I had a hard time deciding whether to put this under "FAQ" or "Other Handguns," but decided to put it under "Browning Hi Power" as most of the time, it's what was with me on:
Dark Nights and Lonely Places
(A partial explanation of why I try always to be armed)
There was no wind and the mist was so light that you could barely feel it on your face. There was fog, but not much and with but a sliver of moon, it was a dark, dark night. I had driven to property owned by relatives in Thurber, Texas to do some varmint calling. Seven miles down Tudor Road from I-20 and you were there, nearly 500 acres of some pretty wild and wooly woods, canyons, and creeks.
Despite my checking with a couple of friends who normally accompanied me on such treks, no one could go this time. One friend always went with me, a Browning Hi Power affectionately known as "Number 1."
I took an Ithaca Model 37 12-gauge to be sure, but there was just something very reassuring about the well-used Hi Power riding handily in a shoulder rig under my coat. It was out of the way of the shotgun that way or it would have been in a belt holster.
Not one thing out of the ordinary happened that dark night, but the knowledge that a tool capable of "handling" anything needing "handling" in my state felt mighty nice indeed. The shotgun is more powerful and easier to hit with at night, but it's also more difficult to use with but one hand if necessary. The 9mm Hi Power handles best for me with two, but not badly at all with one. I was not in the least concerned with monsters or werewolves or the like, but the thought of feral dogs had crossed my mind as some had been causing problems in the immediate area. Due to my "trusting nature," I also wanting something always on me, not leaning against yon tree in the event that some not so nice person(s) made an appearance. Having been a police officer for a few years at that time, I knew what was out there.
There's much to be said for a reliable handgun you have faith in when messing around in the boonies.
Though the "reaper" grips shown in this picture are not the usual for Number 1. It currently "wears" its original factory checkered walnut stocks. This pistol's been with me in a number of dark and lonely places and is one I trust completely to this day.
Whenever I have the ability to do so, I am armed. I do not consider this paranoid nor do I seek trouble, but after 25 years of seeing what some will do to others, it's my view that a handgun you trust and can effectively use might just be a lifesaver. Statistically, none of us will ever have to use a firearm against another, but that fact means little if you happen to be one of the exceptions!
In a town not 30 minutes away from where this is being typed, an intruder attacked a lady in her own bed. Imagine her horror to be awakened by a stranger beating you in the face. Imagine his surprise when she shot him with her husband's .45 Colt Gold Cup that was under his vacant pillow due to his being out of town! I strongly suspect this woman has little interest in "statistics."
I'll bet that if you spoke with most any police officer and asked him which firearm he'd least want to do the job without, it would be his service handgun. Despite the "riot shotgun" being more powerful and the often-carried .223 carbine being a deadly thing and better in a firefight, there's just something special about that weapon that is always there and capable of fending off the deadly unexpected naughtiness of today's world.
Some months ago, I was at home in the office working late at night. There was nothing heard nor seen that seemed amiss. Still, I felt uneasy and could not put my finger on the source. The doors were locked and nothing out of the way had been heard. My "always gun," a J-frame S&W, was in its pocket holster where it always is but the weird feeling persisted. Color me silly, but a loaded Kimber .45 auto on the desk where I was working just seemed right. Once again, not one thing out of the ordinary occurred up to or after I'd retrieved the 1911. Still, the fact that I had it at hand made all the difference.
In the mid-'80's, my father suffered the first of several serious strokes and I'd drive to Ft. Worth after getting off work with my city's police department around 11PM or so. My mother would not leave the hospital, but would get a few hours sleep while I was there with my dad. I'd stay until 4 or 5AM and leave, drive home, sleep and report back to work at 2:45PM. The process would then repeat for several weeks.
One night, an aunt and uncle were staying all night at the hospital and I was able to leave around 2AM. This was before Texas had CHL, but I was armed as an off-duty officer. It was hot and I had a Walther PPK/S in an ankle holster. On the fifth floor of a parking garage, I heard the rapid footsteps echoing like in a tomb before I saw the three men making them. I acted like I was tying my shoe even though I was wearing boots. When I quickly stood up and leveled the .380 at men approaching me with a knife and a chain, they halted. Some pleasantries were exchanged and they fled. They had no idea I was an officer; they thought they were going to rob a private citizen. They certainly were not expecting to be facing a gun. At that instant, no amount of money could have bought that little pistol. When you need a firearm for protection, nothing else really takes its place and "intellectual" arguments for gun control and restrictive laws fall on damned deaf ears, in my case, anyway.
A few years ago, I backed up an officer responding to a "suicidal person" call at an apartment complex about 11PM. When we entered an enclosed common area for several apartments, I heard the guy's door open and quickly made my way up some steps a ways to avoid being seen as easily. The officer I was backing was caught flat-footed in the open. The disturbed young man had a cocked S&W Model 624 .44 Special under his chin. By rotating his wrists downward about 90 degrees it would be pointed at my partner should he decide to commit "suicide by cop". I don't recall it happening, but I could see to his body to the bottom jaw and found my Mk II Hi Power's front sight aimed at the base of his throat. (I was at an angle and would not have had to shoot through his hands or the hit the revolver he held. Fortunately, my partner did some really smooth talking and we were able to get the guy some help, but had he made any move to threaten my partner, the 9mm Hi Power would have been used. It was with me; the more lethal pump shotgun was in the squad car. I was staying on the front sight, but continually reminding myself not to crank one off if he shot himself. Such things can happen in tense situations.
To this day, a Browning 9mm often accompanies me on hunting trips and if messing around in the woods.
Legislators need to understand that people will not obey inane laws designed only to disarm them from the predators that walk among us, preying on the weak, the elderly, and the unsuspecting. So long as folks understand that in the end, they will have to defend themselves, cries for "reasonable gun control" will ring hollow as it truly is. Survival is the first law of nature, taking great precedence over anything enacted by man and gun control serves only to make an entire group of society into criminals. It affects only those honest enough to obey and not the would-be robber, burglar, thug, or killer.
Those attempting to gut the Second Amendment really don't care about the honest citizen in my view.
It really doesn't matter if you're in the woods at night or on a parking lot in the middle of the day, when the unexpected evil comes your way, it's seems like you're in a lonely place on a dark night….and you are. Be sure that you have a "friend" there to help you.