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I know a thing or two about thwarting a carjacking. I did it. At about 6:20 am on a balmy November morning in Tampa, Florida on my way to work as I approached a traffic signal, a small Jeep Cherokee SUV pulled directly in front of me from a dead stop in the right lane. Blocking my ability to move forward, as cars piled up behind me, I was trapped. Two men exited  the vehicle. The driver wrapped his right hand in some type of white shirt, cloth or towel and yelled profanities in my direction telling me I was “next.”

He immediately began violently smashing his fist into the passenger window of a car off my front left bumper waiting in the left turn lane. His partner was jumping like a madman on the hood and pounding on the same vehicle, yelling and screaming, no doubt an attempt to frighten and distract the female occupant.

Turns out the driver wasn’t lying. He did turn his attention to me and I was “next.” Failing to break the window of the other car, I guess he figured I might be a better option. Grabbing the white cloth, I remember him re-wrapping it tightly around his fist again and mouthing off to me once more. If my memory serves me correctly after all these years, He screamed, “I said you were next, bitch,” as he took a step in my direction.

Unbeknownst to this miscreant, I was armed. As the events began unfolding in front of my car, I unlatched my seatbelt and unholstered my Glock 36, .45 ACP.  With a firm grip, I rested the firearm on my right thigh paying close attention to the events in front of me. In a matter of seconds, I was intimately involved as the man moved in my direction.

Too bad for him.

The moment he turned and began fidgeting with that cloth around his fist, I raised my right arm to meet my left hand and grip that Glock. Resting my wrists on top of the steering wheel, a firm grip on my handgun and the muzzle pointed directly at his face mere feet away, he stopped dead in his tracks.

Smart move. I would have killed him and thought nothing of it.

You see, I had already made the decision as the events played out that if he came at me, I was going to shoot him where he stood. I made the decision that I was going home to my two-week old baby girl (now 18 years-old), at the expense of his life and his buddy, if necessary.

Their call, not mine.

He flinched. Turns out he was smarter than I gave him credit for at the time. He backed off and yelled at his partner to do the same. I was now holding two criminals at gunpoint, from inside my vehicle, on a busy roadway at a traffic signal, when as fast as it erupted, it ended. Both men retreated to the vehicle in front of me and pushed their way through a row of stopped traffic speeding off in the opposite direction. The light changed and off we went. Like nothing happened.

Except it had happened.

Arriving at work less than five minutes later, I sat at my desk, put my head in my hands and fought an instant and brutal headache, likely the adrenaline rush draining out of my body. “What the fuck just happened,? I asked myself. It was over, I told myself. Done. I’m OK, that woman in the car is OK and we’re all going home. I called my wife, told her what happened and had a brief conversation with my business partner up in his office.

At lunch, I drove a couple of blocks over to a now closed Sonny’s Gun Shop. Way overpriced and staffed by extremely rude folks, Sonny’s wasn’t my first choice of retailers but at that moment, I really didn’t care. I walked in and bought a Smith and Wesson model 686, 4” .357 magnum revolver for my wife to keep in her car. I paid too much for it but it made me feel better. I left and went home, taking the rest of the day off.

I am often reminded of what happened that day simply because you never forget something like that, no matter how many years fade away, or when I read something that happens to someone else. That’s what prompted me to write this today. Fox DC is running a story about a grandmother in Washington, DC who was carjacked at gunpoint and luckily survived to talk about it. Another victim in what is a rise in violence in not only DC, but other large Democrat run cities as well. Needless to say she is scared out of her wits and talks about how she doesn’t want to live there any more and is seeing a therapist.

I get it.

What makes her story different from mine is the fact that I had a gun, lawfully used it to stop the crime against me before it even began and without ever firing a shot. In addition, I was able to buy my wife a new gun for her personal use within minutes of entering a gun shop right down the street from my office the same day. No waiting period, no hassle, just overpriced.

In DC, that’s impossible to do.

As such, I’m not going to sit here and pontificate how she should spend tons of money, take weeks and months of her time to go through the hoops the Democrats have thrown up to stop law-abiding citizens from being able to defend themselves in her city, unless she wants to. (I hope she does but I understand if moving out of town is easier for her)

Rather, I’ll remind you that having a gun and knowing how to use it, like it did for me that day years again in Tampa, may save your life one day. I’m convinced things would have turned out much different for me than it had, if I was willfully unarmed that morning. Instead? My wife still has her husband all these years later, my daughter is turning 19 in November and my son, soon to be 17 in September, was born two years later because I was alive. Not to mention 13 years of AAR, etc.

All of that and more, because I had a gun on November 18th, 2002. Funny how that works, huh?