Had my first, and hopefully, my last CHL incident last night. Am new to this forum and have been around guns for forty something years. Several years of carry. Am posting this at the request of one of your existing members, DDStuder, with the intent that it may be helpful.
I was leaving the local grocery store last night after dark, and I cut off another driver. My fault, and it was daft of me, and the other driver was clearly upset at me. I did nothing except drive onward toward the gas station next to the grocery store. Didn't want to escalate the matter. Turns out it was too late for that.
Had my car about half filled when the same guy came tearing up in his car with his window rolled down. He was yelling and cursing and so I turned toward him. Big guy, 20 years younger than me.
I said calmly that he was right- I did a dumb thing- and I apologized politely.
He then said; "You know what, I think I'll just beat you up you little jerk (not exactly what was said, but can't post that language here)" and he cracked his door to get out of his car. (BTW, I'm an average size guy so I'm not sure where the "little" came from).
I already had my hand on my .45 which was in a pocket holster as soon as he sped up to my car and began yelling and swearing at me. As he cracked his door to get out, I took a fairly aggressive stance and pulled the .45 just enough out of my pocket that he could see the hammer and the sights, nothing more. Finger off the trigger, thumb on the safety.
His eyes locked on it and he stopped yelling, but just for a few seconds. Then he started yelling even louder, "Well then- are you going to shoot me? Huh? What are you gonna do?"
I responded calmly with "that depends entirely on what you do next" Trust me, I was not feeling like Dirty Harry, my heart was pounding and I didn't want this to escalate further.
I decided at that point that if he charges me from his car that I'd retreat to the far corner of my car and yell for him to stop and that I was in fear for my life. I would have had the gun trained on him, safety off while I rounded my car. If he came around the corner of the car at me, I would have stopped him with center of mass shots.
Turns out he stayed in his car but continued yelling even louder yet, "So- are you going to shoot me? What are you going to do?" I responded calmly with, "I already apologized, just move on before this gets any worse." He then gave me what I think was his "glare of death" and he drove off slowly. I kept my eyes on him until he was out of sight.
After he was out of sight, I grabbed my cell phone and called the incident in. Though my voice was shaking, I gave my current location, name and description of my car, described the incident that just happened including a description of the other person. Also told the dispatcher I have a CHL and am carrying tonight.
I moved my car away from the gas pumps and parked it by the air/water mini service area on the corner of the lot. Within about 3 minutes (I timed it), a patrol car with two officers arrived. As they got out of their car, I held up both hands and told them I have a CHL and that I was carrying at that time. I asked how I could safely comply. They were really cool about it- they asked me to tell me where it was and to place my hands on the car.
Before the officer reached into my pocket, he asked me what I was carrying. "A Kimber 45 with a bunch of Wilson work done on it." I almost laughed at what he said next, "Wow, nice." He withdrew it from my pocket holster, pulled the mag and cleared the round. He set it all on the hood of my car.
He asked if I was carrying anything else, to which I responded calmly that I have a tactical knife on a clip in my other front pocket. He politely asked me to return my hands to my car and he pulled it from my pocket and placed it next to my gun on the hood of my car.
They asked me what happened and I told them the story including a description of the guy and his car. An officer went back to the grocery store to find the guy and a second squad car searched the nearby parking lots.
While they were looking for the guy, the other two officers were very cool. We exchanged a few jokes and it was pretty light and good. I was still shaking.
After the officers had all returned, they asked what I'd like to do- I told them if they were good, I was good. The lead officer then did something pretty cool- he told me he was going to put my Kimber and knife into my glove box and leave it there until they drove off, which he did. This was the cool part- he also installed the mag, chambered a round, put the safety on and returned it to the glove box.
The junior officer then asked "why did you do that", to which the lead officer said, "If he needs his gun later tonight, I don't want him to go, "click- Oh crap!"
At that point, mostly from the high level of nervousness I was feeling, I about doubled over laughing. The lead officer then said I did everything absolutely right during the incident, and was also absolutely right to call it in, to declare I had a CHL and declare my weapon status. He then stated he wished more citizens carried because it reduces crime.
I asked if I could shake their hands and thank them for their service which I did. Good guys.
One weird thing that happened-- there were people on both sides of me filling their cars with gas during the incident. After this knucklehead began yelling about me shooting him, everybody carried on like it was nothing unusual. If I was a bystander, I would have taken cover and put a hand on my gun.
The other thing- the officer went into the gas station store and asked to see video. I hadn't thought of that. A camera recording the entire incident- it was pointed right at my car and me. They could determine the other vehicle but because the camera was on the far side of the knucklehead's car- they couldn't get an ID on him or his license plate.
One thing I would have done differently in retrospect, is that as soon as the guy pulled up and started yelling, I should have retreated to cover behind my car. If he would have pulled out a gun and shot from his drivers window, I might not be here to tell this story.
It's all surreal even now. I'm glad I carried, that I had it accessible, and that I routinely train with my .45. If you think you have all day to access your weapon when you need it, think again. I barely had time to get my hand on it when the knucklehead drove up. His car was less than 15 feet from me, if he would have charged me from his car, even with my hand on my gun, I would have had to move very quickly to stop him. If he shot at me from his drivers window, I would have had to have been both really fast and really lucky. I was definitely exposed at that point of the incident.
I'm very glad that all parties including the knucklehead walked away from the incident. Maybe he'll think twice next time about considering hanging a beating on a middle aged guy.
I didn't feel brave; I felt grateful I could have stopped an assailant if it came to that. I also realize that if he charged me around the corner of my car that yes, I'd put enough rounds, center of mass, to stop him. I truly did fear for my life. That is sobering.
It's not an experience I'd care to repeat, but wanted to share this with others who believe it's not just 2A that allows us to carry- it's the responsible thing to do. It made all the difference last night.
Hope that others may learn from this; the real world is vastly different than the things we train and prepare for.