Need some advise/computer chair quarterbacking.

This is a discussion on Need some advise/computer chair quarterbacking. within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm mostly a lurker, but I really would like to know some of your opinions on this situation. I'll try to be as specific as ...

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Thread: Need some advise/computer chair quarterbacking.

  1. #1
    Member Array calynn's Avatar
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    Need some advise/computer chair quarterbacking.

    I'm mostly a lurker, but I really would like to know some of your opinions on this situation.

    I'll try to be as specific as possible, since I know y'all like details:

    My girlfriend and myself went to Walmart at approximately 5 o' clock Friday evening (April 16th). This Walmart is in Aberdeen, NC. We parked in front of the garden center in order to make a big counterclockwise sweep around the store, picking up the groceries/cold items last (which is typical for us). I'm OCing my S&W 4006 in a black leather OWB holster, strong side, she was unarmed.

    I was wearing a pair of shorts (sort of like golf shorts) a t-shirt and my Nike Shox. I'm white, 19 years old, and keep my hair at 1/4. I stay clean shaven with a small goatee (get asked the "are you a sheriff?" a lot).

    Nevertheless, we made it around the store uneventfully (just a few of those "strange" looks) until we got the the dairy cooler in the back. I caught a guy with his family about 35' from us staring/glaring at me. I didn't pay him any mind but he was wanting me to hear him saying loudly, "What the hell does this guy have a gun for? What is he thinking?" blah blah, on and on. I didn't even look back at him and we walked off to the meat department.

    At this point I was just ready to get out of there, it was pretty busy, which I don't like anyway and we'd been there for what seemed like forever.

    So finally we have a cart half-full of groceries and are headed to get some hamburger meat and pork chops when I see a group of three 'thugs' coming around the corner from the vegetables onto the lane (or whatever you want to call it) where the meat is. They didn't see me (or notice the gun) at first because we passed them on the other side of the open coolers (my strong side was opposite of them). At this point I was very aware of the surroundings because they had meandered onto our side, about 50' up at about my 2 o' clock, talking amongst each other and to other people they knew. I was keeping an eye on them, but the GF was looking for the right hamburger meat, and wanted to know which to pick, so I looked down and picked.

    As I looked back up I notice them huddled close, looking my way (one of them pointing) and saying "yeah man! look!" (like "yeah he's got a gun, look!). This really made me nervous. What's going on? One of them starts our way, slowly, staring, determined. At this point I'm trying to get the GF's attention because I'm ready to get her away from the situation (she has no clue anything is going on). He's closing on us now, staring at me, obviously coming toward me (about 25-30') and digging down deep in his pockets, first the left, then the right (also strange/concerning).

    I'm trying to at least get the GF behind me, while nodding for her to get away from us (without drawing a lot of attention) because I've got that "bad" feeling, I'm sure some of you all know what I mean. He is still digging WAAYYY down in his right pocket and I've decided to begin physically getting ready for an altercation. My breathing/heart rate was up, I was nervous, what can I say? I squared shoulders with him and he realized (or it seemed) he realized I saw him coming toward me. I think it sort of took him by surprise, the look on his face was like "I can't believe he's standing up at me" and he immediately tried to find something to be doing (short hesitation, but quickly turned, took a 90* left turn to the open cooler and acted like he was looking at something in there.

    I told her, LET'S GO and headed away, watching my back until they were wayyyy out of sight. Of course, I'm contemplating this in my head on the way to the checkout, but we forgot the oil for the dang tiki torch so we walked back to sporting goods, which is on the other side of the store. I figured we'd check out at the garden center, but the line was longgg so we went back to the front to checkout. Soon as we get there I see the thug who was walking up to me walk up to the bagging thing two registers away from us (the register was closed). We caught gazes, he grabbed a bag off the rack, balled it up, and headed back into the clothing. I'm wondering where his friends are and spot one down by the bathroom in the front (actually the GF spots him!) The cashier see's my gun as I'm loading groceries in the cart, I wasn't even paying her any attention, as I was scanning around. She asks if I'm a cop. I say no. She asks if that's legal. We have that conversation. She seems interested in having a gun. I tell her to give it a shot. She says she may. We then headed out and headed home.

    What mistakes do you all see and how can I avoid (can I avoid) this type of situation?

    I learned:

    * We should have a "word" which would inform the other that something is wrong without appearing that we're aware.

    * It's hard to analyze situations quickly.

    * If you feel like something is going to happen, leave. You can get the stuff you missed later.

    * Practice for real world situations, like this one if he'd pulled a gun. Shooting at still targets, while just standing on the line at the range is really useless for the real world.

    What would you have done?

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  3. #2
    Member Array Carry4MyFam's Avatar
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    Just my personal feelings here. I do not OC for the very reason you write about. Its not that I can't OC, its that I choose not to. I like to remove as many X factors as I can. After all my family's lives are at stake. If your carry weapon was out of sight do you think you would have had the same issues? If you did run into the same thing but had to lift your shirt to get at your weapon do you think you would feel less armed? Remove as many X factors as you can. Your SA and the decisions you make need to be your first line of defense. Just my personal feeling but wearing a sign on your hip does you nor your any good.
    Christian/Father/Husband/American/NRA Benefactor Life Member/GOA Life Member/USAF NCO/Operations; Provide Comfort/Northern Watch/Southern Watch/Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom/TBD....

