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Close call at walmart!

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by AndrewTB, Dec 3, 2005.

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  1. AndrewTB

    AndrewTB Member

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    OK so to keep this firearms related it proove that someone my age is worthy of a CCW in some ways.


    So I went to walmart about 45 minutes ago to get some airborne. My bike needed lights so people can see me at night so I went ahead and bought some.

    I started intalling the lights on my bike when I see 3 white guys and an asian start to get into it with the security guard. These guys were skinny but pretty tall and were probably 17-22. So the guard says stop screaming in the store and harassing customers or ill call the cops on you. SO one of the white guys pertends to swing at the guard and thye all walk away.

    So then they approach me saying " Oh little boy needs a light for his bike etc...". Then another one of the guys decides to beat his chest with his fist and says "come on you want to fight. Lets fight now.". So first thing I do is go into red alert mode seeing how I was outnumbered.

    Reach into my pockets and grab my knife and flick the blade out (almost like a switch blade). I say "Leave me alone or ill call the cops". They practically crapped their pants and ran to their car and left.

    So now that my adrenaline isnt pumping as much I thought. WOW what if they would have had a gun. Then again I think what would have happend if I acted like a pussy (something street punks like to take advantage of).

    This happend in the back of the parking lot. I didnt call the cops or go up to the guards. Nobody else was around so I would have been screwed.

    Did I react properly or correctly? I felt like I was in pretty big danger seeing how they were looking to start something.
     
  2. grizz5675

    grizz5675 Member

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    In my opinion you did the right thing ,sounds like they were just going around seeing if they could punk someone and you flipped it on them .You have to immediatly judge people at least somewhat, some are punks and some are the real deal.For the real deal one's you have to show them your the real deal also,usually showing them your concealed buddy will back them off.
     
  3. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    Sounds good to me. Except you should have said "Leave me alone or I will kill you." :)
     
  4. MNgoldenbear

    MNgoldenbear Member

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    Andrew, it looks like you have some other issues to address before you start thinking about whether you would have needed a CCW.

    First issue was being in the back of Walmart in the middle of the night. Probably not the best idea for personal security. If the lights were an emergency need, still should have installed in a place with greater visibility. If not an emergency, shop in daylight.

    Secondly, pulling the knife may very well have persuaded these jerks to leave you alone. While that is good, you realized that if they were armed (or simply larger, stronger, drugged, etc.), you would have been in serious trouble. If you are well trained in fighting with a blade, it may have helped you if things escalated. If not, probably best not to try a bluff unless it's your last resort. One of my pistol clubs used to occasionally throw in drills involving knives -- we found we all pretty much sucked at knife fighting.

    Sounds like a scary encounter, but hopefully a learning experience. Nothing wrong with being armed and using force judiciously. Better to be more aware of situations you are putting yourself in and avoiding obvious trouble to begin with. Having a CCW does NOT mean you ignore all dangers, wandering around in "condition white". It does not make you bullet-proof, knife-proof, baseball bat-proof, etc. It does not make it a smarter idea to cruise in bad neighborhoods in the middle fo the night, trolling for trouble. It would simply give you the legal option to carry one more tool to aid in defending your life in times when, despite all your precautions, things have gone terribly wrong. Take care. Learn to be safe (armed or not).
     
  5. AndrewTB

    AndrewTB Member

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    Wasnt at the back of walmart. It was in the back part of the parking area which is lit and in front of the store not behind.

    BUt I too agree with the part of them having a gun etc... I did what I felt was best at the moment. I was pretty calm too at the moment but adrenaline was still PUMPING!
     
  6. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

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    Sounds like you handled yourself ok.

    Still you should have alerted the security so they can get the cops after the punks.
     
  7. MNgoldenbear

    MNgoldenbear Member

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    Ah, misunderstood that initially.
     
  8. keyhole

    keyhole Member

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    You can tell about it, and have learned from the experince. That's all good.
     
  9. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    If they where armed, larger, stronger, drugged, etc. he'd have been screwed either way.

    Thugs respect strength (or at least fear it), showing weakness to thugs is a good way to incur a beatdown.
     
  10. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    I think considering the tools available you did just fine. Hey, we have to use what we have, even if it's a pen.

    But I'm curious though, is this a bicycle? So you chained it up way out in the north forty because...?
     
  11. MNgoldenbear

    MNgoldenbear Member

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    Not recommending "show of weakness". Just pointing out that he had realized later that he would indeed have been screwed. Just pointing out that if he didn't know what he was doing and it hit the fan, pulling out his knife "almost like a switchblade" wasn't going to impress anyone. Pointing back to the idea of being aware and generally staying out of the situation to begin with.

    And yes, I agree that once the situation was upon him, he did what he felt would give him the best chance, as we all have to do.
     
  12. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Andrew,

    The following are opinions, so take them as such with a grain of salt.

    First, you did the right thing to post this on THR and ask for feedback. That tells me you are wise for a young age. Keep doing that.

    Second, congrats on handling this, and surviving.

    Third, I tend to agree with NMGoldenBear mostly. Be careful out there.

