I found this on the Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association forum. I received the author's permission.
This was a response to the question: "have you ever had to use your concealed pistol in a self defense situation?"
I broke leather once in the parking lot of a superstore in the Pittsburgh area. I went in there to ironically buy ammo for a range session I was panning later that day. I bought 250 rounds of .40 S&W and walked out. This was a summer Sunday afternoon around maybe 1:00pm. I was making my way to the back end of the lot where I parked (I always park at the far end of the lot so I have time to catch a smoke, I don't smoke in my vehicles).
So as I'm crossing through a lane of parked cars, you know, weaving in between and around them, I hear this weird sound out in the distance from my left ear. The only way to describe it would be like the sound of handfuls of small stones being whipped across asphalt. Something about it tingled my protectmyheinie sense, and when the sound got closer, I knew exactly what it was. I pulled my t-shirt up and spun myself around to where I thought the sounds were coming from, yanking my HK USP .40 and presenting it in front of me in the process.
Within a second a brown and blonde pitbull came charging from behind a ford station wagon and turned right at me. I clicked the safety lever down and right before I dropped the hammer on the pooch, his owner dove from between the set of cars between us and tackled his dog. In truth, he almost took a bullet for that dog, but his timing was thankfully good enough that no one had to get hurt.
I was in a state of semi-shock. When they say that you can experience tunnel vision and auditory exclusion under periods of high stress, they're not kidding.
I had actually walked past this kid and a bunch of his friends, sitting in the back of a lifted Chevy dualie with their two dogs, both sleeping. A bunch of young punks, much like the young punk I was when I was that age (they couldn't have been more than 17-19). When I passed them earlier (about 800 feet prior to where the near-shooting took place), the dogs weren't barking or really doing much of anything, so I paid them no mind, I mean, it wasnâ€™t a bunch of gangbangers; it was just a stupid thing, kids in a parking lot with their dogs in a pickup truck.
What possessed the dog to come at me like that, if he was indeed coming at me, I donâ€™t know. In hindsight, I'm fully aware that the dog could have just been playing or running from his owner, but that's a chance I'm just not planning to take when a raging mass of muscle and teeth is barreling down on me out of the blue.
The kid, still on the asphalt with his arms wrapped around the dog's neck holding him down looked over at me and started yelling. I was still pointing the gun at him, though the finger was off the bang switch. He started yelling something about 'what the F%$@ I was doing, trying to kill his dog" or whatever, I really wasn't listening to him, my focus was still on that dog. His friends came running over and upon seeing me with the gun and the kid latched on to the dog, they grabbed the mutt by his collar and pulled him back to the truck. I clicked the safety up into the on position and reholstered the gun (but left my cover garment behind it), and then I was finally able to tune in to what the kid was saying. 'What the F&%# are you doing man, trying to kill my dog?' he said as he started walking towards me, clearly agitated. He kept saying, 'what the f&@% are you doing, huh?', to which I replied, 'me? what the F*&@ are you doing?" putting my empty hands out in front of me and to the sides. He kept moving towards me yelling and screaming with his fists balled up. I just shook my head 'no' and put my hand back on my gun. I told him that if he was looking for some kind of trouble, he'd be better off not looking here.
And that's when security showed up.
Buddy, as his name tag read, got out of his mini-SUV and started yelling 'what's going on here in my parking?'. I calmly told him that this kidâ€™s dog apparently got away from him and that they both almost got killed in 'his parking lot'. He started ranting and raving about "taking us in" and other such nonsense (my handgun being proudly displayed on my side had apparently escaped his keen powers of observation up to this point, despite the young kid yammering incessantly about how I was going to shoot his dog). When I told him everything that happened, I gave him my phone number in case someone had any questions, he said that we were on video tape so there probably wouldn't be any. Then he noticed the gun.
'What in the hell do you have that for?' he said as he stepped back from me, putting his hand on his hip as if grasping for an imaginary gun, one I'm sure not unlike what heâ€™d fantasized a real cop gets to carry. He started waving his left hand in front of my face with his notepad and pen clenched within his fist saying, 'you can't have a gun here, you need to leave right now'. That was the first thing anyone had said all day that I wholeheartedly agreed with. So I said, 'have a nice day' and turned to leave. Just then, and I shit you not, this bloated rent-a-cop puts his hand on my left shoulder and pulls me back towards him. I know he's not a threat, he's just an idiot that is probably scared of the gun, of course, I returned my hand to firmly grasping the gun and by the time he spun me around, it was about 3/4's out of the holster. I pushed myself off of him with my left hand and yelled "don't you ever put your hands on me", with a few choice non-pg13 words in between. He told me he was calling the cops and that he was detaining me for arrest. I said, "look fats, you have a notepad, I have gun, fuck off, I'm leaving."
I walked back to my car, got in and left. The only thing I ever heard about it was that some girl I knew, whom I ended up dating briefly a few years later relayed a story her mom told her about some big bald guy with tattoos almost shooting a kid and his dog and some lardass security guard in that very parking lot. The cops never called and to my knowledge, no report was ever filed.
It's a little fantastic, I agree, but it was within the first few months that I carried and the heat makes me angry. Iâ€™ve never been in a situation like that since, and I pay a lot more attention to stupid things like punk kids and sleeping dogs.
The PAFOA forum is not an incorporate organization or non-profit. It is a collection of knowledgeable and experienced self-defense proponents. If you live in Pennsylvania, I strongly recommend you join. However, I am not an owner, moderator, or even a paying member -- so don't tell 'em I sent ya.