View Full Version : Reality tv?

March 25, 2008, 10:01 PM
I saw this on TV today. What would you do in this situation? Is an armed citizen less tempted to do physical violence to protect others or more tempted?

You're at the beach and there sitting on a park bench is a 30 something woman. She's obese and there are three late teens teasing her about how fat she is. There were two scenes one with three girls and one with three boys, all verbally abusing her to the point where she is crying. Passersby for the most part ignore the situation. Those who try to stop and redirect things get verbally assaulted by the teens. This is a setup and there is a TV camera crew hidden nearby to film whatever happens. The fat woman and each of the 2 sets of delinquents are actors.

So what would you do? These are some thoughts of mine.

I wondered if I was not carrying a weapon if I'd be tempted to wade into things, not saying a word. I wonder if I might be tempted to just walk up and start kicking and swinging. Depending on how much abuse I perceived the woman was taking I might try to really hurt the kids. If one is unarmed in a 3 on 1 situation it would seem only logical for them to wade in and try to create as much "shock and awe" as quickly as possible to drive off the threat. If I was carrying a nonlethal weapon like a Taser or pepper spray I think I'd be tempted to do the same, attack the aggressors first and ask questions later.

On the other hand if I was carrying I'd be more likely to verbally intervene although I can't say that if they made any gestures to physically harm me or the woman I wouldn't defend myself.

March 25, 2008, 10:47 PM
... is barely acceptable if you are a kid, let alone old enough to have a carry permit.

If you want to offer to escort the lady someplace else, great, but wading in punching and kicking? Are you serious?

March 25, 2008, 10:50 PM
Thats a touchy situation...and in todays atmosphere of punk kid violent attacks, (we've seen some here in Nash. Tn.), I think its stupid to do for television. I also see how it could get somebody hurt bad...with ensueing MAJOR lawsuits.

On the other hane, I saw this done to see if anyone would step in to help a child...the play acting BG almost got his head taken off. :D A young man (early twenties) was moving fast and only quick TV guy managed to defuse before contact. This was maybe three yrs ago...things seem a little worse now.

For me...just "taunting" probably not intervene. Physical attack...I've got to help.

Something for you to think about. A man stepped up to help a woman in a purse snatching....he died from a stab wound. Be VERY careful. This was in an East Nashville (Tenn.) Kroger parking lot last year.


March 25, 2008, 11:03 PM
I'd probably approach cautiously. If the hassling continued, I'd call 911 or at least a non-emergency police number, asking for advice and request a squad car. I don't know the law but that sounds like assault.

I don't think a carry situstion would make any difference.

March 26, 2008, 05:25 AM
"Want to do" and "can do" are two different things. This is a difficult facet of life for those who CC. We are law abiding and just, despite what some may think. Reporting the incident is about the most proactive way you can help. Tell the punks you specifically asked for the K9 unit to sniff for drugs. Most wouldn't know whether you actually could or not.
I'm figuring this was in a city? If this happened in my town, I'd probably know the kids and their parents. They know that I know how to make things tough for them.

March 26, 2008, 05:59 AM
I've actually had this happen outside a night club before, only the women was'nt obese and they were 3 grown men. I was unarmed and just leaving work, I decided the best course of action was to create one more obstacle for them and make it that much harder for them. I walked straight up to the women, and when I was about 3 feet away from her I called " hey honey i'm sorry i'm late", they were clearly drunk and started asking "she's your wife?", I said " no, she's my fiance" she took the hint and started down the street with me to a more public scene, my cell phone in hand ready to call 911, if i had to. Some might call it foolish but, I was young and the women really appreciated it.

Shadi Khalil
March 26, 2008, 08:45 AM
Physical violence in response to teasing...

... is barely acceptable if you are a kid, let alone old enough to have a carry permit.

If you want to offer to escort the lady someplace else, great, but wading in punching and kicking? Are you serious?


March 26, 2008, 08:10 PM
If you want to offer to escort the lady someplace else, great, but wading in punching and kicking? Are you serious?Seems like someone didn't read the post. Try rereading it and looking for words like "wondered if" and "tempted to". In your effort to derail the thread it seems you entirely missed the point of the questions so I'll ask them again. What would you do in this situation? Is an armed citizen less tempted to do physical violence to protect others or more tempted?

To the others who've replied: The whole setup appeared to me to be something which was intended to deliberately provoke response from passers by. The sort of verbiage, body language and threat level would have been very dangerous if it had been real, on the level of what hardtarget and bestbod85 discussed. To me it does sound like assault, the sort of thing that one should call the police about but I'm talking about emotions and not thinking.

March 26, 2008, 08:20 PM
... and I didn't derail a thing. Your question was inherently derailing itself.

