This is the third story in our series:
Every Woman has a Story to Tell, Inside Each there is Wisdom
*Disclaimer: This story comes from a reader who wishes to remain anonymous… for reasons that become evident as you read of her experience which now dates back over twenty years ago btw. Her experience and knowledge are still relevant. We will call her Tina, instead of Anonymous…
Tina’s story should compel each of us to pay attention to both state and federal laws pertaining to concealed carry. Also, if you are not clear about what constitutes a Use of Force or by what criterion a use of force might be deemed legally justified, be sure to get yourself seated in a Legal Use of Force class pdq (pretty darned quick!). Follow the link below to schedule your class now.
Further, we should be strong proponents of National Reciprocity legislation. Our right to carry, to defend, should not stop because we have crossed a state line.
On a personal level and on behalf of Pistol & Pluck, LLC I must state that I do not advocate violating local, state, or federal laws.
It was illegal for Rosa Parks to sit in the front section of a bus during the years of segregation. But thank God she did.
It often takes time for laws and common sense to align.
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After the phone call, Tina knew she would need to get on the road as soon as she could get herself packed.
Her grandma’s health had taken a steep decline—she would need to get to her as soon as possible. A fifteen-hour drive, Montana to Northern California stretched the distance between… What might be a final embrace.
Tina deliberated the necessities which proved unnecessarily difficult and readied herself for the trip.
What made it difficult, you might be wondering? Legislation pertaining to the Brady Bill would prohibit Tina from interstate travel with her legally owned firearm, even though she was licensed to carry in her home state Montana.
Gun laws affect the law abiding.
Neither state nor federal laws will deter a criminal because of their nature… to break laws!
Second Amendment rights should be upheld and supported, especially by women and those that love them.
In fact, Tina had just taken a Montana concealed carry class with a friend. It was this same friend who grew concerned that this emergency might force Tina to travel without her firearm… and thus expose her to risks, without the means to defend herself.
It is worth restating: it is the law-abiding citizen that concerns themselves with gun laws. A look at cities and states with the highest gun violence show that gun restrictions have no correlation to crime and your likelihood of being victimized by an offender with an illegally possessed firearm! 
Following their concealed carry class and knowing Tina was faced with the urgent need to visit her grandmother, Tina’s friend sent her this video of Dr. Suzanna Hupp. Dr. Hupp’s story is tragic and motivational. Listen as she shares her personal tragedy as she testifies before Congress, illustrating how good Americans suffer when bad gun laws are adopted…
After deliberation, Tina determined that she must bring along her sidearm. The strong testimony of Dr. Hupp was compelling and appealed to her logic.
Tina would not allow the devastation that Dr. Hupp had suffered to be in vain, nor her friend’s caution to fall upon deaf ears.
Her grandmother’s newly diagnosed cancer loomed heavy, making her prioritize this travel– though it meant having to travel alone, and a portion of it at night. To offset her risk of traveling under these circumstances, she would do as she was newly accustomed to and carry her firearm concealed inside her purse.
She would not go without the means to defend herself.
Many times, Tina had covered the 1,500-mile trip in one shot. Still in her early twenties, Tina thought she would do it again. But that yellow interstate line added up until her eyelids became too heavy to lift around the hour of 2 AM.
It would require rest before she could continue on.
Slowing, outside of Reno she spotted a roadside motel. It was the kind of place that makes you glad you won’t be staying long. The parking lot was dark and daunting, but she could park just outside her rented room. That meant the bed and much needed rest would only be a few feet away.
Just a few hours she told herself… and then she would get back on the road.
After visiting the office to request and pay for a room, Tina stopped at her car to grab her things.
She scanned the parking lot around her, noting it was too poorly lit to make her feel at ease. She took a little longer scanning to ensure her safety. Then stooping into the car, juggling purse, keys and luggage… she caught movement in her peripheral vision.
Three cars down from her stood a man watching her.
He was partially concealed by the body of the vehicle. And then he ducked quickly so that he was entirely hidden.
For Tina, that movement to conceal was a neon sign indicating that he meant trouble.
Her luggage dropped from her hands.
The curtain of fatigue that had compelled her to find this unsavory place fell. She was wide eyed, alert and activated.
She turned to face the back of her car, the direction she expected him to come.
Standing at the side of her car, Tina’s hands found the grip of her Glock stowed inside her purse.
The man she had seen for that flash second before ducking was now racing towards her at full speed.
Tina was still working to remove the full-size sidearm from her purse.
As he arrived near the corner of Tina’s bumper… perhaps it was surprise to see her squared up to meet him; or maybe he caught a glimpse of her pistol’s metal slide?
He slid to a stop!
On a dime, he turned and ran off! So committed to heading in the opposite direction, her would be assailant continued running and even leaped over the cinderblock wall separating the motel from the alleyway behind it!
No doubt he thought he could ambush her from behind as she walked to, or unlocked her room. Thankfully Tina was vigilant, spotted him and then took action to defend.
Too startled to sleep after that encounter, she phoned her dad. He encouraged her to leave that motel; it would offer no reprieve to our weary traveler.
