A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, March 01, 2008

An Encounter At Wal-Mart

It was a balmy Sunday morning several years ago, and Little Darling had been saving her dollars and cents for a GameBoy. I am a man of the pinball generation, and I have little appreciation of video games. I see the results they build in skilled hand eye coordination among the younger laproscopic surgeons, compared to the surgeons of my own age strata, but still, I resisted buying her the toy. When she proudly announced she had the funds herself, I relented. Better to teach her the benefits of thrift than the tyranny of a father my wife told me. So, before church, we took off for Wal-Mart. She had her little purse of greenbacks and I had a 1911 under my sportscoat.

Inside the mega-store, she waited patiently as an employee summoned a manager and the manager found the keys to the locked case of video toys. No, we could not take it to the front to check out, so the milk my wife wanted would have to wait. I glanced impatiently at my watch. Little Darling stepped proudly up to the counter and counted out her money. After taxes, she was eighty-seven cents short, and tears welled up in her eyes. I fished the change out of my pants pocket.

Time was short as we made our way to the front of the store. I cringed as I approached the greeter at the door with a bag in my hand. Thankfully, the elderly lady ignored me and we exited the first door into the foyer. I became vaguely aware of two scruffy young men behind us as I stopped to look for traffic in preparation of entering the parking lot. They stayed behind us, rather than coming alongside.

I handed Little Darling her bag and took her hand as we began to negotiate the maze of parked automobiles. I glanced back and saw that the two young men had spread apart, one on either side of us and to the rear. That is when I felt it. They had matched my stride and were circling me. Like an antelope, I knew I was being stalked by jackals, only I did not know why. Time was accelerating at head pounding speed, and Little Darling, blissfully unaware, was along for the ride.

I saw our vehicle and began to approach it, but I wanted to be certain. I walked past, and cut between two unoccupied SUVs, grabbing a shopping cart to block the path from my front. The man on my right turned towards me and cursed as he saw his path was blocked by the cart jammed between the two vehicles sideways. I spun and drew my pistol from it's holster, keeping it at low ready, facing off the other young man who was quickly approaching me from behind. My thumb had already snicked off the safety and Little Darling, confused, peered from behind me.

It seemed an eternity looking into the menacing, sneering face of the hoodlum who had began his approach from my rear. He sized up the man with the gun, a little girl behind him. I heard nothing to my rear. Not a word was spoken. Then "God damned mother fucker......." he snarled as he sauntered away. I said nothing. I couldn't. I turned to the rear, shoving Little Darling to the side. Nobody was there. I pivoted back around, my gun still at low ready. Nobody. I waited between the SUVs. Within seconds, a mother with her child in tow strolled past. I took my daughter's sack, as well as her her little hand, and used my remote to unlock my Jeep's doors two vehicles away. I held my pistol in my right hand, concealed underneath my jacket and left arm as we made our way to the vehicle.

I made Little Darling enter the driver's side and told her to crawl over. As she scurried past the console, I followed and locked the doors behind us. It was clear behind us as I started the engine. Then a green Cadillac paused behind us. I was trapped. The blue haired lady waited a moment in her Caddy, and then pulled forward. I took the opportunity and quickly backed out. I drove to an area of the parking lot that was empty for at least 75 feet all around us. I left the motor running.

I opened my cell phone and struggled to call the police. My fingers were still suffering from the loss of fine motor skills. When the cruiser arrived, I kept my hands visible and waited for the officer to ask me to exit my vehicle. The officer asked for my identification, and I presented my driver's license and my carry permit. At his request, I shut off my engine and got out of the Jeep. My knees were weak. I shuddered as I told the officer my story. I did not know why I was being herded and stalked, but I explained that I knew what was happening and felt it deep in my bones. I had been prey. I told him I had drawn my weapon. He asked if I was still armed, and I said yes. "Good," he replied. God I love Louisiana sometimes. He never asked to see my gun. He made out a report, which I gladly gave to prevent accusations of "a man with a gun" in the Wal-Mart parking lot. With a smile he told me I was free to go.

Through church and over the next few days I was perplexed. Why would a man of my stature, a fit six foot one, be chosen as prey by two criminals? I could not understand it. Those kind of things happened to the elderly, women, the weak. They did not happen to big guys with crew cuts and broken noses. Hell, most of the time, all it took was a cold professional stare to change the direction of young men. Was my world changing? Was I getting older? Did it show? Or were the cretins becoming bolder? I was dumbfounded. I did not know why I was singled out as prey, and it bothered me. I began to grow apprehensive. I could not change it unless I knew why, and I was still going into the worst of neighborhoods to provide nursing service. Were these thugs targeting me specifically? Did they know me? Had I unwittingly crossed into some unknown gangland pissing grounds? God damn it, did they want my child?

