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bartonkj
September 13, 2006, 06:03 PM
Something happened today and it really got me thinking about preparedness and the speed with which one can "be ready for action." I hope you will indulge my long post.

I manage a rather poor condominium homeowners association in a less than ideal neighborhood (I do not live there). Someone was shot and killed in a robbery on the property today. Neither the robbers nor the victim appear to be residents or associated with the condominium property.

I was not a witness but my understanding of the events (from my co-workers who were witnesses) are as follows.

1) Two guys walking around the property today for some time before the shooting. They haven't been seen by my co-workers (some of whom live on the property) before. Both characters look a little shady but that's not so unusual around here and they don't seem to be doing anything wrong.

2) My co-workers are outside a condo unit when a van drives up and the driver asks my co-workers if they called him. They said no and asked what he was talking about. He said he sells clothes out of his van and had a meeting with a couple of buyers.

3) The two characters from earlier come up to the van and talk to the guy, then get in the van and the driver takes the van to another part of the property.

4) A different co-worker hears a gunshot and looks out her front window. She sees, across the street in a parking lot, two people struggling (the driver and one of the BGs). The BG runs away and the driver stumbles down the street like he is drunk then collapses dead. She sees the BG get into a car with a woman driver.

5) Another witness (this happened right in front of her unit) said she heard two gunshots - the 1st was muffled and the second was loud.

6) The victim was hit in the chest at least once (probably contact shot since wittness said 1st shot was muffled).

7) they caught the BGs within about an hour or two a couple municipalities away.

THOUGHTS/CONCERNS
It seems to me that being prepared is half the battle - however, there are two types of preparation: 1) training and proficiency with your defense tools; and 2) being aware that you are in a situation that calls for use of your defense tools.

Let's take a non scientific look at police shootings - (the ones I have heard about and/or seen on video.)
-they often happen with traffic stops
-LEOs understand they need to be prepared to use their firearm
-LEOs have a firearm readily accessible on their hip
-even given the above, LEOs are still often surprised when the situation turns: they are not prepared to bring their firearm into immediate action
-When firearms are brought into action there are often many shots fired at a short distance with realtively few, if any, hits

Whoever is the aggressor knows that violence will happen before the non-aggressor knows (even if it is just a split second decision to attack).

The non-aggressor must observe the attack, mentally process the attack, and physically react to the attack. LEOs who are already prepared when in a potentially dangerous situation (e.g. traffic stop) still take time to physically react.

How can a civilian minding his own business react in time to a random act of violence? I realize someone selling clothes out of a van in "the hood" should be cautious and wary. I'm not talking about "what if I were in that guy's shoes". I don't do things like sell clothes out of a van. I don't partake in other dangerous or criminal activity. I realize there are many things a person should do to increase situational awareness in an obviousely potentially dangerous area. However, it is exhausting to be mentally prepared for action 100% of the time when you are Mr. law abiding John Q. Citizen minding his own business.

In addition, I live in Ohio (a duty to retreat state). If out on the streets and I am in a bad situation I have a duty to retreat before being justified in using deadly force. If a LEO thinks a situation is potentially dangerous she/he can bring their firearm to a ready position before the use of deadly force is justified. As a civilian - I can't really present my firearm to a ready position before the use of deadly force is justified:

E.G., if someone is yelling and screaming at me because we got in a car accident
- I think they are getting very violent very quickly
- I really shouldn't draw my firearm until 1) I cannot retreat and 2) I have a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm from the person
- the person escalates their aggression and pulls out a gun (he knows he is going to do it and has done it before I can process it)

I know my work environment is not the best of neighborhoods. I don't feel comfortable wearing a belt or IWB holster given the clothes I wear, the things I do, and my body type. I took some time to figure out what carry rig I want. While I was considering options I was carrying a Beretta Tomcat .32 in my front pants pocket - very light and easily concealable and I already had it.

I chose to go with a SmartCarry holster and a Taurus MilPro .45. This acquisition is recent. I have been practicing with it. I haven't been able to time my retrieval and presentation yet. it doesn't seem unreasonable but I'm not sure. It is pretty comfortable. It is not the perfect setup but I don't know if there is a perfect setup.

I am comfortable with firearms: both handling and shooting. I'm no expert, but I do have a little experience (I am a former Marine Corps primary marksmanship instructor and I am an NRA basic pistol instructor.)

Would I be prepared in enough time to actually bring my defensive tool to use should the need ever arise?

Now you may say to yourself that you would do x,y,z in the situations above - but I hope I have communicated that the actual circumstances aren't what is bothering me - it is (for philosophy buffs) the Platonic form of a defensive firearm use situation - in other words - no matter the exact circumstances:
1) being able to observe the threat of death or serious bodily harm,
2) being able to mentally process that I need to respond appropriately, and
3) being able to physically respond as needed.

What do YOU think?

