In December, 1969, I led a squad which ambushed a reinforced platoon of VC/NVA who were on their way to assault a RVN camp, where families (wives and children) were in residence. We Killed 2, wounded/captured three. There were 34 of them, 7 of us. We chased the rest of them away.
Does that count?
I was changing a tire in a scruffy part of town when two big, young men stopped their car to give me the once-over. I was ready to reach for my .380, and wishing it was a .45, when one of them pointed to my "I'm the NRA and I vote" sticker, and they suddenly had business elsewhere.
I've had a couple of other times when I was glad I was carrying, and those I was with were also glad. (Yes, I'm discreet. I'm also an instructor, so many of my friends know I carry.)
I'm presuming we're talking only about private self-defense, so I didn't include Vietnam incidents, etc.
I selected "Never"; however the reason I carry is because I was not armed when my wife and I were attacked by racist skinheads years ago. Talk about a wake-up call... It would have been nice to be armed then. Since then, no problemo.
I was in my home in the country and neighbors were walking down the road. Another neighbor's German Shepard began to bark at them, and then chased them down and began to circle around them, acting as if he wanted to attack. I grabbed my Winchester 30-30 deer rifle, threw a couple of shell into it, and ran outside barefooted.
Just as I got outside the dog was lunging up trying to bite at the wife's arm. He was not biting her, just nipping her coat sleeve. The husband was punching at the dog with his fist, trying to defend his wife and put himself in between her and the dog.
I was about 25 yards away from the road, but I was running the entire time, and had racked a shell into the chamber. When I had gotten to within about 10 yards or so, I fired a round into the ground, and it was as if I had lit a match on the dog's tail. He took off back home on a dead run. His owner had by this time come out of the house, but was kind of unaware of what was going on until the gunshot. When he heard it, he looked up in time to see his dog running at him at full tilt. At first he thought I had shot the dog, but quickly realized what had happened. He came over and was very humble and apologetic.
We were from a small town, he was just a year older in high school than me, so we were friendly, although to be honest, he was a bit of a stoner. He knew I could have shot his dog, and was grateful I hadn't. He also was good with the other neighbors, but they were pissed, justifiably so.
We lived about 3 miles out of town, so no police were involved, and no other people were even aware of the incident. If I hadn't had the rifle, things might have been tragic. I fault the dog owner though, not the dog. He thought he was just protecting his home turf.
In 1982 I had to shoot a man to save my life. The story of that encounter, and the change it caused in my life is here at my blog: http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?page_id=846
Over 14 years of hospice nursing, I drove between 300 and 400 miles a day, all over So. Calif. and into some of the worst, most dangerous parts of it. Company policy prohibited us from carrying ANY kind of weapon, so I developed exceptional situational awareness - which I consider essential, but which does not replace a self defense tool by any means.
Two of our nurses during that time were attacked, and one was brutally raped. There was, of course, no change in the weapons policy of the company.
I've never pointed or shown a firearm to any human but I've often been happy I had it, so that's the way I voted. But as is so often true with polls it's more complicated than that. I have defended myself against a drugged or crazy person in NYC by sticking him with a pointy, not nearly as illegal weapon. And I have used my carry gun against animals that threatened my dogs and poultry, on more than one occasion.
I ran into two druggies way out in the sticks one time, and I was a mile from my truck. I had no gun, because I was working and am not allowed to carry a weapon. I was carrying a shovel, though, and those two guys could not get to me. I think my body would have been found in the Little Wabash River had I not been armed with a shovel.