    When I was about 14, growing up in a small town in TN, there was a kid a year older than me that was a total punk. (In those days, they were referred to as 'bully', but the concept is the same.)

    One day, he confronted me in a sand lot near our homes. He started bad mouthing me, threatening me with physical abuse. He taunted me, mocked me. (I was skinny, he was not.)

    I happened to be carrying a fixed blade knife. (Some no name brand I'd picked up in an army surplus store.)

    I pulled it, pointed it at him, and said, "come on, let's do this", or something similar.

    He immediately backed down, claiming that he was only kidding, "let's just be friends".

    (For the record: years later, he ran for state congress in TN and asked for my support. I declined. Don't know if he made it in or not.)

    Now, I'm not saying what I did was right or wrong. Same for your actions. We do what we do when the need arises. All we can do is what feels right at the time. If we're lucky, and wise, we survive the situation and live to see another day. If we're stupid and/or unlucky, we don't.

    My suggestion: reread NMGoldenBear's advice above. Use your power judiciously. Seek some training, especially marshall arts. Become a Jedi warrior. Stealth is 7/10ths of what will keep you alive. Try to avoid places where bad things can happen, and abate the bad situations without pulling out a weapon, when possible. Keep in mind that sometimes, despite our best intentions, pulling the weapon out can exacerbate the situation.

    Stay cool for as long as possible. When it hits the fan, do the best you can do.

    I wish you the best, and look forward to seeing you on THR 10, 20 & 30 years from now.

    If I can follow my own advice, then I'll be here, too.

    Nem
     
  13. Norton

    Norton Member

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    Lots of good feedback so far.

    Just to reinforce: The overwhelming majority of these twerps are cowards and only intimidate people to the extent that they let themselves be intimidated.

    As I've related somewhere else on THR, I was a confirmed wuss when I was young because my mom told me that since I was so much bigger than everyone else I had to put myself above the situation.

    Consequently, I got ragged on a lot. I was just a bigger target. I quickly figured out I was getting screwed on this pacifism deal.....

    After delivering a couple of strategic bloody noses when being harrassed the cowards finally decided that the 6'7" guy wasn't such an inviting target afterall. ;)

    FWIW, I think you did the best you could with the situation. Review, evaluate and learn.

    Stay safe out there.
     
  14. jamz

    jamz Member

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    All the advice I've read here so far is completely counter to the "don't escalate a situation" idea if you are CCW'ing.

    Unless you are in a state like FL in which this action is more legal, (and more power to you if you are, more states should be this way) I'd say it's all terrible advice. If you carry a gun, you are supposed to back down, unless you have no choice, IMO.

    -James
     
  15. Norton

    Norton Member

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    With respect to CCW specifically, you make a good point. However, given this situation and the tools that he had available I think he did what was necessary to end the confrontation. :)
     
  16. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

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    Ok. what would you do to de-escalate the situation?
     
  17. 6inch

    6inch Member

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    Since the dawning of time. Stick, rock, knife... Any equqlizer is better than nothing. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Hemicuda

    Hemicuda member

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    The way a person "comports" themselves DIRECTLY effects their "targetability" as a victim...

    what this means in simpler terms is that if you act in a confident manner, and carry yourself like someone who knows how to protect onesself, then you are ALOT less likely to be victimized...

    to me, this means that i carry myself as if I had my CCW piece even when i am NOT carrying it... head up, watchful, not aggressive, but FAR FROM MEEK... always vigilant... this usually sends the message to others that I am NOT someone to screw with, without me acting in an agressive manner...

    also, the knife worked, but i'll second the opinion that a knife in untrained hands is as big a danger to the holder as it is to the bad guy... (but they don't always realize this)

    all in all, a good deal for you.
     
  19. jamz

    jamz Member

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    A couple of assumptions:

    1. I am carrying
    2. I am in in a state that doesn't have a Florida-esque "personal castle doctrine" kind of thing. (Sadly, most of them).

    I say "Hey, I don't want trouble". Maybe "I'm not the guy you want to fight with". Maybe "Nah, you'd just beat the crap out of me, what's the fun in that?"

    Position myself so I was not surrounded, even if it meant leaving my bike and tools closer to them than to me. Possibly get around a car.

    I might even ask them what they're so pissed about. Maybe I can help, or at least commiserate.

    That's about it. At this point, they will either pursue me or not. If they persue me, and if I can't get away, well then they get to see the muzzle from the Wrong Angle, and I hope that changes their mind, but if it does not, then at least I did what I could to de-escalate things, and they gave me what I would see as no choice, and I could tell the jury that.

    Now, in the thread poster's situation, I did not pick up on the fact that he wasn't carrying, so standing up was probably a pretty good, albeit risky, thing. I like to avoid fights, so I probably would not have done it. Makes me a good CCW candidate, eh? ;)

    -James
     
  20. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    What we have here is what I classify as a "chase-off".

    Happens ALL the time, knife or gun.

    Personally, I think four on one constitutes enough disparity of force to put you in fear of losing your life or suffering great bodily injury. At least in my state (Calif) that's the standard for drawing/using deadly force. Note that California is surprisingly not a "duty to retreat" state. You should be aware whether or not yours is. I would question whether or not it would matter though - running from four large goblins would only mean fighting while tired and they had their blood up.