Hook686
September 13, 2006, 06:41 PM
It seems to me, that if I take time to think, then I am done for. Any thinking must have already been done, before the ducks start getting in a line.

jcoiii
September 13, 2006, 06:49 PM
Guy in a van asking people if they called him because he "sells clothes out of his van" sounds like a drug dealer to me. Therefore, I'd have been condition orange-red from that moment. The two guys wandering around would have put me at yellow or orange anyway.

bennnn
September 13, 2006, 07:12 PM
1) being able to observe the threat of death or serious bodily harm,
2) being able to mentally process that I need to respond appropriately, and
3) being able to physically respond as needed.


To quote you again:
I'm no expert, but I do have a little experience

I'm no expert either, but I have studied hapkido off and on for the last five years, and what I've found is that once you really learn how to respond to threatening action, you never lose the knowledge, but you can certianly lose the physical ability to back it up....
So, Are YOU ready?

hot sauce
September 13, 2006, 07:13 PM
I dont know about that situation? Any thought's about some body armor for "hood" work?

http://www.streichers.com/ProductList.aspx?catalog=Body+Armor&category=VEST_2

And I would seriously think twice before exchanging shots with multiple BG's in the hood. If you do you might want to consider another line of work afterwards because then you would be a walking target for the thugs friends/family. Stay safe man.

45-70
September 13, 2006, 07:44 PM
A specific recommendation is, get another job in a better area.

But for general philosophy, I like the item on a Marine Corps checklist I saw: "Have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

PointOneSeven
September 13, 2006, 11:32 PM
It really sounds like you, your co-workers, and folks living there were relatively safe. Another case of criminals shooting each other.

But sounds like you're prepared should it have turned on you, it's good to be prepared. I have the same thought, pack light and comfortable.

bartonkj
September 14, 2006, 10:21 AM
Guy in a van asking people if they called him because he "sells clothes out of his van" sounds like a drug dealer to me.

Not drugs - he really was selling clothes out of his van. I saw the boxes of shoes spilled out of his van in the parking lot after it happened.

I failed to mention in my original post that this is the second time someone has been shot and killed at my workplace - once this job and once my previous job. The other time was someone who snapped and went on a shooting rampage - luckily only 1 person was killed and only 1 other person slightly injured that time.

People at the complex today are calling freaked out and asking what we will do about security. We already hire police to patrol the complex exclusively in the evenings, but this happened about 2:30 in the afternoon, so that does no good.

I have often said security is only a matter of perception. If you perceive that you are secure and safe then that is how you feel even if there is a high risk of being in danger. If you perceive that you are not secure then that is how you feel even if there is little to no risk of danger.

I feel pretty secure, but still have concerns since you never know what will happen and how you will react when something does happen.

Mikeyboy
September 14, 2006, 10:59 AM
I see it a lot in the bad neighborhoods. Guys in vans selling clothes, sneakers or bootleg movies. The clothes may be knockoffs of high end items or they may be hot, or a little of both. Could be a front for something else, or it couldbe just a guy trying to make a buck.

These guys deal in cash only, so most likely it was a robbery gone bad. No matter how Rambo you are, it is real hard to defend yourself against multiple BGs if your a traveling store front, working alone, in lower class areas.

jcoiii
September 14, 2006, 03:03 PM
People at the complex today are calling freaked out and asking what we will do about security

Are they unable to obtain sufficient means for themselves? I.E. why don't they go buy some guns? Heck, you might even sponsor a range day with someone to explain and demonstrate proper storage, care, and use of firearms. Teach the sheep how to fight back against the wolves

chris in va
September 14, 2006, 03:23 PM
I would definitely look for a different place to work or a different town. I moved out of a rising crime area for that reason alone. We had a guy get shot in the head broad daylight and left on the sidewalk for 6 hours for everyone to see. MS-13 was infiltrating the area with reports of machete slashings behind various grocery stores and wooded lots.

Ironically now that I live in a lower crime area, we had a newspaper article about a drug raid that netted 28 people arrested for selling/importing cocaine from Florida. Go figure.

fm2
September 26, 2006, 12:46 AM
Batrton, you ask some pertinate questions.
1) being able to observe the threat of death or serious bodily harm,


Most attacks are ambushes, so the sooner you know something is awry, the less behind the powercurve you are. Allowing you to negate or minimize his/their tactical advantage, (stop their initiative) and develop your counter attack (regain the initiative).


2) being able to mentally process that I need to respond appropriately, To me that's have response a,b,c... mapped out ahead of time. Under attack is no time for thinking, you'll probably have your hands full dealing with the attack. I am talking about following sound tactical principles, don't get knocked down, move off line....


3) being able to physically respond as needed

GPP will get you a long way, as will violent agression and commitment to counter attack.

I think good training will address these dynamic issues in a way that gives strong feedback on the weak areas.

In order to understand, you must test.

bartonkj
September 26, 2006, 01:47 PM
2) being able to mentally process that I need to respond appropriately,
=====
To me that's have response a,b,c... mapped out ahead of time. Under attack is no time for thinking, you'll probably have your hands full dealing with the attack. I am talking about following sound tactical principles, don't get knocked down, move off line....


Actually what I meant by that was after observing with senses (sight/sound/ hearing/touch) that something is happening - one then needs to mentally process that observation, and translate it into recognizing the need for physical action. Seeing something is not the same as recognizing it for what it is.