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Guns... or Not?

A Convertible Jaunt


By Charles Heller

In November 1992, my wife and I had rented a LeBaron convertible for a Saturday night. We went to Cushing St. Bar downtown Tucson to hear some blues. As Arizona law says guns in bars are a no-no, we left our self defense devices in the trunk. Wine always gives me a headache. Somehow I let her talk me into one glass of wine.

The next stop in our convertible jaunt was Circle K for some aspirin. Tucson is a winter mecca for the "drifters", and Broadway & I-10 is bum central, where the tracks cross near freeway underpasses. Spotting one of our non-paying winter visitors near the car as I exited, I powered up the windows and locked the doors even with the top down. Good woman allowed as how she'd keep an eye on the vehicle, so I liberated our defensive hardware from the trunk.

When aforementioned winter visitor noticed me slide my commander into a Viking belt slide he rapidly moved away, conversing and gesticulating with the non-existent fellow next to him. Closing the trunk I deposited Joann's combat Tupperware in her lap. Upon my return I couldn't help but notice the contrast of her pale complexion with the dark finish of the Glock 17 at "present arms". I deftly pushed her muzzle to a safe position (observant fellow that I am) and asked "what happened?"

"DRIVE!" was her response. Being a compliant husband, we left hastily. As we exited the lot I noticed the self same winter visitor gesticulating in an even more animated manner than before, but now he was at the corner instead of up by the store.

"Now will you tell me what happened?", I asked.

"That bum came over to the car and started talking to me. I told him to leave. He tried the door handle and I told him to F*** off. He then reached over the top of the closed window to unlock the driver's door with his right hand, leaning his face close to the windshield to do it. I stuck the Glock against the windshield, about 1 - 1/2 inches beneath his nose. Suddenly he went from apparently drunk to very sober. He left at a high rate of speed and went to the corner, where he resumed talking to himself."

Always the inquisitive self defense instructor, I asked what went through her mind as she entered "condition red". Her answer is a classic. Understand that she is a health care practitioner, volunteers with an outreach ministry, and takes friends children to amusement parks just for the joy of it. Her answer: "How messy that nice turquoise paint was gonna look if you didn't get back to the car real soon"

On that day her nickname changed from "Joni-Bear", to, "Stands With a Glock". Funny what Arizona can do for a reform fuzzy-headed liberal from Chicago. I got the right one, baby, uh-huh!

Charles Heller is a concealed weapons instructor and radio talk show host, & public speaker. c.heller@juno.com or (520) 419-2500

Permission granted to reprint whole, with attribution

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