Assisted by adrenaline, Tina was able to make it to her grandma and they were able to comfort one another.
Tina’s only regret, still to this day, is that she couldn’t call the police. A description of the incident would cause her to self- incriminate, she had been in possession of a firearm in the state of Nevada.
How sad is that? How many more women/people did that man go on to terrorize?
“Not legal, but not wrong” must best summarize the event if we are true advocates for women and a safe society.
This story is over twenty years in the past. Reciprocity still matters today.
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These stories are powerful within our arsenal of adaptation, growth, mindset and fortitude.
Showing a firearm is legally considered “brandishing” in some jurisdictions. Perform your Due Diligence as it relates to concealed carry and know the laws that govern the legality of it. I highly recommend using the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws by State interactive tool. It’s perfect when traveling to ensure that you are in the know:
If you carry, you must understand the laws that govern the Legal Use of Force. Get your seat situated in a class!
Truly… the fight to defend is far from over! An error, or even if you do everything correctly, can bankrupt you legally, financially, emotionally, possibly physically–
And it may spiritually challenge you, too.
I encourage you to become a USCCA member, as I am. It is first class training, carry insurance. Plus, it’s chock full of resources and inspiration. I do not sell it– but I do benefit (I receive a small credit that can be used for instructional aids, etc.) if you decide to purchase through my link which can be found right below this paragraph:
Obtaining facts to understand the frequency in which guns are used to deter violence (or provide any positive contributions to society for that matter) …. as one can imagine, become riddled with problems and a lack of subjectivity. For example, most media sources, when citing violent gun incidents include the frequency in which a gun is used to commit suicide.
Suicide is a tragic act and so very heartbreaking. It does not, however, belong in the same statistical category as homicides, aggravated batteries, forceable rape and robberies.
Myth: Guns are not a good deterrent to crime. (I think you will enjoy reading this list as much as I do.)
Fact: Guns prevent an estimated 2.5 million crimes a year or 6,849 every day. Most often, the gun is never fired, and no blood (including the criminal’s) is shed.
Fact: Every year 400,000 life-threatening violent crimes are prevented using firearms.
Fact: 60% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they knew the victim was armed. 40% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they thought the victim might be armed.
Fact: Felons report that they avoid entering houses where people are at home because they fear being shot.
Fact: 59% of the burglaries in Britain, which has tough gun control laws, are “hot burglaries” which are burglaries committed while the home is occupied by the owner/renter. By contrast, the U.S., with more lenient gun control laws, has a “hot burglary” rate of only 13%.
Fact: Washington DC has essentially banned gun ownership since 1976 and has a murder rate of 56.9 per 100,000. Across the river in Arlington, Virginia, gun ownership is less restricted. There, the murder rate is just 1.6 per 100,000, less than three percent of the Washington, DC rate.
Fact: 26% of all retail businesses report keeping a gun on the premises for crime control.
Fact: In 1982, Kennesaw, GA passed a law requiring heads of households to keep at least one firearm in the house. The residential burglary rate dropped 89% the following year.
Fact: A survey of felons revealed the following:
- 74% of felons agreed that, “One reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot during the crime.”
- 57% of felons polled agreed, “Criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.”
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Take Away Strategies for us to learn, relevant to Tina’s story and beyond…
Transitional spaces are problematic. A transitional space can be defined best through illustrative description. It is an area of unknown threat potential, between areas that can be described… as typically safe, i.e., from the safety of a locked car transitioning outside our vehicle and entering the public environment of a grocery store, motel, party, apartment, mall, post office, etc.
It’s the space between.
More examples of transitional spaces: Standing outside pumping fuel into our vehicle. (We are outside the safety of our locked car.) Away from the crowd inside a public bathroom. Walking from our car into our home. By the way, wait for the garage door to close behind you before stepping out (if you’re lucky and have one!).
I hope these examples clarify and provide you with the mental prompt, be more aware when headed into and inside transitional spaces.
We are particularly vulnerable when we are attending to our children, or our attention is divided for some other reason, or our hands are full.
Be sober inside transitional spaces. Travel with another if possible. Have proper tools, easily accessible for you to defend.
Learn how the keyless entry device works for your vehicle. One click driver door, two to unlock every door? This small bit of knowledge may serve you well one day.
As we step out into (especially low light) parking lots, we must operate with heightened awareness. Scan your environment and guard your space. Respect your intuition.
Carry tools to defend.
If your gut tells you something isn’t right, heed the warning.
Learn more strategies, obtain the skills to become your own first responder.
Allow these stories to motivate you. Obtain the training and skills, the practicum of applied knowledge, so that you will be prepared in the moment when you must stand capable to defend.
Got a story to share? I bet you do! And I bet it would benefit others to hear it…
I want to hear it! Text, call or email me, Cindy Frost via (406) 961 5375 or email@example.com
Text or call now to schedule your training (406) 961 5375
“Gun Facts | Guns and Their Use in Crime, Sources.”. http://www.gunfacts.info/gun-policy-info/crime-and-guns/#return-note-93-12