Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by seekinganswers, Apr 10, 2009.
You did fine, I'm proud of you.
I've avoided many situations by not acting like I'm going to be easy to roll over.
What would be of interest to me, as well as possibly educational, is for the OP to answer how he would have handled this same situation in the days before he CCW'd.
I probably would have stayed seated if I wasn't CCW. No real means to fight back if he's packing. OTOH I might have stood up and gotten into a defensive pose anyway - if he has a knife at least you can run at that point.
If I was alone I would definitely just back away inside. I didn't want to leave my friend though.
Looks to me like the OP did ok. I wasn't there so I can't say if I would have done anything differently, but my experience says always follow your gut instinct. He did that, he assumed a defensive posture just in case, he communicated in a firm but nonthreatening way, and the situation was over in seconds with no one hurt.
Excellent information, passing this on to my wife and son as required reading.
Sounds like you did everything by the book. It was the reaction he warranted. You weren't comfortable with his presence, and he left. Without any real confrontation from your side. No harm no foul, IMHO.
I've had a very similar situation. I was getting a gunpart (a mag well) off a buddy of mine, and we'd been missing each other for a couple of weeks and playing answering machine tag for a couple of days. Eventually we were going to be in close proximity at the same time, so we arranged to meet at a local park. (Man this sounds way dodgy).
I arrived a little after him and we were both parked facing out. We got out of our cars and stood there shooting the breeze for a while. After some time, this car pulls off the road and drives past us, slowly. With all 4 occupants staring at us. They were all dressed like gangbangers. And they were paying us way more attention than we deserved.
I noticed my side of the conversation had dwindled away, and then i realized he wasn't saying änything either, we were both watching this car, and we had both orientated ourselves with it. We both tried to carry the conversation for another couple of seconds when he stops and says "You also getting a funny feeling about those guys?".
The car had passed us slowly, and exited the park by another gate, and driven up the road to the first gate again, and we could see them pulling into the park again. This is a fairly safeish area, but a couple of joggers had been mugged here.
"Yeah" I said, "You carrying?"
"Yup, my 1911, you?
"Yeah, my Glock."(it is a 26).
"So we should probably wrap this up hey?"
We both said goodbye as we ducked into our cars and left.
Now maybe they were just health concious banger's who wanted to jog, or they liked our cars (a Ford Fiesta and a Toyota Carolla), or they liked us, but whatever their reasoning, they managed to put two ex police reservists on alert. Not a real easy thing to do.
You get that funny feeling at the back of your head or in the pit of your stomach, LISTEN TO IT. Most often it is right. Even if not for the extremely violent reasons your Cortex can sometimes whip up.
The last couple of million years of evolution have given you tools and senses that humans have spent the last couple of centuries ignoring. Don't ignore them out of some fear of being rude. If you are uncomfortable, make sure the other person knows. Either by body language or plain spoken language, tell the other person to go away.
Even if it just a sense of "I don't want this guy around" why should you look out for his feelings over your own? The fact that he recognized your competent reaction to him, probably means he was looking for an easy roll. Either to badger into getting some money off, or possibly to commit a crime against you.
Everyone got to go home safely. This = bonus.
So you thought the guy was up to no good, you stood up and looked at him in probable an intimidating kinda way? You cant say that he could tell you were armed, Im sure he couldnt. He was probable just spooked by your boldness. Theres no law against that.
I find myself making sure that I can easily draw my firearm at a moment's notice. Not actually drawing, but being keenly aware that I could draw if needed. In other words, if I am in the car, I make sure my seatbelt or clothing would not interfere with drawing; if am walking across a parking lot, my right hand is free; in the winter my firearm is in a pocket holster and I do not wear gloves. Constant vigilance. And about a stranger's physical appearance? I evaluate everyone with the thought that bad guys rarely advertise their intent.
So, my thought is that the OP did the right thing. Seconds count, and if the stranger DID intend harm, he was prepared to act.
That's one thing you shouldn't have done. OPSEC, OPSEC, always OPSEC. Now your "work partner" knows you carry a gun, soon everyone else at work will too.
