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Thread: open carry (of a long gun) saved me during Hurricane Ike; too bad handgun OC was illegal

  1. #1
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    Hello all --
    Sorry to post these stories much later than they occurred, but things have been crazy around here (Houston), what with Hurricane Ike knocking out power and telephones (to say the least).


    Part 1:

    On Friday night (the night of the hurricane) I stopped by a neighboring apartment complex a couple of blocks away to check on two of my new friends. It was about 10PM and the winds had already picked up quite a bit and it was spitting rain in bursts. Pretty much all businesses had been closed and shuttered since noon the day before in preparation for the storm, so there was no one out (besides me). I don't consider my neighborhood (Montrose) to be too sketchy, but I always have at least my knife on me. I've lived in my current home for almost a decade without having any serious problems.

    I meet up with my friends, and they decide they're going to step out from the hallway to the stoop of the apartment building to smoke a cigarette and I join them to keep chatting while the storm rolls in.
    While we're standing there under the front lights, a somewhat clean-cut guy in his early 40's, white, 5'10"-ish, with short salt-n-pepper hair, no
    beard or moustache, thin but with a pot-belly, and wearing a dark blue shirt walks up to us, and the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Something isn't right. He asks if he can use the phone to call for a ride, and my friend (bless her poor, trusting, heart) gets out her cell-phone before I can tell him to bug off. He gives her a (disconnected) number to call, and then launches into a long rambling story about nothing and everything, and it shortly becomes very clear to the three of us that this guy is off his rocker and certainly ate way too much acid back in the day, however the stories are funny enough to keep my two friends from telling him to leave their property. Then he tells us how he got out of prison recently and doesn't have anywhere to go to sit out the hurricane and asks for money several times (mind you, if this wasn't sketchy enough on its own, remember that it's the night of the hurricane and there isn't an establishment within miles that's open for business). I have my knife in-hand and locked open but have it concealed by my side, and I'm anxiously wishing both that I had a gun, and that this dude was *not* two feet away from the three of us.

    I'm not really paying attention to conversation but this crackhead eventually comes around to say that "this hurricane is what we [Houstonians?] get for helping out all them ******* in N'Orleans." Aside from the disgusting racism, one of my two friends standing there in front of him is black. Things escalate quickly.

    White Crackhead Dude reaches into his pocket, and I immediately yell "freeze or you're dead" as I hold my knife on his belly with my right hand, and hand grab his wrist with my left. I see metal in his hand that was coming out of his pocket, but I'm not yet sure if it's a knife, mace, or a gun. More yelling I don't remember. I tell friend #1 to call 911. I tell Crackhead to let go of his weapon and slowly pull his hand out of his pocket. There's an instant of time in which I'm not sure who's going to get stabbed, and then I can feel his wrist loosen slightly. I tell friend #2 to remove Crackhead's weapon (a knife). Lots of blah blah blah. I'm freaking out. I tell him to turn around very, very slowly and walk away. (The call to 911 never connects). My friends and I retreat into the hallway, lock the front door, and hyperventilate. For a split second either one or all of us was about to get shanked, or I was going to spill this guy's guts, but luckily he froze just long enough to reconsider, and the cops (whenever they might actually show up) didn't have to mop up anyone. I'm feeling faint and nauseous.

    Part 2: Saturday night (after the hurricane -- now without *any* electricity for miles and little-to-no functional cell phone service, much less a *reachable* 911).

    I'm extremely on-edge. Destruction is rampant, and no one can get news without power. I've managed to check up on a few friends and have spent the daylight trying to clear downed trees. It's now night, and it's extremely dark for miles around due to a complete lack of any working lights. I've been armed continuously ever since I returned to my apartment, and have decided to spend the night barricaded at home until daylight breaks. I'm reading a book by candlelight for a couple of hours, and have managed to develop a skull-splitting headache but I manage to ignore it until I'm feeling sick and happen to look up and realize that my apartment is full of smoke. I *never* ever get headaches, and so I realize that I was slowly giving myself carbon monoxide poisoning. I have to get out before I'm too weak to get up.