Most of us feel temptations to act in any number of ways that we would never really allow ourselves to act. It's silly to ask if possession of a weapon reduces temptation. I have to assume what you were really asking was if possession of a weapon forced one to do more to limit temptation's pull.

I shouldn't need to be carrying to know that it's inappropriate to yield to the temptations you described, and neither should anybody else on this forum.

I think it's safe to say that most people who are trained in dealing out violence, and who are aware of its potential effects, are more likely to want to avoid situations where violence is necessary, and are more likely to try to take steps to de-escalate tensions if possible. This is why you rarely see military people insist on going to war without having exhausted every other option, and why you don't normally see martial arts instructors getting into street brawls.

OTOH, I tend to see and hear a lot more chest thumping from the Walter Mitty crowd.



March 26, 2008, 08:22 PM
You also listed a temptation to attack first and ask questions later.

Again, you can't be serious...

March 27, 2008, 10:27 AM
Something that gets pointed out from time to time on this forum, is worth pointing out again.

This is an open forum. You have to sign up in order to post, but ANYBODY can read.

Caution should be exercised when starting threads involving mental tendencies towards excessively violent responses, and the carriage of weapons. Not only for the sake of the OP avoiding possible problems down the way, but for the sake of not giving the anti's some free ammo.

Call me unhelpful to the discussion if you like. I still maintain that leaping into a thread like this and espousing violence, or even saying "I really wanted to kick their ...." will only set people up for major liability if they ever do find themselves having to use any sort of SD technique. These things can be traced back to you...

But I also stand by my previous responses on this thread.



March 27, 2008, 05:44 PM
Caution should be exercised when starting threads involving mental tendencies towards excessively violent responses, and the carriage of weapons. Not only for the sake of the OP avoiding possible problems down the way, but for the sake of not giving the anti's some free ammo.

Actually that is the most helpful comment you've made. Yes I had apprehensions about starting such a thread especially in light of some of the same 'Walter Mitty' responses I've seen on this forum. But there is a general problem of violence in our society, I suspect more so in its unarmed portions. While I've had the conjecture for a number of years that carrying concealed weapons has a general civilizing effect on the human animal there has not been any significant discussion about that recently.

It would seem to me that in a situation where someone is going out of their way to incite a riot (such as the TV producers in this case) there is more complete inhibition against physical violence if the offended person has the means to wreak lethal havok. On the other hand an unarmed (older, weaker and outnumbered person such as myself) might have less inhibition against it especially if they've had some sort of past training which includes such residuals as "...protect and defend...".

This TV show made a singular point of the fact that nearly nobody intervened and of the scant few who did there was at least one case where a passerby became outraged and charged the actors, trying to beat them down. I strongly suspect that the show originated in California or New Jersey or some other area where there were nearly no armed citizens. I also suspect that if it had been filmed in Mississippi (by virtue of the fact police estimate 80% of the citizens remain armed) there would have been so many citizens quietly coming up to tell the kids to "leave now and don't look back" they would have had a distinctly different show.

A training solution helps but is not the answer. In my catchment area of about 150,000 the law enforcement agencies have managed to reduce the number of LEO shootings of unarmed people, especially mentally ill people to about one every 10-12 months by virtue of training, the use of TASERS, hiring specific mental health officers and other methods. Thirty years ago when I lived in a city of about the same population LEO shootings of similar unarmed citizens were about 2 to 4 a month. But there continue to be mistakes, failure of training, failure of discipline and general cussedness of mankind.

So you still don't want to tell us that if Kryptonite gets into the water and your iron willpower and Ranger training discipline both break down would you have less chance of flying off the handle if you were armed or unarmed? :rolleyes:

(OK I've got to admit that wading in kicking and punching thing was a bit overly dramatic but that's the funny thing about anger. No matter who you are or what your training there is a time that you'll lose your cool. The question is whether you know your own weaknesses in that regard or not.)

Shadi Khalil
March 27, 2008, 06:36 PM
The question is whether you know your own weaknesses in that regard or not

No where in the OP was that sort of question posed. You stated a scerino and then stated thoughts of yours. Those thoughts were about "wading and kicking" into a group of teens who are verbally assulting a woman. You talked abut creating "shock and awe" and using pepper spray and tasers. I dont see the point of this thread other than to make us look like a bunch of hot head gun toating vigilaties.

March 27, 2008, 06:46 PM
a physical attack gets you hauled off to jail for assault. if it's verbal harassment, you have no right to use physical force. Call 9-1-1 and explain what's going on, while making sure the woman isn't attacked. if physical force is being used on the woman, you can respond in kind to protect her. this would be an awful situation be in if you're armed; the temptation would be to draw your weapon and try to chase the punks off; if they're not armed, you again have problems with the law. human nature urges you to protect the woman; the fact that you have a life and family to think about would make me most likely to call the cops.

