Let me tell you a story. This story happened this weekend while we were all out camping. This is us (me on the left):
Notice the number of small children that are with us. In total there were 8 adults and 8 children including 1 infant, 3 toddlers and four 4 year olds. We were staying at a camp grounds in Missouri. Now let me state a few things… I’ve been a gun owner for the majority of my adult life and I’ve always been a 2A supporter but the events of this weekend have shifted some of my views.
I do not like camping and I’ll state that up front but it was my friends birthday and he really wanted to go with his friends so I went along with it and honestly I had fun for the most part. I also brought several firearms with me because there was a chance we might go to the range. That said all of us left our firearms in the car.
The first night we were there ALL of the children were up in one form or another the entire night. They were crying, making noise, etc. It was an exhausting night. The second night however all the kids went to sleep and sleep early… this NEVER happens. Bear with me this is important to the story.
We all went to bed around 11 or so and things were fine. Suddenly I’m awakened by my wife around 2:45 AM quietly but in a very anxious tone asking me where our oldest is. It’s very clear to me that something is wrong. That is when I hear two individuals talking to each other. They are both obviously drunk but saying some very disturbing things:
“I know where the good tents are”
“Let’s wake up these tents”
“I’ve got a 45 with a 10 round magazine” Metallic sound of magazine being loaded
“I learned how to kill women and children”
“Let’s kill the women and children in these tents”
“I can shoot a dime off of…”
This goes on for almost 30 minutes in some form or another. Eventually one of the guys says “I’ve got a daughter and I’d miss her to much. I’m not doing this I’m going back…” to which the other guy says “You’re a fucking pussy…” along with a whole lot of other things and then eventually wanders off himself. During the entire time I’m thinking to myself “How do I get to my car and my gun?” “Why did I leave my gun in the car”.
We got lucky in my book. None of the children woke up because of the noise or to feed. What would have happened if one of them had woken up and started crying? That crying could have triggered one of the men to carry through with what they had obviously planned to do or intended to do, drunk or otherwise. If it had escalated it would have essentially resulted in one family getting fucked while the rest of us rushed to our cars and scrambled to get our guns, get them loaded and deal with the attackers. We were sitting ducks.
Immediately after they left we all got out of our tents, grabbed our guns and called the police who showed up… 15 minutes later. To their credit the officers were very efficient, supportive and searched the entire campground but never found anyone. The officer came back and asked the standard questions but as it was pitch black out with no lights and we were stuck in our tents there was nothing we could give him to go on. Eventually he asked “Are you guys armed?” to which we all nodded to and he said “Good. Very good. Stay vigilant and if they come back call me immediately and I’ll be right back.” We didn’t sleep for the rest of the night and we set up the cars and turned them on to face the tree lines to ensure no one could walk up to the camp without us seeing them.
The following morning one of the gals in our group walked up to the porta potty about 100 yards away inside the RV campground and noticed that one of the campers there was glaring at her and picked up a hand gun from his table and holstered it in his pants and glared at her the entire time until she walked back. He then spent the rest of the morning watching our group as we rapidly deconstructed the camp site. We believe, or think it was him plus another individual who were responsible for the events from the night prior but we couldn’t prove it.
This event has changed and permanently solidified my perspective on firearm ownership. I will NEVER, from this day forward, sleep without a firearm within arms reach of my bed and I will never again go camping without a gun under my pillow/mattress. This event if anything made me angry. Angry that someone did this in a campground, angry that someone traumatized my wife and our friends, angry that someone could have injured or killed my friends and angry, possibly, if they had woken up traumatized my children and angry that I was helpless to do anything until these two assholes decided to not go through with whatever they had schemed up in their drunken stupor.
That is why I own guns in 2019, that is why my daughters, when they are able, will be trained to use one and that is why I will ever promote and support the second amendment.
Edit 10/4/19: Thank you all for the positive response. I’d like to make a couple of clarifications that people asked about.
I’ve received a couple of comments about how this was a BS story because I should’ve called the police immediately. So let me explain to you why we couldn’t and shouldn’t have done that. First off the two individuals in question were drunk and were armed. Turning on a phone with a bright screen in a tent when it’s pitch black outside is basically lighting you up like a beacon and when they hear you talking to the police you have basically made yourself the primary target. It’s like lighting a campfire in the middle of the forest at night when you’re trying to stay hidden. Since both of these individuals were inebriated this could’ve set them off. It’s easy to look at events in hindsight and say “You should’ve done this” but when you’re actually in the moment, adrenaline going, it’s hard to think up creative solutions to things.
The next question people had was what happened to my daughter. She was fine. She had sneaked into bed next to me in the middle of the night and my wife didn’t know that and she cannot see very well without her glasses and since our daughter wasn’t in the little bed we had made for her in front of our mattress and my wife was worried she might’ve sneaked out of the tent in the middle of the night. Which she is capable of doing.
This occurred at Riverfront Campgrounds in Missouri.
Finally someone asked what actually changed in my opinions. Traditionally I’ve thought just having a firearm around was sufficient. It had never really occurred to me to actually carry one with me, have one by the bed or within arms reach. This particular event has shifted that entirely to always having one around.