    I open my (second story) window, sling my rifle over my shoulder, and walk out to sit on the front steps to get some fresh air in my lungs. In about fifteen minutes or so, I begin to feel a little less sick. It's dead silent out, which is almost just as creepy (in my normally busy-at-all-hours neighborhood) as the absolute darkness. Suddenly I hear the smash of a glass bottle a hundred feet away, and my mind goes on overdrive. Someone else is out there. I stand up, check my surroundings, and grip the stock of my rifle with my right hand but I don't raise it. Ever since the previous night, all my weapons have been loaded, chambered, with any safeties off. As I'm standing up, I see a short dark figure walking --almost running-- very quickly and quietly, towards me at my ten o'clock with what appears to be a bat from thirty feet away.

    He yells "I'm'a gonna git you, looter!" and I yell back, "Stay back motherf*cker, I live here!" He's still coming up quick and I realize that this guy (thin, 5'6"-ish, white?) has both of his hands on a **SWORD**, not a bat, and he's got it raised and ready to swing. He yells again "You lootin'!" and at this point I turn to the side a little bit and as soon as he sees the rifle and me starting to raise it off its sling he stops short (only eight feet away) and sputters out "woah, you're okay, you're okay." (I'm thinking, "damned right I'm okay!" but I don't say it). I then catch a breeze and notice that this guy is either hammered-drunk or he just likes to bathe in licquor. We're standing there five feet away from each other (he's pointed the sword downward, I've got the rifle in both hands, finger on the trigger, but pointed at the ground) and he starts to ramble and prove to me that he's intoxicated by telling me how he's "patrolling Montrose, keeping the neighborhood safe ..." but I never take my eyes off the point of that sword, just waiting for it to twitch upward. He tells me "[his] name is Jimmy and he's from the Dept. of Homeland Security" (I swear, I couldn't make this up if I tried)! and I'm trying to really keep my cool since I know this guy is obviously not thinking clearly, so I somehow manage to not laugh (mostly because I'm *living* in condition red, and there's no room for humor). He keeps wanting to shake my hand since "we're buddies" now, but I tell him I'd rather not since he's got a sword in his hands. I can tell he's starting to get agitated again so holding the rifle in my right hand I stretch out (not taking a step closer) and bump fists with my left hand for an instant before retreating again. I manage to convince him that "Jimmy, how about this -- you watch that side of the street, and I'll make sure this side of the street is okay, cool?" That's agreed on, and as soon as he's back outside of striking range I retreat around the corner of my apartment building and into my unit, bolting and barricading the door.

    Candles and reading be damned, I'm staying inside, even if it's in absolute darkness. By the way, once again my calls to 911 to inform them that there's a crazy short white drunk vigilante running around Montrose with a sword in his hand do not go through.

    And that makes for sleepless night number two.

    ---------------------

    All said and done, I'm really really disgusted at humanity right now, and this has really messed with my head -- to think that twice I was an instant away from killing/injuring or being killed/injured. I didn't even pull the trigger and I'm jumpy and nervous and emotionally distraught every evening since then (almost two weeks later).

    In the days that followed, I managed to talk to a few police officers that I saw during the day, and told them about both encounters, but none seemed the least bit surprised nor particularly interested in the details, except to remind me that mayor had decided to institute a curfew (as if that solved anything).

    I spoke with my father, (a lawyer) about the experiences, and he confirmed that I would have been fully justified in using lethal force, but that the legal fallout would have likely been really awful as well (not to discount the greater psychological impact of *actually* having injured or killed a creep).

