So I thought I was just being paranoid...

This is a discussion on So I thought I was just being paranoid... within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This evening, my father and I were out visiting my uncle. Shortly after dark (~6:45-7) we stopped at a gas station to get drinks. As ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array 00z28's Avatar
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    So I thought I was just being paranoid...

    This evening, my father and I were out visiting my uncle. Shortly after dark (~6:45-7) we stopped at a gas station to get drinks. As we came outside I noticed a rough looking man hovering around my dad's truck.

    This man had that homeless look about him, and I just knew he was going to ask for cash, so I just quickly got in the truck and closed my door (hate telling people no, but I feel the majority of them are in search of booze/drug money).

    The man walked around and confronted my father. To this point the man seemed harmless and and somewhat helpless. As soon as he initiated conversation with dad I saw him reach to the small of his back and leave one hand about waistband level. It was enough to put me on edge. He then moved the hand to a front pocket and kept looking around the truck in all directions.

    By this point, he had my full attention and my father had already given him some change. As we drove off, dad looked at me and said, "did you see that?" To which I responded " see what?"

    "He was about two seconds from getting knocked on his (rear) if he didn't stop reaching in his pocket"

    Glad I wasn't the only one that was on edge. :)

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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    I dont believe in paranoid when it comes SD. Most people will never be the victim of a violent crime statistically. But a lot of people will and you have no way of knowing if it will be you or not.
    You dont have to hang out in bad neighborhoods, hang around rough people, live in a high crime area. You only have to come into contact with the one nut job that will kill you just to be killing you if for no other reason. As much as 90 percent of the people dont want to think about that, or how fast a normal day can turn into a nightmare, those kinds of people are out there and you likely cross paths with one much more often than you would like to believe. You just didnt happen to the one there when they decided to do whatever it is they wanted to do to someone.


    Being alert and on edge isnt paranoid. Its accepting that though it probably wont happen to you, you had better be prepared if it does.
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    First, I'm very glad it turned out well and nothing happened, but my question is, "Specifically, how were you prepared to act if the panhandler suddenly pulled a weapon and turned it into a robbery?"

    Situational awareness is great, but if all you're prepared to do is be a spectator, things could get rather ugly.

    Were either you or your father armed?

    If you were armed, did you have your hand on your gun, ready to draw? Did you have your gun unholstered and in your hand? (I'm speculating that you did not, or you would have probably mentioned it in your post).

    Would you have had a clear shot at the potential attacker from your position inside the truck without endangering your father? Or others behind the guy?

    Since he kept looking around suspiciously, he's looking pretty good like a guy ready to pounce. Would it have been better if you exited the truck and take up a better position of advantage?

    Or did it all happen too quickly to have formulated a response?

    Again, it's good to have supurb situational awareness... But if you're not thinking tactically, and ready to respond on a moments notice, it could get real ugly.

    Also, what exactly did you take away from the situation?

    If you weren't armed, are you reconsidering that?

    Don't think I'm putting you on the "hot seat" and grilling you. These are questions people on this forum want to know. They want to know your thought process and how it affects your response to given situations.

    We have many people here who are new to guns, new to ccw, and have little or no experience in "thinking tactically," and how to progress through similar situations they may find themselves in. Many of the new people here don't even know what they should be thinking about when their "radar" goes off.
    -Bark'n
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    New Member Array WLDpony's Avatar
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    Very interesting questions Bark'n poses. I am one of the newbies to the forum and CCW and am very interested in learning from everyone here. "Thinking tactically" is something I definitely need to learn more about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WLDpony View Post
    Very interesting questions Bark'n poses. I am one of the newbies to the forum and CCW and am very interested in learning from everyone here. "Thinking tactically" is something I definitely need to learn more about.
    Welcome Aboard. That's why we're all here. Everyone has something to contribute. There are no stupid questions. You can learn a lot here. Just remember, this is an internet forum, so you have to use some common sense in determining if something is of value or just B.S. based on someone's speculation. You'll get the hang of things soon enough.
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    -Bark'n
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    Put my name on the paranoid list. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean someone's not out to get you.

