I had just started pistol shooting and joined a chapter of TWAW.
The class that Saturday was about awareness and we got a keychain with white, yellow, orange and red beads to engine us of the stages of awareness. We also practiced yelling things like “ STOP-I have a gun and I know how to use it”. I did not have a permit or a gun yet but felt very much more aware of my surroundings. Exiting the grocery store at dusk on Tuesday following the class, a really big man in a long black coat starting coming towards me out of nowhere in the darkness saying “Ma’am..” and something else but my hearing isn’t that good.
My heart jumped into my throat and drowned out anything he could have said. He could have just been hungry and trying to beg for money or he intended to harm me. This all went through my mind in about 5 seconds even though time seemed to stand still. I stuck my hand in my purse, turned the grocery cart sideways in front of me, put my other hand up in a stop gesture and I yelled: “ It’s NOT A GOOD IDEA TO APPROACH ME!”.
A total bluff but I had to do SOMETHING. He put up his hands, turned around and yelled “I’m not approaching you!” and walked briskly away.
I was so rattled, probably sheet white, had to catch my breath but I was very thankful I had attended that class and practiced yelling. Since then I have become a really good shot, taken a few classes in scenarios and simulated dangerous situations.