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Old January 1, 2009, 03:33 AM   #1
Coop de Ville
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What do you think?

Brandishing VS. Threat?

Friend (female) is at Best Buy in Northern VA. While she's waiting in the return line, a guy behind her starts whining about only needing to return a simple item and that he shouldn't have to wait....

He becomes agitated and continues to whine that things are moving slowly and he needs to be taken care of before everyone else.

Friend turns and says.. We're all waiting, and you need to be patient like the rest of us.

Guy deliberately fans back his coat and grips a holstered handgun.

Friend turns around and continues the rest of her day.....

She was upset/ confused as to what his problem was. She's not a gun person.
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Old January 1, 2009, 04:06 AM   #2
scorpion_tyr
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I'm really sorry that happened to your friend. That jerk is just feeding the anti-gun fire. I'm not sure what the legal aspect of this is, but here's how I look at it personally. The instant he put his hand on the weapon, IMO, that's a threat. And I know how I react in those situations, and it's not very nice. Physical force would have come next, no questions asked.

I'm not saying your friend did the wrong thing at all. She walked out of there without any bullet holes, so she did the right thing for that situation. The only thing I would advise is if something like that ever happens again, walk away and as soon as you get outside the door call the cops.

Behavior like that has no excuse and it's people like that who give us all a bad name. That guy is going to pull that on the wrong person one day and he's probably not gonna live through it.
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Old January 1, 2009, 04:06 AM   #3
hillbillyshooter
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She did good

Not sure if it is brandishing but it seems rather threatening. Not sure what I would have done about it unless I had seen him do it for myself. If I felt threatened enough I might have mentioned to the store manager what happened and let that individual deal with it. Don't know intent of his action or if she read it more threatening than it was intended. None the less it seems like a very irresponsible move. I think she made a good choice and avoided any further contact with this man.
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Old January 1, 2009, 04:48 AM   #4
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None the less it seems like a very irresponsible move.
No doubt. That guy was completely abusing his right to CCW... if he even had it to begin with.

It's great to hear that cooler heads prevailed, but I cant say that I would have had the restraint that your friend displayed in this situation.

I kind of chuckled to myself when I thought about putting myself in her shoes. I would have considered yelling "He's got a gun!!!!" or something to that effect. I totally think that his bluff would have been called, but it's impossible to say for sure.

There are too many nut jobs out there to accurately predict any one's actions.

People like that need to be put in their place. In a perfect world I would have put that D-bag on his a$$ and had him looking down the business end of his own weapon. He most definitely deserved it!
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Old January 1, 2009, 04:52 AM   #5
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If things happened as your friend related them to you then the person carrying the gun broke the law.
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Old January 1, 2009, 11:07 AM   #6
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That's an implied threat and he should have been arrested. Your friend should have called the police and related the incident to them, then sworn out a complaint. In some states, even showing the gun is considered "use of deadly force."
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Old January 1, 2009, 11:24 AM   #7
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What a....that guy.... If that was MY fiancee....at a freakin' best buy because he has to wait in line?!? That is sooo screwed up. I don't even know where to start.

She definately did the right thing by letting it go at the moment, so good for her. I would have had to fight a strong urge to knock him out and take his gun. Some people. Man that irks me.
I think a report to the police was/is in order....
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Old January 1, 2009, 11:47 AM   #8
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In [occupied] NoVA, had the lady call the cops and complained, there's a fair chance the fool would have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. NoVA is much less gun friendly than the rest of the state, and if an anti-cop shown up and it got to the wrong DA . . . .

A couple years ago, a couple of young men who were open carrying (legal in VA), stopped in at a Starbucks in McLean after a range session. Some blissninny freaked and called teh cops, and they weere arrested - seems that some of Fairfax's finest were clueless on VA gun law. Long story short, VCDL raised hell, charges dropped, firearms returned the next day, but a lot of stomach acid in the meantime.