    I guess one of the things that's really got me upset about this whole thing is this: I know that the frequency of attacks are fairly uncommon at the individual level, and I know that disaster makes unstable people bad, and give bad people more opportunity but I don't really care about that. Whether the statistics are that 1% or 0.001% of people will get attacked in any given situation or environment doesn't matter. I was that ".001%". Twice in two nights. Both times the bad guy was within striking distance in an instant, both were fairly normal looking guys on any other day, and both times my reaction time, a weapon, and a split-second decision on the part of the bad-guy were all that kept one of us from getting opened up.

    I don't think I'll ever feel comfortable or relaxed unarmed again.
    Hell, I was recently in hippy-dippy peace-lovin' Berkeley, CA visiting my girlfriend and the morning after I arrived her roommate burst through the front door to tell us that on the way back from the grocery store around the corner he'd come across a crime scene a block away from my girlfriend's apartment where some guy had *just* gotten shot (in Berkeley of all places).

    There are a few consistently decent through-and-through humans out there, but the world is a scary ugly place. Firearms are no longer a hobby for me.

  2. #2
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    Im glad you made it thru all of that , it just proves it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it .

    I dont care where i go i carry my weapon with me where ever i go.

  3. #3
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    DUDE!!!!!!!!!! Thats crazy. I almost never leave home without my 40 even if im just sitting in the back yard at night relaxing most times im packin, i've often said you just never know when some sicko is gonna come up in your yard just passin through you know.

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    You did well! I tell statistics are no comfort when you are the outlier. Nice job pre-empting andfouling crackhead #1' draw.



    Seek out SouthNarc for managing unknown contacts, next weekend in Houston. Contact me for more info.



  5. #5
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    Thanks guys for the words of support.

    fm2, I'm not sure that I follow your last comment. Who is "SouthNarc" and how does he "manage unknown contacts" ?

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    That's crazy. I'm glad you made it OK.

    One thing to mention, and I doubt anybody would think about this in that sort of situation, but even with the rifle pointed at the ground, a finger on the trigger is scary. Especially with the stress level you must have felt at that point.

    Good job though! If I'm ever in a similar situation, I hope I do as well!

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Wow, as if you needed any more stress and intensity than the hurricane was already giving. Glad you were on your toes, armed, and level headed to stop the threat. If you had not been as aware or prepared you would likely have had to use lethal force in both instances. It was your preparedness, physical and mental, that saved both you and those 2 perps, from an entirely different outcome. Good job!
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  8. #8
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    BTW, great restraint with the guy with the sword. I'm not sure if I could let somebody wielding a sword get that close to me....



    Good work.

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    tico wrote:
    " fm2, I'm not sure that I follow your last comment. Who is "SouthNarc" and how does he "manage unknown contacts" ?"


    Here's the Who:

    INTRUCTOR BIO: “SouthNarc”

    “SouthNarc” is the on-line pseudonym for the assistant commander of a multi-agency drug unit, in the southern United States. SouthNarc is also the commander of his agency’s SWAT team.

    SouthNarc has been a full-time police officer since 1990 and has held line assignments in corrections, patrol, narcotics, investigations, and for the past seven years has been a narcotics group supervisor. He was also the primary defensive tactics instructor at the Southern Regional Public Safety Institute from 1992-1999 and has personally trained over two thousand police officers. SouthNarc has extensive operational experience in an undercover capacity which is reflected heavily in the Extreme Close Quarter Concepts coursework

    SouthNarc has a twenty five year background in Phillipine, Indonesian, and Japanese martial arts and is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He has been conducting training in the private sector in the U.S. and abroad for the past 4 years.

    Here's the site:
    http://www.shivworks.com/

    He has some of the very best real world solutions for managing unknown folks walking up to you. They may belegitimate folks looking for directions etc..., opportunistic criminals (like your first contact), delusional or cracked-out (likethe second guy that you had contact with) or determined criminals.



    Here's the how:

    Managing unknown contacts (MUC) is how to interact with strangers "unknowns" closing distance on you and controlling the distance, to halt incroachment. That includes verbal engagement, body language, and movement to take range & improve position. It is an often overlooked or ill covered part of self defense strategy.