I doubled my awareness, and I slept lightly for two nights. Then, on Wednesday, as I was changing the dressing on Miss Eleanor's abdominal surgical wound, Judge Judy was blaring on the television. Two idiots were arguing over a GameBoy as though it was a bag of diamonds. It was then that everything became clear to me. The two thugs could not steal a GameBoy from the locked case inside the Wal-Mart. I remembered them being present looking at CDs while Little Darling and I waited on the manager to open the locked display case. They had waited for a customer to purchase the object of their lust, and then followed the customer out of the store to score. My little girl's life and my own life had been threatened for a damned toy. The idiots had not planned on risking their own life, however. The jackals had unwittingly encircled a lion.

That was the last time I drew my weapon in fear of my life. I still feel that my life and my little girl's life was at risk. While they may not have willingly killed for a toy, these criminals had no compunctions about starting a fight and possibly pushing a child into traffic to get a damned electronic toy. My world had not changed, but the world around me had. I relaxed a bit, and I released the knots in my stomach. I knew my selection as a victim had been the result of a specific action, not because of a perceived weakness.

Still, it was a lesson reaffirmed. We never know when or why an attack might commence. We do not know what lengths others might take to obtain that which they deem valuable. It is impossible to predict any and all contingencies. Because of the differences between people, and the dangers that result from those differences, we can only be prepared to protect ourselves and our children, at any time, by any means necessary.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Answers to valid and pertinent questions.

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83 Comments:

Anonymous Blackwing1 said...

Xavier:

Thank you for a wonderful example of how to handle a potential confrontation, without having to do more than "brandish" your defensive weapon. Since no one was killed and no shots were fired, the anti-gunners never note this as a "defensive gun use".

The only times I've had to do something like that I've been fine, right up until it's over. Once I'm back in what I perceive to be a safe condition, I've gotten the shakes. I think it's probably from the adrenaline dump, but maybe it's just delayed fear. I dunno.

You didn't mention it, but once you were in the Jeep in a safer location, did you have any physical reaction to the encounter? I'm just curious if I'm the only one who has trouble dialing a phone (or just holding my hands steady) after something like that happens.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Tam said...

*shudder*

Over a fricken' game.

You never know when or where, do you?

Good job. A lucky young lady learned more than the value of thrift that night, too.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

You are correct BW. The adrenaline dump was humungous. I added a bit to that paragraph to better reflect the experience.

Thank you.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh man hard to believe that something like this actually happens. As another human being, I can say that I'm glad you're the father of the girl who bought the game boy that day. Any other guy woulda rolled over and been robbed, maybe even hurt. She's blessed to have a dad like you.

Keep going man. Good job.

-Dan

10:49 AM  
Blogger Mulliga said...

Thanks for the writeup, Xavier. Glad everything turned out okay.

There's been a lot of violence over video game consoles, especially with the advent of big crowds on release day. When I was standing in line for a Nintendo Wii, I made sure I was packing. Nothing makes you feel more exposed than standing out in front of a Best Buy at 6 AM.

11:28 AM  
Blogger thorn said...

I expect I'll be thinking about this post for the rest of the weekend.

Thanks for writing it.

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ indeed.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Travlin said...

Excellent work Xavier! You handled the situation very well.

Your report is superb. It made me shiver. The detail and thoughtful analysis are impressive. Thank you for sharing this very personal story. It helps us understand the reality and reactions when being threatened. I think this is your best post.

I'm thankful you and Little Darling came through okay. Stay safe.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Bob Brennan said...

Thanks sharing this to remind us that we all need to be alert--especially when all seems peaceful and calm.
This incident should be on the major networks, but don't hold your breath.
I'm referencing your site to all the folks on my e-mail list, asking to forward it.
Bob

12:40 PM  
Blogger SpeakerTweaker said...

"Why carry a pistol? You expecting trouble?"

"Ma'am, if I'd been expecting trouble, I'd have brought a rifle."

Carry. Your. Guns. People.

Well said, Xavier.



tweaker

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It always amazes me - those little details we invent on the spot and remember later in these situations. The quick adaptation to surroundings, not to mention the improvisation and use of our environment those who are well-trained seem to possess as pure instinct.

Great report.

And as someone that has been in a few similar situations, yes bw - the reaction is much the same. Delicate motions are impossible - but you remain hyper aware and alert of your surroundings. It's unsettling in a way.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Very well handled, sir. Your tactical moves were first class. On the fly maneuvering for positional advantage is where most people come up short. Two questions: Did you knock over the cart so it could not be rolled/pushed clear? Also, did you have a talk with your daughter to explain the dynamics of the situation, especially after realizing the focus of the impending attack was the gameboy?

I don't know why, but I sometimes get a delayed after-action shakes, as much as 12 hours after. My hands shake so badly, I'm unable to hold a cup without splashing the contents all over the place, and writing is an exercise in frustration. Lasts at least 20 minutes, minimum.

3:40 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

You taught a brilliant and important lesson to your daughter that day.

