How Acting Confident Can Save The Day

This is a discussion on How Acting Confident Can Save The Day within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; (kind of long - sorry) Before I got my permit, an incident happened that re-enforced what I learned for New Yorkers (lived there in various ...

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Thread: How Acting Confident Can Save The Day

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    How Acting Confident Can Save The Day

    (kind of long - sorry)
    Before I got my permit, an incident happened that re-enforced what I learned for New Yorkers (lived there in various times) as SOP:
    Act Confident to avoid problems. I lived in NYC recently when it was number 1 of the 10 largest cities for safety but also in the 70s when it was falling apart and crime there a national joke, well as the early 80's during the crack epidemic. I lived in Washington Heights, Manhattan, the crack capitol of the world. But Act Confident and the local pusher in the park across from my building - replete with "the boys" and 2 dobermans - never touched me or those I know. Our demeanor.

    The incident, (happened after I came back from NYC and was in my home town): at 1:00 am there were screams and shouts on the street in front of my house. I was late 50s, thin, medical conditions etc. I went out to see if car accident or something.
    Some neighbors were out too, we watched a couple from a near neighborhood with high crime and drugs (though ours is safe) having a rage-filled argument in the street. Each would move towards the other, be met by their "mate" backing off, but each provoke the other one again so the fight continued and escalated. Both acted like they were on drugs or booze. Suddenly the woman came to her senses, realized her danger and quickly made her escape down the street and away. What she may not have known is the long distance to the other corner of the block and the real darkness along the way. The man, paused, we could see his rage building, then broke it and like a slow-motion explosion starting, strode towards her quickly with obvious intent to attack written all over his face and body -

    I started to call 911 but made a stupid mistake. An instinct drew me away from the others and down towards where they were heading, the man pursuing her. No reason,no practical thing I could have done more than just call 911.

    I suddenly saw 2 things: I was separated completely from neighbors and isolated in a real dark stretch of the street. I also saw the would-be-attacker suddenly see me on the phone and make a bee-line towards me, his new target, screaming and telling me what he was about to do to for phoning for help. The 911 operator said "Is that him"? and I answered it was, and wham he was he was 4 feet away. She stayed on the line asking questions.

    Instinctively I knew if I made one move to run he would be on my back, if aggress and move towards him: I'd be mauled, or stabbed or worse (though he showed no weapon) - he was big, zapped out of his mind on drugs and in a real rage and who knew what else he had ready to come out.. And he but a yard away. Besides, my medical stuff made running or fighting well close to impossible. Therefore: Nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, no weapon. SO: I did NOTHING. I knew I had one thing left: my behavior over the next minute or two. So, I just casually glanced at him as I continued to speak to 911 quietly - like I would if I were with you in a booth in a coffee shop and got a cell call. Just eyed him on occasion and acted like this was no problem for me. And I actually felt very calm, in control of the situation weirdly.

    He halted; he kept screaming at me, but seemed confused, not moving closer than the yard between us, moving away one moment like he was leaving, swinging back the next as if the attack was coming. But I just acted like, no matter, it was no never-mind to me, I had the authority.

    Suddenly sirens sounded from all over. The alert 911 operator had likely "hit the red button" when she first heard the guy coming at me, and cops hit the sirens to try to help in advance of their arriving.

    The would-be-attacker suddenly seemed to wake up. Faced with a victim who wasn't acting like a victim and cops flying in at him from all over, he bolted and fast. Next, squad cars came in from all over the place - I pointed to where he had ran, they zoomed after. (Never learned if he was caught or not - but I was OK and so the woman he was after).

    Shortly after I applied for a permit.

    Looking back on it it always seemed like 2 things saved my skinny behind: the alert 911 woman and great police speed (I called their headquarters right after to praise them to their commander). The other was my behavior in the minute or two before they came. He may have thought I was a cop, or had a gun - because he wasn't used to getting what he got: quiet confidence instead of hysterical aggression or fear and attempted-flight.