  4. #3
    Member Array calynn's Avatar
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    You're probably right about if they hadn't seen it, but I'm 19 so I can't CC in NC...

  5. #4
    Member Array Carry4MyFam's Avatar
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    Then I would OC, keep my SA and remove the family and myself from anything I thought to be going the wrong direction. Do not live in fear, live prepared.
    Christian/Father/Husband/American/NRA Benefactor Life Member/GOA Life Member/USAF NCO/Operations; Provide Comfort/Northern Watch/Southern Watch/Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom/TBD....

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Sounds like a bunch of thugs who attempt to intimidate a man OCing, will have no problems confronting (or worse) someone who is CCing....

    For all we know, the OP OCing is what it took to keep the BGs away..
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    Sounds like a bunch of thugs who attempt to intimidate a man OCing, will have no problems confronting (or worse) someone who is CCing....

    For all we know, the OP OCing is what it took to keep the BGs away..
    Gray is my favorite color.

    I dont really see any glaring mistakes, hindsight is always 20/20.
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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Gray is my favorite color.
    Barlow Girls!? Couldn't resist.

    Sounds like you did pretty well and have already made some points to improve on.

    The first guy. Some folks can't stand OC. There are many reasons I am sure. Sometimes it threatens their precious and fragile Alpha Male complex. Makes me wonder if that is not the case. Or maybe their are from Jersey where only cops and BG's have guns. Dunno.

    The second guy. If you are stupid enough to try to pull a stunt on a guy carrying you are pretty dumb. And dumb is dangerous. I do wonder how far someone would go in a crowded walmart on the spur of the moment. Planning something illegal at walmart is one thing, just walking in and deciding to mess with the guy that has a gun is another. I'm not convinced he would have tried anything really crazy. But I was not there, and would not bet the farm on that either.

    CC or OC, life's a crap shoot sometimes. There are BG's looking to prey on the weak. And groups of them are even worse. Keep your head on a swivel and your eyes open like you seem to be doing. I'm not sure I would have left completely. I would have checked out with my stuff at the least. Maybe not shop anymore. But I am not going to let some clown keep me from my business there unless he is actually making threats.

    Guns and crowds are a tough combination. I carry pepper spray all the time, just in case a firearm is not the right tool. Something to think about.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

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  9. #8
    Member Array OneBad135i's Avatar
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    Great post by the OP! Had me on the edge of my seat as I put myself in the situation step by step as I read. I don't really see anything wrong. You seem to have acted very rationally and accordingly. Bravo. Maybe, depending on how serious the threat seemed, I might have just left everything and gone as soon as I was out of their sight, but I wasn't there and don't know the situation fully. Again we are not here to rock the boat. We are here just to defend ourselves and avoid confrontational situation. By the looks of it seems like you did good.
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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Based on the inability to CC within the law, you did just fine. You hit any points with your 'hindsight' lessons-learned post.

    Attention is something I tend to want to avoid. Only rarely do I OC anywhere....and that's usually based on me being lazy about covering up for a quick trip somewhere close to home. Be attentive to everybody around you and your enviroment in general. Good SA will keep you ready to be decisive when you need to be.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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  11. #10
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    I never open carry anywhere and have never had anyone gawk, point or make comments. That is nice.

    However, because of your age, concealed is not an option for you. I don't see anything you did wrong or out of line. I think you handled things fairly well.

    I'm not opposed to open carry, and support open carry for anyone who wishes.

    I prefer to be the gray man. I may carry two and sometimes three guns, but no one would know it by my demeanor, looks or style of clothes. Open carry is simply not what I prefer to do, but it doesn't mean I don't support it.

    Good Job!
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array EvilMonk's Avatar
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    When you can (21 years of age), you will probably begin to see the advantage of CC in most or unknown situations, and OC for when you are going somewhere that you feel safe in and wish to "spread the good word".

    I think you did very well, and I like your After Action Reporting. Good analysis, too!
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    New Member Array airbornerc51's Avatar
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    just my 2Ę

    Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. Great SA!! From the way you described the situation and the laws in your state you did the very best with the situation you were presented. You spoke of training for scenarios, I would recommend Magpul Dynamic Art of the Handgun. (also the carbine I and II for those that have rifles). I'm a 10 year veteran of the US Army with 2 deployments doing PSD operations. There are a million ways to skin a cat but Magpul has one that I feel is both functional and practical. I train my soldiers using techniques gathered from their videos. I just cant wait to get signed up for some hands on with them. Being prepared and SA is the two most important thing you need to stay alive. Keep that head on a swivel. GREAT JOB!!!

  14. #13
    Member Array calynn's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I just wanted to see if there was anything that I could've done to avoid the situation better.

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    Member Array SAMI's Avatar
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    I like the thought of having a 'safe word'. I'll bring that up with my wife.

    I think you were spot on with your SA, and handling the situation. I'm curious, as the thug got closer and closer to you and the g/f, what where your thoughts about drawing? You clearly chose the route of getting the hell out of there, which is commendable. But i'm curious about your train of thoughts concerning drawing. What more would have needed to happen in your mind? How close would the thug have had to have been for you to go Defcon 1 and clear your holster?
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  16. #15
    Member Array Bandolero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calynn View Post
    What would you have done?
    I would not have open carried.

    It offers almost no tactical advantage that is worth giving up the element of surprise for.

    It has questionable strategic value.

    It creates an enhanced level of tension and conflict that concealed carry does not.

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