I bought a carry gun yesterday, and I'll have my first shooting session with it tomorrow. Very soon, I'll be comfortable enough to take the course and test for CHL. YOu are so right-- in this age, it's insanity not to carry if that option is available.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Will,
The cart was upright but jammed between the SUVs. At the moment, I felt the need to get my hand on my sidearm and confront the fellow coming up behind, where I was unprotected. The cart gave me just a little protection to the rear, where I couldn't be approached without noise. I suspect the guy blocked by the cart gave up the attack first, or at least simultaneously with the other.

I did talk to my daughter about it afterwards. I pointed out that some people will do bad things to take what she has, and it is best to avoid them. If they can't be avoided, defend yourself.

This morning, when I told her I blogged about it, she remembered the experience. Her comment......"Yeah, that was funny...." I asked her to elaborate. Funny it wasn't, I said, I was scared. She said, "I wasn't, I was with you." Such is the trust granted to us by our children. We should strive to deserve it.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At-a-boy X, now there’s motivation enough for those out there that are somewhat timid about carrying.

Many of those dregs don’t give a damn about other peoples lives. One of them would probably grab the game and if you went for him the other would stick a knife in your back…not a pretty thought! As it is, he was probably checking himself, after that encounter with you, for soup stains.

In all likelihood if this happened in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts you’d be in deep yogurt! Yup, the authorities would say that you terrorized these misguided youths with a concealed weapon at a time when their family said that they were “Turning Their Lives Around”! Lord Have Mercy!

Not being too swift on the uptake, I had to Google the “ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ” you placed at the end of the article and was pleasantly surprised to see:

Then Xerxes asked him more forcefully to surrender their arms. To this Leonidas gave his noted answer: ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ "Come and get them".

Hang in there X, we’re all rooting for the Gentlemanly (but potent) Nurse from “New France” from the folks of New England.

Ronaldo

6:34 PM  
Blogger mike's spot said...

glad you were ok- sorry they didn't pick up those two scum bags.

I'm confident that they will get everything they deserve.

all the best

mike

7:22 PM  
Blogger lee n. field said...

God bless you.

Doing what you did in this here people's state (Illinois) would have caused you a whole heap of felony trouble. [spit!]

8:04 PM  
Anonymous FatWhiteMan said...

I just sat down to read blogs tonight and relax after taking my little girl to Wal-Mart not an hour ago. (I wondered over here from RideFast.) Now of course I was carrying, as I always do when taking my family to that pit but now I'm trying to put myself in your situation, in which I could have very well been tonight. Was I as situationally aware? Would I have thought of the cart? Would my knees have buckled before? I don't know. Doubt I will sleep tonight. I'm sorry you had such an encounter but I'm glad you at least wrote about it.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous dave said...

thank you for the report. glad you and yours are safe.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Media Outsider said...

My first visit, referred by Sharp as a Marble via Rifle Gear blog. An awesome story; glad it turned out well for you. Your follow-up with your daughter's comments brought a tear to my eye.

My little guy is 9 months and I don't take him anywhere without protection. As he matures into it, I'll teach him what he needs to know.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Bob@thenest said...

Xavier, though this time is was for a toy, don't lose the sense that your nursing services in dangerous neighborhoods might provide opportunity, motive, or both, for bad things to happen.

I grew up in Algiers, a part of New Orleans on the West Bank. There Jo Ellen Smith provided those same services under the same conditions in "the projects."

She would probably have preferred to continue doing so, but instead she was killed by some of the very group of people she was trying to serve.

Better that she had lived than being murdered and having a hospital named after her.

Be safe.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Last Chance Safari Company said...

Most important from this story is to understand/apprerciate the fact that regardless of what the reason... you were chosen as prey, you must understand, they chose to prey upon an innocent and unarmed accompanied by a child as soon as they learned of their error, they no longerfelt that rewards equalled or exceeded the risk... super example of why the mere presence or possibility of the presence of a weapon has an equalizing effect on a situation, also a wonderful example of how a person in posession of an equalizer can capitalize on its purely visual effect... brandishing is an ugly word for the educational value of knowing your opponent's options... if more of us were armed, more often it wouldn't come as such a surprise tothose that believe we shouldn't be.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

There are deep lessons to this story. The fact that the two goons were stalking you inside the store is telling. It shows that sometimes you are "marked" way before you would ever imagine.

Next time around, people like that can be spotted earlier, avoided, and hopefully having to draw your weapon will not be needed next time.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Blackwing1 said...

Last Chance:

That's why I wrote "brandishing" in NYFT scare quotes. It's a word with strong negative connotations, which is why it's usually used by the lame-stream media when describing the display of a firearm in a defensive situation.

I'm sorry if it seemed pejorative...it wasn't meant to be.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Longbow196 said...

Good job,glad you and you little girl weren't harmed.We need more Americans armed and at the ready for situations like yours.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

I do not consider my actions that day to be brandishing.

My actions that day were the preparation for defending my life and my child's life.

Perhaps BW chose a word that was tangently applicable, but I understand his thoughts.

From the American Heritage Dictionary: bran·dish
1. To wave or flourish (a weapon, for example) menacingly.

