Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Trunk Monkey, Sep 2, 2013.
That would freak me out. You are a calm and restrained man.
This is, at the very least, exceptionally rude. At the very worst, it's exceptionally dangerous.
You did NOT over-react. In fact, I think you used excellent restraint in your "lightning" assessment of the situation in the instants that they occurred.
Regardless of what some people may think, ANY PERSON WHO GRABS ANOTHER'S WEAPON without their express permission is DANGEROUS. This is about a possible loss of control of the weapon and everything that can possibly happen as a result.
Regardless of this guy's motivations, his actions are DANGEROUS. And his behavior should NOT be treated any other way, especially by the church administration.
Your letter, in my opinion, was spot on. It wasn't about anger, retaliation, or even a demand for an apology. It was about what happened and making sure that it didn't happen again.
Your future strategy of avoidance is likewise spot-on, even if this guy gets an official "talking to".
In the years I've carried, I only ever had someone grab for my gun once...and interestingly enough, it wasn't for a real gun at the time. I was dressed as a cowboy/gunfighter for Halloween and had a replica Colt SAA in a belt holster. The idiot was fully intent on actually attempting to take a "real gun" away from me as a deliberate criminal act, but didn't have a clue about the hammer strap. Let's just say that he and I are both fortunate that no real guns came into play that day.
Grab his hand, bend it backwards, etc. Don't attempt to break it as you normally would, but cause a little pain.
If something is said about it, just say you reacted instinctively to training.
He may be a little crazy and not understand why he shouldn't be doing it, but unless they're heavily drugged, everyone understands pain.
Sad that it may have to come to that, but he has to stop.
Couple of points of clarification
Huggy Christians, some Christian guys are huggy some aren’t. Generally I am not but I’m not willing to cause strife in the church by refusing to hug a guy that is. I’d be more leery of a Christian male that was always hugging on the ladies.
Brushing his hand across my hips, (first incident) He did not brush his hands across my hips he reached around behind me and put his hand directly on the gun for which he got his arm slapped away and told to BTFO
My lightning fast assessment of the guy’s intent, I had several months to get to know the guy before the first incident. I know enough to know he wasn’t trying to attack me.
Finally, the Bible states that I will appear before the judgment seat of Christ not Sister Dominatrix
In this instance I would have had to justify my actions to the church as well as (possibly) the police and I would just about bet that the church’s response would have been “Well we’ve known Chucky for years and sure he’s a little silly but he’s not a bad person. I think Trunk blew the whole thing out of proportion.” And next thing you know I’m looking for a new church.
Now I’m on record as having made a complaint and pointing out an escalating pattern of behavior on Chucky’s part and specifically asking the church to intervene.
So if they don’t and I do have to brake check the guy or send him to “Our lady of the Steel Ruler” I have a paper trail showing that I took advantage of every non violent means at my disposal to counter his bullying before starting a fist fight with an unarmed man while I was carrying a gun.
And now that you know how he may (mis)behave, it seems to me that it should be really easy to avoid being hugged by this fellow. If you don't allow him to get too close, he cannot hug you, yes?
Over AND under-reacted
It appears I am in a minority, but I agree with Officer's Wife (posts redacted, but quoted in post #22) that you over-reacted. Here is the basis for my opinion.
The first incident was not threatening. At that time, I would have explained (in no uncertain terms, but without mention of consequences, the rules of proper etiquette with regards to church security or any armed people and that your firearm is off limits. If he is mentally challenged, putting it at his level of understanding would be appropriate.
The second incident showed a level of immaturity (or stupidity), on his part, completely unacceptable. But it might also show that you did not make your requirements clear at the first incident. A clarification of proper etiquette, and questioning his motives in a private setting, possibly with his supervisor in attendance would be in order.
It is well that you mitigated your instinctive physical response. I assume it was because you were 1) in church 2) an acquaintance and 3) clearly not a threat.
I congratulate you on your training. Your verbal response the first time was not effective, though. Do you recognize that what you SAY is as much a tactic as what you DO?
Overreacted by taking a threatening posture. Underreacted by not verbalizing strongly enough.
Good for you. Thanks for asking our advice. Thanks for reading my thoughts.
Especially now that The Reacher is going to be scolded by his boss, he may try to take it out on you and might try to embarrass YOU by taking it too far the next time.
Before anyone takes offense, let me explain; you are/were designated to be part of a security team. Some, if not all staff and and church goers, are aware you are armed, even if concealed. Your SA has to be much higher, as well as your officer safety, and weapons retention. That means no hugs, a larger personal space must be enforced, you keep out of lanes of traffic, back to wall, head on a swivel, and you approach people in such a way as to keep weapon side away. You have left the realm of private citizen and attendee.
Anyone,ANYONE who goes for yoir weapon is a threat. How far you escalate the contact is up to your judgement, but you must always defend that weapon. You owe it to the church and your team.
Great job on not escalating the contact, and for your after action, but make sure you learn from it. You never know who is grabbing a weapon or why.
No offense was intended here, just honest input on the situation.
Be safe my friend.
The worst thing that can happen is a little butt-hurt on the part of the grabber if you are wrong...but if you are right...you may have just prevent a mass-casualty scenario.