The clod who threatened the woman would not have faired as well.
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Old January 1, 2009, 12:26 PM   #9
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I remember the Starbucks incident

She called my old partner (we're LE in a neighboring jursidiction). She asked him if it was illegal for the guy to do that. She said that no one else saw it and she felt uncomfortable making a scene.

Since she called a day or two after the incident, there was no point filing a report.

Best,

-Coop
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Old January 1, 2009, 12:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Guy deliberately fans back his coat and grips a holstered handgun.
Friend turns around and continues the rest of her day.....
She was upset/ confused as to what his problem was.
I'm confused, too. Why would you merely just turn around and go about your own business when an armed, irritable person makes ready to draw?

I smell BS...
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Old January 1, 2009, 12:38 PM   #11
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Definitely chargeable. In Ohio, he would've been charged with Aggravated Menacing, a 1st degree misdemeanor.

As to no one else seeing it, you can't blink in most of these stores without being on camera.
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Old January 1, 2009, 12:55 PM   #12
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Why would you merely just turn around and go about your own business when an armed, irritable person makes ready to draw?
Because she, not being a "gun person" and certainly unarmed was probably shocked and more than a little scared. She was scared anything else she did might just set him off.
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Old January 1, 2009, 01:04 PM   #13
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Because she, not being a "gun person" and certainly unarmed was probably shocked and more than a little scared. She was scared anything else she did might just set him off.
If I were a female, non-gun person, by myself, and a person of that stature were to start a threat like that, I wouldn't merely turn around. I would have freaked out screaming. Bad move? Yes, it may have been. As you stated, it might have escalated the issue.

But, IMO, it's even worse to think that one would just turn around from what might have been a bullet to the back of the head...or worse.

I wasn't there. I don't know the whole setup. But, to post an extremely vague post in a Tactics and Training forum and not question the content does no good for clearer suggestions.
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Old January 1, 2009, 01:38 PM   #14
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Sorry Tuttle,

Not bs. little bit annoyed? happy new year.

-Coop
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Old January 1, 2009, 02:01 PM   #15
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IMO the man in the OP was brandishing and should have probably been, at the least, ticketed for it. Carrying a weapon is a serious responsibility and should not be used as "leverage" to settle petty retail squabbles in line.

If true, this does nothing to help our cause but rather helps the other side in their opinion that it could turn into the "wild west" with people getting shot because they looked sideways at someone. He should have either had his face broken or someone could have started shouting "He's Got a Gun!" and pointing at him. He would have had an interesting rest of the day.
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Old January 1, 2009, 02:07 PM   #16
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I can see a person, especailly a female, non-gun person reacting in that way. It's exactly what she said it was. Fear and Confusion. The fear part is obvious. The confusion part would be as well if none of us had ever held or fired a gun before. She was probably freaking out on the inside the rest of the time she was in the store but probably didn't know what to do. She was probably asking herself a lot of questions like this:

Is he going to shoot me?
Is he a cop?
Did I do something wrong/illegal?
Can he have a gun here?
Did he do something illegal?
If I make a scene is he going to start shooting people?
Should I call the cops?
Is it even a real gun?
Should I tell the manager?
Why hasn't he shot me yet?
If he hasn't shot me yet I guess he's not going to?
If he's not doing anything wrong I'm just going to look like an idot if I make a scene or call the cops.
etc, etc, etc

I've seen the same reactions many times before. I stay away from home 5 days out of the week on business. Since I've been gone so much my wife's cousin has moved into the house. She often times have friends over who have no idea a man lives in the house. Much less one that just walks in the door without knocking and has a really big gun in a holster on his side. They all react the same way. They go back to what they were doing, and pretend like they didn't see me. The biggest reaction was one woman held her child a little closer, but still ignored me. After I get to know these friends a little bit more they all say the same thing: "You scared the crap out of me. I didn't know who you were, you were just a guy with a gun walking into the house." I don't know the science behind it, but this has happened at least 5 times to at least 7 different people with the exact same reaction every time. It seems to be a natural reaction for someone who has only seen guns on TV or on LEO's.

