Good balance between safe and rude?

This is a discussion on Good balance between safe and rude? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This happened to me a few months ago. Keep in mind that I live in the Peoples' Republic of Kalifornia so I have no CCW. ...

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Thread: Good balance between safe and rude?

  1. #1
    Member Array usmc9688's Avatar
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    Good balance between safe and rude?

    This happened to me a few months ago. Keep in mind that I live in the Peoples' Republic of Kalifornia so I have no CCW.

    My lady and I decide to go for a late-night snack run at our local super market. Our town is very nice and has very little crime (except for that Chris Dorner fella). Anyway we get to the store around 11pm and it's surprisingly busy. I park in a well lit area close to the store. As I get out and wait for my gf to get out I get that "somethings not right" feeling. Around this time I notice a less than reputable character approaching me. Behind him are two or three people sitting on the hood of a car smoking and watching.

    At this point I know what's about to happen. I quietly tell my gf and she gets behind me. The guy is still approaching. When he gets to about 30ft away I face him, look directly at him, place my hand on my knife, and say in a commanding voice, "Hey what do you need?" He stopped dead in his tracks and looked kind of surprised. He fumbled over his words and asked me if I had any cash so he could "fix his car".

    I notice the car his friends are sitting on is running. I look back at him and politely but sternly reply that I won't give him money. He backed off and we finished our shopping trip watching our backs the entire time.

    I want to know what I could've done different. All of my training should've kept me out of that situation, but here we are. Obviously this guy wasn't up to good, but there has been plenty of times when I was rude with genuinely nice people. What's a good balance between safety and not seeming like a paranoid asshat?

    Edit: For those asking I'm a 20yo male about 5'9". I can't get a permit because of age and the fact that I live in Los Angeles for most of the year. The govt gives me an M-16 to kills their enemies and a knife to protect my own ass.
    Last edited by usmc9688; September 20th, 2013 at 06:18 PM.

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  3. #2
    Member Array Mtnmanca's Avatar
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    Just because you live in california doesn't mean you can't get a CCW. I got mine no problem as did so many other people I know
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    Member Array usmc9688's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtnmanca View Post
    Just because you live in california doesn't mean you can't get a CCW. I got mine no problem as did so many other people I know
    Sorry I should've been more specific. I live most of the year in LA. So no I can't get a CCW unless I become a celebrity or "do some favors".

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    Distinguished Member Array Once's Avatar
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    You did fine.Can you buy pepper spray/gel in your state? That can keep them at a distance.I like batons better than knives myself, I have a small one that fits in my back pocket it can keep a "tough guy" at a distance.Maybe get your gf to carry spray and you a baton [ it's kinda impressive when you whip one out of nowhere when someone is up to no good toward you]
    I try to be relativly polite but firm when approached like that. How young were they? And how old are you and your gf?

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    Distinguished Member Array Once's Avatar
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    Oh, and welcome to the forum

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    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Make you own snacks in your house for those 11PM munchie times. You eliminate the "what if", save on gas, and eliminate the need for advice on the forum.
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    Senior Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    Did ok, except violated one of the three 'S' rules. Late night snack acquisition.
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    I would bet 100:1 you have not bothered to apply for your permit. I had a permit in CA and people were constantly telling me it was impossible. A pain yes but I carried.

    If you just want to sit on the fence and do nothing add pepper spray- at 30 feet the guy was in range and it is a numbers equalizer (you said there were 4 of them).

    My rationalization for the permit (I forget what they call it) was I was a competitive shooter and regularly had firearms in my vehicle and it would be irresponsible to allow me to get mugged and the guns be stolen.

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    VIP Member Array 1MoreGoodGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScheisskopFTW View Post
    This happened to me a few months ago. Keep in mind that I live in the Peoples' Republic of Kalifornia so I have no CCW.

    My lady and I decide to go for a late-night snack run at our local super market. Our town is very nice and has very little crime (except for that Chris Dorner fella). Anyway we get to the store around 11pm and it's surprisingly busy. I park in a well lit area close to the store. As I get out and wait for my gf to get out I get that "somethings not right" feeling. Around this time I notice a less than reputable character approaching me. Behind him are two or three people sitting on the hood of a car smoking and watching.

    At this point I know what's about to happen. I quietly tell my gf and she gets behind me. The guy is still approaching. When he gets to about 30ft away I face him, look directly at him, place my hand on my knife, and say in a commanding voice, "Hey what do you need?" He stopped dead in his tracks and looked kind of surprised. He fumbled over his words and asked me if I had any cash so he could "fix his car".

    I notice the car his friends are sitting on is running. I look back at him and politely but sternly reply that I won't give him money. He backed off and we finished our shopping trip watching our backs the entire time.

    I want to know what I could've done different. All of my training should've kept me out of that situation, but here we are. Obviously this guy wasn't up to good, but there has been plenty of times when I was rude with genuinely nice people. What's a good balance between safety and not seeming like a paranoid asshat?
    For starters you could have chosen to live in a State which will allow you to exercise your 2nd amendment rights more freely.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Sounds like you did fine. You work with what you've got. And in a situation like you describe, in which four apparent "toughs" are participating in an approach/interview situation and you've got the hairs rising on the back of your neck over all the indicators, then the steps you took to firmly require the person identify the cause/need was the right combination, in my view.

    IMO, there is NO reason whatsoever that a person should briskly, assertively and closely approach another, at night, while his buddies are watching (and possibly egging him on), on the instant one exits a car (and is presumably at lowest ebb on the radar). No reason. Your speaking firmly and "commandingly" while preparing to defend yourself wasn't out of place, I think. The instant he stopped, he acknowledged he recognized your firmness and capability; that his friends high-tailed it at that instant, proves those "hairs rising" were good warning that the situation is exactly what you thought it was.

    Ditto on the idea of pepper spray (if lawful), as well, if you're without the ability to acquire a CHL.

    Well done.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warbirds View Post
    I would bet 100:1 you have not bothered to apply for your permit. I had a permit in CA and people were constantly telling me it was impossible. A pain yes but I carried.
    Depends on which county, of course.

    BTDT, in California. Had a CHL for years. But I was in a county that cared about citizen safety in such ways, not a county that only dishes out CHL's for the "connected" and obscenely wealthy. In such counties, it can be all but impossible for the unwashed to acquire one.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Better to be rude than dead. Err on the side of caution.


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  14. #13
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badey View Post
    Better to be rude than dead. Err on the side of caution.


    And rude or assertive certainly needn't be assaulting. It just means firmly disallowing of closer approach, of getting within contact distances, of requiring others to first explain themselves and allow you to have some say in the matter of involving yourself with them. Can work very well, with practice and proper techniques.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    You did fine.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of the whole "command voice" thing. That works good for cops, but it can potentially escalate a previously benign situation when coming from someone with no authority. When turning away trouble, I usually do it with calm voice and a smile.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    You did fine.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of the whole "command voice" thing. That works good for cops, but it can potentially escalate a previously benign situation when coming from someone with no authority.
    A citizen has every authority to keep people at arm's length, short of commission of assault/battery without justification themselves. We each are citizens, and none of us has any obligation to be rapidly and apparently-threateningly approached by someone in (even a weaker) "gang" type situation as described by the OP.

    Though, you point out that some of these types of people might well take "command" voice as being a provocation (which is ludicrous, of course). Anything we do might be inferred that way. Safer, by far, to keep some distance and in situations of clear rapid approach (like this one) be prepared to deploy our defenses if it becomes necessary. The fact the "support staff" of the one approaching disappeared the instant he showed he wasn't going to just lay down pretty much shows his instincts for these little indicators was spot-on, this time.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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