    So, if in a bad neighborhood or some bad situation, one way to get out is to act without fear or aggression. Will it always work? Of course not. Always if you can: flee. But sometimes you can't. And sometimes this will work at those times . Play Clint Eastwood. Seriously, anyone can learn to do this and have it available some of the time. BGs want an easy hit, confusion about you and some sense of authority in you tends to make them head out and look for another. Angry stares at "the boys" sitting on the steps as you walk by them is throwing down the gauntlet , fear means: easy prey.

    Aim for the middle.
    Last edited by walleye; November 19th, 2011 at 04:38 AM.
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    Ex Member Array NYCrulesU's Avatar
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    Being confident, rather than acting, helps too.
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    IMO, the sirens stopped him from acting against you. You are lucky you werent harmed but having been in and seen similar situations as a park ranger in NYC, just standing quietly and talking on the phone isnt any kind of deterring behavior. He was confused trying to figure out if he had time to do anything further or if he should run...and the sirens decided him.

    And altho having your permit might be a good thing, it would likely only have gotten you in trouble in that situation...you followed the perpetrator. He was not committing any crime (except maybe drunk and disorderly, he didnt have/harm the woman did he?). If you had had to use your gun in that situation, even if it was to save your life, you'd probably be in jail.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Confidence to diffuse a situation:

    When I was a park ranger in Central Park, my partner and I (unarmed) were patrolling the Sheep Meadow. It's a popular, populated area where we'd hang out and chat with tourists, answer questions, deal with situations, etc. We didnt always stand together.

    I turned around one time to see my partner (small Asian woman) backed up against a tree by a large male. He wasnt wearing anything but jogging shorts. I went over and got between him and my partner...I'm 5'10, he was about the same. I calmly asked him to get back from her. He backed off a bit and started verbally abusing me. He was mad about something. I saw that he had at least 2 bullet scars on his chest. Saw no signs of a weapon. He had been intimidating her and now tried to do so to me.

    He came forward, right into my space. Face to face. If there'd been any chance he was armed, I would have handled the entire situation differently.

    So he stuck his face into mine, and his forehead came up agaisnt the brim of my straw Smokey the Bear hat. Without even appearing to move, I set my jaw and stiffened my neck and ground the brim of that hat into his forehead. (It was a very sharp-edged brim). I stared him right in the eyes.

    He backed off and laughed and said I had cojones and decided we were great buddies. I was disgusted...but joshed him on his way. He was no longer violent and hadnt committed any crime...he had only intimidated my partner but hadnt touched her.

    I put myself in range of being hit but we walked among potentially-dangerous dealers and others all day long. He may very well have gotten physical with me but it was the only way I had to separate him from my partner quickly....and I can run pretty fast...retreat was always an option.

    This is not a strategy I recommend, it's one you use when you have no/few other options (similar to the OP). It's a risk, if you're wrong, you (I could have) pay the consequences.

    My other option: partner could have gone sideways around tree and retreated (but he was succeeding at intimidating her, I think she started out trying to understand why he was mad so she could help him). I could have grabbed her arm, pulled her out of there and we both could have retreated. But it would have resulted in a loss of authority in an area where visibly unarmed rangers needed to be respected & obeyed for their own and others safety every day.
    Fortune favors the bold.

    Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.

    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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    Acting confident gets people killed too. You are just lucky he wasn't a real BG. He was just some schmo who was high and having a bad night. A real BG would have dropped you and then went to get some pancakes (or what ever). Avoidance > acting confident.
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    Acting confident gets people killed too. You are just lucky he wasn't a real BG. He was just some schmo who was high and having a bad night. A real BG would have dropped you and then went to get some pancakes (or what ever). Avoidance > acting confident.
    Agreed !

    There's a time to attack, a time to defend, a time to retreat. It helps to know which to choose, and often that's a guess.
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    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

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    Getting lucky can sometimes lead one to attribute their success to the wrong factors.
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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    Acting confident gets people killed too. You are just lucky he wasn't a real BG. He was just some schmo who was high and having a bad night. A real BG would have dropped you and then went to get some pancakes (or what ever). Avoidance > acting confident.
    Quote Originally Posted by ppkheat View Post
    Agreed !
    There's a time to attack, a time to defend, a time to retreat. It helps to know which to choose, and often that's a guess.
    Getting lucky can sometimes lead one to attribute their success to the wrong factors.
    -If you have nothing left, it's a way to go as the only choice.

