This is why I carry...
This is a discussion on This is why I carry... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I would like to share with you good people the one and only time I ever had to draw my weapon, and my lack of ...
June 13th, 2009 01:45 AM
This is why I carry...
I would like to share with you good people the one and only time I ever had to draw my weapon, and my lack of situational awareness.
Just a little background, my wife and I are both from the beaches of Los Angeles, and come from both end’s of the social spectrum, her the top me the bottom, I was a bouncer at the bar she used to hang out at, that’s how we met, we wanted to have kid’s so we decided to move to a small little town, pop 1500, we have lived up here now for 10 happy years, and this is where I got my CCW.
We go to L.A. to visit family a lot, and on this trip we were visiting my mom, she lives in Mar Vista just outside of Venice beach, a real dump, a lot of sketchy people, but she cant afford to move.
I had just started carrying and my comfort level (especially carrying in L.A. for the first time), was low, and my awareness was non existent, I was more worried about people seeing the bulge under my shirt, than anything else.
We had just gotten back from dinner with a couple of good friends that we rarely see, so it was around 1 in the morning when we got back to the house, we usually get a spot in front of mom’s house but tonight we had to park 4 block’s away.
So here we are walking and laughing and just enjoying the evening (the kid’s are with my mom), when we come around the corner and are 6 houses from my mom’s when my wife stiffens a little in my arms and I look to see 4 Mexicans, 1 walking toward us on his phone, and 3 leaning agents a fence on my left, all speaking Spanish and staring at us, we are walking on a small sidewalk with houses on my left with a little grass, parked cars and a street on my right, the sidewalk is so small you cant walk shoulder to shoulder. My wife ether steps behind me or I guide her, I don’t remember but she ends up behind me somehow, the guy on the phone walks past me eyeing my wife the whole time, as soon as he passes he is out of my mind,(out of sight out of mind, but still a threat), right now I’m between white and orange just watching and thinking that this doesn’t seem right, we’ve never seen people just standing on this street they are always moving like they don’t want to get caught out in the open.
I have a box of leftovers in my left hand and an XD9 subcompact ITW at 3:30, loaded with Federal 135gr Hydra Shock, just 10 rounds(I live in California), and no extra mag, about 9ft away the one that I assume was the leader said something in Spanish to one guy and he steppes across the sidewalk onto the grass on my right, I instantly go to red, I now have 2 guy’s on my left and 1 on my right, all not talking and just staring at us.
I know in my hart of harts that we are about to get jumped, I’m going to be beater or killed and my wife, man I didn’t even want to think about what would happen to her, I doubt if anyone would call the police if they herd her scream.
So I’m standing there with a box of leftovers in one hand, facing these three guy’s with my wife pressed up against my back and one of her hand’s squeezing my shoulder and all I could think about was my kid’s standing over my grave crying, and everything was kind of spinning a little, there was no verbal threat or brandishing of a weapon or lunging attack, they were just standing there squared off to us and staring, and I knew what was going to happen, so I drew, I just reached back and calmly drew my weapon, and with my left hand under the box of leftovers I now put my other hand with my gun on top of the box, I turned to the guy that I thought was in charge, and in that move my gun pointed center mass, I puffed out my chest and said in what I hoped was my most menacing voice” Do we have a [Edited] problem here bro”, he looked at my gun then looked in my eyes raised his hands a little smiled and said” not now man” and backed off allowing us to pass.
Once we got into my mom’s house I put my pistol on the table sat down and kind of freaked out a little, being that this was the first time that I ever pulled my weapon on someone, upon seeing that my wife asked “did you draw your gun” I said that I had because I was worried about what those three guys were going to do, and she replied ”I’m glad you pulled your gun, because I was really scared about the guy behind us”, the one on the phone had turned once he passed us and was right behind my wife.
I had completely forgotten about the guy on the phone(out of sight and all that) and looking back on how they were set up I know that my actions more than likely saved our life’s. And the whole time that my wife was squeezing my shoulder she sais she was telling me about the guy behind us, but I didn’t here her, I was so focused on what was about to happen.
To end my story no I didn’t call the police, because no matter what we thought was going to happen they nether did not threaten nor did they attack so in the eye’s of the law all that happened was I brandished a pistol and possibly threatened some guys on the street.
And no LEO's showed up on a man with a gun call, so thay must have been up to no good.