March 27, 2008, 08:28 PM
The question of the civilizing effect isn't a bad one, but as Teifmen and Bikerbill noted, the way the original post read was very dramatic, and implied thought processes that were not appropriate to this type of forum.

So, answering the newly focused question, I find that carrying tends to make me more aware of the possibility of situations escalating, and therefore more circumspect in my analyses (not to mention more aware of speed limits, etc) - just as flying with live weapons on the wings would make me more aware of the profile I presented to those on the ground or water.

For clarification, I wasn't a Ranger and make no claim to be one. I have worked with those guys and other spec operators in a liaison role, and since those guys tend to be very nice to their air liaisons, I got to go the range on multiple occasions with a bunch of Rangers, Marines, and Special Forces. I also occasionally get to do some grappling training with a SEAL. This in no way makes me one of those guys, but it does mean I get to see at least a little of how they train.

For further clarification, I'm an adult male, I work out regularly, and I have trained in martial arts since high school. I look like (and am) a military officer. At 6ft and a bit over 200 pounds, I really have to be cognizant that whether I am carrying or not, I have additional liabilities in dealing with potential physical conflicts. IE I am not as likely as a woman, elderly or infirm man, or teen to be given the benefit of the doubt as to whether I really felt sufficiently threatened to justify action x,y, or z.

March 28, 2008, 03:21 PM
I think if it was just kids making fun of someone, that someone should be responsible for their own well-being (for lack of a better word). If the taunting turned into a beating, that would call for outside assistance to the beatee.

If a bunch of kids were just calling me names, I would probably just move on and try not to antagonize them. If they decided to attack, I would employ the nessecary amount of force to stop said attack.

March 28, 2008, 04:02 PM
Obnoxious behavior, tauting, verbal harassment and even profanity are not against the law.

Now... that said, I'd probably walk up and stand several feet away from the punks and tell them they are behaving like petty, ignorant and spiteful little children and their families should be ashamed of them, along with an admonishment to leave the area.

Of course, knowing how some kids think, they're likely to get mouthy to me. That's okay. But I'm no longer in the kind of shape needed to get physical with a group of teens, especially with 3:1 odds. If they advance making rude, angry or threatening statements, they will have the first-hand pleasure of experiencing the effects of pepper spray.

What? You'd douse several young adolescents with pepper spray simply for exercising their voices? Darn tootin'. Mostly because certain impairments prevent me from taking them over my knee and giving them what they deserve.

Teach the little buggers to control their mouths by exercising their brains for a change.

Bob Lee Swagger
March 28, 2008, 09:02 PM
Absolutely. In a situation like that, i'm glad I have the new hi-cap magazines from the recent gunshow.

March 30, 2008, 11:27 AM
I dont see the point of this thread other than to make us look like a bunch of hot head gun toating vigilaties. To any anti who happens to read TFL you already look just like that by virtue of the fact you discuss guns.

I know that most of the posters here are not going out of their way to perpetrate violence but I think in large part that is an artifact of the sort of thinking process required to be a responsible armed citizen. I think that such thinking is different from that of an Anti and I think that although much of Anti thinking is the fear of other's violence a largely unspoken part is fear of their own violence.

Going back to some other permutations of the original question, the television show was played in such a way as to provoke people into intervening or fleeing and one of its unanticipated consequences was provoking at least one of the passersby into a violent attack. It also (whether anticipated or unanticipated) provoked the audience into asking the question of themselves of what would they do. I wrote the question to reflect and self analyse the immediate hot-headed emotional response which occurred as part of the drama of watching the show. I reached the personal conclusion that if I'd been alone on that California street my absolute risk of an inappropriately violent response would have been less than implied by the post but the relative risk would have been as described (unarmed risk > non-lethally armed risk >> armed risk)

I suspect that the process by which such risks become relative includes the fact that people know they can make mistakes in situational assessment and that it is less personally dangerous to them if they make a mistake in under-assessing the potentially violent nature of an assailant if they are armed. (This is somewhat like a test pilot being more willing to fly a plane with potential control system problems if they have a parachute. And I presume some of the natural hesitance in answering might be similar to the natural fear the pilot has in admitting to the flight surgeon that he has any apprehension at all.)

I'm aware of the 'by the book' answers and appreciate them. Yes I understand that if you hit someone you can go to jail; I wasn't asking you to judge whether the teens are menacing or verbally assaulting or violent or whatever. So what about your natural responses and which ones occur with less inhibition. (It does strike me as very peculiar that so many answers were the obvious 'call the police' variety but I can dig up a thousand TFL threads pointing to the risk of that particular response being entirely ineffective. The show didn't emphasize 911 calls and I wonder if many of the nonresponders actually called 911 and were told to ignore the action, its just a t.v. show.)

A set of corollary questions would be:
What emotional changes occur in an armed individual which dampen his/her immediate situational temptation toward violence?
How can such changes be documented and studied?
How can such documentation be helpful to the cause of RKBA?
How can such responses be used to train CCW holders?

