This is a discussion on Learning lesson's the hard way. within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Sad and tragic story. It seems that a 74 year old man was shopping near the sporting goods area and a 46 year old "homeless" ...
Sad and tragic story. It seems that a 74 year old man was shopping near the sporting goods area and a 46 year old "homeless" man beat him to death with a baseball bat in the store. Police were saying it seems to be random, though the story title suggests it may have been over a hand-out.
I'm guessing the homeless guy hit him in the head from behind, and it is really hard to remain absolutely diligent 24/7, I'd say we all let our guards down on occasion.
Big lesson here on situational awareness and being properly armed. Just think had the shopper been better prepared, how much different this could have worked out.
Thoughts, plans, strategies ?
Walmart Baseball Bat Killing: Homeless Man Kills When Refused Change
Yeah, there are more and more folks falling on hard times... Yes, the disparity in income between the haves and the have less is growing... But there are better ways to help those who are down on their luck than throwing money at them. But that's a different topic.
Back to the original post...
Apparently the "interview" didn't go as the panhandler/homeless/mentally handicapped person expected. If he was indeed panhandling, he will no longer need to worry where his next meal is coming from...
Had he encountered me in the store with a baseball bat, I would hope he wouldn't need to worry about eating his next meal, let alone where it was coming from. OTOH, blindsided with a baseball bat, I might not be able to form much of a defense... that's why I try to stay aware...
It could be worse!
74 and hit in the head with a baseball bat from behind, kind of hard to defend against that one. You do the best you can and hope it ends better than this one.
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Regarding handouts to people who ask me for money. I don't have a hard and fast rule whether to give them money or not. Most of the time I don't.
However in all cases I try very hard at first to keep walking, not engage, and sever this impromptu relationship quickly and courteously as I can. I try to de-fuse the encounter; I don't think there's anything to gain by inciting them or causing an escalation. It's possible the victim in this situation said something to hack this guy off.
I never said you have to give your money to anyone. I simply said a lot of people who don't give money to panhandlers also are rude to them. It isn't necessary to degrade them. And it can make them get violent when they may have otherwise moved on to the next person.
I have worked a homeless ministry for many years at my church and it showed me a lot of things about homeless and needy people. Sometimes we pass judgement too quickly on those in need. Sure, most of the people you give money to are simply looking for a fix. But some truly need the cash and $2 or $3 might put food in their stomach for the night. I am not able to judge a person's heart (and neither are you) simply by looking at them. So I choose to give when I can, you don't have to if you don't want to, but don't say "some folks do not like giving away their hard earned money" to me, because I never said you had to. But the reality is, we would all be in a better world if people were less cynical and more charitable.
God judges me by whether I choose to give or not. As long as my heart is joyful and pure in giving, it matters not what the person does with it, I did my part.
Food for thought here...I've recently completed the Advanced Citizens Police Academy class for my town. One of the items discussed was the high incidences of panhandling and crimes associated with such. One of the main points of interest brought out was the fact that "panhandling" has become a SCAM in many areas. The big boss man will come in and recruit the homeless, offer them a percentage of the money they collect for him, set them up each day in a location that has high volume traffic, pick them up each evening, split the proceeds and on we go the next day. I choose to give to my church pantry for hungry folks, the Salvation Army, etc and NOT to folks on the exits to my local interstates. JMO
Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.
I think your responce and actions after the first conversation are critical. I never get hit for change or a meal, or "a smoke" when I'm alone, but when I'm with my bride, I am. . Dont be surprised if this WALMART hitter assailant has untreated mental health issues, and a extensive criminal record, prehaps is even "under supervision"...most of the "homeless hardcore" are "mainstreamed" mental cases...Both the wife and I have training for dealing with disparate poor and the un institutionalized crazys walking the urban streets, sleeping in the shelters ...dont turn your back on a threat....exit...because crazy is crazy and risky...The mut is going to end up in a underfunded mental hospital or underfunded prison, in Kalifornia...hell on earth, but probibly an upgrade for him...
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I have been approached by panhandlers so many times in St. Louis it became annoying. "Say Maaaa, you got dolla"? Yep, sure do, got change for a twenty?
This is a tough situation. It doesn't matter what your'e packin' if a guy hits you in the back of the head with a bat. Situational awareness and using this for prevention is about the only thing you can do in a situation like this; keep it from happening in the first place by not turning your back on the dude.
How do you maintain SA all the time? Say you told the guy NO at the entrance to the store and proceeded to shop thinking it was over. Now 2,3,20 minutes later you get whacked in the head from behind. I know that when I am in the store I am looking at things on the shelf, reading a package, etc and if I stopped to check out everyone that enters my peripheral vision, much less those that come from behind I would never get through the store.
This incident is an anomaly. You're not likely to get whacked in the head anytime you go to WalMart... But, if you have a "hinky" experience at the door... you should stay on top of your game until you leave. Read the Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker.
Last edited by oakchas; November 3rd, 2011 at 09:22 PM. Reason: spelling and bolding title
It could be worse!