Had an interesting experience in Pittsburgh on Saturday. Since Unc and I were staying at the hotel, and I had the shiny minivan, we decided to save on parking and carpool to the convention. I picked up Dennis and Weer'd and we headed in, and we parked at a municipal lot a couple of blocks from the convention center. We left the convention early to get back to our hotels to freshen up for the "gunnie prom", and on the walk back to the car, we were shadowed by, shall we say, a person of questionable integrity (gang tattoos on the neck kinda make me think he wasn't part of the welcoming committee).
Dennis chastised me as we walked into the parking garage, saying that I had no situational awareness. I replied, "You think I didn't see the guy following us *way* too closely? Look at my hand". He looks down, and I'm gripping the handle of my new personal defense spike (more on that later) tightly.
I was observing the yoot as he followed us. He was close to bad breath distance, and observed Unc's openly carried Glock 30. He then noticed my Smith & Wesson J-frame, also openly carried, and that's when he veered off sharply and started walking at a pace that could be described as "brisk", except that the rate at which he left us would make "brisk" seem like a slow amble...
Unc was on the lead and didn't notice the yoot in question; Weerd was too busy surfing the internet on his fancy smartphone. Both Dennis and I had him well in sight; I suspect that any suspicious movement on his part would have ended very badly - for him. His victim selection was poor, but at least his situational awareness was good - he noticed the two openly carried firearms and got out of Dodge post haste.
Now, I can't say with absolute certainty that he had something nefarious on his mind. Maybe he just wanted to ask us the time, and us eeeeevil NRA member gun nuts scared him with our brazenly displayed arms. We'll never know for certain; however one thing is clear - your first line of defense is to be aware at all times. Carrying a firearm for protection is a great step - you have the best tool available for the job of defending yourself. However, if you miss the early warning signs and have to be accessing that tool after the attack has started, you're way behind the power curve.
Be careful out there - even when you think you are safe, you might not be...
That is all.