2. To display ostentatiously.

There was no wave, no flourish, and no ostentatiousness. I was not attempting to impress anybody. I was preparing to preserve my life and limb, and that of my child. Brandishing is an empty threat. The unholstering of my gun that day was a commitment to life and limb. I'm glad the other two men made the choices they did quickly.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Angus Lincoln said...

It is accounts like yours and hundreds of others that have initiated my decision to take my own safety into my own hands. Some people still can't see the necessity of it even when bad things happen in their own backyards. Your story in particular, shows how easily it can be to become a victim and hopefully, will convert some fence sitters at a time when all of our rights to carry a firearm are in jeopardy. Thanks for that.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Max Deployment said...

Forgive me, this is really nitpicky, but it's an error I see more and more often lately: The correct phrase is "in fear FOR my life."

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are fortunate that your service in unsafe areas gave you the awareness to recognize your danger. Having lived on the edge as an undercover officer and street cop for years, I'm amazed at the people that wonder through life with no clue and survive.

As to the adrenaline rush, wait until you actually bust a cap. It is even worse when you are looking down a revolver barrel and see the cylinder start to turn. I guarantee that you will have nightmares about it for weeks.

Keep up the good work, and may God bless you and keep you and yours safe. The only suggestion I would make is that after this you might want to go easy on using God's name in vain. I know that I saw the light after surviving what I shouldn't have.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Jay G said...

Xavier,

First off, good on you for keeping your head and keeping everyone safe.

Secondly, I'd wager you were chosen on the basis of having a kid with you - they know chances are that you'll be distracted and/or otherwise occupied.

Third, while Ronaldo is right about MA (and Lee N - cute - about IL), simple fact of the matter is that keeping your child safe is #1. Everything else can be sorted out later...

8:53 PM  
Blogger Keith Walker said...

This post really bothered me. I am glad you wrote it and will use it as further motivation to keep vigilant in my daily comings and goings.

There is one thing I have prepared for and would encourage others to think about as well. As we all know, guns make very loud noises. In confined spaces- a house or car, that loud noise is even louder. I have two small children and certainly don't want their hearing damaged if the situation calls for me to shoot.

My wife and I are training our children to cover their ears immediately when told. No questions asked, they cover their ears. Right now it is just a game, but one day, it might not be. My wife knows that if I say, "Cover your ears", I'm shooting.

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Cranky said...

This happened on a Sunday morning?

7:39 AM  
Anonymous ddm said...

Great story, I shared it with many people (concealed carriers and others).

When I shared it with my girlfriend her first reaction was that "That was the wrong thing to do, he should have gone back in and yelled for help". She said that is what is taught in womens self defense class.

IMHO, you did the right thing. Putting distance between yourself and a possible attacker is always the best option.

Any thoughts?

10:43 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

"That was the wrong thing to do, he should have gone back in and yelled for help".

While I respect your girlfriend's opinion, and it might be the best course for her, my thoughts for myself based on my options at that moment differ. You have to remember that I did not know what they wanted. It could have been anything. At the time, I never dreamed it might have been a GameBoy.

I did what I felt was necessary at the time, and I took the best course of action I saw. Turning back towards the store was not an option, as I would have been cut off by the two men. They were actively herding me from behind. Had I turned back, I would have been quickly intercepted. Instead, I led them to a place of my chosing.

Running with a seven year old girl in tow was not an option. Fist-fighting with a seven year old girl in tow was not an option. Leaving the security of my vehicle once I was inside it was not an option. Going into Wal-Mart with a drawn pistol was not an option. Holstering the weapon was not an option.

I had pulled a loaded gun and used it to deter two aggressors. I wanted to deal with real law enforcement, not Wal-Mart security folks. I needed to deal with real law enforcement without Wal-Mart security coloring the story. Control of the story and the presentation of the facts as they were was probably the reason this situation worked out the way it did.

I waited for law enforcement in a locked vehicle, in the open with no way anyone could approach it without being seen. My options at that point remained open. If approached by these two people, even if they were in a car, I could have put my Jeep in gear and escape. I felt strongly though, that they had given up the attack, and had vacated the place. Law enforcement had a description of my Jeep and approached in a marked car.

As far as I know, Wal-Mart never knew what happened. The two men were never caught, at least not in connection with this act.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous sutton said...

What would be the legal/ethical situation if the second guy had kept coming toward you? I presume that, under ideal circumstances (i.e., enough time) you would have raised the gun and warned him to stop. But with no weapon in view (I know, I'm basically positing worst-case stupid person baddie), what sort of ground do you think you would have been on if you had shot him? My biggest reluctance to carry is the fact that, by doing so, there's at least one gun in a situation where there might not have been any. I feel like a lot of opinion about concealed carry assumes that (1) the threat runs away when he sees the gun or (2) it's "OK" to shoot if he keeps advancing. But what if he advances without showing a weapon? Just wondering your thoughts.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Last Chance Safari Company said...

