The Washington Post had a profile of Tom Palmer in the Sunday paper. He recounts how a gun possibly saved his life when he and a colleague were accosted after dark:
“We were what they perceived as a couple of faggots, which was the term they used, walking through their neighborhood,” he said. “And it would have been one of those modestly ironic moments if my colleague might have been murdered in a gay bashing, when he was straight.”
The threats were vivid and believable: “We’re going to kill you. They’ll never find your body.”
Palmer told his colleague to run. The thugs chased Palmer, who stopped under a streetlight and pulled out his gun.
“I did not say anything witty or clever,” he recalls. “In the movies, they say something very clever. I just said, ‘If you come closer, I will kill you.’ Very blunt. And they stopped.”
He is convinced that if he hadn’t had a gun he would be dead. Even though the legal weapon was not fired, “it did the job it was intended to do. It evened up the odds from a gang of young men who thought it would be really fun to beat to death two guys walking down the street.”