Almost Had A Problem Today
This is ridiculous, but let me tell you guys what happened and you guys tell me what I should have done differently. Let me state that I rarely print let alone accidentally expose my weapon...
So, we were driving through what wasn't the nicest part of town today around 5pm. My daughter, who is 5, wanted a toy so we stopped at a local store in a shopping center. I get out of the driver's side of the car and I guess my shirt rode up and exposed my gun. In the beater parked next to me, the guy with no shirt and no shoes, knotted hair and a scruffy beard (typical South Texas Tweaker) looks at me funny.
At this point, my wife and daughter are in the store already. I go in behind them and a few seconds later, this guy walks in. I'm about 10 feet away and turn towards the door. He's standing there with his chest puffed out (still no shirt, shoes or socks) and says "What are ya doin' with that gun, you gonna rob this place" as he takes a step towards me. I have my right hand free and my keys in my left hand which has some spray attached to it. I though, here we go!
I said "What?" as I told my wife to take a walk. "What are you doing with that gun?" he said with an attitude. At this point I felt myself getting more and more irritated and I told him it was none of his ****ing business. I was getting ready to let him know what I really thought, but tried to calm myself down. Then I said, I'm licensed to carry a firearm and I'll only use it if someone is a problem. He then asked "Why would you bring it in here, you can't do that, what are you planning to do?"
Again, I felt myself getting ready to say something out of line, but chalked his comments up to ignorance. I said a CHL holder can carry anywhere, unless it's posted or a bar, etc. He basically calmed down pretty quick, explained that his girl and child were in the store and was scared for them. When he said that, my attitude changed as well, so I explained a little more about the concealed carry law and we actually had a laugh about other's views, etc.
Now, I learned a few things.
1. Keep my gun concealed at all times (which I thought I always did)
2. If confronted, be ready for anything, but diffuse the situation if you can and don't escalate it with anger.
3. Don't judge a person by how they look. I thought this guy was looking for trouble because of how he looked, but really he was concerned and looking out for his family. I didn't judge him because of the beard or clothes, but he did have that well-known "tweaker" look. Sorry, just how it is.
So, I don't know. Did I handle it right? Did I handle it wrong? It ended well, but it could have went a ton of different ways. By-standers (about 5 watching this whole thing) could have called the police. He could have tried to fight or go for my gun. I could have escalated the whole thing with my attitude. The list goes on.
The thing is that in the two times I've had to defend myself (one serious, the other prevented) and what I've always thought about defensive scenarios is that there was a clear cut "bad guy" that was trying to get something from me and I was the clear cut "victim".
What about when someone else thinks YOU are the bad guy? That's a scary thought. Defense is defense regardless of why someone attacked you, but it would be a hard thing to cope with having "defended" yourself against someone trying to do some good!
Good night guys - stay safe out there! This whole thing just had me thinking.