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Old February 25, 2007, 08:43 AM   #1
gnut
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Real life experience/ not always as it seems

I hope this real life experience will help someone. I would also like to learn from yours.

I was shopping with my 3 children. Leaving the store enroute to my truck I look around the parking ( as my dad taught me to do ) and see a man looking around. He wasn't freaky looking but it just seemed od. I keep an eye on him as we are heading to my truck. He looks at us and starts walking straight toward us, as we get to the back of my vehicle. Getting a little concerned I quickly get my children in the truck, he is walking faster and heading straight at us. I think if he steps in between my truck and the car parked to the right of me I am going to draw down on him and tell him to stop. He walks past the back of my truck to the car parked on the left side of me and gets in his car. The guy had forgotten where he had parked his car.
The lesson? Not everything is as it appears to be. Get ready but don't over react.
I can not tell you how glad I am he wasn't parked on the right side of us.
In hind sight, if he had walked in between my truck and the car on my right I would have been better off to be in a low ready position, put my weak hand up and tell him to stop. Certainly it would have scared the you know what out of him but not near as bad as having a gun pointed at him. This action would also have prevented him from pressing charges on me for pointing a gun at another. Which is a crime here in GA.
Hope this helps someone.
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Old February 25, 2007, 02:02 PM   #2
Blackwater OPS
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If you would have drawn on him, you would have lost your CCW permit, and rightfully so. If I had been the one looking for my car and you had drawn on me, you might be dead. You can't point guns at people just because they walk towards your car.

Get a good CCW holster for your weapon and practice with it so that you are confidant that if a BG goes for a weapon, you will have yours out first. Second. get some martial arts training (and get into shape) so that you are confidant that you don't need to use your gun on a person who does not present a deadly threat.
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Old February 25, 2007, 04:37 PM   #3
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gnut, . . . in hindsight it all worked out, . . . no blood & no foul, . . . but it sure could have been different.

The next time you are presented with a situation where you could be attacked, . . . how about turning around and going back into the store for something you "forgot" to get.

Avoiding the possibility of confrontation through retreat may assail the macho instincts of some, . . . but it is less cumbersome than trying to explain to the police, . . . the DA, . . . a grand jury, . . . and then a jury, . . . why you didn't.

May God bless,
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Old February 26, 2007, 08:53 AM   #4
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You know, . The reason I posted this thread was to possibly help someone by sharing an experience I had. As dumb as it sounds now, at the time in my mind there was an imminent threat. There wasn't! The point being don't be so quick jump to conclusions. I asked myself, was I paranoid? Possibly. At the time I had been a fireman for 14 years and had seen perfectly innocent situations turn deadly. I can take advice if warrented but am quick to tell you to stick it if it isn't. I also believe if someone has to tell you what they are they probably aint. But here goes. At the time I was (this is documented) 39 years old. I had just set our departments record for toughest firefighter. An exercise which literally left a 25 year old fresh out of the Marines laying in the fetal position untill I went over and persuaded him to get up. It (the exercise) also sent several other firefighters to the hospital. I am now 50, retired, and not near as in good of shape as I was back then.
So, if your ego will let you share a stupid experience you have had, let me know. I might learn something from it. If you are going to question my abilty to defend myself or my physical being, keep it to yourself. You don't know what your talking about.
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Old February 26, 2007, 11:50 AM   #5
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Another story..........

Yes always look around in a parking lot.

My wife jumps out of the car, I'm looking and notice another fellow looking at us. He starts walking over and I grab my bayonet from under the seat, throw a sweater over my arm and as he approached I ready my sweater weapon close his chest. We are between the cars. Just about to cover his eyes and thrust...he says that's cool man, thats cool, just wanted to ask if you wants to buy a radio.
My wife almost wets her pants watching me. Neither she or he saw the weapon.

True story.
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Old February 26, 2007, 12:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
So, if your ego will let you share a stupid experience you have had, let me know. I might learn something from it. If you are going to question my abilty to defend myself or my physical being, keep it to yourself. You don't know what your talking about.
Hey Gnut, this is NOT the Black Hole, chill out a bit.
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Old February 26, 2007, 04:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
will let you share a stupid experience
I once walked 2 guys out of our bar, there was a door, a short hallway and the door leading outside, when the first one got clear of door 2 he pulled a .25 and emptied the durn thing. Missed me but still it caused a fuss. I was working at the bar.

Always expect the unexpected in that type of situation.

In a parking lot, you will sometimes see people walking around as if in a daze, it is because they just realized how much they had spent in there..... dont kill them, I might be one.
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Old February 26, 2007, 04:34 PM   #8
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gnut, glad it came out as it did. Most of the time, thats the way it happens.
Good awarness skills.
Despite the dramatics of some of the more tactically oriented here, if you had drawn your handgun, in the circumstances you described, of him being then within your space and next to your car, you would have been prepared.
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Old February 26, 2007, 04:49 PM   #9
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Blackwater,
I think the part you missed was where he said he would only go as far as "low ready", which does not entail pointing guns at anyone. But since in some states Brandishment of a Weapon is a crime in and of itself...

