I am going to apologize in advance, because I think this is going to get a little long. This just happened to me about an hour ago and I am writing this as a tool to help me focus and self analyze as well as get some feedback from the good folks here.
For starters I drive a decent distance for work and usually have to pump gas every Friday. I don't like to be really low on fuel, but today I really wanted to get home so I passed the usual gas station I stop at on the way home from work and decided I would just fuel up next time I was out. Anyway, a buddy called me and asked me to go sailing with him tonight, and since I had no plans I went along. I had to meet up with him soon though, so no time for gas on the way there, I would have to get it on the way home. So far I have made a few bad choices, luckily I made one good one when I decided to strap on my Glock 19 and two extra mags despite the really low fiberglass seats in my buddy's boat.
Due to my job situation I cannot carry at work (I work in a school). So the carry always never tell gig does not work for me. I carry when I can and I have my own rules I abide by. Generally if I am going somewhere that involves being around more than a dozen people I don't know, or if I am going to be anywhere after dark I carry. I figure these rules take care of most of the bad situations I would find myself in.
Either way on my way home from sailing my gas light is on and we are way out in the sticks at a state park. I ended up stopping at the first gas station I came across, which was in a urban area between the state park and my neighborhood. As I get out of the car at the gas station I immediately notice a guy loitering outside of the store part of the gas station. Not smoking, not on the phone, just standing there. loitering people always catch my attention. I swipe my card and start pumping gas. I always stand against my trunk with the autopump running so I can see things better and am not boxed in by the gas line. I am overly focused on loitering guy when another dude approaches me from the street. I saw him coming, but figured he was just headed inside to buy something. He stops when he gets to me and tells me that his car is out of gas and that he needs some money. He asks if I have any money to give him. His body language and overall demeanor is nonthreatening, but being "interviewed" is making me uncomfortable. I told him that I paid with a credit card and had no cash. I then broke eye contact with him and when I did this he walked away.
I figure that I made a mistake breaking eye contact with him. I also am pissed at myself for my mental process. Mentally I was thinking "I can't believe this guy is interviewing me!!!" instead of thinking, if he does one stupid thing I am moving off the X and drawing on him. I should have been thinking aggressively. I strongly believe that a quick aggressive reaction to a BG threatening behavior will screw their OODA loop enough for you to have the upper hand. That only works if I am thinking aggressively and not standing there in disbelief of the situation.
I also think breaking eye contact him was good and bad. It was good because it non-verbally ended our interaction. It was bad because if he choose to become aggressive I would have been stuck in a totally reactionary position. In the future I think I would hold eye contact until the person decides to move on to another target. I have never experienced anything like this before. I think I will be better for it if things happen again.
I know this is kind of a non-event, but for me this was a big deal. It validates many of my ideas about why I carry and next time I am thinking about leaving my Glock on the nightstand because it is a little uncomfortable (like it was in the boat today), you better believe I will be strapping it on.