    The Practical Unarmed Combat Core Concepts (PUC) class
    outline found here:
    http://www.shivworks.com/pdf/P%20U%2...20Overview.pdf

    covers MUC as well as some basic empty hands skills. The MUC portion I have used to halt strangers, more than once, and they gave up "running their game" and left me alone. One time was near tico, over on Montrose & Fairview.


    The classes are next Fri.(6-10) for PUC,Sat. & Sun. -ECQC. at theImpactzone range just West of Houston. This is the onlytimein 2008 this class will be taughtin Texas.

    Come on out, I'll buy you a rootbeer.









  10. #10
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Hell of a story.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Reads like a novel. You should consider writing professionally.

    Do not like the way (seems like a commercial) that fm2 gave info on The Shive Works (tacky name). A simple link would have done the job.

    Yata hey


    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  12. #12
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    Grapeshot wrote:
    Do not like the way (seems like a commercial) that fm2 gave info on The Shive Works (tacky name). A simple link would have done the job.

    Yata hey

    I noticed tico said "firearms are no longer a hobby", that made me think he was new on the path.There's no instructor bio on the site, soIoffered a little more explanation, since I was asked who and how.

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    nking wrote:
    DUDE!!!!!!!!!! Thats crazy. I almost never leave home without my 40 even if im just sitting in the back yard at night relaxing most times im packin, i've often said you just never know when some sicko is gonna come up in your yard just passin through you know.
    TRUE THAT!! I say it's unlikely, butthat .0001% chance in that it does happen you need to be ready for it.



    "MOVE AND YOUR DEAD"it's classic It's good you were ready for anything. You can be on my team anytime man....

    All I can say is you are a survivor, and that mentality can keep you from becoming a victim. Thanks for the story, it was a good read, but too bad you had suchtrying times

  14. #14
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    How does it work in VA about the carrying of long guns openly? If a disaster like this happens in my area I would like to know ifI have any options other than my pistol.

  15. #15
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    SQLtables wrote:
    BTW, great restraint with the guy with the sword. I'm not sure if I could let somebody wielding a sword get that close to me....



    Good work.
    Thanks!
    Just to make one thing clear-- I certainly didn't *intend* to let him get that close to me! In the time that it took me to
    A) recognize that he had a sword
    B) realize that he wasn't stopping and was moving in *very* quickly
    C) turn to the side, put both hands on my weapon and even *begin* to raise it
    he had not only *already* gotten that close, but had also seen that I was armed and had stopped advancing. I have to admit that even as nervous and high-strung as I had been that weekend, the pace of my reaction had nothing to do with me keeping my cool -- it just happened that fast.

    Now I *will* take credit for keeping my cool and not blowing him away when I did finally have both hands on the rifle and was starting to raise it and he had stopped (albeit five feet away), but in this situation I *couldn't* have chosen to shoot him from ten or twenty feet away because the threat developed so quickly I wouldn't have been able to assess it and react any faster than I did (especially including visibility conditions and the fact that he was already at a running speed before I could *begin* to see him, much less see that he was armed).

    Certainly I can work on my reaction time, but I'm fairly sure that in this situation if I'd had to remove a concealed handgun *OR* had to unsnap an open-carried gun out of its' retention holster that he would have been even closer before this situation would have diffused itself, which is a scary thought.

  16. #16
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    fm2 wrote:
    Grapeshot wrote:
    Do not like the way (seems like a commercial) that fm2 gave info on The Shive Works (tacky name). A simple link would have done the job.

    Yata hey

    I noticed tico said "firearms are no longer a hobby", that made me think he was new on the path.There's no instructor bio on the site, soIoffered a little more explanation, since I was asked who and how.
    fm2, I *am* relatively new on the path (of using firearms for self-defense instead of just target shooting for fun, or collecting firearms that follow my interests in soviet history for example).

