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http://jonathanlethem.com/yolked.html

OK here's a link to a long and meandering discussion of the term "mugging" and what it means to different people. I liked this article because I have been the victim of several attempted robberies that started out as conversations, or as panhandling, then very gradually escalated into violent scenarios because the perpetrator wanted to use the minimum amount of force/intimidation necessary to separate me from my money. So they start out polite but get pushier, or cut off my retreat while pretending to be just talking, surround or start to crowd me, etc. The hope is that they can deny any assault ("I was just panhandling!") or claim self defense if you choose to react physically. This gradual escalation is in some ways harder to respond to than a sudden, overt attack because 1)-you don't want to be rude 2)-are not sure what level of force might be justified 3)-are reluctant to raise the level of violence yourself, so attempt instead to verbally assert yourself. I call these "attempted" robberies because in each case I held onto to my cash and possessions, though not always my dignity. So what are some safe behaviors for defusing a situation that might be escalating, but haven't reached a point where you could justify drawing a weapon or fighting? What are some danger signals? I ask because, like Lethem points out, a mugging or strong-arm robbery isn't always obvious or cut and dried.
 

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My wife had a bad experience at an attempted mugging.

She was walking through the parking lot of a 24 hour pharmacy, late evening, when a panhandler approached, blocked her travel, and asked for money. This is not unusual in this neighborhood, and my wife, God bless her, thinks it's her mission to help the less fortunate. Sigh. She took out her purse and offered some change. The poor downtrodden miscreant then leaned in to her, insisting that she should give him some of her folding money, that he had seen. Little did he know that her hand was within inches of her (my!) HK 40 in a Coronado purse. She tried to talk her way out of the situation, but dropped her keys. The mugger picked them up and demanded the money for return of the keys. While these negotiations were going on, a cop pulled right in front of them, wife got her keys back untaxed, and all ended well. The wife has a medical condition that makes it near impossible to fight, so even though no weapon was displayed by the BG, she probably would have been OK to shoot, depening on whether you think the threat was apparent. At least a display probably would have solved the problem, but it did not come to that.
 

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Your #1 is actually a "Biggie" ~ a big mental hurdle for most nice, friendly, & compassionate people to "get over" ~ It needs to be worked on.

You cannot allow unknown individuals with questionable intent to even start to gain any control over your environment or your exit.
Especially when the area is deserted, unpopulated or at night.

That is the time that I immediately switch gears to "verbal stern command" & I get ready to back it up with whatever action might be necessary.

I never bother anybody ~ I expect not to be bothered by anybody. It's that simple.

I am forced outdoors at night by an overly energetic dog that will not allow me to sleep unless she gets her nightly combination walk/run.
Following that she eats & then goes to sleep & I get to sleep.

When I go out.
> I mind my own business.
> I clean up after my dog.
> I never bother anybody.
> I don't expect anything from anybody.
> I don't want any favors from anybody.
> I am not outside to "make new friends" or to meet new people.

One huge advantage that I have is that we have a very small Police force and my Cops in my area know me & they know who I am & exactly why I am out.
They often see me ~ They wave. :wave:
They know that I never bother anybody.
They know that I am just out to get my dog "taken care of" & get back to my home.

My area sometimes gets mildly "infiltrated" at night.

So..."when and if"...the two legged "Creatures Of The Night" (my nickname for them is The Vampire People) - since NONE of them have daytime jobs..."They Only Come Out At Night" :rofl: ~ If they change direction or start coming toward me...I nip it and I "end it" right there.

I don't give them chance to even start talking because I honestly don't give a Rats A$$ what dahell they want.

I look right at them and I just flat out tell them.
"I don't know you ~ I don't want to know you ~ I don't care what you want ~ I don't have anything for you. Stay the F away from me!
Don't get in my damn way & don't get in my face."

Exactly what I say will vary but, that is the gist of it & I stay "aware" & I am ready to back it up as I continue on my merry way.

It sure works for me. :yup:
 

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Rude don't worry about rude you don't know this person or likely to meet them again and if you do they won't stop to talk, I figure I got thru the first 36 years not being their friend I will manage the next 36 just fine.

I have had the panhandler attempt however I fine that any time I am out and someone targets \ approaches me for what ever reason my demeaner changes from :smile: to :ticking: which intimidates (for lack of a better term) most people \ would be panhandlers of course being 6'3" 260 doesn't hurt.
 

