Apocryphal Fiction regarding being armed, or not
This is in itself fiction but based on reports of genuine occurrences. It is meant to show plainly how events can occur totally out of control of our supposed and usually self-imposed feelings of invulnerability. If an individual takes the important decision to carry, it must be by all possible means a discipline for every waking hour.
No one has the means of precognition such that they can know with any certainty that their next outing will be trouble-free, and the same applies even at home. Who is at the door? What was that sound of breaking glass? A gun kept on the person at all times if possible can then be like the wrist watch - there all the time, if needed.
Jeremy was 48 when he died.
He was born in NW Pennsylvania near Newcastle and grew up on a farm with guns all around. He hunted and enjoyed shooting of all types, tho his favorite was perhaps long range rifle. He was lucky that during his teen years he was able to make good use of the 140 acre land his parents owned, to shoot out to five hundred yards. His eighteenth birthday present was a Tikka in .308, which soon became his favorite, both for long range and white tail hunting. Oddly his younger brother Brad had no interest in guns at all.
He left home aged 20, after some post graduation temporary jobs had earned him enough to go to the big city of Pittsburgh and find an apartment with his friend Mason - following having enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh to study for engineering. His academic time was trouble free and he majored in mechanical engineering at age 24. He was a grade A student.
Soon after, he got a lucky break after meeting a senior research engineer in a company based in Munroeville, just outside of Pittsburgh - where he found a position as a junior development engineer working on gas burners for assisted flu heaters. He gave up his old apartment and found a new one by himself close to work. Everything went well - over time he settled in and his position advanced such that by age 28 he was number two in his laboratory - life was good.
It was then that he met Nancy - a girl working in the company. They hit it off and a year later got married. By this time Jeremy was earning well and so he bought them a small house in nearby Murrysville - an ideal first home for young folks.
He had always kept a revolver under his pillow since early college days, plus a shotgun propped up in the closet - feeling that some in house protection was wise. He was lucky that Nancy respected this and he continued to follow much the same regime in the new house. Beyond this he was never too worried about self defence as he felt the area was good and he didn't generally go anywhere risky.
After near ten years more he had been promoted to head of his department, his old buddy having retired, and he felt things could hardly be any better. He had now also gotten two beautiful children with Nancy - a golden haired little girl of eight, Tiffany, and a son aged five, Jason.
The company expanded considerably over time and wanted him to move to Harrisburg where the main headquarters was based, to set up a new facility for more advanced development work on the burners. This was exciting news and the prospects just seemed to get better and better. He accepted his new position and they all moved out to the outskirts of Harrisburg, finding a nice luxury house in what seemed a good area.
All went well until about four years later, when local development took another turn, resulting in budget properties being built a mere quarter mile way. He and Nancy were not too concerned - their neighbors were pleasant and the street was well kept and secure. They found good schools also for the kids - by now twelve and nine. He still kept a revolver in the bedroom but because of the kids, as before, stored in a combination lock room safe by the bed - it was all he felt he should need - the shotgun was locked in his big safe with some other guns.
Another two years passed but things were not so happy in the area. Work was fine and money was rolling in but, the budget housing nearby was being taken over by all sorts of dubious characters and he got to hear of drug raids and shootings. This made him more aware of his need to protect Nancy and the kids and a burglary three doors away made that seem even more worthwhile. His good neighborhood seemed to be suffering some problems from without. He could see that his neighborhood money attracted crime.
It was following an armed robbery at the 7/11 barely a half mile away - a store they used quite a lot for simple grocery needs - that Jeremy got to thinking about having some protection outside of his home, so he investigated his options. It was soon clear that he could get a carry permit quite readily from his county Sheriff's office and as he had a pristine record it was an easy thing to accomplish. He knew he could carry into work because he knew of no limitations, added to which he was somewhat his own boss in his area of work. His experience with firearms over many years also equipped him well.
Over time he developed a strategy for his carry, which he had chosen to be his Ruger SP-101, a small revolver he liked a lot and had practiced with considerably, using a CorBon 110 +P round as his favored load. He had a comfortable pancake rig which he kept on his belt all day - cover was really no problem as he could dress informal and kept a long shirt on the outside almost all times. When in his lab he wore a lab coat too which really made that carry a cinch!
