March 29, 2014 at 4:26 am #4762
Okay, you guys know I live in rural Kentucky and that I was a soldier. Half my time in the military was Infantry. My 2nd re-enlistment, I changed up MOS’s and went 95B – which is Military Police. Ended up in some pretty nasty sh*t-holes in South and Central America… but those are stories for another time. This is about how bad guys think, even in rural podunk Dirtville, Kentucky…
The bare bones of it are: I was shopping with my boy at Walmart (I detest Walmart, but meh). My boy was all of 4 years old, so we would walk through the store holding hands while I pushed the buggy. Coming the other way down the aisle was this goon. Grungy looking, tats, etc. We looked at each other for a second too long… you know that feeling. He passed and I checked my 6 – yep, he was continuing on.
While my boy and I were shopping, I kept checking my 6. Nothing. Now, I’m not a small guy – a touch over 6 feet, but 220 and solid. Plus, I was legally carrying my pet .45… I figured I was just imagining things, being overly suspicious, etc.. and started to relax a little.
We get to the checkout, and while I’m putting our stuff on the little conveyor belt, I glance over to the next checkout lane, which was closed. Guess who? Yep, the goon was standing there pretending to read some magazine or other… I noted it, thinking “What are the odds?” and went back to what I was doing.
We finished up and paid the lady and I did a quick, casual 360 to see if I could find the goon. Ahh, there he was, sprawled on a bench, right next to the exit closest to us. Again, I thought “Wow… what are the odds?” Guess he was figuring we would go out that way and he would automatically end up behind us. Fraid not, goon.
So, we went the other way. The other exit was clear down at the other end of the store, but so what? We walked nice and slow to the far exit. We made the parking lot and there was no sign of the goon, but that didn’t mean anything. Like the old saying “If you’re driving and you don’t see any cops, assume there’s at least 3 of them you missed.”
Head on a swivel, we made it to the truck, my .45 loose in its holster. I hated that feeling – the feeling of being watched. Hunted. I knew the goon chose me because I had a small child and was reasonably well dressed. Small children compromise a situation – you’ll be willing to do anything, give up anything, to protect your child.
I put my boy in his seat, buckled him in and then piled in the driver’s seat. I put the .45 in my lap. We pulled out and started to head home.
Like every Walmart in the world, there’s a traffic light as you’re exiting the parking lot to control traffic. We got stuck at that light. I happened to glance in my rear view mirror….
And there was the goon in the car behind me, but he had 3 friends with him. They were all looking anywhere, except at my vehicle – which is odd since I have a couple bumper stickers on my truck. Most folks would at least be looking at them…. I was way past making wry comments like “What are the odds?”. Directly across the street from this Walmart was an empty parking lot – a leftover from when there was another store there, now long gone.
I picked up my .45, thumbed off the safety and told my son to get down as low as he could and put his hands over his ears. The instant the light changed to green, I floored it – roasting the tires through the intersection. We bounced into the empty parking lot and I made a fish-hook (3/4 circle) so that the truck was pointing directly at whoever was behind me. I leveled the .45, firmly intending to shoot the bastards through the windshield if I had to, but would also be just as happy ramming them with the truck.
Goon and his buddies, caught off guard, came into the parking lot a few seconds later – they took one look a me, my truck and the big f*^king hand cannon I had pointed at them and immediately decided they had to be somewhere else… they drove off rather quickly and we ended up going home after a few minutes of waiting. Just to make sure they wouldn’t circle back and follow us… the last place I wanted to lead them was back to our house. After all, there was no guarantee that goon and his buddies were not armed as well…
Once we made sure goon and his buddies were long gone, we headed home, but took our time and drove around a bit first- making sure to go past the Police station at least once. Bad Guys hate hate hate police stations and most of the time will break off if you go near one…
Spent the next couple of days at Condition Orange… peeking out the windows, checking the back seat of our vehicles, etc… it’s a creepy feeling, being hunted. You can actually feel them looking at you.
Bottom line- LISTEN to that little voice in your head. It’s sole purpose is to keep you alive. That’s what it’s FOR and it’s why you have it.
If something don’t look right, then it ain’t. If something doesn’t pass the smell test, get the hell out of there. Don’t get caught in normalcy bias, thinking “Oh, it could never happen to me”… Being creeped out isn’t a crime, and there’s zillions of grocery stores… If it don’t look right, go somewhere else.
If you are able, get your CCW and carry every day. Everywhere you can, legally. Find the handgun that fits you best, that you can hit with and practice as much as you can. A handgun and a CCW does you no good if it’s sitting at home in the safe or if it’s locked in the console of your SUV or car…
Speaking of your car – it is your most formidable weapon. 2 tons of rolling steel? No contest. I was fully prepared to broadside goon and his buddies with my truck, and then empty my .45 through the windshield at them. You can always get a new car or truck. Don’t feel bad if you have to do what you have to do… and yeah, that includes running them down.