Having to pull my weapon on another human being is a humbling experience and not something that I wanted to do, planed on doing, nor do I go out looking for a reason to do so, but to be able to defend myself and my wife in a bad situation, that is why I carry. I am happy about the outcome, I didn’t have to shoot anyone and we are still alive and well, and I believe that if I was unarmed it would have ended tragically.
Last edited by limatunes; July 11th, 2009 at 01:23 AM.
Reason: Profanity workaround.--Added paragraph breaks.
1-Better to be judged by twelve then caried by six.
2-Better to be an open sinner than a false saint.
3-POLITICAL CORECTNISS will be the downfall of western civilization.
4-Gun control isn't about gun's, It's about control.
Those are my thought's on the matter.
(Steps off soapbox)
June 13th, 2009 03:14 AM
First off welcome to the forum. I grew up in and around LA...
I am surprised that you can carry in Los Angeles. I was under the impression that CA concealed carry permits are only valid in the county issued and they don't tend to issue much in populated counties...?
June 13th, 2009 03:17 AM
Glad you're ok. "Not now" - definitely up to no good. Ummmm, you still walked btwn those twits? You had to turn your back on at least one and eliminated any distance you had btwn you and them. Cross the freaking street. Armed or not, any one of them that were at your back could have put a gun to the back of your head or your wife's. They also now know where you and/or your mom lives.
June 13th, 2009 03:48 AM
I read your version of events and had to stop myself from replying right away.
Welcome to commiting a felony.
Can you articulate a verifiable threat? Did you see a threat? No, you "felt" a threat. Sorry, but feelings don't cut it in the real world. I don't care if I hurt your feelings, that's life.
You got very dang lucky. You should play the lottery, as Aggravated Assault or Assault With A Deadly Weapon gets at least three years here in a facility where Mongo lives. Mongo will like you as a "plaything".
I will strongly encourage you to get some training. Not training in how to draw and shoot a gun, as you probably already know how to do that, but training on when you Can and Can't use a gun.
In the meantime, read Massad Ayoob's, "In The Gravest Extreme". Then I would try to take an LFI class, or something similar if I was you. I finally attended LFI after twenty years of carrying a gun, and I found that the class was worth it. I had already read most of Ayoob's writing, so I was familiar with what he was teaching, but nothing beats "hand's on" from the master.
I've also had training from my employers, two different agencies, on use of force and deadly force, and this isn't even close to being a deadly force scenario. It may become one, but it isn't one at this point.
If you think I'm being hard on you, I will not apologise for that. Life is hard and then you die, as Evan Marshall likes to say. Part of the reason I am being so "hard" is because I do not want people to do what you did, or have you repeat this behavior. Your actions make the legal concealed weapons holders look bad.
I also think you need to learn verbal and body language communication skills that may help to prevent a scenario like this from occuring in the future. The gun should be a "last resort". In your case it was not.
The gun is only one, of what should be many, tools in your Tool Box. If your Tool Box is lacking, spend the time and money to fill up your Tool Box before you get in to trouble. I say this with concern for what basically appears to be a decent person that made a wrong choice in this situation.
Live and learn, and move on, and while you are at it, you should thank your lucky stars.
June 13th, 2009 03:49 AM
CCW permits are issued by your county of residence in CA, and are valid statewide. While it is more difficult to get a permit in the larger cities, the more rural of CA's 58 counties are nearly "shall issue," something we're working on for the whole state.
Originally Posted by nutz4utwo
June 13th, 2009 04:03 AM
Biker is correct in stating that the gun should not have been the OP's last resort. Better awareness and anticipation could POSSIBLY have avoided the threat and any actions necessary to live another day.
Originally Posted by BikerRN
I have to disagree about whether drawing a weapon, once surrounded, was a mistake. The OP did read the body language correctly. Consider, 1AM, lousy neighborhood, surrounded by four men who were focused on the OP and his wife. In that part of LA, you don't need to be a genius to have a clue that this was an accident waiting to happen. Don't kid yourself that there wasn't at least a knife or four among these guys either. That the OP put his gun on the leader specifically was a good move rather than holding it out toward the group in general.
Now the mistakes that the OP made included lousy situational awareness, walking into the textbook ambush. He saw them before they could surround him. He and his wife should have crossed the street if necessary to bypass this group.