Gnut,
Good awarness skills. I have been in that exact situation, with the exact same harmless outcome.

All,
I think we have missed a rung on the ladder that is the force continuum. This is vital step is called going "Grip Aquired", and it entails neither pointing nor brandishing a weapon, all while making it very fast to use if you need it.
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Old February 26, 2007, 06:10 PM   #10
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I'm with Sams. I was taught to hold my weak hand up in the universal "STOP!" position, while yelling "STOP!" as firmly as possible while simultaneously taking a half-step back with the strong side foot and acquiring the weapon with the strong hand.

That way the potential BG doesn't see the weapon until it has cleared leather if drawing is required. If there is no threat, you can always play it off by scratching your side and saying "Sorry, I scared you. You were about to step in some gum!"

If the threat is imminent and obvious, you would proceed direct to the draw-and-shoot.

As for getting in shape and learning some martial arts; getting into a physical altercation while carrying a concealed weapon is an extremely bad idea. At the least, you'll get charged with assault and lose your permit. At the worst, the BG will take it from you during the scuffle and kill you with it in front of your kids.

As for turning and going back into the store, that's a great idea but we weren't there. In my state, there is a 'duty to retreat' unless it would expose you to more danger but it would be hard to get three kids to understand the situation and move quickly enough to get out of harm's way.

By my reading, the guy didn't look or act sketchy until he was almost on top of the OP. Good on 'ya gnut for having the 'sac to post a real-life lesson that others can learn from.
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Old February 26, 2007, 07:30 PM   #11
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LockedCJ7; (I like that name) retreating from a non threat seems silly. What really bothers me is the statement "If he had parked on the right". and "low ready".



Some carrying firearms just plain scares me. Man forgets where he parked gets confronted with gun drawn on him. huhh? And the most terrible part is you had your kids with you. Had he been a person of your training and habit, a shootout could of occurred. Because a man forgot where he parked his car. We really are becoming a society that need protection from ourselves. Marrietta GA huh? I bet he was black. Let the skythe falleth.
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Old February 26, 2007, 07:57 PM   #12
gnut
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No. He was white. I am black.
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Old February 26, 2007, 08:24 PM   #13
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There are plenty of crimes that occur in parking lots in America every day. You were aware of your situation and you played it cool although you were prepared to protect your family if need be. That man could have been a threat and nobody should second guess you. There are some seriously paranoid people on this board who deserve a scolding, but not you. White, Black, Hispanic, it shouldn't make a difference.
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Old February 26, 2007, 08:25 PM   #14
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"No. He was white. I am black."

LMAO! Cool. It would seem everyone has one lesson or another to learn from your story. Things are not always what they seem, huh? Here, here.

I think you handled the situation fine. After all, no one pulled a gun out, and you and your family would have been safe if a threat had presented itself.
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Old February 26, 2007, 10:00 PM   #15
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I don't think you sounded paranoid gnut, sounds like you did just fine. You was in condition yellow and slipped into condition orange only to find out it was a nil situation. That jolt of adreneline was better than a good cup of coffe eh? Fantastic that it turned out like it did. Here's my similar story.

Visiting the in-laws in chicago, let's go see some sights. I pick up my 1911 and start strapping it on, the MIL says oh you wont need that. I smile and say uh-huh and continue what I was doing. We're riding around and while enroute to some forgotton destination, we go through a seedy part of town. Street people are out, jive talk & boom boxes can be heard in the background, people can be seen pulling parts from abandoned/stolen cars. (In Chicago, they leave stolen cars on the street for some reason, and don't tow them in). Anyway, we start talking about car jackings and auto theft for some reason..

Just as we roll up and stop at a stop sign a thug type lookin guy starts running (across the street) 'as if maybe' towards our vehicle. My MIL screams, I see him and my gun grows into my hand...and he runs right by in front of us! No way he seen me, I was in the passenger side rear and he was driver side front running L-R. We proceed quietly up the street and MIL says Eddie, you got gun? I said yes. She said you smart Eddie.
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Old February 27, 2007, 11:40 AM   #16
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gnut, I don't know what I would have done but I'm sure I would have had my hand on my gun ready, especially if I had 3 kids with me.
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Old February 27, 2007, 06:40 PM   #17
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gnut,

Fisrt off, I would like to thank you for your service to your community as a Fire Fighter, good on you!

