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Posted: 3/4/2010 4:34:27 PM EDT
One of our regular contributors started a good thread that got hijacked and locked before it could go anywhere.  Thought I'd give it another go for him.  His OP is below.  My two cents?  I've found myself in condition white WAY more than I'd like, especially during a time of stress.  How would we deal with this when all of our lives are stressful ALL the time?  The scruffy guy in the post needing a tire change could easily have been ill-intentioned.  In a time of constant stress, my reaction would probably be 'draw first, ask later'.  Is that helpful, or should we cultivate ways to sharpen our discernment under prolonged duress?

~~~
From PA22-400:
By 18:00hrs I was tired. Up early leftovers for breakfast, ill by 09:00(leftovers), better by 12:00, funeral at 13:00, graveside service, appointment at MA's office at 17:00. So by 18:30 I wanted to relax a bit and check the price on the EU2ki at Gander Mountain, and since we had already driven the hour to town this was a great time to look. Gander took $30 puls tax from me but I think I whooped em 'cause I got a flashlight

So anyway, on our to pay for the light, this guy asks to if we have a jack that we could lend because he has a flat. I was so tired that I was focused on not forgetting one of those important things I call JR. So I probably looked at this guy like he had asked if I would sell him a bus ticket to the moon. It took me 2 seconds to figure out what he was asking for. I then remembered that I had a jack in the BOV and told the guy just a minute. On the way out of the store I said that I was sorry if I had looked at him like he came from Mars, but we had just buried L. and I was a little distracted. He said that was ok and he was sorry for our loss.

He got his tire changed and went on.

Lessons
Pay attention to yourself and don't put yourself in a position that you cannot cover.
Being polite wins friends
Listen to the quiet little voice inside––I would have bladed @ 45 on this guy just on his looks, but the little voice said wait this one is cool (that was also part of the 2 second delay too)
~~~

Link Posted: 3/4/2010 4:50:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/4/2010 4:52:42 PM EDT by rangermonroe]
Draw first is an overreaction in my opinion.  Probably gonna land you in the pokey on a "brandishing" charge.  





Someone approaching you in a well lighted place in a non threatening manner is not cause to respond with deadly force.



ETA: I just read the account again.  They were in the store!



If you are suggesting that your reaction, in a store, when approached by someone who is merely talking to you would be to draw on them is utterly absurd.  

Link Posted: 3/4/2010 5:20:26 PM EDT
Normally, when walking in very public places you are scanning people and reading their body language.  A guy standing around looking uncertain could be looking for a lost friend, need help, or be looking for a potential victim.  The time to realize its the last option is not when he has followed you out into a dark parking lot.  If you really want to survive you need to be on alert all the time and you cant let other things in your life affect that.  That does not mean you have to greet everyone with a hand on your weapon.  You make eye contact with the lost looking guy in the store and watch him approach and see what he needs.  The world would really suck if everyone walked past another person in a time of need.
Link Posted: 3/4/2010 5:50:34 PM EDT
In my opinion, a situation like this comes down to how effectivley you can read people.  We can all be the guy who's on guard all the time to the point of paranoia (an extreme) who draws attention to himself, or we can be the guy blissfully ignorant up until the point it's too late (the other extreme).  The key is to be aware of the situation (AKA.....Situational Awareness) to know whether or not you can relax or be on your toes, and most importantly make this determination on the fly without either extremes. One should always be aware of their environment....period.
Link Posted: 3/4/2010 5:54:59 PM EDT
I do it for a living and you cannot approach every contact at condition white or you will die at an early age of heart disease, stroke or other related stress......You have to look at the totality of the situation...guys asks you for directions so you blade at 45 degrees and put your hand on your concealed weapon?.......where are you?...what time is it?....is he near a car with a flat tire? is he alone, with his wife...a child nearby?..are there alot of other people around?  It's an assesment process....done quickly.   I do it alot and discount 98% of my contacts.....the only 2% I deal with differantly until my spidey sense is satisfied..........

It's like prepping you prepare of the most common threats......hurricanes, power outages, winter storms...financial crisis......  Our most common human threats....take a look at what groups/ages/genders commit the most crimes.....is it the elderly?...Nope...women?  Nope.....young males, 16-18-20 years old?  Okay now we're on to something.....
Link Posted: 3/4/2010 6:37:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By rangermonroe:
Draw first is an overreaction in my opinion.  Probably gonna land you in the pokey on a "brandishing" charge.  

Someone approaching you in a well lighted place in a non threatening manner is not cause to respond with deadly force.

ETA: I just read the account again.  They were in the store!

If you are suggesting that your reaction, in a store, when approached by someone who is merely talking to you would be to draw on them is utterly absurd.  


Ranger, you're absolutely right.  I should have clarified.  When I used terms like 'prolonged duress' I was alluding to a SHTF situation, taking the OPs scenario into one truly fitting of the SF.  So, today I would certainly not draw first.  But when there IS NO POKEY...I might just be in constant low-ready.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 11:43:55 PM EDT
Situational awareness is something that one should never let slip.  The posted encounter may sound rather harmless and mundane, but the two times I had to deal with attempted muggings took place in broad daylight and in public. The first time I was a pretty young, but my "internal eye" had already detected something on the subconscious level.  The second time was only a couple of years ago, and I saw it coming.

First time I was fourteen and walking across Boston Commons when two older kids approached me.  They gave me a crocodile smile and asked if I could tell them the time.  One of them moved to my side and made a move to grab my arm, at which point my "Fight or Flight" kicked in and bolted forward knocking the guy in front of me down and I just hauled ass out of there.  Had I had more experience, I would have never even slowed down to answer their question.  This took place mid day in a crowded park, and I am certain that they could have picked me clean with no one the wiser.

The second time took place in a half full laundromat. This time I saw the guy coming, as he had been scoping me out for a while as I sat reading.  It started with "hey man, can I borrow a dalla"  and moved swiftly to a hand on my jacket and "how bout I just take it".  Two things are important here, first is I noticed other patrons moving away, so no help was going to come from there.  Second is, as stated earlier, I was already aware of this guy, and had a plan.  In this case I did not feel that deadly force was the correct response (had my compact 1911 on board), but the laying of hands on my person was not to be tolerated.  In this case he got 900,000 volts from my hand held taser.

There are a couple of points I'm trying to make here.  The first is that an encounter can happen anywhere and any time.  Daylight and crowds make for good cover/distraction for those who plan us harm.  And that most muggings start out with a non threatening interaction, such as "do you have the time", or "do you know where".  The point of that first interaction is to get you to drop your guard and put you in "help" mode.  PA22-400 is perfectly correct when he chastises himself for not keeping his head in the game.  That request for a jack could have been a move to isolate him and that jack could have turned into the whole car.

I think that is the point of his post, and a good point it is. YMMV.

stasiman
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