Hey Blackwing, don't get me wrong, i did not mean to be condescending when I said "brandishing".. sometimes this wordsmithing game, gets out of hand, when the MSM uses the term it sounds so negative, and yet as is the case in this instance, it can be so informative and can be so positive, more so than words, it can have an educating effect on those present. as an aside... anonymous'comment"wonder thru life" was a marvelous description of the way so many proceed with their lives. X, I aplaud you and thank you for sharing this experiennce with us.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

That's a very tough situation Sutton. My legal standing had I shot him would be dicey at best. No witnesses, no proof of aggression. His partner would have likely testified against me. I suppose I would be hoping there was security video......

On the other hand, failure to pull a gun would have resulted in physical contact, at the least. At the time, I did not know what their interest in me was. I actually still do not know, I can only speculate. All I knew at the time is what I felt intuitively. I acted on that intuition rather than trying to rationalize it away.

Had I known or even suspected they wanted a GameBoy, I would have gladly tossed it to them and hopefully been on my way, never having pulled a gun. Of course then, the result may have been a demand for my wallet. Then my car. Then my girl.

If I had allowed them to make physical contact with me, yes, there would be at least one gun in the fight.......Mine. I had to keep control of that gun. That is one of the hazards of carrying a gun. The option of a physical fight is no longer present.

They were within my 21 foot margin. I had no indicator they were armed, but it was two against one. I suspect they were armed, but that is not something I can really say.

I am grateful they made the choice to give up the fight that day. My life/freedom hung on their choice, as did theirs.

Let me be clear that I am not saying this is the right or the wrong way to handle a situation like this. Each situation is different, and sometimes we have to act on instinct. Our inner voice will alert us to dangers that our mind will rationalize away. Post event analysis does not take into account a lot of the little factors that add up to a cohesive intuitive whole that one understands at the moment of truth.

Here on my blog, I often analyze the encounters that others experience. I do this to teach myself and others, but I always give the defender the benefit of the doubt. I was not present, but also, the person defending themselves often rationalizes away the intuition that saved them. The human mind is like that. It seeks security in an unsecure world. It seeks reason in unreasonablness. If there is anything I strive to teach it is to develop and trust in your intuition. Trust your instincts. Trust the animal within your mind.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Arn said...

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ, friend.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Liberty said...

Excellent, excellent post. Thank you and job well done - there's nothing more precious or worth being a lion for than your kids.

6:04 AM  
Blogger chris horton said...

Hey Xavier,
This post was picked up on the KABA Website today. I've also seen it mentioned all over the web! Cool. Congrats on defending yourself and your little girl!

Chris

6:53 AM  
Blogger Connie du Toit said...

She said, "I wasn't, I was with you." Such is the trust granted to us by our children.

Wonderful! That says it all right there, doesn't it?

My only quibble: It wasn't "granted." You "earned" it.

7:22 AM  
Blogger cmblake6 said...

That was indeed a tense situation, and a clean ending. And, yes they do have security cameras in the parking lots. You'd have come out clean if it had gone sour. Thank God it didn't. You did well, and it turned out well. Karma, being the bitch she is, will award these two pukes justice.

9:02 AM  
Blogger John said...

Sutton,

The point of carrying is to have at least one gun on scene (mine).

Laws in your state may vary, but in Fl (where I live) I have NO need to retreat, give ground or any other such nonsense when fearing for my life. In a situation where I am being herded by two people intend on mischief (at best), I have the RIGHT to self defense.

I had a similar instance happen to me. I was at a local, informal shooting area and when I had exhausted the bullets in my second magazine (practicing tactical reloading), I notice a young male approaching me from my 9 0'clock. When he noticed that I saw him, he actively attempted to engage my full attention. This was a big clue for me to look peripherally. I did and saw his buddy circling around to my 6, behind some bushes. When the talker got to 20 yards, his pace picked up and he asked, "what do you do when the gun is empty?"

I pulled my carry piece from my IWB and pointed it directly at his chest and said, "I pull out this one". Then I said, "your buddy has 3 seconds to move to a position that I can see him. If he fails to do so, I am putting 2 bullets in your chest, THEN looking for him. ARE WE CLEAR!"

He went ghost white and started doing the verbal shuffle. I turned 90 degrees (keeping the gun on the talker) but also making sure I could clearly see the stalker.

They quickly left.

But I would have shot (and most likely killed the talker) if the stalker had tried to moved against me. Fear for my life and then it would have been one on one.

After firing and incapacitating both goblins, my next step would have been to reload, retreat to my vehicle and dail 9-1-1. Then inform the police and await their arrival.

In my case, the sight of and obvious intent to use my firearm broke their desire. Thankfully.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous randy said...

Good Job! I'm glad it resolved itself the way it did. Good after action report as well.

"But what if he advances without showing a weapon?"

Anyone that continues advancing on a drawn weapon is either very confident he can disarm you, or is flat out crazy. In either case he is acting in a threatening manner and I have to take that threat seriously, and at that point, he has passed my personal "no-go" line and I am engaging. Especially if there is more than one.

