How a bad turn led to a good turn

How a bad turn led to a good turn

By Honey Rand

My husband is the king of all ‘safe’ things. A retired Air Force pilot and former chief of police at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, he still insists on arriving at the airport three hours early and does not drink when driving.

He never texts or sends non-verbal communication (in the form of hand gestures) to irresponsible drivers. Open-toed shoes are not allowed for driving or on airplanes as they are generally unsafe and especially if a quick exit from the plane is required. No car in which he is the driver can move until all seat belts are fastened. Speed ​​limits are strictly adhered to, as are all traffic rules. The list goes on and on and on. Over 30 years I have watched the list grow.

So it was a complete surprise when, one Saturday afternoon, after we had made a left turn behind a huge transporter, we had red lights chasing us, and we were pulled over by a Hillsborough County sheriff.

We took the first right onto a street in a mixed living/working area. Then we went down the street, all the way to the right. The sheriff’s deputy came after us. Although he never stopped, my husband’s training and experience at MacDill Air Force Base many years ago dictated that we should stay in the car, his hands on the wheel.

My husband drives a Tesla P85D and sometimes people, even law enforcement officers, want to ask about it. Being put aside would be a first, but not out of the question.

The young officer walked to the driver’s side of the car and asked my husband if he knew why he was being stopped.

“No,” my husband replied.

“You turned left after the traffic light went red,” the officer said.

“I was behind that big truck and didn’t see it,” Jim said.

It was true. Neither of us could see around or over it, and who knew it was an extraordinarily fast light?

“Driving license please,” the officer said.

Jim reached into his back pocket for his wallet and pulled out his driver’s license. The deputy saw my husband’s license to carry and his retired military ID

“Do you have a gun in the car, sir?” he asked.

“There’s one in the glove compartment.”

“Please open the glove compartment slowly and take out the gun with two fingers.”

Jim did.

The officer made sure there was no bullet in the Sig Sauer P38, then released the clip and threw it on the back seat of the car. He took Jim’s driver’s license and went to his car. When he returned, he warned and thanked Jim for his service, then went back to his vehicle.

I turned to Jim and said, “We need to tell him I’ve got a gun too.”

Jim is 15 years older than me, but I was over 50 at the time.

“No. Let’s just get out of here.”

“Jim, we’re okay, but the next time he stops a couple and he sees a ‘grown-up’ woman in the car, they might not be like us. He never suspected that I would carry a gun because I am a woman of a certain age. He must know. It could save his life.”

Jim gave in, jumped out of the car and signaled the deputy before he could drive away. Jim explained to the young officer that I was also an ex-serviceman and I was also licensed to carry, and I had a Smith and Wesson in my bag. Jim suggested asking everyone in the car next time if they are armed.

The young deputy was surprised and thanked Jim for the heads up. He promised that he would do so in the future.

That bad left turn left us making a right turn.

About the author

Honey Rand has been a writer since she could hold a pencil. Her work is mainly focused on science and nature and has been featured in magazines, journals, newspapers and other publications. Her book, “Water Wars: A Story of People, Politics and Power” will be reissued soon with a chapter 20 years later. She has a Ph.D. in communications from the University of South Florida.

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