IMO.... People who think drawing a pistol simply due to a panhandler coming too close is appropriate need to have other options. I'm not sure how comfortable the OP is with going "hands on" with someone, but drawing down on a panhandler because he got too close is an iffy response at best. Some people are "close talkers", and some people just try to be intimidating.
As far as how "approachable" you are, as stated already, I dont think it matters much. Panhandlers work on percentages. If one out of 10 people donate, they best be on their A-game if they want to upgrade from domestic to imported beer.
Or, just get a barb wire tatoo around your neck :embarassed:
All good insights everyone, I do appreciate the comments. And I think many of you nailed it exactly.. as I think back in retrospect.. lack of TRAINING on how to handle such situations CONSISTENTLY is key.. there are times similar to this where I can consciously decide to walk here, or there, and avoid, or redirect, evade in some way..
In this instance, i didnt think to maybe spin towards the guy and do a 180 back into the sandwich shop... so that my back is never facing him. I just wanted to get to my car.. and im generally a generous person who gives.. but sometimes it just isnt safe to do so.. I'll consider this a very big learning experience.. obviously nothing happened, the guy either had no nefarious intentions to begin with, or something changed his mind..
as to why i didnt "suit-up" with my firearm when i got to my car.. im still working on the always carry whenever possible part.. even if im walking 20ft into Subway, and 20ft back to my car.. thats why i'd love to have a small pocket pistol BUG.. pref a P32 or LCP or something.. its on me always like my wallet and CPL.. cant forget it.
As to what made this guy look sketchy.. its hard to explain without sounding insensitive and racist. Did I profile him? yes. I profile everybody.. I judge based on appearances.. I've learned that I have to.. people are often exactly what they seem. But considering what he was wearing, how he was walking, the look on his face, where I was, where he was walking (cutting through parking lots not using the sidewalk)... all sorts of "strange person" alerts popped into mind.
Pistology, and AOK, thank you for your comments. I will take all of it to heart especially and look into what you have suggested.
Moral of the story? Always be aware, always be armed when possible, do everything to avoid making yourself vulnerable or a victim.
Its a matter of what it is worth to you to make your image over so you look like someone no one will dare approach.
Originally Posted by JasonJ
I'm not talking about hiring an image consultant. I'm talking about using clothing, eyeglass style, hair style, even faux
tattoos and piercings, to create a kind of disguise. How far you push it depends on what you can get away with at work, and what you can get away with at home.
It is fun to play around and check out just how bad you can look. Watch the flicks, pick out the guy you want to
look like, and copy the easy stuff. I've done that for play, and my "minister nice guy-softy" look can be turned to
an image that would keep all but the most hardened away. Whether or not you want to get out of character and into costume
each day is another matter.
That said, you asked what the guy was up to. I think it was getting 20 cents from you. He'd have been happy with more
but he knows he'll find a few more folks to pitch in 20-50 cents each, and get a meal from it.
When you noticed the guy headed your way, you could have moved to keep the car between you. He can talk to you across the car without being too much of a threat, and you can keep circling the car if necessary. That's a good example of pepper spray being a good tool, it'll reach across a car if he gets squirrelly, and gives you an opportunity for escape.
Good point. Beggars don't minimize their prospects by lopping off those larger or uglier than a standard deviation from the average. But criminals and potential violent criminal assailants do target soft. That is the problem.
Originally Posted by BaldSasq
Earlier, I don't want to give the impression that I'm the village anti-social whatever. If I know the time, I'll give it, but I won't give a stranger a physical or tactical advantage.
Training can give good enlightenment but basically tells you how to practice. Books can impart the important concepts without the expense of travel and training courses. I recommend in highest praise, two amazing books:
Handgun Combatives 2nd Ed and
Both are by an author highly respected by folks not only this site that I highly respect but by many in law enforcement and the self-defense network as a trainer. His name is Dave Spaulding. Ex-CIA trainer, Ed Lovette collaborates on Defensive Living. If you don't already have both, each is worth many times its price.