    I assume you had your weapon in your pocket. I probably would have taken it out & held it to my side. But that's me. You know how fast you're able to free your gun & out it in the ready position.
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    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    I just knew he was going to ask for cash, so I just quickly got in the truck and closed my door
    How close was he? Would it have been better to verbally engage him and telling him to back away from the vehicle from a safe distance and then when he inevitably tried approaching you telling him to stop? Perhaps even say, "Excuse, me, can I help you" from a distance.

    You still need to size up the situation and respond accordingly. Peoples desire to not be rude or mean will get them in trouble, but so can "dis'n" the wrong person too.
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    I hope your dad was armed, because even if you were, you were out of the fight if it happened. By the time you were able to draw your gun and exit the vehicle, it would have been over. In the situation you described, you should have remained outside the vehicle, on alert, until your dad entered the vehicle.
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    As soon as you got in the truck, crank her up, put her in gear, and leave the guy standing there. I've done it. You are in a 6,000 lb vehicle, get it moving and keep going (this is assuming your Dad was already in the truck).
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    Situational awareness is great, but if all you're prepared to do is be a spectator, things could get rather ugly.

    Since he kept looking around suspiciously, he's looking pretty good like a guy ready to pounce.

    Again, it's good to have supurb situational awareness... But if you're not thinking tactically, and ready to respond on a moments notice, it could get real ugly.
    Great points.

    It's crucial that we always be open to the idea that predators rarely jump into a situation blindly. They're evaluating the risks, weaknesses, the opportunities to get inside the defenses.

    And when someone gets inside contact distances, there's going to be precious little warning between when an apparent innocent turns overt predator.

    About the best single thing you can do is to ensure such people remain outside of contact distances. Retain barriers between them; know the full extent of the law and what it affords you in terms of defensive options (ie, appearing to draw; drawing; actually using force).

    Have been in a few situations that have blown sideways on an instant, a couple in which I allowed the assailant to come within contact distance. As with most folks, I've had numerous instances of someone nearby asking to bum a smoke, or ask for change, or even ask for directions. But as in your situation, the totality of the person's demeanor, eyes/focus, attention/nervousness, proximity and actual behaviors (such as reaching behind the back or inside a jacket) can add up to unmistakable signs of impending threat.

    Glad nothing ugly occurred. Definitely review all the questions about the situation, specifically focusing on all the little details and signals you had about the person and the situation. Evaluate what steps you could have taken to retain your basic safety "bubble" and avoid allowing a complete stranger (who was appearing to act a bit assertively/unjustifiably) to get so close. Evaluate what you could have done differently due to there having been two of you (a tag-team approach to security).
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    I hope your dad was armed, because even if you were, you were out of the fight if it happened. By the time you were able to draw your gun and exit the vehicle, it would have been over. In the situation you described, you should have remained outside the vehicle, on alert, until your dad entered the vehicle.
    Not necessarily. I've had the opportunity to shoot through vehicle glass several times during two of the gunfighting classes I've attended. Shooting through the glass on the door windows are easier because it's not laminated safety glass like the windshield and not angled like windshield glass. Door windows shatter immediately into about a billion tiny pieces and is much less likely to disrupt or deflect the bullets path. Shooting through the steeply angled windshield is where you usually get a different point of impact than your point of aim. But not always.

    I agree 100%, he should have stayed outside where he had more options and a clearer zone of fire, and better able to defend his father.

    However, regardless of the reason he got inside the truck, once inside, I wouldn't hesitate in shooting through the glass if that's what it took to engage the threat. It would also be at least a double tap, if not a whole string of rapid fire.
    -Bark'n
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    Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    You never know when or where things will get ugly. I've only had two situations that I thought might turn bad, but was able to walk away from both without a physical altercation.

