both hubby and wife as well as kids should learn how to defend themselves, and anything can be used as a weapon.
So this guy bought a gun because somebody bumped into his old lady on the sidewalk?
Saints preserve us, all is lost…
You’re an idiot. That is NOT the sole reason for his decision to carry.
Had my life endangered three separate times over the years, having a gun changed the outcome without ever having to fire a shot! I’d rather be judged by 12, than carried by six!
Dan Wos told my story in this article. I’m sure that many others had some event that got them off the fence.