Was the guy alone? or with others?
If alone... I'd guess he was coming a begging.
If with others, he may have been investigating opportunities for "group action".
I don't think his response necessarily implies he was preparing to rob or assault you and your friend. An individual who lives on the streets would likely have some significant street smarts and know that your response communicated both suspicion of his intentions as well as a readiness to act with aggression in response.
Putting yourself into a ready position where you can act both with and without your sidearm, makes a lot of sense.
Just be VERY sure you have a clear understanding of when you are justified to use deadly force and what your states definition of brandishing is.
Beggars and Hustlers (be the yellow, brown, black or white) do present a viable threat in my mind, but unless they display hostile actions and have a weapon, you better be sure that yours stays put.
Only you can tell whether you over reacted or not.
What's your gut telling you?
Trust your instincts -- don't let anyone second guess you on that.
I think the OP did good, only fault I can find is him NOT taking a grip on the pistol. Don't need to draw it or expose it, but if you're going to "get ready", then you'd better have ahold of it. Getting into a defensive stance is good, but if you DON'T have your hand on the pistol butt, that will just add more time to your response. JMHO.
No, you're not racist. Being a brother, I can tell you that you're not a racist and you didn't overreact. Now, if you drew your weapon, then you would've overreacted. If you were in condition orange because he was black, then you're racist. However, you didn't react because he was black. You reacted because he was rude and dressed in clothes that were too warm for the weather so it might've hid a weapon. Good job.
No issues imo.
Potential threats are evaluated by our knowledge, experiences, and environments, and we primarily use our vision to assess the information available, and make a decision.
This dude obviously triggered something by his approach, his manner of speech and dress that was outside the "norm".
Hope for the best, expect the worse imo...
I don't think there was any "overreaction" per se. Especially if you would have stood up and confronted the guy whether you were carrying or not.
That said, I think it's useful to consider whether your willingness to confront the guy stemmed from your being armed. If backing away inside was the prudent course of action while unarmed, then it likely could have been the prudent course of action even while armed (assuming away the oblivious friend complication in this specific case).
A more black and white example of the point that I'm trying to raise is whether my having a handgun would lead me to arrive home and attempt to "clear" my apparently burglarized house, rather than dial 911 and have the police do it as I certainly would do if unarmed. I don't want want the presence of a gun to lead me to wantonly and voluntarily engage in more risky behavior than I would without one. That would sort of negate the risk-management benefits of being armed.
Being outside, as opposed to around home, is a much more fluid situation of course. I'm among those that say you probably ought to listen to your intuition.
Moreover, the "bladed" profile that people so often refer to is really not much different than the stance that a boxer, martial artist or other skilled, but unarmed combatant might assume. Unless you're clearly grabbing for a gun, I think the average street wack just starts thinking there are probably softer targets. You know you have a gun, but as long you don't brandish, then no harm or foul I reckon.
I once was once walking back to my car in a dark, dodgy part of town. I was in a rush, so I was gaining on the only other pedestrian in sight. A lone female. She crossed at the light; I immediately jaywalked across the street--because that's where I was parked. She immediately picked up the pace and disappeared.
Her threat assessment was wrong, but understandable in retrospect. If she had challenged me, I would have had a truthful and provable answer. (If she had turned and open fired, hmm...) Point being I don't begrudge her behavior and I don't think the dude who approached you would either if his intentions were actually innocent.
I live and work in downtown Nashville. I have had at least 30 encounters were someone dressed like that has approached me. They're all homeless and all have a ridiculous story about why they need some change.
Like others have said, its hard to know, and you probably should just trust your gut. But in my area if your sitting outside at a cafe or something and I guy approaches, he probably just wants some change.
It would be a whole different story if I was alone in an unpopulated area.
I went downtown Nashville twice to the TA for fuel in trucking. I have never seen so many homeless. Not since they shut down and paved over the old 76 to the east of the city.
I aint going back there, no offense. And the stories... sheesh. It's easier to keep going to either Cumberland or Jackson.