Enforcing a larger personal space
The question I have in this is how, exactly, does one enforce a larger personal space with out escalating the situation? Do I start yelling at the guy as soon as he enters my bubble? Do I cause a scene in the middle of the foyer? Do I punch him in the face? How do I get this guy to respect my boundaries with out resorting to violence?
I don’t remember the exact wording I used first time he touched my gun but I verbalized very clearly and very specifically that touching my gun was not acceptable behavior and that I viewed it as a threat and for whatever reason he didn’t take me seriously which lead to the second incident.
The second time it happened I told him very clearly do not ever put your hands on me like that again and instead of respecting the boundary I set he got offended that I had raised my voice to him and told me that I needed to mellow out and realize that “this is a Ministry not the FBI” (his words) so I know there was some impact to what I said but I really don’t feel that I tripped the “hey this guy is serious about me staying out of his bubble” switch with this guy. I think that at this point he still thinks it’s amusing, hence the letter to the head of security.
I believe that if I physically keep my distance I will alleviate 90% of the problem and the next time I have to be in close proximity (he stands right outside the security office) to him I’m going to tell him very clearly “Do not approach me I want nothing to do with you.” But short of actually punching him in the nose (euphuism for becoming physically violent) how do I enforce my space?
Has he ever approached any of the other members of the security team in this manner? If not, then there was something he saw in you that lead him to believe that behavior was acceptable. More than likely you were always very respectful and congenial with him and he just read into that that he could kid with you. He obviously took the kidding too far! However, I can't help but think that after your last warning to him he will back off.
I would hope that your church leadership would support you in this situation. I know that if I had to go to my pastor with something like this the guy would be looking for another church if he didn't quit it.
I head the Hospitality Team at my church and in that position I probably experience a dozen or more hugs each Sunday. That is the main reason that I went from G26 on the hip to Nano in the pocket.
Sent from my phone with my giant, uncoordinated sausage thumbs.
Thanks. That clears up a lot of uncertainty in my interpretation of your posts.
One: My fault: I tend to impute benign motives on others as my default. Not always true.
Two: It now sounds as this guy is either A) both playful and clueless and trying to "have fun" with you and your gun (perhaps he is against the concept of armed security and this is his passive-aggressive way of protest-have any others on the security team had similar experiences?) or B) Has a personal agenda with you. c) Something I did not think of.
In any event, if verbal instruction does not do the job, relieving the uncooperative greeter from that position might be in order. Deliberately exposing a member of the security team is a danger to the entire congregation.
An additional piece of advice; a control technique that is between injurious and ineffective, suitable for unobtrusive detention might be in order.
Point of clarity: I still am unclear from your posts reiterating your instruction "do not ever put your hands on me like that again" vs your post stating "touching my gun was not acceptable behavior". Is it at all remotely possible that he does not understand the gravity (emphasize "grave") of the situation?
p.s. Your first post is right. This guy is an idiot. If it is congenital or from an injury, I would cut him some slack and take another shot at educating him, kindly. If willful, get him fired.
The first incident happened several months ago I do not remember my exact words but I know the words “reaching for someone’s gun isn’t OK people take that as a threat” were in there and I though he got it because he stepped back and gave me a look.
Between then and now any time I talk to him the subject of my gun seems to come up. As I said his station is right out side the security office and I can’t avoid him all of the time.
At this point I think he’s amused by the rise he got out of me and I really think he isn’t going to take it seriously unless there’s some consequence
Easily done ... smile and extend your arm if he starts getting too close ... if necessary, place you hand on his chest or grip his shoulder. Perhaps, left arm extended to maintain space and right extended to shake this fool's hand?
That should be enough to handle the situation, even for this fellow.
Careful, don't let your testosterone get in the way of rational thought.
Does this describe the greeter's mental capacity, or your attitude toward anyone who doesn't respect gun safety, personal space, privacy, and personal security in the same ways as you?
I completely agree that the greeter's actions were inappropriate and must be addressed, but I disagree that those actions indicate that he is an idiot.
I meant consequence in the sense of official censure from the church
The greeter is not an idiot in the clinical sense. He is a functional adult male (with atrocious fashion sense) and understands right from wrong.
I used the term “idiot” to describe not just his attitude but his actual physical actions that were inappropriate and that I am certain you would not have tolerated and I don't think it was inappropriate. (although calling him an idiot might have been)
What would you call someone who reached for your gun?
Just what you did -- an idiot.
Is anyone allowed to carry at church in your state or do they have to have the church's permission? In Arkansas you have to have permission.
I would think it would be smart to not let everyone know who is carrying. When the wife drags me to church, I carry. There are two of us who do, and no one but us two and the minister knows. No worries that way.
call him anything. The fact that he's grossly wrong in reaching for another person's carry gun is clear, but that action doesn't lead me to conclude anything else about him.
Yes, in the moment I've called another person an idiot under my breath for doing something I considered highly inappropriate. But when I've reflected on the attitude I exhibited, I've been penitent. I wonder, in those moments of reflection, how many times that day another person called me an idiot for something I know in hindsight was wrong or something I don't even realize I've done.
The OP may be doing that right now.
Separate names with a comma.