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I don't stop for panhandlers. I keep on walking. I'll see them out the corner of my eye, and when they approach, I don't even look at them but shake my head. They leave me alone at that point. I'll be stern but polite, saying "no, sir" or "leave me alone, sir." I haven't had a problem so far.
 

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Your #1 is actually a "Biggie" ~ a big mental hurdle for most nice, friendly, & compassionate people to "get over" ~ It needs to be worked on.
ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY!

Main reason I allowed myself to be robbed at gunpoint is that I didn't want to appear racist by telling some black guy to "stay the F away" from me, even though there was a little voice in my head that said (its not good that he's walking up to us like that in this neighborhood at 2am).


My wife says its even worse for women because our culture keeps telling them to "be nice" ... thats why a woman will get into an elevator with a dodgy looking man in it and will be found later raped and strangled with her own pantyhose.
 

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Betty and QK have it tagged. If you want to be nice, keep $5 "loose" in a pocket, slap it into a hand, and walk on. I had a large ex-mil friend who took that approach. If they tried to go for more, his response was, "I didn't ask you to/for (pick the sexual act), and I sure as hell wouldn't pay you for it! **off!" Now, you may not go that far, in your verbal "repellant", but that is definitely the mindset. :hand10:

Panhandlers are different animals than muggers. If someone is trying to corral you, it's time to knock them down and run, or whip your phone out and call 911, whichever you fell you have the time and space for.....:buttkick:
 

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Not every time but often - awareness will enable the distance factor to be controlled or maintained. It is when these slimeballs quickly get in close that things can become awkward and escalate.

I guess too as we discuss at times - not being made as an easy mark is another aspect - be alert and look alert - mean even! And watch that six.
 

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Lots of good ideas above. I hadn't focused conciously too much on what I do, but its basically some variations of the above in some form or manner dependent on the circumstances. The shaking head is a visual deterrent that usually works, or the "stare down" followed by foul language.

Luckily, I get to avoid this stuff 99.95% of the time, except when the squirrels or racoons start getting aggressive, or think I'm cute.:redface:
 

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One thing to consider

I have found in the past, that a sudden verbal onslaught with liberal sprinklings of the f-bomb usually serves to let the person know that you are not an easy mark.

That said, what we have there is an escalation. That is not what we are supposed to do. A guy asks you for money, and it quickly escalates into a shouting match/confrontation.

I'm not putting this across well, but essentially I am trying to say that you probably need to make sure that whatever you do or say is not seen as exacerbating the situation.

Keep walking, not talking. If your escape is blocked, then one of the requirements has just been met. If you are surrounded, then there is disparity of force and another requirement has been met.

Now, the DA is going to want to know how you got into that situation in the first place. Was it unavoidable? Thats often the hardest requirement of all to fulfill.

Not just for the DA, but for your own soul.
 

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i was waiting in the car for my friend to come out of the local dollar general tuesday. this shady looking guy is standing on the sidewalk watching everybody as they pull up and park.then this brand new chevrolet truck pulls right beside me and this nicely dressed man gets out and starts toward the entrance well this guy starts walking towards him , as he gets close to the man he says pretty day aint it?and the guy that got out of the pickup says ya its beautiful.then the shady guy asks him, hey can you do me a favor and let me borrow fifty cents ,then the guy reaches into his pocket and pulls out this big roll of money and says, i dont have any change and then takes his rubber band off of his money and hands him a dollar .now i see this guys eyes get as big as saucers when he sees that money, like it is more than he has ever had in his life .then the guy leaves and i think how stupid can somebody be to pull out a big roll of money in front of anybody much less a guy that doesn have fifty cents i would have told the guy from the get go that I DONT HAVE ANY, DONT WANT ANY, AND TOO GET AWAY FROM ME!!! :rant: sorry for the long reply
 

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" Shove off Jack. I'm working this side of the street!!!"
 

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I try to keep the obvious panhandlers away by telling them foget it even before they can ask for money. If you want to help them give to charity and pay your taxes. That should be enough.

Some guys are not so obvious. I had a guy that was pretty clean cut wearing a running suit suddenly veer towards me and ask for a light for a cig. he was carrying in his hand. I veered at the same time and told him very clearly "no".

