Unintentional suspicious actions

This is a discussion on Unintentional suspicious actions within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Recently my elderly FIL and I had lunch at a nice sandwich shop. We've been there many times. Like most of ya'll I sit where ...

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Thread: Unintentional suspicious actions

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    Unintentional suspicious actions

    Recently my elderly FIL and I had lunch at a nice sandwich shop. We've been there many times. Like most of ya'll I sit where I can see what all is going on, etc. The place is mostly glass and so it's easy to even see outside. We were hungry, so we were there early for lunch, about 11 am. While sitting there I noticed this lone guy outside walking in the middle of the parking lot lanes headed our direction. The whole area is a busy intersection, with lots of stores, restaurants, etc, he could be headed anywhere. I thought this guy was dressed a bit strange, and surprisingly he came into our restaurant which, including us, had very few customers at the time. He walked right past the "wait to be seated" sign and slowly walked through the rows of near-empty tables, but came in the area of us few customers.

    I began to watch him seriously, at the point he just walked past the "wait to be seated" sign. He was wearing black pants, and lightweight black jacket over a red shirt. He never made eye contact with anyone, and actually was gazing in the distance and didn't seem to even be looking for a table. He stopped walking and started adjusting his clothes a bit amongst us customers. He opened his jacket, fooled with his shirt and I caught some "leather". Hmmmmmm? He started adjusting the leather and I saw it was a sheath that contained two knives (a big one and a little one). You bet, he's too close, in fact as soon as anyone steps in this small restaurant, they are technically too close to you. I'm thinking, hoping, wishing this guy to be a chef of some sort who is stopping here for a quick lunch? Is he about to un-sheath a knife, or is he adjusting his sheath so he can sit down comfortably?

    The ignoring the sign, distant gaze, and fumbling with knives just a few feet from me to my left, quickly put me on high alert, but as my wife knows externally I can easily look bored. I shifted sort of comfortably in my chair while I discreetly put my hand on my pocket-carried Solo. The guy quit fumbling with his knives (never pulled one out) moved on and picked out a table and sat with his back to me, the waitress got his drink order and I eased over to another chair at our table so I could see him better. The rest of our lunch was uneventful, and the "chef" left his knives alone, played with his iPhone and ate his lunch at his table.

    Funny thing after we left, my FIL, who never see's anything, asked me did I see that odd-acting guy with some sort of holster?

    I think the guy was totally innocent in his actions, intentions, behavior.....but I'll bet he doesn't have a clue of the small elements he did in a row that added up enough to catch our attention. Me seeing this guy and the potential danger or not isn't so much the issue, but more about how we/other people behave in public. Can your behavior, whatever that may be, put others on unintended alert, especially if they happen to see your weapon, or see it print? As responsible CCW's we should always note how we might be perceived by the public

    And no we were not in a sushi bar place
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    Member Array niks's Avatar
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    He was probably waiting for friends to dine with and wanted to make sure he had the means to "cut the check"
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    Distinguished Member Array Arborigine's Avatar
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    Watching people can be interesting at times. I am surprised at how much I see that people with me do not.
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    Member Array Jaybm's Avatar
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    Let me share this ... at the Dentist yesterday waiting for the lady of the house I was reading the
    latest issue of Guns & Ammo. Went up to pay the tab and the receptionist asked " do you conceal
    carry ?" Kind of took me by surprise but being a long time patient there and on a first name basis
    with everyone I discreetly answered " not at the moment ". She went on to say she was waiting
    for her permit.

    She asked about the magazine and that's when the light went on ... I normally take one of my
    magazines to the Doctor / Dentist office rather than read back issues of Home & Garden. Never
    thought about those magazines giving the impression I was toting. But this is SC and as an LEO
    recently told me " everyone has a gun these days ".
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    I have always watched people just because people are fun to watch , but since being here i watch them in a very different way now and it's not just for entertainment .
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    Member Array revldm's Avatar
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    Going to a gun show tomorrow. I love to watch people there to see how they handle guns. You can tell the ones who know what they are doing just by how they pick up a gun.
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    Senior Member Array elmacgyver0's Avatar
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    It's the ones that don't look suspicious that will get you.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmacgyver0 View Post
    It's the ones that don't look suspicious that will get you.
    The truly "good" ones will have mastered the art of blending in, you're right.