The only reasons many of us would react differently in the situation described in the OP is because:

a. We have training and/or experience that enables us to know without a doubt who is right, who is wrong, and exactly what is going on.

b. Most of us have a gun under our jacket to
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Old January 1, 2009, 02:12 PM   #17
Coop de Ville
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I may very well have engaged the man if I thought he was drawing his weapon.

I certainly could have written it that way.

One day he's going to get himself in hot water or killed....

Even women carry in VA.

Best,

-Coop
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Old January 1, 2009, 02:34 PM   #18
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Not bs. little bit annoyed? happy new year.
Fair enough....Yes, read last statement on post #13.....same to you...

I guess claiming it may be BS is harsh. But, as my wife said, screaming out to direct attention as if you're about to be assaulted is what is generally taught in general self defense classes that aren't firearms focused.

Seeing a woman respond in fright by merely turning her back and wishing it away is a tough pill to swallow. In my wife's mind, that means he wins. A woman shouldn't be subjected to that type of behavior and have the mindset to just turn around. I'm not saying she's a coward or anything of the sort. I just have a hard time with the fact that there's still too many women that are abused in this fashion.

It's too bad that not all women receive the training needed to combat that type of scenario. It's bad enough that there's too few armed women as it is...
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Old January 1, 2009, 03:11 PM   #19
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somebody brandishes their gun in a threatening manner towards me and very bad things are likely to happen, very likely ending with several bullet holes in them.
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Old January 1, 2009, 03:19 PM   #20
Coop de Ville
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...And I'm not saying she isn't a coward.

There are officers on my dept. who locked their car door as their partner was getting their ass beat outside the car.... yes. Male AND female. There was also a recent incident where an officer curled up in the fetal postion during an attack... a male officer.

These are police officers. People trained to deal with violence. Here, in the DC metro area there are whole communities of people that will pee themselves instead of acting in defense.

It's sad but true. There's a trade off between being pc and being self dependant. When I use the word pc I really mean "metro." An entire society of "feminized" men.

these are the people that exist today. Perfectly functional and seemingly normal until a crisis arrises. These are the people on the news that are hysterically crying because a bomb went off or there was a shooting... as if they even knew the victim.

These will be the headless chickens running all over the streets when something REALLY happens.... and they're breeding! :barf:

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Old January 1, 2009, 06:39 PM   #21
Mike in VA
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If you're threatened - ACT

What Coop said. Mindset is everything. I realize this is thread drift, but . . .

In the late '70's I sorta bought into the 'sensitve male' BS and found my self is a stupid situation where I was being physically abused by a twerp who I had 50-60# and 6" on, much to the amusement of his two buddies ( I was 6'3", 220# at the time, playing a lot of raquetball and swimming a lot of distance a couple times a week).

For whatever reason, the gestalt (sp?) switch finally flipped, I realized how silly I was for letting this happen - I can take this punk apart, and I went neanderthal on him - quick jab to the nose, left to the gut, stood him up with a knee to the face, and I picked him up and bounced him off a brick wall (his buddies had vanished, for some reason -), a couple of kicks to the ribs to make sure he was 'pacified'. It was immensely satisfying. Fortunately, there was no repercussions, i.e. LEO involvement . . .

I'm now a good bit older and no where in that kind of shape,but as someone said, a poor plan executed immediately is better that a brilliant plan on the table. If you're threatened, carpe diem if you can.

It's very hard to get across to today's crop of politically correct, diversity celebrating ninnies that you do not owe anyone who is threatening/intimidating, or even just bothering you any particular courtesy.

I know this has been discussed a lot here, but it's true - if they don't take a simple 'no thank you/I can't help you/etc.' it's time to get firm (and maybe loud) about 'leave me alone!' By all means, just get away if you can, but 'being polite' is little compensation when you're in the hospital.

