About 65 minutes ago.
Granted, some of it is my own fault. Well, that and the fault of my over-active writer’s imagination and the fact that I pay attention to the local news.
I rode up to our local grocery store with the hubs and we had a bit of a disagreement on the drive in, and I decided that I would just wait in the truck (Mistake #1). The weather is nice today, so I left the passenger side (power) window down halfway and didn’t think to tell him to leave the keys with me (Mistake #2).
The hubs went into the store (I could see the checkout lines from where I sat, as we were parked right up close to the front windows). I left my phone at home on the charger, which I don’t ordinarily do, (Mistake #3) and pulled my iPod out of my handbag and commenced to getting my butt kicked in multiple solitaire games.
I heard the car before I actually saw the car. The music (?) was so loud one couldn’t help but notice. I looked up to see where it was coming from and saw the Chevy back into a parking place directly across from where I was sitting. Two individuals emerged from the back seat, looking like something straight out of that show, Gangland, and walked into the store. There were two individuals still seated in the front of the car.
I went back to what I was doing and then saw something out in my peripheral vision, so I glanced up and saw that the driver had gotten out of the car and was heading toward our truck. Where I was sitting. With the window half down (see Mistake #2). I saw him, he saw me, and he walked around a huge puddle (whew) and walked a few parking spots down and got into the back seat of another car. I probably should have gone back to what I was doing, and I did, but only after I saw what I’m fairly certain was an illegal exchange of something for money (Mistake #4). Did he see me see him? I didn’t know. Apparently not, since I’m writing this, safe and sound, from my room.
He goes back to his car, and proceeds to get in and out of the vehicle several times. (This is seen out of the corner of my eye, because at this point, my eyes are glued to the front of the store, and I’m willing the hubs to hurry the hell up, get in line and get out.)
While I am really starting to feel more than a little uncomfortable, I’m taking a mental inventory of what I have at my disposal. Phone? Nope. Keys? Nope (Mistake #5). And I realize I don’t even have so much as a ballpoint pen at my disposal and think to myself, “OMG, what if I need to defend myself?”
Now, before I go on, please know this: I am a pacifist; a peace loving, hippie throwback that feels guilty about killing a bug. Would I just go out and pop a cap in someone’s ass? Of course not. That’s absurd, and if you know me, you know this to be true.
While I am sitting in the truck, with no way to close the window, realizing I have no way to protect myself, I am thinking about how not a day goes by when somebody is getting shot in this part of the state. There is a shooting-related story or more EVERY SINGLE DAY! And then I was thinking about the couple living in that nice neighborhood down the road in Raleigh. They woke up with the two home invaders in their room, standing over their bed. The husband was shot in the back (and apparently paralyzed) from trying to save his wife from the sexual assault that was an added bonus that night.
Again, I realize some of this fear is coming from my very own imagination, but I also know that some of it is not. It is, in fact, coming from the reality of the screwed up world we live in, today. The world where those that don’t have feel entitled to forcibly take what they want from those that do.
The hubs makes it back to the truck with the groceries, and I jump out and start tossing the goods into the back seat.
We get on the road and head to the house, and I told him what went down. He wasn’t terribly concerned. I told him I had actually been SCARED. He didn’t say much.
Then I told him that I was not going to be in that position again. First and foremost, I would keep the keys, next time. Second of all, I have been mulling the idea of getting a small handgun and concealed carry permit for the last six or seven months, and felt that if I hadn’t hemmed and hawed over it, I wouldn’t have HAD to have been as helpless as I was. Would I still be frightened? Well, sure, but not desperately so, if that makes any sense.
I know that for someone like me, it’s a craptastic world when I can’t people watch for fear that I might see something I’m not supposed to see. I write, I blog, I make observations. If I can’t DO that because I’m afraid because I saw something I had no business seeing in the middle of a public parking lot in broad daylight, because you are the thug that rolled into the parking lot with your 808 maxed out? Bite me. You called attention to yourself, but I’m not going to walk around MY town scared to death with absolutely no means of protection.
A friend tells me that the waiting list for a concealed carry permit is 90+ days. Fine. I’ve waited this long. And as the old saying goes? Better Nate than lever. Oh wait…that was the punch line to an old joke. But you get the picture.
I know how to shoot. Used to go out and spend entire afternoons target shooting for fun back in the day. I have a very healthy respect for firearms. Then I had kids. Having a firearm in the house with three boys just didn’t seem to be a really smart idea, knowing my boys, so I played it safe and didn’t go there. The boys are grown and two out of three of them have moved out, and the third will be going off to college in the fall.
In the meantime, I’m going to do some research, bone up on the laws, and hope that the 2nd Amendment sits as written.
While I know this post will not be popular with some of my friends and readers, I also felt the need to exercise my freedom of speech.
Until Next Time…