Alright, salutaions out of the way. I have to admit that I am impressed with the situational awareness and the desire to get the kids in the vehicle and leave, good plan. The best way to win a gun fight is to never have one. As for the guy coming towards your location, I would have done one thing differently, I would have challenged him in a cooperative manner. As he gets within speaking distance ask in a friendly tone, " Hey, what's up? You need help?" This will be the make or break for the social contract as well as give the impression that you are not challenging him (sneaky, I know... but if it helps you win, it's all good). From here how he acts and what he says will give you a pretty good indicator of his intentions, barring serial killers, of course.
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Old February 27, 2007, 09:57 PM   #18
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Alot think he performed correctly but I have to ask, If you were walking to your car on the right side of his and encountered him in low ready, how would you react? How would the cops react if you shot and killed him? I dont think the law has ever stated a "perceived threat" and is unyielding in my eyes. To me a perceived threat would or would not be a man walking toward me in a parking lot. Most likely not but a man in low ready as I crossed the corner to get to my car in close contact would have undoubtedly constituted an un-needed response.
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Old February 27, 2007, 10:15 PM   #19
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Georgia is a licensed open-carry state. You could have transitioned to open-carry with a shirt-tuck and probably not been in any danger of being charged... especially if you could articulate your concern. You could have done this without drawing. Of course, being with your children that may have not been prudent.

I think you did the right thing. Keep your right side (or wherever you have your pistol) away from the threat if you can. Backpedal or move out of the way if possible.

It's easy to second guess, but I'm sure your heart was absolutely racing. I've only had one experience where I actually touched my gun as if to potentially use. Had some crazy homeless guy decide to rush my car at a stoplight and preach to me. Bad part of town, never been to, stuck behind another car, saw him running at me with a crazy look in his eyes, big coat, hands flailing. Ran all the way just to spout some gibberish. That stupid dude scared me to death, but yeah, it's crazy how something can set off your spider-senses even though it is most likely not a threat. I swear, my heart about came out of my chest and in retrospect, I should have not even worried, the guy got close and I saw he was obviously troubled.. but still...

Good example of something we can learn from.
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Old February 27, 2007, 10:32 PM   #20
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Gnut I think you did what you had to do at that moment. I have a 5yr old son and a 9 mo old step son. I was with my wife at a local store here in AL and it was in one of the more seedier places in town. I had a guy come up to us I didn't even see him, stuck his head in my car just as I rolled down the window. I grabbed him by his shirt and pulled on him, long story short he was selling gold chains. I got a call two days later from a detective because the guy got my license number and wanted to file a report. When I told what happened it was dropped but about a week later he was on the news he had robbed a store with a gun just 2 blocks from our chance meeting. So I think sometimes you think it's just a harmless thing but what if I hadn't pulled first? Would he have because my car would have been excatly what he was looking for if ya know what I mean. So don't take comments too personal bud cause they weren't there or have never been there. My job also puts me into situations where things turn really fast as well. Got to take care of the kids no matter what.
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Old February 27, 2007, 11:08 PM   #21
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Thanks gentlemen or women. Being able to critique senerios with friends has always been an effective way for me to learn. Thanks again.
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Old March 1, 2007, 06:08 PM   #22
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My observation:

Gnut, I think one measure of whether or not you did the right thing can be summed up by the results. The situation could not have ended much better than it did. It could have ended much much worse than it did. Could there have been "other" right ways to do it? Sure. You get a "job well done" from this rookie and a "thank you" for serving the citizens.

My question:

In a situation like this, the thing that would scare me the most would be someone rushing up to me. At a close enough distance, you might just barely get to tell the potential BG to stop. To me, it becomes much more of a craps shoot once a BG gets close enough physically attack, and this situation nicely illustrates that it could be near impossible to tell until its too late. Just where does one draw the line on when to draw?

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Old March 1, 2007, 06:48 PM   #23
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My experience has been to look at eye contact, facial expression and body language.

If the bogey (not yet determined to be a BG) makes eye contact, is carrying a weapon, has a menacing facial expression and/or is moving aggressively and he's still coming, you have to treat it like a threat.

If the bogey has not made eye contact, does not have a menacing look on his face, is not carrying a weapon but he's moving toward you, he probably hasn't seen you. He's just another DA wandering around in condition white. When he finally does see you, his facial expression will soften, he'll give you "the nod" or he'll jump because you scared him.

In either situation, if you've acquired the weapon but have not drawn or brandished it, you're not in any trouble.
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Old March 1, 2007, 06:50 PM   #24
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I had to laugh because that white guy could be me.

Not only do I forget where I parked my car but I have an eye condition which causes my vision to change throughout the day and its not regular so on some days my glasses are totally useless.

I can remember staring around, kind of squinting to see better and seeing someone watching me like "whats this guy up to" then his entire body relaxes when I call out to my wife "hey, over here".

From what I read all you did was get mentally prepared and that seems like the right thing to do. Parking lots are more dangerous than most people realize.
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Old March 1, 2007, 07:10 PM   #25
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This is where verbal confrontation can help. "Hi! How you doing today? This weather sure is something, isnt it?"
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