    In the first, I was having lunch in a fast food place when a 30 something guy walked in off the street and accused me of being the son of someone he hated. I did not know the man who was confronting me or the other people he was talking about. He was shouting at the top of his lungs and threatening to beat me up. Everyone else in the restaurant acted like nothing was happening. I kept telling him he had the wrong person. He followed me all the way out to the car, threatening me, until I got in the car and drove off.

    We live in a pretty nice neighborhood near the beach, where there is a low crime rate. In the second incident, my wife and I were taking a walk at noon, when another 30 something guy came flying around the corner, half dressed and screaming at the top of his lungs about his mom dying. He was about 50 yards away from us so we weren't too concerned at first because he had run down onto the beach. Suddenly, he turned and ran straight towards us and started ranting that we did not care that his mother had died. He approached to within 5 feet of us, screaming we did not care. He was way too close but it happened so fast that it took us off guard. We kept moving and managed to disengage.

    Both these incidents happened before I had my CCW.

  14. #13
    Member Array rutcrazed's Avatar
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    Excellent post Bark'n.....Well thought out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    First, I'm very glad it turned out well and nothing happened, but my question is, "Specifically, how were you prepared to act if the panhandler suddenly pulled a weapon and turned it into a robbery?"

    Situational awareness is great, but if all you're prepared to do is be a spectator, things could get rather ugly.

    Were either you or your father armed?

    If you were armed, did you have your hand on your gun, ready to draw? Did you have your gun unholstered and in your hand? (I'm speculating that you did not, or you would have probably mentioned it in your post).

    Would you have had a clear shot at the potential attacker from your position inside the truck without endangering your father? Or others behind the guy?

    Since he kept looking around suspiciously, he's looking pretty good like a guy ready to pounce. Would it have been better if you exited the truck and take up a better position of advantage?

    Or did it all happen too quickly to have formulated a response?

    Again, it's good to have supurb situational awareness... But if you're not thinking tactically, and ready to respond on a moments notice, it could get real ugly.

    Also, what exactly did you take away from the situation?

    If you weren't armed, are you reconsidering that?

    Don't think I'm putting you on the "hot seat" and grilling you. These are questions people on this forum want to know. They want to know your thought process and how it affects your response to given situations.

    We have many people here who are new to guns, new to ccw, and have little or no experience in "thinking tactically," and how to progress through similar situations they may find themselves in. Many of the new people here don't even know what they should be thinking about when their "radar" goes off.

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    Member Array mbguy29577's Avatar
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    Paranoid is the new normal for most of us. The world is changing. In many instances, a gun may be too much. I carry mace for just such an encounter. Squirt and walk away.
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  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G26Raven View Post
    You never know when or where things will get ugly. I've only had two situations that I thought might turn bad, but was able to walk away from both without a physical altercation.

    In the first, I was having lunch in a fast food place when a 30 something guy walked in off the street and accused me of being the son of someone he hated. I did not know the man who was confronting me or the other people he was talking about. He was shouting at the top of his lungs and threatening to beat me up. Everyone else in the restaurant acted like nothing was happening. I kept telling him he had the wrong person. He followed me all the way out to the car, threatening me, until I got in the car and drove off.

    We live in a pretty nice neighborhood near the beach, where there is a low crime rate. In the second incident, my wife and I were taking a walk at noon, when another 30 something guy came flying around the corner, half dressed and screaming at the top of his lungs about his mom dying. He was about 50 yards away from us so we weren't too concerned at first because he had run down onto the beach. Suddenly, he turned and ran straight towards us and started ranting that we did not care that his mother had died. He approached to within 5 feet of us, screaming we did not care. He was way too close but it happened so fast that it took us off guard. We kept moving and managed to disengage.

    Both these incidents happened before I had my CCW.
    Note that Pepper Spray is your friend in situations like this, more so than a pistol.

    You probably knew that, of course. and mentioned CCW only because one usually begins to go from oblivious to aware when one goes through CCW training. I'm posting this far more for other and newer readers who encounter this post and ought to consider less-than-lethal responses for nuts like these two.

    Glad you were able to get away without more than rattled nerves.
    Bark'n and sauerpuss like this.

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