The one thing he did make a habit, was when he got home he took off his gun and put it in the bedside combination safe, beside his old Security Six house gun. He didn't want to have that extra bulk on his belt when relaxing in the evening and he felt he was sufficiently low on risk to not need it. The only problem he had though was that if he went out later he had to remember to replace the SP - if he felt it was needed. Often, if he took the family pooch for a walk early evening, but he thought it was hardly worth the trouble to ''tool up'' - it was too much effort.
This was essentially his plan over several years - and by the time his kids were growing up at eighteen and fifteen respectively - his feeling of need for family overall protection had diminished a bit more - even tho his less than desirable neighbors in the budget housing were still well into drugs and theft. He thought he could always assess risk and so if things seemed ''safe'' on any particular occasion, he would not add the gun - wanting to feel free of incumbrance. If he had to go and fetch milk or bread from the local store he would not always bother to take the gun - sometimes yes, sometimes no.
Three days after his 48th birthday, he went as usual to fetch a few groceries - it was not late, probably around 8.30 pm on an early winter evening in November. The kids were home and Nancy had some cooking on the go - ready to serve a late dinner. Jason had a temp job and was late home from that - Tiffany was assiduously doing homework. He was only wanting a very few things and as he left the house wondered if he should put the SP in place. A moment's thought and it seemed just too much trouble for such a short outing - he was after all halfways to the car already.
Jeremy parked up at the store and soon found the few items he wanted. As he waited at the checkout, he was aware of a ruccus near the entrance door. He turned to see what was going on and saw a rough set guy charging in past an exiting customer - spewing much bad language. He thought little of it until he heard a demand from the same location - ''I want money - give me money or else''. There was no one else in the store now.
He turned to look again and noticed the guy was brandishing a semi auto handgun. He immediately went to put his hand on his right hip where the SP usually lived - but of course his holster was empty - this time out he had not put the gun in. He felt vulnerable and had a sinking feeling, he then reached into his left pants pocket for his Spyderco folder - the only thing he had as a weapon.
The bad guy advanced toward the check out - still waving his gun around - he was very hyped up and agitated. The clerk was white in the face not knowing what to expect but fumbled in the register to procure some cash and handed over a wad of bills. The bad guy scooped those up and promptly fired two shots at the clerk who fell to the floor.
Jeremy, with knife in hand, prepared to take on the guy as best he could but was not close enough to wield the blade effectively. He kept it concealed against his hand and felt all but helpless. The bad guy turned to him and demanded his wallet. As Jeremy fumbled for his wallet the bad guy shouted obscenities, wanting him to be faster but the situation was so charged that he could not extract it from his rear pants pocket at all easily and his right hand still had the knife - he could not seem to see an opening for its use - not with the gun right up close to him.
The bad guy got ever more impatient and waved his gun vigorously - finally pulling the trigger and shooting Jeremy in the face with with one shot. All Jeremy knew was a brief flash of light and then darkness. He was dead before he hit the floor.
The bad guy made a getaway but was apprehended two blocks away because a pedestrian outside had put in a 911 call after the first two shots were heard. The cops challenged him only to be met by shots. They returned fire and took him out.
So what was the end result when analysed??? A man of 48 died because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time - and had forgotten, as happened sometimes, to carry his gun. It did not seem worth the trouble. Had he had that, not only might the clerk have lived but very likely he would have - because he would have probably had ample opportunity to get shots off safely at an early stage to neutralize the threat.
Because of his oversight in not carrying, because he thought the trip was bound to be a safe one - he left a devoted wife and mother a widow and two children, even tho growing up - suddenly fatherless. What is the moral of this event?
Simple!! If a person can legally carry - why assume that every outing without the gun has to be, by default, a safe one! Things happen and often when least expected. Had Jeremy carried all the time he would have had a good chance of not only surviving himself, but also been able to save the clerk's life - she died too from two serious chest wounds.
If you carry - make it your dedication. Not only to make sure you go home in one piece but to ensure your family remains intact - to live to old age.