It was almost the perfect night for moon watching last Monday. By 7ish, it was dark and in the clear, pre-winter air the waning moon seemed so sharp you could cut yourself on it. The road, a rural one lane country road near her house, has little traffic anytime, but it was especially deserted that evening. Supper could wait. There are only so many nights perfect for moon watching so she slowed the car even more.
What is it about the moon that fascinates us? I’m told in a million years the moon will be closer and tidal forces will grind the moon into Saturn-like rings. Wouldn’t that be wonderful to see?
A true full moon lasts but seconds before it is gone, reminding us of our own mortality and the cycle of nature. All things come into existence, wax fat and then wane to nothing. Even though the moon seems eternal to us, it shows its long history of change in the craters, rills and lava plains. The moon is an amazing mystery.
Little wonder she slowed her car to ponder the moon. There was also a second reason. Two men walking on the side of the road. She didn’t want to hit them.
Something was off kilter about them. Maybe they looked over their shoulders once too often; maybe it was the infrequency of seeing pedestrians on this road at this time of year. She doesn’t know.
Whatever the reason she chose to pull her purse closer to herself and open it. She has a CCW and she had her 9mm. That’s was a good thing, a very good thing.
As she passed the two men one suddenly grabbed the car door handle and started jerking on the handle. If it hadn’t been locked he would have been in the car. She doesn’t know where the other person was. All she knew was her gun was in her hand and now visible to the man trying to get in.
Her attackers decided there would be another, easier victim to find. They ran off. Forgetting about the moon, she sped off to the safety of her home and family.
Two days later she’s still suffering from the attack. She can’t get the event out of her mind. She doesn’t remember the decision to reach for her gun or of actually grasping the gun, just the gun in her hand.
It bothers her that her reaction to those men was to make her weapon available to herself.
She’s willing to talk to me. I teach CCW and believe in the armed good citizen. I might be the only person at work who shares her values. She wants to know if she should have called the police. “It happened so fast,” she tells me. “I don’t know what to say.” I suggest some verbiage, add encouragement and tell her she’d be helping everyone by filing a report with the local gendarmes. I also believe that.
I tell her, be honest. Tell the police what happened and you didn’t know if you should make a report because you had so little description and information. I tell her it will help.
She’s still a victim. She’s still dealing with the aftermath of the attack. That road will never be the same nor will the simple pleasure of looking at the moon ever be the same.
Almost too much to remark on:
- Escalation up and down the color codes of awareness.
- The Gift of Fear, that little voice that says something isn’t kosher. Listen to it.
- Get the professionals moving as soon as possible. Create a paper trail to help demonstrate you’re the victim. Especially if these two show up again.
- Be aware of your surroundings; bad things happen at light speed.
- Be prepared to respond. Make the criminals change their plans while you continue to adapt and dominate the situation.