In most instances, "homeless" is a polite term for someone too lazy or unwilling to follow the "norms" of society - like earning a living and holding down a decent job.
Sorry for the politically incorrect assessment - but it's about freakin' time that SOMEONE stands up and tells the world - "NO - I do NOT have any "spare change" for those too lazy to pay their OWN way!"
Think I'm lying? Try giving a job to 95% of the "homeless" - I have. I get every excuse in the book, except "Thanks - I'll be there in the morning ready to work!".
Did you over-react?
My wife has a small part-time job cleaning some office buildings (2 hours a week, empty garages, vacuum floors). This office building is not 'on the way' to anywhere. It is the end of the road so to speak.
I stop by one evening to help her out after I get off work and as I get out of the car this car comes pulling into the parking lot shining his lights right at me and driving slow. The company has cleared out by this point. I stand by my car and watch as the car comes closer. He's moving WAY TOO SLOW to be an office working coming back for something they have forgotten. I put my hand on my pistol hanging at my right hip but did not pull it. (the button-up I was wearing still covered the sidearm,... maybe the guy knew what I was doing, maybe he didn't, I never asked) By this point the car has turned so I'm about 8-10 feet away and facing the driver's door. He rolls the window down and I asked him if he was lost. He asks me if I'm the new janitor. At this point I have a pretty good freaking idea what is going on, and now I kinda WANT to pull on him, Instead I told him I was and asked why he wanted to know. He drove away. Right up and to his question there was NOTHING that screamed out problem..... but the instincts were right.
I would rather be remembered as the A-hole who was edgy and abrupt than as the subject of the eulogy. (just my .02)
You better believe I called in the plate number on that PT Cruser.
You know, you and I are both lucky we live in Texas. I read in the Wall Street Journal that Texas (especially South Texas) has been least affected by the recession out of all 50 states. South Texas real estate prices are even going up (in the Rio Grande Valley region), unlike the rest of the nation.
What you say may be true in Texas, especially South Texas, but it is NOT true in other parts of the Union, especially California. Sprawling tent cities have sprung up outside all major cities in California and other places. I saw on CNN that all these tent city homeless were "being moved to other more sanitary locations." FEMA camps perhaps? They never said exactly where they were moved to, just that "they were moved." Many of these were middle class white collar workers who are looking hard for jobs, but couldn't find any.
Here is the video:
We need to feed our less fortunate neighbors, find these tent cities and feed them so that the government won't have to do it. If the government does it, then it is an excuse to levy martial law and take away our constitutional rights. Nobody will care about your right to bear arms if they are not fed. Starving people will gladly give up their freedom and their children's freedom for bread. Not since the civil war has the Union been in so much trouble. The news blackout from the government controlled news media is troubling.... Hiding the problem won't make it go away. Why are they hiding it???
Or we could blame it on President Hoover.
Remember this, friend, and remember it well:
You didn't see anything out of the ordinary in retrospect. But, you ACTUALLY did see something--it just didn't register.
Your subconscious took over, and told you that you and your friend were in danger. Trust me, there was more than likely something that the guy did that signaled mortal danger.
What you did was to address the threat, and place yourself in a better position to survive. Race has NOTHING to do with this--especially with the guy's statement, "Hey, I'm a student like you!" when he most obviously wasn't.
Don't beat yourself about it--you did the right thing. Be aware, be conscious, SURVIVE.
God gave you that 6th sense about danger for a reason and you listened. Nothing happened and everyone went home okay. Had you reasoned away that gut feeling and something bad happened you would be getting scorched for not reacting immediately.
You did fine.
The one thing I will take issue with is your assertion that you wouldn't have had a way to fight back if you hadn't been armed.
To be sure, you are at great risk fighting back unarmed against an armed opponent, but you should in no way be unable to defend yourself. Look at getting some training off the range (e.g. Aikido, Krav Maga). I can't do anything about someone pointing a gun at me from 20 feet away, but I can certainly do something if a person is dumb enough to point a gun at me point blank. It doesn't guarantee I won't get shot...but I can at least go down trying.
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