    The fact that you managed to draw your cutlery cleanly mattered a lot...showed you might just know what you're doing with it.

    It's a funny thing. If you draw like you MEAN it, and you ain't bluffing, you're far less likely to need to actually use it. Works against man or beast. I've driven off two dogs at knifepoint (one incident) and I'm quite sure it wasn't the knife that did it, they aren't THAT smart. It was my attitude. So was the knife necessary? Hell yes. Where do you think my attitude came from?

    :D

    In fact, a lot of incidents are reported where people who did have guns didn't have a "sheeple attitude" when first confronted with a goblin...and said mugger/rapist/whatever ran off before the gun was ever drawn or even a move made towards it.

    Somebody who doesn't believe in armed self defense would say that wasn't a "defensive gun use". I say otherwise! It was, because the gun supplied enough of the right attitude to solve the problem VERY early in the curve.

    Which is a good thing.
     
  21. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Thugs

    A couple of mistakes, but the right attitude nontheless.

    Advice:

    Never tip your hand until it's time to. Showing them the knife worked this time. Next time you may be facing an experienced street-fighter,
    and if you are, he'll probably feed that blade to you from the wrong end. Believe it. Not even a gun makes you invincible.

    Never escalate the encounter if possible. Never bluff. A predator can tell when you won't strike...or if you'll even hesitate. Never threaten. Don't show fear, but don't challenge, especially when you're outnumbered and all you have is a knife. If you have to make a stand, get something solid behind you, and never forget that a good run is better than a bad stand. Always glance around for an escape route when your 6th sense tells you that something's wrong. If something does "feel" wrong, back out of it if the odds are stacked heavily against you.

    Stay safe.
     
  22. pax

    pax Member

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    Working on your bike in the middle of the night in the WalMart parking lot at WalMart was probably a bad idea. That's a classic fringe area , the sort of place where most robberies & assaults occur.

    Pulling your knife was probably okay. A knife is deadly force and so when you pulled it you were threatening the attackers with deadly force. So your action in pulling the knife would have to stand up to the ability, opportunity, jeopardy/intent rule. Let's see ... you were outnumbered (ability), they were close (opportunity) and their verbal threats indicated that jeopardy/intent was present. So I think deadly force was legally permissible and that pulling the knife was okay.

    But did you mean to use deadly force? Were you prepared to kill one of these guys at the moment you pulled the knife? Visualize the scene and think really hard about it. If you weren't ready & willing to actually and literally kill one of them, you shouldn't have pulled the knife or threatened to use it. If you didn't truly believe that your life was in exactly that much danger, enough danger to justify killing one or more of those people, then you shouldn't have pulled the knife. You are the only one who can honestly answer those questions and you are the only one who needs to hear the answers. And you owe it to yourself to be brutally, 100% honest with yourself about it.

    Failing to call the cops was probably the wrong thing to do, too. Generally, the first guy to call the cops gets to be the "victim," at least at first. The responding officer will generally assume that the caller is the good guy and the one who didn't call is the bad guy. You know the old saw about first impressions being the ones that last; it could take a lot of work to overcome that bad start and whatever gets written in the initial report. Of course, in this case, they didn't the cops on you -- but did you really want to gamble $1000 or so that they wouldn't? Lawyers don't come cheap.

    If you were carrying the knife illegally, or if your knife itself is illegal in that jurisdiction, then calling the cops would have been a bad move instead of a good one. But then if the other guys called the cops and the responding officer found an illegal weapon on you, you'd be in an even stickier legal situation. That's better than being dead, I guess.

    Just my .02. Glad you're okay. :)

    pax
     
  23. Arc-Lite

    Arc-Lite Member

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    the red flag should have gone up, when you saw how they were dealing with the security officer, and it should have stayed up, on that long, dark, bike ride home. you on a 30 pound bike, them in a half ton car.... makes for a real bad night.
     
  24. strambo

    strambo Member

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    PAX beat me to it. I can't say if pulling the knife was right/wrong without experiencing that exact situation. It is most important for you to realize that a knife is deadly force and to be prepared to follow through. If a fight were to ensue and you have a knife, expect someone to die. If that is acceptable and legally justified, then it is probably the right course of action.

    The de-escalation comments are good too. You could have taken a step back/to the side to reposition yourself for an advantage, while putting your hand on the knife, ready to draw and saying "I don't want any trouble" while raising your left hand in a submissive gesture. This would give position advantage, prepare you for combat (right hand on knife/left up in a guard position) while showing the perps, any witnesses and any cameras that you made obvious de-escalating gestures. Also, the knife would be concealed until the last moment. Speak in a confident voice (because you know you could take these guys out) and it will not be showing weakness. They will sense your confidence if it is real.

    Good luck, stay safe.
     
  25. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Member

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    Those were clearly punks. Such get easily intimidated by a composed confident attitude. But, pulling the knife on them was a mistake, IMO. If one of them was carrying, they could have blown you away and legally walked claiming self-defense.

    If you stay out of fringe areas or take off when somebody is misbehaving, there would not be a need to handle an escalation.
     
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