A Fine Mess

A Fine Mess

This is a discussion on A Fine Mess within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; In my short time here I have noticed that most members seem intelligent and have a great deal of common sense, more than me anyway. ...

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Thread: A Fine Mess

  1. #1
    Member Array cloudy's Avatar
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    Nov 2006

    A Fine Mess

    In my short time here I have noticed that most members seem intelligent and have a great deal of common sense, more than me anyway. Still, the following story might remind someone about how easy it is to create a really fine mess for yourself when it comes to firearms and confronting the bad guys. I'm embarassed by some of my actions, but here's my story.

    I live on a dead end gravel lane. I was wakened at 2:30am by the sound of what I thought was someone opening my front door. I quickly collected my thoughts and froze, waiting for the slightest sound of any of our many sqeeky hallway floorboards to determine how bad the situation was (yeah, I should've jumped up sooner). Hearing nothing moving, I did jump up and grab my gun, carefully checked the house and then I heard spinning tires outside. I ran out, saw the car take off down the street and I assumed it was just some kids messing around. After checking around, I noticed my truck windows were broken so I called the law. The officer looked further and saw all my neighbor's vandalized and/or robbed. Two garages were broken into, and one was an attached garage ( I later learned the garage to house door was unlocked, the occupants sleeping blissfully and with no guns for protection). The thieves boldly trashed this garage and even puked in it, despite the owners sleeping mere feet from the garage with no locked door between them.

    The above is just setting the stage for the real story, so you can understand my state of mind.

    I slept poorly for many weeks after that, and on our lane we experienced suspicious people and cars on numerous occasions. Several nights in a row I started hearing someone drive slowly by our homes around 1:30-2am, but I only heard them as they left the lane. I felt we were being set up for another hit. On the next night I heard them drive very slowly into the lane. I was in bed clothed, so I just grabbed my keys and gun and ran to my truck just as the guy left our lane. I was about 100 yards behind him.

    I saw the car head down another dead end gravel road. I parked in the road and waited for him to come out, blocking his exit. He finally started to come out and I was ready for the confrontation, gun in my lap. He stopped his car and I pulled around nearly next to him but about 45 degrees to his front, so I could watch his every move but not catch a broadside bullet through my door. He was scruffy looking and his car was beat up. I authoritatively demanded to know why he was driving down our dead end roads at 2am. Remember, though I never pulled my firearm, it is in my hand on my lap, and I am on the razors edge of "ready". This guy then said "I'll show you!", and at that he leaned to his right, quickly picked something up from the seat, putting my adrenaline into afterburner and almost switching my "ready" mode to "action". This was the instant where a huge decision would have to be made lightning fast.

    He spun back to my direction, and what he held up to the window was a NEWSPAPER. He explained that he was a newspaper man and just started delivering a newspaper to one house down my lane! Yeah, this shows how easy it is to let one bad experience influence future bad or hasty decisions, but look at how really bad it could've been: Imagine that the newspaper man I stopped was carrying a gun (I sure would if I were him). He is on a dead end gravel lane at 2am with no houses within site, some guy in a truck blocks his exit and comes near his window. What if this newspaperman nervously pulled his gun out? What would I in my truck, nervous and ready for the worst, have done when I saw this guy pull a gun, not knowing it was just a newspaper man in a beat up car who was scared of me? I hate to think about how close I came to possibly ruining two lives (more if you include our families), but I really learned a great deal from that night.

    Hope this wasn't too preachy or melodramatic, but if anyone can learn from my mistake it's worth it.

  2. #2
    VIP Member
    Array Team American's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Hope this wasn't too preachy or melodramatic
    On the contrary, sharing this sort of commentary is what makes this website so valuable...
    Your experience shows just how easy it is to convince ourselves that something must be true because we want to believe it's true...thankfully your situation didn't end badly...
    "I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York

    "They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper

  3. #3
    Member Array Bando's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Texas somewhere
    We like to collect everyone's experiences. It's how we can learn without all making the same mistakes. Glad everything worked out ok, and a good point made.
    The Problem: When stupid people do stupid things, smart people end up getting killed.

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Mt Airy, NC
    So tell us what would you have done differently now?
    I actually agree with following the perp, I know many will flame me for this. However I would probably stop at getting a license plate number and then call the law. I have been robbed before and it is an awful feeling, one that I never want to feel again. Glad y'all are okay and neither one of you were trigger happy.
    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
    Carry On!

  6. #5
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    And thats why as a CCW we need to understand we are not the avenger of all things evil, a cop or anything more than we were before the permit was issued to us.

    BE A GOOD WITNESS! plate numbers, solid descriptions are all that is required.

    The door was left wide open for you to spend your life in prison... all to catch a vandal.

    If you or your family was attacked, by all means do what you got to do. To chase a POSSIBLE criminal down is just plain goofy for a few reasons.

    Thanks for sharing your story, I'm sure this is going to open a lot of good discussion.
    Last edited by SIXTO; December 29th, 2006 at 09:28 AM.

  7. #6
    Member Array chiefs-special-guy's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Do nothing, because you have a gun, that you wouldn't do without one. That is my basic plan. If I hear a sound outside, I do not go out to see what it is unless I would feel safe doing so unarmed.
    However, I can not criticise you- people need to understand how being victimized affects other people. I HATE armchair quarterbacks!
    I hope things improve in your neighborhood. Talk to your neighbors about some security arrangements, if possible. God Bless and Merry Christmas.
    Six for sure...Uh, I mean Five. Five for sure..

