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Thread: It's been over a year since I nearly became a victim

  1. #1
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    It's been a little over a year since my encounter with a knife weilding homeless man. I can remember vividly what happened the night of April 15, 2006.

    My Mom asked me to go to Wal-Mart to pick up some things for her. Being the nice son I am, I gladly fulfilled her request. I drove to the nearest Wal Mart store which is about 6 miles away. I go inside like I normally would, grab a basket, and I gathered all the items that my Mom needed along with some things I needed and wanted. I paid for the items after spending almost an hour in there, and walked back out into the parking lot. It was around 9PM, and it was already dark out. I made my way to the other side of the parking lot where I had parked my car, and I looked in the distance at my car, and I saw the sillouette of a man standing next to my car. I dropped my shopping bags, and went up to the man. I asked him "What the &%@# you doing with my car?" He had his right hand in the air with a fist like he was getting ready to break out my window. He turned around, and looked at me with a face I will never forget. I knew right then, it was time to back off. Not even two seconds later, he pulls out a huge hunting knife, and charges at me. I sidestep, and watch him fall to the ground. I could tell he was slightly intoxicated. I then quickly search my person for something to defend myself with (I usually carry a small pocket knife with me). I then feel something in my pocket and I pull it out. I then realized it was my little Taurus 357 Magnum that I had taken to the range the day before. I forgot it was in my coat pocket. By the time I pulled it out, the guy had gotten back up, and he looked straight down the barrel of my 357. His eyes grew to the size of pancakes, and he stumbled away as fast as he could. As he was running away, I quickly ran back to grab my shopping bags, got in my car, threw the gun in the passenger seat, and got the hell out of there. I didn't even think once to call the police, I just wanted to go home. I was so shooken up by the whole thing, I could hardly keep my car going (5 speed manual transmission). I got home that night, and opened the cylinder on my gun, only to realize it was EMPTY. I had pulled an empty gun on the guy, but I'm glad the guy wised up and ran. I think he may have dropped his knife too, but I didn't stick around long enough to look.

    A few things I have learned from this,

    Don't use all ammo at the range
    Always make sure the gun is loaded before leaving the house
    Always make sure you know the gun is on you
    Have a cell phone to call the police (I didn't have a cell phone at the time)

    I spent nearly two weeks cowarding in my room, afraid to leave the house. Then I got online and looked up Alaska's concealed carry laws, only to find out there was no permit required to legally carry a handgun, but the permit program is still offered. I decided even though a permit isn't required, it would be in my best interest to seek training. Nearly a year after that, I finally got training, and my Alaska CHP.


  2. #2
    State Researcher .40 Cal's Avatar
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    Good job! I made the rule to always leave a full magazine or speed loader in my car so that I would not be empty after going to the range. The temptation to go through anything that you can put in your gun is too great to avoid, so leaving at least enough to defend yourself in the car is the wisest move... but I guess you learned that.

  3. #3
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    spyderdude, that's some story, thanks for sharing it with us. You made some great points and I think came away from it thankfully with your life but also with a gretaer respect for the "why" in "why we carry".

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    Oh man, I'm so glad you made home safely. When I first started to read it, I was thinking "wow, they have a Wal-Mart in ALASKA!!".

    When I go to the range I always have my target ammo and my defensive ammo. So when I leave I will still have my hollowpoints with me.

  5. #5
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    Well, you learned some valuable lessons from that incident. The most important thing you should remember from this incident is that your will to survive rose up strong when things got ugly. There are a lot of people out there that would not have been able to react in the same way, even with the same tool available. Having tools to defend yourself is useless if you falter when the time comes to use them, and now you know that you don't have that problem.

    Now, regarding the lessons you learned, I thought I'd make a suggestion about "Don't use all ammo at the range". With a .357 magnum, I would highly advise that you don't keep it loaded with range ammo, unless you use hollowpoints at the range. An FMJ bullet is nearly certain to fully penetrate if you had to shoot someone with that type of gun, which has two problems. First, very little energy is delivered to the intended target, limiting its impact on him. Second, Lord only knows where that bullet will end up after it exits his body.

    So take some time one day to get some high quality self-defense ammo (Winchester SXT, Speer Gold Dot, etc.) with high expansion hollowpoint bullets. They'll stop whoever is threatening you more effectively, and you'll be less likely to have some innocent bystander getting hit by a bullet that went completely through the assailant. Just make sure you shoot 5-10 rounds of it through your gun to make sure it works well with it, though I doubt that's as much an issue with your revolver as it can be at times with semi-auto pistols.

  6. #6
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    spyderdude wrote:
    It's been a little over a year since my encounter with a knife weilding homeless man. I can remember vividly what happened the night of April 15, 2006.

