Some people would openly argue that the Second Amendment to the Constitution (the right to keep and bare arms) is a throwback to the Revolutionary War days and no longer applies in modern day society. Many people, especially those in the Security field, would adamantly argue otherwise. Last night something happened to one of my people that not only alarmed us as a team and a family, but opened my eyes to the ever pressing need for alertness and personal protection.
Brian left work at about Midnight when his girlfriend came to pick him up at the end of his shift. He had no gas in his truck, so they swung by a gas station in Lomita in order to fill up. As Brian stood there holding the pump and filling the tank, a large, black SUV came flying into the station, bouncing off the curb and catching a little air with the front tires. It skidded to a halt after about 4 feet and a man in his late 30's jumped out screaming.
"You a cop, Homie? You a cop?" He screamed at Brian.
Normal practice is to cover the uniform or to remove it completely and change out before leaving the post at the end of the night. Brian learned last night why that is one of the rules put in place for Officer safety. The guy came charging at Brian, still screaming. He appeared to not be completely lucid, and Brian suspected him of being on some sort of drug like methamphetamine from his actions and jerky movements. Since Brian had been a Torrance Police Department Explorer before coming to my Security team, he had training in how to handle this sort of a situation.
When the guy lunged at Brian, he grabbed the guys wrist and snapped it down. Then he used his foot on the guys stomach to shove him away. His girlfriend was frightened and jumped back into the truck when Brian urged her to. As the guy was faltering backwards, Brian opened up the drivers side back door of his truck and reached for a small handgun he had taken to the range just the day before. The clip, as according to Law, had been removed, but he reached for that at the same time. He shoved the clip into place, racked a round in the chamber, pulled back the hammer and screamed back at the guy. His first and only thought was to protect his girlfriend.
"Get on the ground" he screamed at the assailant. "Get on the ground, I'm not f*@#ing with you, get on the ground! Face down!"
The guy complied, and Brian placed his knees in the guys back. He held one arm behind the mans back as he holstered his weapon. Then he took his handcuffs out of his back pocket and attached it to the mans wrists. He patted him down for weapons, then his girlfriend, who had called 911, handed him the phone as he approached his vehicle. His girlfriend had already given the license plate and vehicle description to the Police. They said they were on the way. Brian told them that he would remain in place for a moment, but would get back into his vehicle and move to a safe distance as soon as he heard the sirens.
It wasn't another 30 seconds before he heard the wail of the sirens in the distance. He pulled the clip from the handgun, ejected the round from the chamber and stored all the pieces of the gun back the way the Law states they should be transported in a vehicle. Then he got into the truck and drove down the block.
As soon as the police had the assailant in the back of their car, Brian went back to the scene and explained what happened.
"I held him at gun point," Brian stated openly. "He was attacking me because he thought I was a cop. I just wanted to make sure my girlfriend was safe."
"You did the right thing," the Lomita Sheriff's Officer said, "but we may need to take your gun."
"Why?" he asked. "It's my Second Amendment right to have a gun as long as it's not concealed. I only used it in self defense."
Admitting that he was correct, the Officers only asked to see the weapon. They asked why he had it with him in the first place and he pulled out the business card of the gun range he had been to the previous day. He explained that he had been an avid target shooter since childhood and had several awards for marksmanship from his time in the Explorers program.
"So," the Officers said, "Do you want to be a Cop?"
"Yes, I always have wanted to."
So the fact that Brian had a gun with him may or may not have saved his life. Maybe he could have taken down this guy twice his size with nothing but sheer strength. Maybe it would have worked just fine. Or, maybe the guy would have overpowered him and raped his girlfriend right there in the gas station parking lot. We've had a Serial Rapist on the loose in the area lately - who knows if this was the guy. The fact remains, Brian acted fast and never had to fire a round. His having a weapon of self defense saved a few broken bones and blood stains on his uniform, be the blood from him or the assailant. It skipped right through the long battle that surely would have ensued had he not acted fast and pulled it out, ready to go.
I don't tell people if I do or do not have a gun. As far as I see it, it's none of their business. When people find out I'm in Security, often I get asked (mainly because I'm a thin and attractive female) where I carry my gun. I never tell them if I do or do not carry one, simply that I carry mine where I'm supposed to.
Brian is a 19 year old kid. Last night he may have possibly saved the lives of his 18 year old girlfriend, himself and the gas station attendant.
I'm very proud of my Officer for thinking fast in the situation he was forced to face head on. He never thought even for a second that "it's not fair" or "why me" or "this doesn't happen". Instead he jumped into action and proved himself, even at such a young age, to be a man worthy of note.
I want him by my side when the Zombie's attack. =o)