March 30, 2008, 11:55 AM
I would probably try to make them feel ashamed by via war of words. I'm sometimes told I'm pretty good at that. At least it would get their minds off their victim. And I'm big enough that generally even three don't seem to want to give me any physical trouble, though I never count on this. I have on one occasion chased a youth that seemed to take great pleasure in calling my handicapped wife something that proved to me he wasn't going to grow into anything beneficial to society, so I made an attempt to show this to him. At the very least, in my mind, he was going to get beaten bloody. He seemed to know it, too, hearing what he was screaming as he ran, which seems comical to me today since he was so "tough." I didn't carry then, and should I ever stoop to that level again, I wouldn't be carrying at that time, either. But make no mistake, "stooping to their level" is at times the only thing they understand. Always being "better than they are" goes only so far before it's time to take some kind of action. The trouble on our street, that we were experiencing at that time completely stopped for several years that day.

Half-Price Assassin
April 21, 2008, 03:49 PM
I think the sad truth here is that there is really nothing you can do. You really can't call the police, and if you punch one of the kids in the back of the head, you will end up in jail. Now if i was carrying my G-26, would I act any differently, i dont think so. I say this because no matter what happened i could not use my weapon, because once you pull your pistol on a bunch of youths (who are probably unarmed), you WILL GO TO JAIL, and lose your CCW. so it wouldnt come to that. the most i would do is walk up the lady and tell her she should leave, and tell the kids to grow up and leave her alone, thats all. I guess i would perfer that a police officer was in the area, i might go up to them and let them know whats going on, maybe the cop could scare the kids off.

I really think Stevie-Ray, is right about "stooping to their level", because thats really all most stupid, rude teenagers understand. but then are most of you perpared to go though all that for a stranger? I really believe alot of kids (under 17s), do this because they know nothing is going to happen to them, and if someone (an adult), does attack them, they can just run to the police and raise up a storm. Or if they are in a large group, just surround their victim, beat them real fast then run off, before any police show up. people under 17 are smart, and they know what they can get away with. but like i said in the beginning of my post there really isnt much you can do without getting in some real trouble. I understand where meekandmild, is coming from, nothing gets me seeing red faster then a bully hurt someone weaker and smaller. One of my friends in mid-school, had his hand broken by a bully, and in highschool ( when i was 14), i witnessed some 17 or 18 boy grab his girlfriend (she was 14 too, and in my class), and slap her hard across the face, causing her to fall to her knees and start crying. even though i didnt really know this girl, i still wanted too break this guys nose, but i didnt. so watching innocent people be victimized by jerks is hard to do, but like i said unless your ready to take it to that next level, there isnt much you can do. I think alot of these young punks in society today, want to take it to that level, for no real reason at all, just be careful none of you here get sucked into their stupid games.

April 21, 2008, 06:31 PM
FYI! TV isn't REAl. Nor is this thread! Isn't this another one of those scenario things with no basis in fact,barely gun related, and fail's to pass the sniff test?

April 21, 2008, 09:52 PM
BillCA wrote;

I'd probably walk up and stand several feet away from the punks and tell them they are behaving like petty, ignorant and spiteful little children and their families should be ashamed of them, along with an admonishment to leave the area.

Of course, knowing how some kids think, they're likely to get mouthy to me.
Some of us "Old Salts" can't help but act this way. The other day at a gas station I saw a young punk walk up to the gas pump with a lit cigarette in his mouth. I had already said; "Hey! Put that out! What the h*ll is wrong with you"? before my mind thought: "How do I approach this"? (BTW - It went right out).
I could get into the whole "It's all in your mindset" thing, but the point is:
Whether TV is real or not, whether the OP is validated or whether petty bickering is relegating this thread to its rightful place in the archives, such incidents are valid scenarios, and scenarios are dynamic. Some of us have, like BillCA pointed out, a frame of comfort in approaching a situation. This aids us, especially when we know our limits.
To the scenario itself, caution is advised. There is not enough info for even the trained mind to make a decision based on absolution. Ergo, The CCW holder is not advised to even consider the firearm, and this being a firearms related post, the question falls to the obscure. Not because of its source, but because of its very nature. Sorry to the OP, but the scenario lacks the elements to be considered under CCW.

A lot of typing energy went into petty bickering. It would be better spent on admitting a few things about ourselves. And so, I offer you a thread I started on another forum. It's less tongue - in - cheek than it may seem, but face it, if you gave into the idea, you'd spend less time arguing :rolleyes:.http://carryconcealed.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1290
If you don't like it, consider the theme. I DON'T MUCH CARE IF YOU LIKE IT! The idea is, your energy would be put to better use taking the antis to task than crabbin' each other out about who'll they'll quote first, Who cares?