Judy's Story

After working in the ER for several months, the “frequent flyers” were becoming a problem for my husband. While the other providers were willing to feed these addicted individuals, my husband is a stickler when it comes to the law and after sending several of them to jail, (on more than one occasion),  they began to turn their attention to our family.

We endured late night harassing phone calls and internet posts to a local message board. It got ridiculous. After my husband chased a woman through the streets in his car having caught her stealing yard tools from our shed, it got real.

I’ve never really felt violated before that. But if she was willing to walk through my yard, look in my windows and take my things well, that was a line in the sand for me. I was not just pissed off, I was furious.  

I didn’t know anything about guns, but we joined a gun club and my assigned instructor taught me everything I needed to know about my firearm. We broke it down, cleaned it, fired it….over & over & over.

The day I was on the boat ramp was my mom’s birthday. I missed her and just wanted some time to myself. It was a regular Sunday morning in Pickwick State Park. I was on a fishing dock and the sun was just breaking the tree tops when I decided to walk over to the main ramp and cast into some weeds on the opposite shore. My hands were full as I rounded the corner and saw a man standing next to a trash can. He had a coffee cup in his hand and opened the lid of the trash can; I thought he was going to throw the cup away but no,  he puked.  He didn’t see me until I was right on him and he seemed startled. I just walked on past him and nodded, he swayed in the breeze.

It wasn’t until I was standing on the boat ramp that I felt him staring at me.

He kept circling, like a buzzard. I was getting nauseous; he was between me and my car. I was pinned in the corner, rocks to my right, slick slimy boat ramp behind me and there he was, looming over me. He just kept looking over his shoulder. Then he smiled that smile. That “we’re alone, and you can’t do anything about it” smile.

Your vision really does narrow in those seconds where you know it’s bad. He saw my panic, I know he did. I knelt down and placed my gear on the ramp, my eyes locked with his, he watched me reach into my tackle box with my right hand and he took two big steps,. He was watching the wrong hand.

I slipped my (dominant) left hand into my vest pocket and returned to my feet.  Bringing my gun forward, I cupped my left hand with the right and dropped the safety with my thumb. It felt like an eternity before his gaze focused on the barrel of my Bersa Thunder. I watched his jaw drop along with the safety. When my finger slid onto the trigger. I smiled back at him. Then I heard it, the sound was muffled, my ears were buzzing, I refused to let it distract me…  The odd sound was urine dripping off his pant leg…which ran downhill.  He bolted. I stood there for what felt ike forever.  

The next thing I remember is three twenty-something kids asking if I was ok and then a park ranger. By the time the sheriff’s deputy got there the adrenalin had worn off and I was in a cold sweat, heaving in the grass and shaking uncontrollably.  When the deputy dropped his sunglasses and looked into my eyes all I saw was a relieved man. Hell, I thought he was going to cry too. He told me how happy he was to find me with a gun in my hand, alive and prepared to defend myself. He helped me to my car; I gave him my driver’s license and hand gun permit. He made a few notes and offered to call my husband for me.  

I go back to that spot and stand there from time to time. Ponder what might have been. Could I have taken him out with a fishing pole?  I don’t know. I do know I’m thankful.

Thankful to my firearms instructor.

Thankful he wasn’t satisfied until I could handle that gun coming & going.

Thankful my husband hounded me to always carry it.

Reliving this story was harder than I though it would be.

Having to put it into words took all day. I’m actually sick at my stomach, but if it helps even one woman understand that guns are to be respected, not feared….if one woman arms herself, it’s well worth it.