It’s been a hard decision and a long time coming, but today, I decided to buy a gun. I already know what I’d like to get. It’s called The Judge. I was introduced to it almost two years ago when my friend invited me to go to the gun range with him. I was sold on The Judge the moment I saw it. And it’s name – The Judge – sealed the deal, as my name sake – Deborah – is the only female judge in the Bible. But I digress.
So, what made me decide to buy a gun today?
I was out and about on the streets of Las Vegas taking visitor photos for a photo website. There was a man taking photos of his son and daughter at a very familiar tourist site and I took a few photos of them.
All of a sudden, the man turned around, charged at me and asked me why I was taking photos of his children. I explained that I took visitor photos around town for a tourist website. He then insisted that I did not have the right to photograph his children. Of course, in a situation where the subject objects, I would not submit those photos. But I explained to him that he and his children were in a public place subject to photos (there were at least 50 cameras there taking photos as well) and I had as much of a right to take photos there as he did.
He came closer to me, put his hands up and waved his index finger directly in front of my face and insisted that I had no right to photograph his children. He was angry. Unreasonably so. His behavior was chastising, threatening and he was violating my personal space. At that moment, I considered whether I was in danger and I feared my life. He was thin, but about 6 feet tall. I’m 5’2″. With one motion, he could have punched me in the face, grabbed me around the neck or something even worse. George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn crossed my mind and I wondered if he was carrying a weapon. If he was, he sure seemed angry enough to use it. And if he had a weapon, how could I protect and defend myself? I do have a right to stand my ground ,don’t I? Or was it my duty to retreat?
Without protection, I stood my ground and asked him politely, but firmly with implied consequences, to remove his finger from my face and step back away from me. He did not. He continued to raise his hands, wave his fingers in my face, and rant. After asking him a second time not to stand so close upon me and to stop pointing his fingers in my face, he started to walk away, but he continued to verbally charge at me.
Now, considering our choices at that time, I wonder how my concealed weapon would have or could have changed the situation.
Had I had a weapon and decided to shoot my perceived attacker because I feared my life at that moment, would I have been justified? Would his behavior towards me have been different if he knew that I was carrying a weapon and had the right to defend my life against perceived danger? And what if he had a weapon, I did not, and he decided to use his weapon against me?
These questions brought full circle why my gun carrying friends carry guns and have encouraged me for years to get one. And it reminds me of a conversation I had with a young man when he shared with me that he carried a weapon – illegally – and he sent me a photo to share in this blog.
I asked him why he carried a gun illegally and why he owned such a large gun. He said, “I’d rather be caught with a gun than to be caught without one.”
Today, I decided to buy a gun.