    The vast majority simply aren't that effective at doing so. They'll have issues with focus, with stressful energy or nervousness emanating from them, tension clear in the way they carry themselves, "shifty" eyes sizing things up around them, and other similar quirks. The one useful thing about making a strong hobby of people watching is that, over time, it gets easier to pick out many of these subtle issues in those around us. Isn't hardly foolproof, you're right. But it can help. Every little bit helps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by welder516 View Post
    I have always watched people just because people are fun to watch , but since being here i watch them in a very different way now and it's not just for entertainment .
    I find people both entertaining and bizarre, but I still try to live by my signature line.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
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    Like the words of the country song "God is Great, Beer is Good, People are Crazy". It's fun to sit back and watch just how crazy some of them are.
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    Member Array oldranger53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppkheat View Post


    <snip>

    Me seeing this guy and the potential danger or not isn't so much the issue, but more about how we/other people behave in public. Can your behavior, whatever that may be, put others on unintended alert, especially if they happen to see your weapon, or see it print? As responsible CCW's we should always note how we might be perceived by the public

    And no we were not in a sushi bar place


    True enough.
    For me, I always try to dress in nice, neat, and clean attire to begin with.
    I walk with back straight, head high, and eyes straight ahead unless there is reason to shift focus here or there (because too much looking around can be perceived as "shifty" or "casing the place").
    I try to make eye contact with anyone I'm speaking with, and smile at appropriate times, using facial gestures to acknowledge changes in conversational direction, etc...

    Then there's the thing about not going to "stupid places", doing "stupid things", with "stupid people", which includes going to places that might be prone to attract someone with bad on their minds.

    Little things add up.
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    Distinguished Member Array Jaeger's Avatar
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    but as my wife knows externally I can easily look bored.
    My wife will tell you the same thing about me. Probably more like spit it at you. It "bugs her" would be putting it lightly.

    While I don't have the sort of ridiculous paranoia level SA I had when I was younger, I still watch everything and pay close attention to people. Some of that is from my colorful youth, but some is because of now.

    I negotiate with people for a living. What they say, how they say it, how they carry themselves or hold themselves, what they wear, how put together they are, what their face shows,...everything matters. It's not allot different than professional poker in that respect. You have to be totally conscious of these things, and somewhat of an actor, and a great negotiator is great actor. Pretending like you're board, not paying attention, and not really listening is something that I just do and I have a little concern with this about myself. I worry that someone who actually may intend me harm may be emboldened because I am sort of conditioned to pretend like I'm not paying attention, when a direct stare might make them think twice about messing with the wrong person. Sometimes when I think about it I worry could be almost perceived as baiting a criminal into doing something stupid because I look oblivious, rather than head of a swivel and eyes darting all over the place (obviously the other extreme). It's interesting to think that some of the things that make you effective in what you do can also be to your detriment under the wrong circumstances.

    Are blades covered under your CCW in LA ppkheat?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppkheat View Post
    I think the guy was totally innocent in his actions, intentions, behavior.....but I'll bet he doesn't have a clue of the small elements he did in a row that added up enough to catch our attention.
    Can't say as I blame you. Besides folks in LA being a little crazy () to start off with, walking around aimlessly with a blank "1000 yard stare", seeming distracted and carrying not one but TWO concealed knives is more than anyone should need to be on the watch for future aberrant behavior from someone. I know I would've been spooked by this guy. I absolutely think you were right to keep this nutball in view. And HE should've been a bit more aware of how he was acting, IMO, unless he was under the influence of something. And even then ....
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    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revldm View Post
    Going to a gun show tomorrow. I love to watch people there to see how they handle guns. You can tell the ones who know what they are doing just by how they pick up a gun.
    ^^^^ You're not kiddin!.I see it all the time in the Store I work at... The ones who know what they're doing, and the Wanna-bes. I had a guy come up to me and ask "Where are your ARs located and do you have any? He was standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM! I asked " soooo, do you know what they look like" and his answer was Nope. REAL informed customer.. or... NEWS READER.
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    Senior Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    My personal belief is that you are typically in a better position as it related to your personal safety if you listen to your gut. If you felt that something was [wrong] with this guy, you were probably right. As humans we all have in innate ability to detect things that are [wrong] with a person. That detection is very hard to explain in words as many subtle nuances are realized on a truly subconscious level. Bottom line is that when I encounter someone who seems to have a distorted sense of reality, I steer clear. When I say distorted, I mean.. wearing tons of clothes when its 98 degrees, reacting to things that are not there or failing to react to or acknowledge things that are there, communication that is not suitable to the circumstances, unprovoked hostility, zombie like silence or the doll-eyed stare. Yep, I go the other way.
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