"there's at least one gun in a situation where there might not have been any."

And it there's going to be one, it's going to be mine if I have any say in the matter. If the opposition was stupid enough to get into a gunfight armed with a knife, club or a fist, that's their problem. Maybe they should try looking for honest work instead.

If you're not comfortable carrying, then you should not. But I do not see those as valid objections to CCW. The health and well being of predators is of no concern to me. I don't go looking for trouble, avoid situations if I can, but if I'm cornered, then too bad so sad for them.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Felix Estrella said...

I can only hope that were I in the same situation, I would handle myself as well. Just curious: why did you call the cops afterwards?

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Wendy Weinbaum said...

As a Jewess in the US, I want to remind all that America wasn't won with a registered gun, and that criminals are stopped by FIREARMS, not by talk. That's why all REAL Americans put our 2nd Amendment FIRST!

12:35 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Thank goodness you were carrying, and in the yellow zone!

12:51 PM  
Anonymous PoppaGary said...

Xavier - good story, came here by way of The Other Side. I rarely carry, for various reasons, two of the most common have to do with the relative low crime area I live and worrying about being too paranoid. (That couldn't happen here!) As you showed, it can and does happen any and everywhere. Now it is time to address my lack of a good carry weapon.
Gary

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in Colorado Springs, bandits have been waiting for a woman especially with a child to leave the grocery/walmart/target type stores then follow them to the vehicle. when the open their trunk they usuaally leave gthe purse in the basket. that is when they strike, expecting no resistance.
tell your wives and sweethearts to be aware of this when they leave a store with a basket of items.
JC

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sutton-a valid point. It would probably end up being a matter for the jury to decide, but pointing a gun at someone and telling them to back off or you will shoot is a pretty clear line in the sand. I'm not saying so much that they should stop at that point, but that if they don't it's because either they are not in control of their mental faculties or else their intentions outweigh their perceived risks.

In both cases you have credible reason to fear for your well-being.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous crotalus said...

Xavier, I'll say one thing. It does not matter what their motivation was. They considered you prey. You did not do anything that would have indicated weakness. They misread you, and the onus for that is on them--not you. Those jackals thought they had surrounded a gazelle, and discovered to their chagrin that they had surrounded a lion. Do not sweat it anymore. You were ready. Tat's all you need to know.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavier;

I'm a former Federal cop, having spent 7 1/2 years in uniform on Federal property.
I never had to draw leather, so I consider myself lucky (although I got awfully close once). But I will tell you one thing every officer on our force agreed about, and we stole the saying from Joe Wambaugh (author of The New Centurions, The Blue Knight, etc.):
"It's better to be tried by twelve than carried by six."
That's even more so when the one being carried is your little girl.
Screw the judge; screw the jury; to HELL with the screaming liberals. Your daughter needs to be safe, and she needs a LIVE Daddy. If that goblin came inside your 20 foot circle, he needed t odrop dead of lead poisoning - or from a sudden-terror heart attack, induced from seeing just how BIG a .45" hole looks when viewing it from 1/2" away from your eyeball. And his friend needed to see just what his buddy looked like when HIS eyeballs were about to fall out of his face from terror.
And you had the perfect reason to apply the lesson. She was hiding behind you.
Ya done good, guy - and the shakes are a natural aftereffect of that kind of combat action. Take it from a guy who ran up and down the Trail in 1972, and still doesn't KNOW if he killed anything besides water buffaloes and monkeys.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good reminder, thanks.

With small children, it is often all too easy to get "tunnel vision" and focus exclusively on the safety of your children - traffic, strangers, and what have you - without tending much attention to the safety of their protector (ie, you, the parent).

6:15 PM  
Anonymous frank said...

Thanks for another fine example. Your daughter is going to grow up bright and beautiful, (and informed), with a father like you.

As for the "what if's": I believe Wal-Mart has pretty good video recordings, especially in the electronics section. With a video, showing those two hanging out waiting in the electronics sections for someone to come and buy the game. Then switching to various cameras throughout the store as they followed you to the front of the store and into the parking lot. Finally the parking lot cameras as they circled in on you.

If you could live with yourself, legally you would likely have been fine. Either way, your daughter would be, which is the important thing.

6:31 PM  
Blogger El Duderino said...

I always arm myself before going to Walmart, your story is yet another good reason why.
A friend of mine had a similar experience at a car wash, like you because he was armed everybody, including the goblin, got to go home that night.

7:39 PM  
Blogger dave said...

i think my favorite part of this story (other than the 1911 part. one of those is my nightstand gun in the bedroom!) is the "on my way to church part". i carry all the time too. even church, and my lovely wife and a few friends have given me huge amounts of grief about that. hey, bad things happen on the way to church (see above) and sometimes even at church (see the attempted mass murder at the mega-church in colorado a few months ago). kudos my friend. stay sharp, stay armed, stay safe.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Felix, often the first person to make contact with the police is listed as the complainant. This is often interpreted as "victim." It is true that I may have been able to simply drive away and do nothing further.