The next mistake was in failing to call LEO to report that he had drawn his weapon while feeling threatened with deadly force. Four men against one is a huge disparity of force and just cause to draw or even fire in defense of your own or another's life. By failing to call LEO, he left himself open to being labeled the aggressor should the BG's call LEO to report a "man with a gun." That happens far more often than CCW holders want to accept.
June 13th, 2009 04:57 AM
Well, I for one think that you did the correct thing. I can not possibly know all the circumstances surrounding the situation...BUT, I know 100% that you and your loved one are alive and well (whether or not it was solely due to you drawing your weapon is a mute point.)
I will agree however, that you need to work on your situational awareness and next time for the love of chivalry and safety drop your wife off at the door and keep her out of that potential dangerous situation!
As for the rest of my negative comments...there have been enough of those already and I think we all get the point.
Pray for our nations leaders!
June 13th, 2009 05:12 AM
Glad you and the wife are safe. I feel you should have called the LEO just in case some witness sees this and gets the wrong idea and misinterprets the situation to them.
A similar thing happened to a friend of mine. A couple of guys chased her in a car trying to run her car off the road. She called 911 and fortunately there were several who responded in minutes. The BGs were long gone when they heard sirens. After that incident, she decided to get training and now carries a Glock 27.
The way I see it, BGs are like hyenas. They lurk around and wait till their prey is vulnerable, then they group together for the kill.
Aerospace Designer, Freemason, NRA member
June 13th, 2009 05:52 AM
I thought that sounded like a disparity of force. Justifiable, menacing can get you arrested to, lol If you were walking down the street with your wife and 4 thugs surrounded you, I can't imagine they need to say anything for you to feel threatened.
Originally Posted by BikerRN
June 13th, 2009 07:40 AM
Good post. Gave me something to think about. I can see Bikers point but i can also imagine how it felt to be surrouned by four up to no goodlooking guys. In my future if this were to happen ill be sure to cross the street. If they follow then i can be pretty sure they are up to something. Thanks for posting and im glad it all worked out. I would have called the police though.
June 13th, 2009 08:54 AM
That's a dangerous line to walk. Best to work it out with an attorney beforehand, to fully understand the "shades of gray" in such situations where force of numbers exists instead of actual hands on.
Originally Posted by gunttnrednek
In Cali with a dishonorable DA (who are not so rare as some think), some have said that not calling the police, itself, can be seen as prima facie evidence you were up to no good and as proof that you knew it.
Reality is: you were the good guys; you were threatened with obvious thuggery-buggery by a gang of cretins not there to sell you lemonade; and, you refused. It really is that simple, and the law supports your actions in this regard.
Last edited by ccw9mm; June 13th, 2009 at 10:05 AM.
June 13th, 2009 08:56 AM
June 13th, 2009 09:02 AM
This is one of those issues where reading about it and actually being there may be quite different. I agree with training, that should always help someone; I also agree with readily protecting my wife and myself. If I got this right, 4 guys all within 20 feet of you, suspicious behavior, you felt non-verbal threats and positioning by them? Ultimately you may have had a difficult time defending yourself within the CA legal system, however this time, it worked on the street. Who knows about next time?
Be more careful in the future and enhance your training.
Welcome to the forum.
Hint-When you have a lengthy story to tell, be sure and use paragraphs, it makes it easier to read
June 13th, 2009 09:04 AM
I agree with Biker and am reminded why I don't usually post in "scenario" threads.
The only other thought I had was, how important were those leftovers that you didn't drop them? If you carry a gun, never have something in your hand (with the support hand exception of a flashlight).
Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.
June 13th, 2009 09:22 AM
Yup. S.A. Avoid if possible.
That being said; in a 'tight' neighborhood as the O.P. describes, crossing the street and then back 6 houses from their destination is not going to be effective. Moving between the closely parked cars is difficult at best. Even doubling back isn't going to let them get 'home' without encountering these thugs again.
Yup. Disparity of force.
Yup. Drop the leftovers. (Easy thing to say, adrenaline can make you forget you are holding them.)
Call the law, make a report. (Call an attorney first if you like)
You did what you had to do. No shots fired. Home safe.
This is the law;
The purpose of fighting is to win.
There is no possible victory in defense.
The sword is more important than the shield and skill is more important than either.
The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental. - John Steinbeck
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