    My Mom asked me to go to Wal-Mart to pick up some things for her. Being the nice son I am, I gladly fulfilled her request. I drove to the nearest Wal Mart store which is about 6 miles away. I go inside like I normally would, grab a basket, and I gathered all the items that my Mom needed along with some things I needed and wanted. I paid for the items after spending almost an hour in there, and walked back out into the parking lot. It was around 9PM, and it was already dark out. I made my way to the other side of the parking lot where I had parked my car, and I looked in the distance at my car, and I saw the sillouette of a man standing next to my car. I dropped my shopping bags, and went up to the man. I asked him "What the &%@# you doing with my car?" He had his right hand in the air with a fist like he was getting ready to break out my window. He turned around, and looked at me with a face I will never forget. I knew right then, it was time to back off. Not even two seconds later, he pulls out a huge hunting knife, and charges at me. I sidestep, and watch him fall to the ground. I could tell he was slightly intoxicated. I then quickly search my person for something to defend myself with (I usually carry a small pocket knife with me). I then feel something in my pocket and I pull it out. I then realized it was my little Taurus 357 Magnum that I had taken to the range the day before. I forgot it was in my coat pocket. By the time I pulled it out, the guy had gotten back up, and he looked straight down the barrel of my 357. His eyes grew to the size of pancakes, and he stumbled away as fast as he could. As he was running away, I quickly ran back to grab my shopping bags, got in my car, threw the gun in the passenger seat, and got the hell out of there. I didn't even think once to call the police, I just wanted to go home. I was so shooken up by the whole thing, I could hardly keep my car going (5 speed manual transmission). I got home that night, and opened the cylinder on my gun, only to realize it was EMPTY. I had pulled an empty gun on the guy, but I'm glad the guy wised up and ran. I think he may have dropped his knife too, but I didn't stick around long enough to look.

    A few things I have learned from this,

    Don't use all ammo at the range
    Always make sure the gun is loaded before leaving the house
    Always make sure you know the gun is on you
    Have a cell phone to call the police (I didn't have a cell phone at the time)

    I spent nearly two weeks cowarding in my room, afraid to leave the house. Then I got online and looked up Alaska's concealed carry laws, only to find out there was no permit required to legally carry a handgun, but the permit program is still offered. I decided even though a permit isn't required, it would be in my best interest to seek training. Nearly a year after that, I finally got training, and my Alaska CHP.
    Incredible story.

    Man, that was something!

    I've gotta ask, though, why did you not report the assault to the police? There was a guy out there with a HUGE knife out there prowling the streets looking for victims. A guy who was willing to attack a person with his HUGE hunting knife, presumably willing to KILL someone.

    And you had a good description of what he looked like, what kind of clothes he was wearing, what kind of weapon he had and where he was at a particular time and place.

    The police could have used information like that to be on the alert for a potential killer. Perhaps to save someone grave injury or even death.

    And you go home and "coward" in your room for two weeks?

    Dman, brother, at least you could have made an anonymous call on the guy.

  7. #7
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    I did have some 125 gr. Speer Gold Dots, but I had made the mistake of using those up at the range as well. I have since then learned to always keep a box or two of defensive ammo available.

    Yes, I could and should have reported him to the cops, but like I said, I was so shooken up I didn't think of doing that, and I never got around to it either. I now carry a cell phone on me, so I'm better prepared for situations like this one.

  8. #8
    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    spyderdude wrote:
    I did have some 125 gr. Speer Gold Dots, but I had made the mistake of using those up at the range as well.* I have since then learned to always keep a box or two of defensive ammo available.*

    Yes, I could and should have reported him to the cops, but like I said, I was so shooken up I didn't think of doing that, and I never got around to it either.* I now carry a cell phone on me, so I'm better prepared for situations like this one.*
    The first time you "see the elephant" it is very normal to have a serious adrenaline reaction afterwards. Anyone who says otherwise has either never been there or is lying. You did just fine. If this ever happens to you again, you will be more focused, and your post incident reactions will be more reasoned. You will still have an adrenaline reaction but you will be better able to think through it.

    Don't accept criticism from people who have never been where you have been. And don't second guess a year later what you might have done. Self defense is about outcome, not style.

    While it was your choice to use the word "cowarding", it was a poor choice of a term that does not apply to you. You were treated to a small taste of post traumatic shock and it took you a little time to sort it out. Nothing to be embarrassed about, it happens to a lot of people. All it proves is that you are human.

    You acquitted yourself well, and the proof of that fact is that you survived.
    Well done.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

  9. #9
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    I think the word you were looking for is "cowering" - which may have nothing to do with cowardice.

    -ljp

  10. #10
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Legba wrote:
    I think the word you were looking for is "cowering" - which may have nothing to do with cowardice.
    That's what I thought, too, given the context of usage and the phonetic similarity.




  11. #11
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    Great story and I'm glad it had a good outcome.
    -Unrequited

  12. #12
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    I'm glad to hear you survived your encounter. I guess you learned the lesson that an empty gun is a mere paper weight.

    ProguninTN

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