However.....Let's suppose the two men returned to the store, complained that a man matching my description had pulled a gun on them for no reason, or even that I tried to rob them, and had Wal-Mart security call the police. It would have been their word against my own. Or suppose I had been observed by a passerby, and the same was reported.....I would be gone, having left the scene, but suppose a review of the parking lot video, if there was one, had revealed who I was through my license plate, and I had the police come knocking on my door. I would be in a defensive mode trying to explain why I pulled a gun on someone and then left the area.

It's far better to be the complainant in this situation, to take an offensive posture and be the first to say "He tried to attack me." It's a matter of taking control of the situation.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Last Chance Safari Company said...

Xavier regarding your comment that you are still unsure of what their initial intent was, reminds me of a story by a journalist who was accosted by a group of youths that pulled a knife on him and demanded money, when he informed them that he had only small change, but did have a weapon and demanded that they leave him alone, the youths then persevered because no one would risk the court process for a few dollars, one of the youths got shot, his friends scattered like jackals, and he implored the journalist "how could you shoot me for a few dollars" the journalists rreply was "you are the one that made that choice". in your situation, you didn't choose to shoot or not to shoot, you chose to protect yourself and the things you felt responsible for. The predators chose to leave when the stakes were raised, no one was hurt, who was responsible for the positive outcome? both parties I say, and who learned from this experience? quite possibly, all of us!

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavier, perhaps the following "tool" would prove useful the next time you go into a bad neighborhood for your job:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D99NHb6B03s

";-)

9:18 PM  
Blogger New said...

Well done.

And don't sweat the legal implications of this incident, including your justification for drawing a gun. You were defending your little girl against every parents' worst fear: presumed abduction. There's not a parent on a jury anywhere in the US who wouldn't understand your desire to use every means at your disposal to prevent such a crime. If you were forced to shoot, you'd simply "shut up and lawyer up," which would ensure that only the story/justification that YOU wanted told would get into the public record.

You did well, and reacted exactly as you should have. I also applaud your use of a field-expedient blockade to restrict their avenue of approach.

11:49 AM  
Blogger David V.S. said...

Thank you for sharing, Xavier. And good job.

In Oregon there is a low standard for what counts as deadly force.

There is court precedent that an unarmed adult male threatening a significantly smaller woman counts as deadly force.

Two adults intent on threatening a child seems, in this state, an appropriate reason to draw into a low ready position.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Lorimor said...

This calls for some Cooper:


“One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence.’ I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure—and in some cases I have—that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.”
– Cooper vs. Terrorism

4:52 PM  
Blogger scalpel said...

What a great example of situational awareness and tactical defense. I'm glad everything turned out OK.

That's why we carry, but honestly I hope I never have to pull my weapon. If I'm ever in a similar situation, I hope I can act as coolly as you did.

Well done, and well-written!

3:38 AM  
Blogger wiggy762 said...

Great job!!!

What brand/style 1911?

FWIW, I will be shamelessly stealing the use of shopping carts, boxes and other easily moved scene elements to eliminate additional avenues of advance for multiple assialants.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

"What brand/style 1911?"

A custom Sistema.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good job in not pulling the trigger.
Well told story.

Don B.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's some Wal-Mart parking lot video.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/crime/2008/03/07/dnt.ok.attack.at.walmart.kwtv

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

My husband and I just had the gun argument not long ago. We were approached at a restaurant (next to a walmart concidentally) by a man asking for money with some fake story. (he had asked us for money a month before at a different location, different sob story) My husband shoved my two year old little girl into the car, alerting me (already in the passenger seat) that something was wrong and I immediately locked the doors. Luckily, the man walked away without incident (and without money). My husband applied for a gun permit immediately after that. (without my knowledge) Around the time the wait was up, he told me he was getting a gun. A world class fight ensued and he got mace instead. My reasons for not wanting a gun is past experiences with them as well as having an extremely intelligent child who could (IMHO) easily find a way even into a locked case if given the opportunity. I have also suffered from depression most of my life, attempted suicide on three seperate occasions and why I am not suicidal now, it doesn't mean that someday I wouldn't be and having a gun around is not a good idea in that state of mind. I DO applaud your use of the gun in that situation and have no problem with others carrying but I think in the state of Indiana we need stronger laws and certification to be a conceal and carry. (you fill out an application just like you would to own a gun, they do a background check, no priors and you get a conceal and carry license) I now carry pepper spray mace with me where ever I go and if I were ever approached, I WOULD use it. Don't approach a woman when she is out alone with her child, because if it's me, I'll mace your ass before you can say please. Better safe than sorry any day. It's too bad that we can't go to the damned store anymore without worrying about our lives being in danger.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Bravo Xavier!
Being a single female, I am always cautious when going to Wal Mart or other shopping areas. I witnessed a slug and grab many years ago in Baytown Texas. The thugs waited for a woman to walk out with a child in their basket. They ran up, clocked the woman, knocking her out cold, took her purse and the baby was left in the cart. It happened so quickly, that I could not believe what I had just seen.
I carried when I lived in Houston, working in home health on the advice of the HPD officers I was acquainted with. CCW was not in effect at that time.
I never leave a store without my keys in my hand. I have mace on my keychain and if nothing else, keys between the knuckles are a handy weapon if they get too close.
I am seriously considering the CCW!