Hey! Quit stealing my signature line! ;-)
Originally Posted by Inspector71
My wife tells me my expressions say a thousand words, and that I scare poeple who don't know me. I like it that way. It keeps people at arm's length.
You said you didn’t make contact, was the word EYE missing in that sentence? One thing that will through off an oncoming attack is eye contact, especially if the person in question is headed in your direction. Looking him straight in the eyes and nodding your head or saying something to the effect of a common greeting like, “A WHAT’S UP” will often put them in an off balance causing them to pass on your selection as a victim. It may not work in the most extreme cases but is very effective in most all that are not sure of what to expect from their victim.
Not looking at your possible attacker shows them that they are in control and they can do as they will and expect you to comply with their demands. Just like anyone else, they want the most they can get with the least work.
Last but not least, don’t hesitate to let them know they are close enough, with or without, putting your hand at the 4oclock position, even without a gun and saying “A THAT’S CLOSE ENOUGH”
The element of surprise is worth a lot and when they have no previous knowledge of you or what you are about, anything that causes them to think will in most cases cause them to make another selection.
Oh and I have seen plenty of said to be “homeless” in the area looking for handouts with clean clothes, even press creases in their pants.
Somebody once said the best defense is a good offence.
Not much you can do about how you look and as someone pointed out, it's a numbers game anyhow.
Where you failed is in not knowing how to respond. When a subject like this is approaching me I quarter my strong side away from them and make sure my right hand is behind me and out of their sight. It is near my gun but not on it and I don't expose it. When they reach my comfort limit I put up my left hand and say in a strong voice something like "stop right there" or "keep back, that is close enough". Usually that stops them in their tracks and we can continue with our interaction but at a safe distance.
I have also been known to tell them to keep their hands where I can see them. Some people get offended at this but i don't mind hurting people's feelings when it comes to my safety.
Walking to my car across any parking lot I keep my pepper spray in my weak hand. My CCW is for extreme life threatning situations only. Have also bought OC for all family members and instructed them on how to maintain situational awareness.
"Do I really look like an easy target?!"
First, you didn't attach a photo.
Second, Saginaw! Unarmed?
Maybe he just spotted the "Oh crap, I'm not carrying", look on your face. "Easy?"
I look at them and growl SAAAAATAAAAAAN! You would not believe how fast they leave.
Originally Posted by JasonJ
Not allowed to carry a knife in Saginaw?
Tell him you just got mugged up the street and the cops are about to meet you to get a statement.
Yeah i know, right!? I ALWAYS carry in Saginaw when the wife and baby and I go out for dinner, or shopping, etc... i suppose it would be smart to invest in a pocket holster for my pistol to go into my coat.. or keep it locked under the seat and toss it on with the paddle...i need to get into better habits.
Originally Posted by Luckey1115
And so everyone has an idea of the environment.. the Subway has parking on either side of a large concrete island of sorts.. so you walk out, cars on the left, cars on the right.. no way to put anything between me and the approaching stranger.. although I could have circled around the back of my car and came up from the rear of the vehicle head on with the dude.. but got into the vehicle and avoided even being within 10ft... damn hindsight..
And even though the question was semi-rhetorical, I'll post a pic..
OK so just a headshot.. and ive put on about 30lbs since... for November I grew a full beard.. keeping it through December..but you get the gist.
So because of the unnerving incident that turned out to luckily be nothing.. i most definitely will at LEAST be looking into some appropriate training books. if not perhaps a class if i can find one. And ABSOLUTELY carrying as often as feasible and legally able. I still wish I had a small pocket pistol for a deep concealment/BUG.. At work (i work IT) its khakis and a tucked in polo and with my current weight and body shape, anything larger than a PF9 or a 380 auto would either be too deep in my pants to get to, or print like a mother..
Something about having a defensive firearm on your person makes me feel secure.. I know teh gun itself isnt a magic talisman that protects me.. but for some reason, I still feel empowered and safer because of it.
I should really get a good tactical knife to carry too.. no reason to ever NOT be armed where possible.. especially in Saginaw/Buena Vista twnshp.
Funny thing. If you are carrying, you will have a different "look" about you. Usually the BGs can sense this.