This happened five or six years ago; just thought of it recently and began evaluating it from a general self-defense and also CCW perspective. Wondering about everyone else's thoughts. I'll give the scenario, and my own thoughts, plus a few variations.
After senior formal at my high school a few years back, three couples decided to swing by one of those 24-hour Mexican restaurants being midnight and 1 AM. This was the first mistake, especially since this particular one has had rumors about gang and drug connections forever. Even supposing, as is probably the case, that those rumors were just rumors, this was a popular hang-out for the more seedy elements of high-school and post-high-school culture in the area. Not unusual to have a few dozen of that late-teen, early-20's age deadbeats hanging out in the parking lot after 11 PM.
However, the three guys were all strong athletes, all future ROTC guys looking the join the military and probably feeling invincible.
Anyway, when they showed up there was nobody there but the staff. They got their food, and a little later two of the guys got up to buy some sort of dessert. At the same time, a dozen kids of the late-high-school, early-20's shady variety came in and got in line behind my two friends. One of the thugs mildly grabs on friend's shoulder and asks to borrow a couple bucks, at which point my friend says sorry, he doesn't have any to spare over his shoulder. With no more warning than that, he gets sucker-punched in the kidneys and then the dozen guys just set on the two guys in line, knocking them over and proceeding to kick them while their down.
My third friend grabs the three girls and shoves them out the exit. He puts them in his car, gives them keys, tells them to lock the doors, drive across the street, and call 911. He then goes back in to try to help his friends. He, of course, gets beat for trying to help.
In the end they took their three wallets, which didn't have much money. The guy who came to help got some bruised ribs and a headache. The other two were in worse shape but nothing permanent. Both had broken ribs, one had a concussion and broken nose, while the other ended up with a couple broken fingers on his right hand from getting stomped.
The guys filed charges, but nothing came of it. The restaurant staff, no doubt not wanting to involve themselves, all claimed they were in the back and didn't see the incident -- a bold-faced lie, of course.
A few of my own thoughts:
-Going there late at night was obviously a poor decision in the first place, especially as they were still in tuxes and dresses. I did it myself in high school a couple times (never in a tux..... or dress), but I suppose I was lucky.
-At the same point, given the town (Tucson), that kind of thing could potentially happen at almost any fast-food place in town anytime of the day... (except the local In N Out, where I see an average of four LEO's in there every time I go in -- my coworker and I joke it's because the nearby Krispy Kreme got shut down jest kidding, officers, of course.)
For the evaluation standpoint, let's say it was midday, so you might be there anyway.
-You're at the register ordering and a bunch of guys come in. What do you do? If unarmed, for whatever reason? If armed? Certainly there's no cause to draw until they attack, and at that point, at those close quarters with those numbers, you'll be very fortunate if they don't end up taking your weapon away.
-My friends obviously didn't exercise SA, but what can you do anyway when they come in and clump behind you?
-And if you're the third guy sitting with the girls? I think he was wise to get them out of their ASAP, and did well to put them in a car, get them out of immediate danger, and have them call the police. But then what? He came back in to help and got beaten for his trouble. If, for whatever reason, you happened to be unarmed, do you leave your friends to get beaten, knowing you can't really help? Or do you go back in anyway? If you're armed, do you come back? For starters, the friends escaped without any major life-threatening injuries, but you couldn't know that at the time. There's a dozen of them. Are you going to shoot if they don't stop? And what if someone pulls a gun? What if bystanders get shot in the cross-fire? Chances are if you draw they'll just book it. These guys were 2-bit punks, but do you take that chance, considering the numbers?
Thoughts? It was a nasty situation...