    -And I know "0" about him - the definition of a BG is not someone who always attacks, it's his record and that is an unknown. BG or just a violence-prone thug: they are not necessarily stupid either. I was on a line to police, I acted in a way that could have read "cop" myself or "armed guy" - any of which could trigger wise hesitation.

    -Being lucky with this situation turning out well, and including your reaction as causative to its success - are not mutually exclusive. The luck is being relaxed enough to discover a way that works with an individual event and person - and that's luck too: that it was HIM and not someone else, and it happened THIS was, not THAT way.

    I got a gun after because I knew that luck and that particular situation were unlikely to repeat. I'm merely offering it as an option when the last door seems closed. It may not be if you keep all options open.

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    A man's gotta' do what a man's gotta' do...

    You did what you HAD to do for the moment. Will it always work? Will it work for/with someone else? Doesn't matter, you were there and at that moment...it saved your skin...end of story!
    It's hard to clap or be critical, and unless we all had that moment to decide for ourselves, we can't really understand the situation.

    Glad you kept your skin, and thanks for sharing.
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    Walleye, I applaud you for taking the initiative. You were likely the key factor that kept a bad situation from getting worse. You've already identified in your original post where you tactics could have been better, but none of us can consistently hit the ball out of the park in the heat of the moment. You pulled off the event by breaking the idiot's OODA loop with your confidence, but I would never recommend this tactic as a best practice.

    I'm glad you've picked up a firearm now. Hopefully training will go with that (not to imply that you don't know what you're doing - we all need training). Stay safe.
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    I watched a Corrections Officer that lived on my street de escalate an angry neighbor ( thankfully long gone from the neighborhood) who had fired a few shotgun rounds into his yard as warning shots over some road rage issue. I imagine working surrounded by felons, outnumbered about 200/1 and armed only with your brain and mouth had a lot to do with his success.
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    Walleye,

    Glad it worked out for you... And, I agree, a demeanor of confidence can have a deterrent effect. "Can" being the operative word. I agree with what Retsupt said... We weren't there. It might not work for all of us all the time... But, "any landing you walk away from is good one..."
    All that said....
    It could be worse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by walleye View Post
    -If you have nothing left, it's a way to go as the only choice.
    Your story was very interesting and I think you handled it in a surprising way that worked well for you. I think your demeanor confused the BG and kept him off of you, and bought you some time. My main point, and caution, is that acting confident won't work in every case. In a situation like you were in, you're dealt a hand of cards, and you have to play with what you're dealt at that time.

    Good luck, and I'm glad you have your permit (that's like having an ace isn't it?)

    I was just thinking and it reminded me of a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode. IIRC Larry David had been to the doctor and was wearing a heart monitor under his shirt. Some guy with road rage was threatening him and accidentally saw the electrodes under his shirt and it saved Larry from a tire-iron beating. I think Larry David used those electrodes successfully again on the same episode. It is a good point that something unexpected sometimes could derail the BG's intentions, though we won't consider an HBO episode a learning tool for viable tactics. Funny stuff though.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    Acting confident gets people killed too.
    Agreed. Confidence is what we feel when we don't fully understand a situation.

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppkheat View Post
    Your story was very interesting and I think you handled it in a surprising way that worked well for you. I think your demeanor confused the BG and kept him off of you, and bought you some time. My main point, and caution, is that acting confident won't work in every case. In a situation like you were in, you're dealt a hand of cards, and you have to play with what you're dealt at that time.

    Good luck, and I'm glad you have your permit (that's like having an ace isn't it?)

    I was just thinking and it reminded me of a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode. IIRC Larry David had been to the doctor and was wearing a heart monitor under his shirt. Some guy with road rage was threatening him and accidentally saw the electrodes under his shirt and it saved Larry from a tire-iron beating. I think Larry David used those electrodes successfully again on the same episode. It is a good point that something unexpected sometimes could derail the BG's intentions, though we won't consider an HBO episode a learning tool for viable tactics. Funny stuff though.
    right, it was enough to buy time.

    (Funny story about Larry David!)
    Last edited by walleye; November 21st, 2011 at 02:11 AM.

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