Sorry for rambling, but bottom line, if you feel the situation is queer, remove yourself from the situation as best you can. Mindset!
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Old January 1, 2009, 08:03 PM   #22
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he would have been explaining it to a cop after 911 was dialed.
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Old January 1, 2009, 09:47 PM   #23
chris in va
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Guy deliberately fans back his coat and grips a holstered handgun.
That is definitely brandishing and is a punishable offense. Class 1 misdemeanor. If that Best Buy was within 1000' of a school, class 6 Felony.

http://law.justia.com/virginia/codes.../18.2-282.html

I would have tried to get his license plate number and reported the incident, even if the cops "can't do anything because we didn't see it happen" as I've been often told.
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Old January 1, 2009, 10:49 PM   #24
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Sounds like a range of <3ft. He's gonna get hurt, bad; and disarmed. The best defense if a violent offense. He'd expect you to back off. Wrong!

Stay safe. and smart.
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Old January 2, 2009, 01:12 PM   #25
pax
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She said that no one else saw it and she felt uncomfortable making a scene.
This is the way society trains women to react. It's there from our very earliest days. Boys are taught not to cry (or not to cry loudly). Girls are taught to play quietly and to "make nice" when someone is too rough with them. We suck those lessons in with our mother's milk and have them reinforced throughout our lives and it's only by the sheerest stubborn willpower some of us overcome the lessons ... sometimes ... under extreme stress. But standing up and making a scene is a learned reaction, not the "natural" one. The default setting is to make nice.

Yes, it's wrong.

Yes, it's stupid.

Yes, it gets people killed.

And yes, it leads a lot of women to do incredibly foolish things like hanging around a bully who threatens them rather than leaving immediately to get the manager or to call 911.

But it's real and it's powerful and it's not easy to overcome.

It's why some subway gropers can get their jollies during the commute every day for years without getting caught ... because even in this day and age, most women are STILL more afraid of "making a scene" than they are of getting groped by a passing stranger.

It's why too many forcible rapes go unreported. Reporting a rape is "making a scene." And for what? So that a lot of strangers can poke and prod at your body and your motives, imply that you had it coming, point out all the stupid things you did that gave the criminal the chance to commit his crime -- and probably won't get him convicted anyway after all that. Better just to avoid making that scene in the first place.

And it's why the majority of date rapes go unreported too. Those cases are even worse on the "making a scene" front. Even the most egregious date rapes can be impossible to prosecute in court, because too often both involved parties can be telling the absolute truth from their perspectives. She did in fact tell him to stop, while he did in fact believe she had consented and was simply play-acting at 'no.' It happens because too many women have never learned how to "make a scene" when they need to. This is not blaming the victim, simply an acknowledgement of the way things actually are as opposed to how we wish they were.

This is also why some men think that they can just talk their wives into taking a class and carrying a gun, without ever realizing that what's needed is a mindset change that goes a whole lot deeper than showing up at a one- or two-day class and buying a piece of hardware. And that learning to value her own life, her own being, enough to protect herself will fundamentally change her, change her in ways he cannot possibly anticipate and possibly won't like.

Because, you know, we do have a word for a woman who is willing to "make a scene" in public, when threatened or simply bullied. Here's the word:

Bitch.

That's what a woman has to be willing to be, and to be perceived as, simply in order to do what most guys see as the sensible thing to do in a situation like this. (Be honest with yourselves, guys. Flip the situation just a tiny little bit, and most people here would be posting something like, "Wow, what a bitch. She just saw a glimpse of his legally-carried gun and called the cops!!?")

As a 40 year old woman, I'm finally at peace with my inner bitch. It wasn't an easy journey. And it still hurts -- hurts in ways it's difficult to express -- to know that people perceive me as a bitch when I refuse to quietly accede to being bullied. I never have been good at being pushed around, something that makes me a rather "unfeminine" woman even when dressed in frills.

No, I don't have any solutions. I'm simply admiring the problem.

Don't be too hard on the woman. She reacted exactly as she's been taught to react since the day she was born.

If that bothers you, teach your daughters differently.
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