Wednesday, March 25, 2020

When Some Kid Pulls a Gun

A young man pulled a pistol from his waistband and waved it at me today (Monday, March 23rd, 2020) in a threatening gesture.

Around 1:00 PM I went to Staples Office Supply store at 2321 Taylor Park Drive in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, which is a short drive from my home.  I found a stack of old income tax papers that I wanted to have shredded.  Unfortunately for me, Staples had closed down their shredding service due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Safety measures specify social distancing, a new phrase meaning 'stay at least six feet away from all people'.  I was irritated, as the cashier had told me that they'd shred my documents, which caused me to wait around for ten minutes or so for someone who never showed up.  Her manager contradicted her statement.  I shrugged and walked out.

Out in the parking lot on my way back to my car a teenage male approached to within 30 feet of me and asked for a light for his cigarette, displaying the unlit cigarette in his left hand.  He was a white male, about 16 years old, maybe six feet tall, thin build, with light brown curly hair worn long, below his collar.  He was wearing a bright red raincoat, jeans, and worn tennis shoes.  I categorized him as a possible homeless person working the parking lot and possibly looking for an opportunity to rob someone.  I told him I didn't have a light and I kept walking.  He continued to follow me.  I stopped, faced him, and told him to stay away, then turned and walked away from him.  He slowed his pace, but kept following.  I faced him and said, "I'm not kidding.  Stay away from me.  I'm armed."

He backed off, muttering nonsense to himself.  I couldn't make out the words.  He slowly walked back to Staples, still muttering.  I went to my car, opened the trunk and put my box inside.  When I looked back at him, he pulled a gun from his pocket and waved it at me, making sure I saw it.  It was a black automatic pocket pistol, probably a .380 of some kind.  Not rushing my movements, I got in my car and started it up.  He continued to wave the pistol around, and I pulled out of the lot and put about 100 yards distance between us.  I then stopped the car and dialed 9-1-1, where the 911 operator took my location and put me on hold.  I was on hold for so long I hung up and called back.  I got the same lady, asking her if anyone was coming.  She was slow to answer, and asked me if I wanted to speak to the police or just be an anonymous informant.  I assured her I was willing to talk to the police.

While I waited, the gunman concealed his pistol and paced up and down in front of Staples, finally going inside.  More time passed, and the gunman came out of Staples with an older lady.  They both got inside a dark colored SUV and left.  During this period I lost track of them due to traffic in the lot.  By the time the police showed up, they were gone.

I waited around and filled out a police report, and was dutifully thanked for being a good citizen.  I wasn't the only one to report this young thug; there were two other reports.

I have a license to carry in the State of Ohio.  My pistol is a FEG (Fegyver- és Gépgyártó Részvénytársaság ("Arms and Machine Manufacturing Company"), known as FÉG) PA-63 caliber 9x18 Makarov; it's a double action autoloader, holding 7 cartridges in the magazine.  I keep my pistol in the glove compartment of my car, in a military style flap holster which also holds one spare magazine.  It's loaded, but I don't keep a round in the chamber.  The little gun has a heavy trigger pull and kicks like hell, slamming into the web of your hand between the thumb and forefinger.

When I told the thug in training that I was armed, I wasn't telling the whole truth, as my pistol was in the glove compartment and the car was locked.  My theory on keeping my pistol put away rests on two factors:

One, a man I knew quite well and had a high regard for used to work as a bodyguard.  He carried a gun while on duty, and did not carry while off duty.  His reasoning is that if you carry a gun, sooner or later you're going to get yourself into a situation where you'll have to use it.  That's not a good thing to have happen.

Two, I always believed that anyone who needed a gun on my account would either have all the time in the world to get to it, or no time at all.

In this case I couldn't have seen this amateur gangster from inside the store.  I encountered him in the parking lot.  He was acting hinky when I first saw him.  He made me uncomfortable, and my instinct was correct.  He was a lot more dangerous than he appeared.

So the question becomes, had I been armed and packing my favorite pistol, what would I have done?  I'm not real sure.  If he took aim at me, I'd draw and open fire.  I'm late to the party, but I'm a good shot.  What if he didn't take aim?  What if he just waved it around?  I think I'd leave as quickly as I could.

The worst case in this scenario is that I get shot and either killed or turned into a quadriplegic with half a mind.  I'd be warehoused with no one to come and put a pillow over my face.  The second worst case is I shoot him and find out the gun is a toy and he used to be a mental defective, out for a little fresh air, but now he's fertilizer.  I'd probably be charged with murder and named in a civil suit.

I'm seriously thinking about buying a Ruger LCP in .380, which can be carried in a special holster in my back pocket without printing, and is easy to draw.  I'd pack heat everywhere.

Hindsight being 20/20, this whole thing turned out for the best where my well-being is concerned.  This little snot will pull his gun again, and use it in its primary office.  He'll kill or wound someone.  What he does is not my problem or my responsibility.

As for me, if someone threatens my life, I'll shoot and eliminate the threat.  I'll deal with the fallout after the fact.  Remember the litany:
I have done nothing wrong.
He tried to kill me.
I want my lawyer.
Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.


Ed Bonderenka said...

I read the American Rifleman, an NRA publication, and a regular full page feature is filled with accounts of citizens defending themselves, or others.
Articles often end with "The defendant was found to have operated within his legal right to self-defense.".

I carry daily. Front pocket.
A gun I am comfortable with that doesn't recoil so much as to make me hesitate or flinch.

I'm considering a Hellcat with twice the capacity but virtually the same size.

Glen Filthie said...

Hmmmm. Hard to critique any of that.

I think it might be time to start carrying Jack. And if you have to do that, I’d consider an upgrade. For the Euros of that era, sidearms were more a badge of office rather than serious fighting guns. If it were me, I’d get a Glock 19, carry it inside the waistband and start drilling with it. Depending on how bad this fake panic gets... a lot of failed liberal social experiments are going to start slipping their leashes.

CWMartin said...

I think my next report would be on the 911 operator. Understood things can get hectic, but if you don't want to do the job, leave.

Mad Jack said...

Thanks guys.

Ed: I'm thinking the Ruger LCP in .380. There's a newer version available with a better trigger pull, and it's easy to carry.

Glen: I think you're right. This was in front of an office supply store at 2:00 in the afternoon - not at the old Hub bar at 2:00 in the morning. Along with this, we've seen a spike in petty crime in our neighborhood. School's closed for the duration, the weather is unseasonably warm, and the hood rats are out and running around. The parents / adult family members don't give a tinker's damn for the most part, although I'll exempt a few of the responsible adults from that last statement. They try, but they can't control the kids.

CW: I agree 100%. Some of those 911 operators are worse than useless.

Stay well, gentlemen. I'm off to the liquor store before it closes.

Stuart said...

The "Left with an older lady" does not pass the smell test. I hope you don't read about her demise in the local paper.

Mad Jack said...

I was speculating about that myself. If she's his mother, it's likely she has no idea what the little precious is up to - at least I hope that's the case.

At some point he's going to decide to rob someone at gunpoint. I think he was sizing me up and decided I might be too tough for him, but he didn't like being scared away.

What got to me more than anything is that this took place at 2:00 in the afternoon in the parking lot of an office supply store. WTF!?