Hope you guys can take something of value away from this…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1March 29, 2014 at 5:04 am #4769
Thanks for sharing this Mal. Im quite surprised that this kind of f#cked up stuff happens at the countryside. I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens in a ghetto area. That they picked you because you were with your kid illustrates how ruthless these sort of people are.
I think this story also really highlights that you have to trust your feelings sometimes. It makes sense to act logical and rational but those hunches should always be considered and alert you to pay more attention. We did evolve the way we did to spot trouble and our unconsciousness might pick up more than our conscious part of the brain.
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")March 29, 2014 at 5:20 am #4771
Wow Malgus. You never know these days what is lurking around you. I had to read your story to my husband the second time around. I know when I come out of a grocery store to prong my keys through my fingers in case I have to nail someone in the eye and be aware of who is around as I walk to my car. Its just good practice. As for Walmart I detest them too.March 29, 2014 at 5:38 am #4777
You’d be surprised. Even here in peaceful, middle-of-nowhere Kentucky, there’s a criminal element. Many people are hooked on pills – opiates – and meth too. Their addiction drives them to do things normal people would not do. We had two saddles stolen out of our barn. Our neighbor, a fairly wealthy man, came home in the middle of the day to find two guys he didn’t know loading their truck up with his tools. My neighbor is a big guy. Well over 6 feet and works construction. I call him “Hercules” to tease him. He looked at those two guys and said, real quietly, that he was going inside and that they better be gone when he got back – and make sure to leave all the tools. My neighbor doesn’t yell. He doesn’t need to. They were long gone when he came out, the tools neatly lined up.
Our area, we have no police force. No town council. No nothing. Well, we have a Sheriff’s Office and a couple deputies and a volunteer fire department, but that’s it. It’s an unincorporated area. We don’t even have a traffic light. You have trouble and you dial 9-1-1 and it might be 30 minutes before someone arrives. So, we tend to call our favorite shotguns “Redneck 9-1-1″. Nobody is gonna help you but you.
The pill heads and meth heads will do anything – anything – to get another hit. Even steal the gold fillings out of their mamma’s teeth. We have a dog, and when I hear him start barking, I go to the door with a shotgun to check out what the problem is… once you do that a few times, people know you are armed and word gets around. They will leave you alone…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1March 29, 2014 at 9:55 am #4812
I lived in a city for 43 years and mixed with a lot of different types of people from company directors to prostitutes and drug dealers, even though I no longer live in a city(edge of a small rural town) I still tend to check people out, I sit in a café with my back to a wall, I don’t like people walking up behind me and I’m forever checking the rear view mirror when driving.
British Survivalist.March 29, 2014 at 12:04 pm #4820
I live life as if I were on a Carrier Flight Deck. If you do not keep your head on a swivel then an jet intake or rotating prop will eat your lunch!
RobinMarch 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm #4822
That was a scarey thing. Good think you are alert and cool headed. Went to a wedding in KY, Harlan County, once. Was shocked the bride’s family had to have relatives stay at their house to guard it while wedding took place. Seems criminal element checks wedding/funeral announcements in papers and then goes and robs the families while the event takes place. Told lots of major pot growing up in the forests/mountains.
Same deal here. County Sheriff. 3 Deputies for big county. We keep tack in the house , gates into barn area always locked.
Current popular crime is to remove entrance gates and field access gates to sell the metal I guess. Charming.March 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm #4825
It is perfect example-story about being ready, aware, and doing what makes sense in dangerous situation.
And what is most important it is about not panicking and being ready to do what it takes.
Listening to that voice in your head telling to you that something is wrong is life saving sometimes. It is not only about folks who are trained to recognize something wrong (police, military etc.) other folks too can “spot” that something is wrong, but quite often they choose to ignore that.
How (did) do you prepare your kid to that situation, when he see gun in your hand, when you do something out of order, like that sharp turn or similar situation?March 29, 2014 at 2:07 pm #4907
Two thumbs up for this, Malgus – thanks for sharing it and putting the lessons out there. A good book for this (I will add it to the reading forum) to help develop your internal listening in situations is “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker. You obviously don’t need it at all, but it has helped me a lot, not only to stop discounting my internal awareness of things that aren’t quite right around me, but also to separate Chicken-Little panic about situations, and real fear and how to act on it. This book is the champion of the little voice in the back of your mind, and how it can save your life… just like your own did in that situation!March 29, 2014 at 2:18 pm #4923
Thank you for sharing!
This story definitely reinforces that you should always, always, always trust your gut!
