I wasn’t going to post this but I thought it might be a good reminder for everyone since we all tend to be a little lax in our daily routines sometimes. Over the last few months I’ve given away or sold several guns since I can only shoot and use just so many. My carry gun went to a family member and I don’t regret that in the least and I had plans to replace it, really I did. Therein lies the problem because that left me without a daily carry gun. I live in a town where drive-by shootings have become commonplace and hearing about another shooting is just a normal thing when reading the morning paper. I stopped by Sears yesterday to pick up some new jeans and when I went through the checkout I was looking straight into the tool department. I just naturally headed through the tool department since 99% of the time that’s the way I come in. About half way through I realized that I was headed towards the wrong exit. No big deal I thought to myself and I’ll just go out the south mall entrance and walk around the outside to the West parking lot where my truck was. As I got around to the West side and crossed the traffic lane I walked up behind a full sized pickup with canopy. My truck was parked farther out along the line of vehicles and the lot was pretty full. Just as I got straight behind the pickup two Hispanics stepped out in front of me. One of them said “Hey #### @@@@ got any money?” I have no idea what the second and third words were and it was evident they spoke very poor English. Although they made no direct threats, showed no weapons and demanded nothing I knew what the situation was and what the probable outcome could be. They were dressed in typical Hispanic clothes, dark pants and dark sweatshirts with the hoods pulled up. This describes about 90 % of the illegals around here. In situations like this I tend to stay calm and don’t get excited until later. I had turned slightly to my right when they stepped out. I instinctively swept my coat up with my hand and then it went to the spot where there should have been a gun but as I was moving my hand to where the gun should be I realized there was nothing there. (Remember, some dummy had parted with his daily carry.) I held my hand in that spot with my thumb holding my coat up and my right side was blocked from their direct view and that’s when my mind started buzzing. I had nothing to back up my move and I don’t know how long I hesitated. It seemed like a half hour but was probably only a couple of seconds in real world time. They both had their hands in the pockets of their hooded sweatshirts and never pulled them out. I simply help my hand position and asked them “how bad do you want to find out?” Now normally under these circumstances I would not have hesitated. The gun would have come out and if they made no immediate threatening moves I would have just held it pointed to the ground letting them know I meant business and then I would have suggested that for their own health maybe they should head in a different direction. About 2 or 3 seconds after I uttered those “famous, or was it stupid, words” one of them slapped the other one, nodded and they both turned and ran back along side the pickup truck I was standing behind. My wife told me later that she thinks I’ve watched too much TV. I stood there thinking, dummy, you don’t have a gun and the store door is across an open area to the right and my truck is probably 100 feet down the line of parked cars to my left. I decided to step to the left of the parked pickup and at least try to see where they went and to try and get a vehicle description. As I stepped to the left I couldn’t see them but noticed a vehicle moving out of the lot. The problem was, there wasn’t a single vehicle moving, there were three of them leaving the parking lot at the same time so I didn’t know which one they were in. I stood there for about 30 seconds to a minute just watching the parking lot hoping they had left and weren’t coming back. Then I walked on down to my pickup and sat in it for a minute or so still looking around. Then I got the shakes for minute or so because I knew the outcome could have been far worse than it was. Then I drove straight to Randy’s gun shop and picked up a new Glock. I’ve been looking at them over the last few weeks and really liked the look and feel of the 26 with mag extension. I’ve also been thinking about going to a 9mm for daily carry so I walked out with a new Glock 26, an arm load of ammo and a new ITAC holster. Now when I put my pants on in the morning that little 26 will be snuggled up against my hip and the next time problem comes up I won’t have to worry about my alligator mouth writing a check my parakeet butt can’t cache. The bluff worked this time but I will never push my luck like that again. Now there is another problem because of yesterday’s events. I was talking with my wife last night about what had happened and she wanted to see the 26. After a few seconds of fondling it she said, “That’s sweet, and……..I think it needs a twin”. Looks like I may be heading back to Randy’s. I told her she already had a daily carry gun in her purse but I don’t think she bought my reasoning. My whole point of all this babbling is most of us have concealed carry permits and most of us own one or more handguns. We think in our minds we are prepared and safe but how many of you actually have that revolver or pistol with you at all times and how many of you are just an unfortunate circumstance away from really needing to have something on your hip or in your pocket when you reach for it? One other time, about 16 or 17 years back, I had a situation come up, also involving Hispanics, and that time the gun did come out and that was sufficient to dissolve the threat and nothing big came of it. I may have even thought somewhere in the back of my mind that since I’d had one bad situation that I’d probably never have it happen again. But it did and I wasn’t prepared like I previously was. Next time I have to reach for something there’s going to be a reassuring object there when my hand gets there.