Best thing is to try and keep a distance. If they insist on coming toward you up the volume a notch to attact attention of others in the area. Proceed upward from there.
 

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Fragman said:
Now, the DA is going to want to know how you got into that situation in the first place. Was it unavoidable? Thats often the hardest requirement of all to fulfill.

Not just for the DA, but for your own soul.
You make an excellent point about the DA, but I don't get the bit about your soul.

Anyone who makes it a habit of using violence and/or threats of violence to get people to give them their money deserve a quick and violent death followed by several millennia of being brutally raped by a demon while their flesh burns.


So avoidable or not, if you find yourself being mugged I see no threat of damage to one's soul if you respond with lethal force.

I have no pity for those who choose to victimize others (I dunno ... maybe I'm still bitter about the whole thing).
 

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Zundfolge said:
You make an excellent point about the DA, but I don't get the bit about your soul.

Anyone who makes it a habit of using violence and/or threats of violence to get people to give them their money deserve a quick and violent death followed by several millennia of being brutally raped by a demon while their flesh burns.


So avoidable or not, if you find yourself being mugged I see no threat of damage to one's soul if you respond with lethal force.

I have no pity for those who choose to victimize others (I dunno ... maybe I'm still bitter about the whole thing).
Yeah, it doesn't really come across how I meant it. The point I was getting at is that unnecessarily escalating a situation to the point where lethal force becomes required, rather than just walking on by and calling LEO, is going to weigh heavily on you in the future.

I was using soul in the sense of one's own essence, not implying that you are going to necessarily burn in the afterlife.

No doubt that if you are being attacked etc then you need to do what you have to do. But we were originally talking about panhandlers and that although I have in the past used some form of verbal 'aggression' to get them to back off, a better and more prudent approach, now that I carry, might be to ignore them and keep moving.

Now, if that doesn't work, then we haven't escalated it, they have.....
 

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Fragman said:
Yeah, it doesn't really come across how I meant it. The point I was getting at is that unnecessarily escalating a situation to the point where lethal force becomes required, rather than just walking on by and calling LEO, is going to weigh heavily on you in the future.
I see your point about not escalating a situation that doesn't require lethal force to one that does (for example pushing some panhandler to violence).

I was using soul in the sense of one's own essence, not implying that you are going to necessarily burn in the afterlife.
I thought you just meant that if you have to shoot you're going to feel all guilty ... thats what my response was to. I will feel no guilt if I remove a predator from the earth.

However in the case of pushing a panhandler to violence, I can see the point as well ... I'd feel pretty bad if I made some bum feel cornered so he came out swinging and I had to put him down.

I certainly don't plan on reacting with vitriol, let alone deadly force unless its clearly called for.
 

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I disagree with the rudeness at first

I go to parts of the city where I am usually panhandled half the time - especially at gas stations with my wallet out. Some of you folks who aren't familiar with this type of environment seem to be advocating what I would call overreaction.

I've never given out a dime, and have never shouted. I've just simply said "I don't have any money that I can give you." I say it flatly, without vulgarity or seeming arrogant. I've had some get upset, but I just walk away or ignore them while keeping my eye on them.

"Suffer not a fool."

By shouting and hurling insults, you're only going to escalate the situation if it is not appropriate. Hurling insults and vulgarity are definately going to escalate the situation.
 

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Must share this

So I was pumping gas at about 10:30 one night at my favorite, low-priced gas station.

I see a man pushing his car from the street with two female passengers inside thinking he has mechanical issues. He says no thanks to the help pushing, then looks at me desperately, asking for gas money.

Given the look in his eye (and the fact I didn't have cash), I said "I don't have any money to give you" and backed away to my car. He then actually asked me to swipe my card for him! He looked at me with this desperate look and a huff when I refused, then proceeded to panhandle all the other customers until he got some gas money.

It wouldn't have bothered me so much, but his car was nicer than mine and he had three adults who collectively couldn't afford the gas to run the car.
 

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On a side note about panhandlers here in Colorado Springs, they are allowed to panhandle by law as long as they ask ONLY ONCE, if refused MOVE ON.


As such I tend to be polite (not friendly, just polite) and say "No." and then just go about my business ... if they continute to pester me I tell them to leave before I call a cop.
 

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"Sir (or Ma'am) I can't help you." Keep moving AND watching.
 
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