Family outing--putting my DC training to use
In reference to: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...atrol-car.html
I hadn't been to University City for a couple years and had no plans to return, but as fate would have it, I found out Friday our daughter had a required musical performance in U. City today. So we went. After her performance, the girls wanted to go to a little cafe a half block away. Rather than drive and hope to find another nearby parking spot, we decided to walk. So we headed for the cafe on Delmar, which was half a block from where the officer was murdered last week.
Note: "nice" part of town, busy thoroughfare, lots of police and foot-traffic in the area, near a major and prestigious university.
We passed some older, well-kept brick row houses, with not a person in sight (35 degrees outside). Then I noticed two thug-looking guys come out on a porch across the street. They were paying much closer attention to us than I was comfortable with. I made a note to return to our vehicle by a different route. Later my wife made a comment about me dressing like a thug with my long jacket. I told her I wasn't a thug, I was the sheriff. (No, not an LEO wannabe, just saying I was the opposite of a thug, and one who was going to protect her from any thugs. It was a mental mindset.)
Once inside the Bubble-Tea cafe, we grab the only table available, directly next to the store-wide front window. I hit the restroom to reposition some weapons. I was well armed but had nothing in my coat pocket. So I fixed that x2. I had previously dressed for the drive and for a different environment, not for walking down a sidewalk with potential thugs around.
When I came out of the restroom, the wife had saved me a seat with a full view of the street and the door. Lots of bling going on outside. One carload stops, 3 guys get out and head across the street. One guy actually pulls his pants DOWN several inches before he starts walking. Guess he wants to look cool. I always wondered how anyone could run with pants that low. My hackles are up the entire time we're in the cafe. Lots of unsavory looking characters passing by outside. Inside were a few solitary students focused on studying, and a huge table of two Oriental families with lots of kids. No threats there. Later 3 Oriental toughs came in, and the demeanor of one told me he was looking for a confrontation. Guess he felt real brave with his buddies there.
At one point the wife accidentally brushes the pocket of my coat. Then she notices me watching a guy standing just outside who is staring at the cafe door. She quietly whispers, "Ready... aim..." She smiles and says, "I know you." She knows what I'm watching for, and she knows I'm armed, at least once.
When we leave I take them a different route away from the houses where we saw the guys hanging. Saw another dude standing at an intersection staring at us as we approached. There is no feeling in the world like having my hand on the grip as I'm walking, knowing that if any of these guys want to intersect with my family, I'll be ready. I have a whole new appreciation for coat-pocket carry.
I saw several police cars go by while we were there. Each time I thought of the fallen officer. I have no desire to go back there. I think that area is going downhill. I don't remember it being that rough. If it wasn't for the daughter's musical stuff, we'd have never gone.
We may be back again at some point for these random musical events, but I'll be ready then as well. It would be mocking fate to be in that area unarmed.
Some of you may tell me to avoid places like this. That'd be great advice. However... the wife is going to take our daughter to these places regardless of whether I go or not. So I'll go. And provide cover. And try to appreciate and enjoy the diminishing times we have together as a family. And hopefully we all come home safely. We'll live our lives as fully as we can, and not cower in fear inside our home.
But dang, it's good to be home watching football, and not the thugs two tables over or in front of us on the sidewalk.
Thanks, DC members, for assisting in my education. In all the times I've been in U. City before, I was never as prepared as I was today. Today my family's safety did not depend on fate, nor random chance, nor some BG's mood. Today it depended on my preparation, my situational analysis, the cold steel in my pockets and elsewhere, and my determination to use them if needed.
It is a good thing to be prepared. I'm not finished preparing by a long shot, but I'm further along than I was before I came here. I even benefit from the posts I don't agree with, for they cause me to rethink, reevaluate, and either change or solidify my positions, eventually leading to a more well-rounded understanding of the issues we discuss here.
Now I've got to get back to reading in preparation for the next test, for I do not know when it will come, nor in what form it will be.
Thanks for your assistance. Peace and safety to all of us and our families.