I live in South Carolina, and lived in the center of the state in a rural town for a while, so I’m familiar with these types of sh*theads. They seem to be afraid of eye contact, which is something all of us can always use to our advantage.
There is a reason wild animals stare down each other before a fight.
HannahMarch 29, 2014 at 6:22 pm #5098
GREAT example, thanks for sharing! I routinely ‘drill’ my kids in how to respond in various instances, especially when in the car. Hopefully these actions will never be necessary, but knowing what there reactions will be greatly assist in being able to deal with undesirable situations as they unfold…March 29, 2014 at 7:42 pm #5146
Listening to that voice in your head telling to you that something is wrong is life saving sometimes. It is not only about folks who are trained to recognize something wrong (police, military etc.) other folks too can “spot” that something is wrong, but quite often they choose to ignore that. — Selco
That little voice is an anachronism… an ancient holdover from when we were still living like animals. Everyone has it, but soft modern living has dulled it so much, most people cannot even hear it anymore. Folks who grew up on the streets, in tough neighborhoods, soldiers, cops.. they’ve sharpened that little voice and tend to listen when it speaks up. I mentioned “normalcy bias” before. That means that since nothing has happened to you before, you unconsciously assume that nothing will happen to you ever. So, you walk around in a daze, ignoring everything. Bad Guys look for behavior like this. Also, walking with your shoulders hunched, staring at the ground, meek.. marks you as prey. Walk with confidence, even if you don’t feel it or are scared to death. Head up, shoulders back, look people square in the eye, a purposeful stride. Be aware.
Lose the iCrap. Walking around pushing buttons, texting, means you are oblivious. I could walk right up behind you, bash you in the head with a brick and be long gone… and you’re left saying “he came out of nowhere”. No, he didn’t. YOU were oblivious.
How (did) do you prepare your kid to that situation, when he see gun in your hand, when you do something out of order, like that sharp turn or similar situation? — Selco
Some other parents might take issue with this, but by the time the Goon was on the bench next to the exit, I told my son in a very low voice “Hey. Look at me. Don’t be scared. You see that guy on the bench behind me? Yeah, that guy. I think he is a bad guy and I think he might be after us. We’re going to walk away from him, but I want you to keep an eye on him. If you see him, tell me what he is doing.” I tried to show my son that I was in control – calm, master of the situation. He picked up on the vibe and he was okay with it.
My son was old enough to know the difference between “Bad Guys” and “Good Guys”. He knew I habitually carried a gun. He wasn’t afraid. He sat in the buggy, watching behind us (since he was facing that way anyways) and when we were in the parking lot, he was looking around with me, looking for The Goon. When he saw me take my .45 out of its holster and put it in my lap, he knew that things had become very serious. Still, I tried to show confidence, not worry. That I was in control of the situation and its master. He was totally cool with it.
When I told him to get low and cover his ears, he did so without hesitation. After the Goon and his goon buddies were gone, we were actually laughing and making crude jokes about the Goon – a tension breaker. When we got home, he was all excited about “how we beat the bad guys!” and I let him tell his mamma (my wife Steffi) all about it the only way a 4 year old boy can tell it…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1March 30, 2014 at 12:02 am #5232
SITUATIONAL AWARENESS – can be the difference between life and death.March 30, 2014 at 1:27 pm #5391
I like the way you “control” the kid, I learned my kid too that there are situations, and there are words that when I say it kid needs to stay in control and follows my order EXACTLY like i want.
Sounds hard maybe to someone, but in those situation you want to be sure how your kid will react.March 31, 2014 at 3:53 pm #5833
“Also, walking with your shoulders hunched, staring at the ground, meek.. marks you as prey. Walk with confidence, even if you don’t feel it or are scared to death. Head up, shoulders back, look people square in the eye, a purposeful stride. Be aware.”
Ha! You are so right, Malgus! Some years ago (over 25) I attended an Art Buyers Caravan Show in NYC on the waterfront docks (big warehouse/convention space–the show was for framer’s equipment/print distributors etc). I was negotiating with a distributor for my prints, so left late. No taxis in sight. Called one on the pay phone (no cells back then.) They refused to come to that neighborhood after hours. So I took the last shuttle bus to a hotel where most vendors were staying, thinking surely there would be a taxi available. Nope. But there were limos. The charge for less than a mile (to where I was staying) was $100. No thanks! One finally came down to $40. I was angry by then. So I took my hefty catalog case, and walked.
Yes, past warehouses, through Times Square (which was a ghetto back then), past the traffic backed up by a tunnel entrance, and to the apartment. I was so angry and determined, with a “purposeful stride” that said “Make my day!” Although I’m 5’4″ and 130lbs, no one even came near me. Guess they knew I would hurt them and yes, I stayed aware of anyone within sight. But they never approached.
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