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The Walking Wounded

I’m going to put you in a boot for a month,” the doctor said with a frown when she took her first look at my swollen ankle. Thus began my several month journey into the ranks of the walking — I mean hobbling  — wounded. This is not my first foray into work-related injuries. I’ve had two previous hand surgeries (gun hand, of course) and now, foot surgery. Maybe you have experience with this too? Frankly, it sucks to be injured. It really sucks when your injury won’t let you enjoy your usual activities.

So, where do we go from here? What do we do when our injury limits movement or limits how we carry or deploy a weapon?

One Of Those Days

I had my first hand surgery to my right thumb a few years back. My hand was in a wrap/splint for two months. For all intents and purposes, it was useless. Being a right-handed shooter, I immediately went out and bought a left-handed belt holster and began practicing support-hand-only shooting. During this time I carried a .38 snubby in a pocket holster, in my left front pocket, without a reload. It was easier to get around town this way.

One day I went into the local oil change shop. Walking into the waiting room area, I made a substandard room scan as I made my way toward one of the two open chairs. Standing at the counter area was a man I’d seen before. As I began to sit, my mind reeled trying to remember where I’d seen him before. The leather vest he was wearing had a certain patch and rocker design, which sort of stood out. And then it hit me. A few years before, I had towed his motorcycle while working a gang suppression detail in the county.

When we last met, he was less than happy with me and I seem to recall he was on parole for violent offenses. And now he was looking hard at me, no longer chatting up the receptionist. I could tell he, too, was trying to remember where he had seen me. As I sat wedged in the chair, nonchalantly reading some dog eared car magazine with my best friend giving me the prison yard stare, I could feel my .38 snubby sitting comfortably in my front pocket. There was no way I could get to it with any sort of speed if I needed it.
By John T. Grohn


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