11:59 AM  
Anonymous jim said...

Thank you for sharing your story.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great video of attempted abduction at Wal Mart in OK:
http://www.wsoctv.com/video/15526416/index.html?taf=char
Awareness, time, control.
Chet

1:39 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I'm glad you had your gun and were aware.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

I praise God you and your little girl were not harmed. If my pants are on I am also wearing a weapon. Our second amendment right is precious and must be preserved. Please consider posting my blog under your other blog links. Thanks, Robin Price

http://freedomnow.blogtownhall.com/

12:12 AM  
Blogger Steppe Child said...

Xavier:

I accidently came across your blog. You handled yourself well, I am glad your daughter is ok and thank God for concealed carry.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how you were the MF'er for foiling this little a-holes plans. How dare you resist!

Good job, Xavier.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Joseph Sixpack said...

I just came across this entry from Power and Control. Great story. I don't think it would have crossed my mind to call the police and file the report after this, but you made a good point about why you did it. I'll remember that.

I live in Washington DC and am eagerly awaiting the ruling from the Supreme Court about our outlandish gun laws. Here, I am not even allowed to possess a handgun. I own a Glock model 23 and it sits in a locked case in my parent's basement over 500 miles away. Insane. Rifles and shotguns are legal, but only if kept disassembled or locked up, which kind of rules out home defense.

But, I don't worry. I know that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away!

6:25 PM  
Blogger Sharlotte said...

Your blog seems to be very interesting. Personally I like Walmart. I may find everything I need there. Much about Walmart one can find on www.pissedconsumer.com. Especially consumer reports on the quality of goods and services. The store is wonderful but the customer service is awful. And the problem can not be fixed in any way. No one listens to the voice of the consumers.

3:10 AM  
Blogger Denni Bonn said...

Hello. I find your blog very interesting. Since you have mentioned Walmart here I would like to tell that I do not find it that great as the others may. The thing is that the customer service is far from being perfect. I was going to return the purchase in two days after I bought it and the manager told me I could not do that. What is worse he did not give me the serious grounds for that. I was disappointed and went to this great site www.pissedconsumer.com to post a complaint.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous TBILL said...

You did great. The words of your little girl explain it all. Jaime, if you are not getting help for your depression do so immediately, but do not let your disability put your family's lives in danger. Pepper spray is entirely too easy to defeat especially by a druggie. Allow your husband to purchase the proper safety equipment and all of you (child included) take a safety course and let him protect your family. The proper storage equipment and it's use will prevent any accidents. Please don't bet your or your child's life on pepper spray.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a father of 2 daughters, 2 and 4 years old, I can really appreciate your situation. You did extremely well and great thinking with the shopping cart barricade!

You ask "why me... I'm 6'1" " The answer? They thought you would roll over easily because you had your daughter with you. Boy were they wrong!

I live in Indiana and sometimes open carry. You'd be surprised how how a path the thugs steer from you, with out without your daughters.
Joe

10:42 PM  
Blogger Nightfisher said...

Awesome job. Don't ever question your actions for even a nanosecond. You were aware of your suroundings, noticed the threat and took appropriate action without having to harm anyone. I can only hope that if I ever am in a similar situation I will be able to recognize the situation and take action as you did.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...

You are lucky that you are able to defend yourself. Political correctness and the fear of being an "American" prohibits me from having any type of weapon to defend myself. Were I to actually use a weapon in my own defense,I would be looking at more jail time than those who would harm me. Freedom is a false word up here in Canada.Those who stand and defend kith and kin are often charged with a criminal offense. However, I would rather face 12 than be carried by six. Although I can't legally carry, if someone crossed the threshold of my home with intent of doing harm, they would very quickly find themselves staring at the business end of a
.45 .

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Diamond said...

You saved your life and a life of hell and death for your child. You did right and your actions and stories have opened my eyes to the importance of being able to protect those we love. Thank you.

2:41 PM  
Blogger RedeemedBoyd said...

Hi Xavier,
I know I'm very VERY late to the party on this. I was just linked to this story in a comment on my blog, because I just had a similar situation on Sunday.
the mindset and mentality of the criminal element in our society is boggling. I can't fathom why they would risk their lives for some physical property.
Fortunately, I was prepared to protect my daughter by any means, and just as fortunately, they were not willing to achieve their goals by any means.
I am very grateful that you were able to protect your daughter, and demonstrate to her the importance of being aware of your surroundings, and taking action to protect yourself, and that the police only arrive AFTER something happens.

6:09 AM  

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