    Many many years ago, in another life even, I was homeless for a short bit, and I got in street fights a few times as a result of my own youthful stupidity and the choices I made (and have the boxer's fractures on my hands and scars to prove it), so I would like to think of myself as having at the very least better-than-average "street smarts" as I actually survived living on the streets.

    As far as self-defense training goes, I'm definitely interested in at least trying out that "MUC" class that you've mentioned, as that's one area that I think I'm sorely in need of more practical (non-theoretical) help.

    I'm also looking to begin training in Akido (which apparently is what the Houston PD trains in) as well as possibly Krav-maga or some other very unforgiving hand-to-hand or hand-to-weapon combat class.
    I did Karate and Tai Chi as a kid, and then Capoeira in my late teens and early twenties, but I'd like to try something a little better suited for dealing with crackheads with shanks or tire irons.

    I'm frequently in Berkeley or San Francisco or New York City, or working near gov't buildings or schools or working in datacenters (I'm a network engineer and security analyst by trade) so carrying a concealed firearm all the time isn't an option for me 100% of the time, though I intend to whenever legally possible.

    ---------
    Grapeshot, thanks for the compliments regarding my writing! I've thought about writing professionally before, but alas it's just too difficult to feed yourself that way.

    deepdiver, Alwayspacking, SQLtables, nking and everyone else-- thanks again guys! There's no way to ever know what day it will be your turn to be that 0.001% or whatever it is.

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    tico wrote:
    Many many years ago, in another life even, I was homeless for a short bit, and I got in street fights a few times as a result of my own youthful stupidity and the choices I made (and have the boxer's fractures on my hands and scars to prove it), so I would like to think of myself as having at the very least better-than-average "street smarts" as I actually survived living on the streets.

    Those "street smarts" helped you deal well with your contacts.

    Interested in the class, just shoot me an e-mail @ glockfanATcomcastDOTnet (replacing AT with @ and DOT with .)



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    I know this is an old bump, but, this just goes to show you how only the armed people will survive when there is a disaster.

    Also, I agree, your post read very well. I usually don't read very long posts but yours was very easy.

  19. #19
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    thanks Kildars, I appreciate it.

    As for self-defense in a disaster zone, I (now) agree completely -- there weren't enough police/emergency personnel to respond at all even long *after* the attacks, much less patrol around and round up the scumbags.

    In other news, I've started taking Krav Maga classes. In case any of you haven't experienced Krav Maga, it's wildly different from any martial arts I've ever taken or seen before. While I plan to carry as much of the time as I can (excluding California, court buildings, etc) I think that this works extremely well in conjuntion. I strongly recommend it to anyone with any interest in self-defense, especially since it pays lots of attention to those situations where the scumbag has already gotten the jump on you before you have a chance to draw and fire. Check out videos of it on youtube.

    Anyhow, cheers!

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    tico wrote:
    Thanks guys for the words of support.

    fm2, I'm not sure that I follow your last comment. Who is "SouthNarc" and how does he "manage unknown contacts" ?
    Freakin' classic, BTW.

    Me: "I'll be back in a little bit, Hon, I gotta go manage some unknown contacts!"

    Hon: "Allright Sweetie, but hurry back, dinner will be ready soon..."



  22. #22
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    Man, Tico, nice story! :shock:
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    Wow, thats interesting. You did a really good job. It is a great read too, kind of like a novel! What was the rifle that you used?

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    Heheh - yeah, that was certainly "interesting," though I'd prefer something a little more quiet and non-confrontational than a swordfight ...

    As to your question about my rifle, you guys will laugh, but at the time the only rifle I had in my apartment was a .22 caliber Savage pea-shooter with a 10+1 magazine that I use for plinking.

    I now carry a Glock 19 with Cor-bon 9mm safety-slugs.

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    So why was your apt full of smoke?

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