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    Fairfax, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by chiefs-special-guy View Post
    Do nothing, because you have a gun, that you wouldn't do without one.
    Sounds like a plan. Anytime I start thinking, "I wouldn't go here unless I was armed", I turn around and go away.

    I think that is worth repeating.

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefs-special-guy View Post
    Do nothing, because you have a gun, that you wouldn't do without one.
    By the way Cloudy, thanks for sharing the story. It's good to critique our actions in the hope of helping us all to improve.

  9. #8
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    Array goawayfarm's Avatar
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    Fork Union, Virginia
    Two things.....

    1) did you enlist his help?......If he's coming by every morning, he's an extra set of eyes.

    2) did you buy a paper or subscribe?
    A vote is like a rifle, its usefulness is based on the character of the user -T Roosevelt

    If you carry a gun, some will call you paranoid. If I carry, what do I have to be paranoid about? -C Smith

    An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it. -J Cooper

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Central Florida
    Its an bad feeling to be robbed and it takes a while to get over it. Ive been robbed before. that was a good idea of getting your paper delivery man to be on the look out. I'am sure glad you were not trigger happy.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array my2cents's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Apex, NC
    Thank you for sharing that. The more experiences we have the better.
    Walk steathly - and carry a big Springfield.

  12. #11
    Member Array Dan M.'s Avatar
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    May 2006
    Southern California
    And for all you bad guys who read these forums--get yerself a stack of newspapers to carry around in your car. Might keep you out of jail someday.

  13. #12
    Member Array walther1's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Columbus, OH
    One of the best posts I have read thus far.

    Life, liberty, and the pursuit of the ultimate CC gun!

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Posts like this one is why I am a member of this board.

    I don't know exactly how to dissect the situation. I wouldn't have gone after the guy, but it's hard to fault you in light of the results:
    you got back home alive, so did the paper guy, and you gained some very valuable real-world insight.

    You also passed on something thought-provoking and valuable to us out here in cyber land.

  15. #14
    Lead Moderator
    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Or it could have been that he was using that as an excuse to case every house in the county...and if that was what he was doing, he got away with it didnt he ?

    I would have got the license plate no. and called it in.

    Never follow a suspected badguy. You were on his turf,with his conditions playing his game...definatly not the way to win.

    It could be that he was a paper delievey guy...although Ive never heard on one getting up that early. If hes not, then pay attention because it aint over yet....
    Universal Background Checks...the next step towards registration and confiscation.

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  16. #15
    Member Array cloudy's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Thanks to everyone for your thoughts. I agree with the criticisms of course, it's how I feel myself. It's tough to make the necessary mental changes when you are the kind of person who likes to handle things yourself, but I definitely think the route to go was to ID the car and report it.

    Let me say though that I felt that the original theives were more than "just vandals". Besides breaking into numerous cars (and steeling stuff in them) they broke into two garages, stole many tools, and the attached garage break-in/vandalism was so bold (along with the vomit) that I think they were possibly pretty doped up and therefore unpredictable.

    When I stopped the 2am driver, I wasn't planning an apprehension or anything. I just wanted a face to face ID, I wanted him to know he was ID'd, I wanted him to have to explain his actions and I wanted him to know that I was on top of things in this area so he'd better hunt elsewhere if he was up to no good. I'm not saying this is how I will do things in the future, I'm just telling you what I was thinking at the time.

    To Dan M and Hotguns: I really didn't care if the guy was telling the truth about the newspapers, though I confirmed his story later (he was delivering Fri/ Sat/ Sun papers so it seemed intermittent) and the paper continues to be delivered around 2am. I mainly wanted the face to face ID and him knowing it. In light of this I think I accomplished all of my goals, I just don't think I thought through the possible high price of winning these goals. As to this being "his turf, conditions and game" maybe I was too confident, but I felt it was my turf, and I felt very comfortable taking my game to him. The whole problem was that I wasn't ready to deal with an innocent. In any case, I have changed. I won't be so bold next time.

    Yes, I discussed with this man our problems, and yes we get his paper.

    It's weird. I do not live in what people consider a high crime area and I'm 10 miles from the nearest town, yet we have had many incidents in our area, the last one being a murder just two houses down from me. Just goes to show how bad things have become in this great country.

    To the advice of not doing or going with a gun what you wouldn't do without one: Sounds very good, but I'm not sure if I can totally agree. I live near coal mining country and there are thousands of acres of reclaimed land to hunt, shoot, fish etc. These areas are very popular with outdoorsmen here and a wonderful resource, but I would NEVER go there unarmed. Years ago I had my windows broken out (and a shotgun stolen) as did every other vehicle in the area. My brother in law had a gun to his head one day as someone told him to leave the area (there was an auto chop shop operating in the area). A friend had bullets hit around his truck as he drove through one area, and there have been a few murders, rapes and felon hidouts. There are also many areas with pot cultivation. With the exception of pot growing, these incidents are not frequent, but dangerous nonetheless.

    I'm sure I've opened a can of worms with that, and this could be another post, but I would gladly put myself in some danger to enjoy these "wilderness" activities (as wilderness as you get around here anyway). The point is taken though, that in most cases a gun should not cause you to confront someone who you would not confront without one.

    Thanks again guys.

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