Like my other post...this is a cross post that I placed on a national cc site...
This happened years ago...I have had my Florida CWP for 14 years...and this was shortly after I started carrying...
My new wife (now my old lady ) worked at a 7-11. Back in those days...the store she worked at, while being in an "industrial area" and at a major intersection...wasn't in "too bad" of a part of town...but it wasn't far from a bad section of town.
Also back then...the local 7-11's only stayed open until midnight...but also only had one clerk on on night shifts.
As was my habit...I was waiting for her to close up...and I was standing just inside and to the left of the entry reading a magazine. Because this was my habit...I had also gotten comfortable with my surroundings (and it helped too that I worked only a couple blocks from there myself during the day) and as such...made the near fatal mistake of leaving my old S&W645 in my van...
Since I was at the store for an hour or more each night, I usually parked a little off to one of the side spaces in the front of the store...but not directly in front of the store. This facilitated a couple of things...one...it encouraged customers to park right out front where I could see them....and allowed me to keep 'peeps' on my van.
At about 11:45...this car pulls slowly through the parking lot with 4 black gents in it...and then proceeds to "back" into a space over next to my van...in the next space closer to the door from it. This piqued my interest...so I was keeping a close watch on them. Where they were parked would make it impossible to ID the car well... or see the tag at all...from the clerks spot by the register.
Three of the men from the car filed into the store...leaving the driver sitting with the engine running...I could see the exhaust as it was rather cool outside. OH CRAP! (remember...my 645 was in the van) As the three filed in...they split up and wandered the aisles of the store looking rather interested in me...and it appeared that they were being awfully particular since they "cleared" every aisle in the place.
I told my wife that I would be right back...and made a big production of leaving the magazine open to indicate that I was coming right back. I went to my van...observing the driver (these guys were now BG's in my mind) without making eye contact. I retrieved my .45 and slid it into the waistband at the small of my back and then put my jacket on to help conceal it. Fortunately since they had backed in...the BG in the car could not see what all I was doing on the other side of my van.
I re-entered the store and resumed my position by the magazine rack...but I did not resume reading. I placed myself in a position to be able to observe the 3 BG's in the store...and the BG in the car. I kept my dominant hand hidden by the wall...and had it resting on the butt of the Smith....
Between the three of them...they bought one Slurpee...after spending nearly ten minutes in the store. I caught one of them kind of staring at me...but I disregarded him and made it a point not to stare back.
They seemed upset that I had come back in...and no wonder...my 4'9" wife would have been no contest for those three...and who knows how that might have turned out.
They returned to the car...and there seemed to be some sort of lively discussion going on...I told my wife to get the phone in her hand and be prepared to dial 911 if they made the slightest move...then just as slowly as they pulled in...they drove out.
Then the adrenaline hit...and I was shaking like a leaf. There is no doubt in my mind that they were BG's preparing to rob and do who knows what else to my wife...and it was still a close call...because I allowed myself to be comfortable enough to leave my gun in my van.
That was a valuable lesson learned early on in my carry "career".