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Thread: situational awareness is key

  1. #1
    Regular Member Lokster's Avatar
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    situational awareness is key

    On my way home from a Liberty on the Rocks meeting in downtown Denver tonight I'm sure I was almost made a victim. I've never had something like this happen and honestly believe that if I wasn't being aware of my surroundings and paying attention to the warning signs that were going off in my head, something bad could have happened. I simply want to share this because hopefully it will get others to think.

    Alright, here's what happened: I was walking up 16th street just about an hour and a half ago, trying to make my way to a light rail stop so I could get home. I was approaching an intersection and noticed two guys across the street on the same side as me.

    At first they just looked like two homeless guys standing around, but once I got a little closer to crossing the street I saw one guy, who was the furthest away, turn to the other guy and say something to the other guy who was closest to me. I then saw him shake his head in agreement to what the other guy said to him. At that point I was just about to cross the street when I got this gut feeling that something didn't seem quite right, hard to describe.

    I crossed the street keeping a close eye on them as best I could. Once I was within a foot or two of the guy who was closest to me started mumbling, asking for spare change I think; the other guy was about 10ft to my right. I was walking quickly, replied no, and kept on walking. Once I got about seven or so paces past them I heard a noise that sounded just like a knife blade springing to release.

    I immediately recognized this sound because I used to have a knife that would sound exactly like this did when the blade was released. Anyway, I turned around immediately and noticed the guy walking toward me and not at all too far behind me. I can't remember if I turned around first then lifted up the back of my jacket with my left hand and put my right hand on firearm or if I did that before I turned around to see him walking toward me, but either way I remember my right hand being on my concealed firearm ready to draw.

    He either noticed my hand placement or wasn't expecting me to turn around because he stopped dead in his tracks. This all happened so fast, but I remember telling him that he needs to turn around and start walking. He started mumbling again I think he said "I'm not tryin' nothin', or something to that effect, but either way he did turn around and started to walk back to the corner. Once he turned the corner I got out of there and made my way to the light rail.

    I just want to remind everyone as I was reminded tonight of the importance of situational awareness.

  2. #2
    Regular Member entartet17's Avatar
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    Wow. I'm glad everything turned out ok for you. Being aware of your surroundings was key. At least you were carrying. Everyday after work I have to walk to my car through an alley at night in Capitol Hill. There are often shady characters hanging around. Of course, my employer doesn't allow CC so I just make sure I'm aware of my surroundings.
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  3. #3
    Regular Member Beau's Avatar
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    Close call. I'd bet money that you were about to get rolled. I try to avoid Denver as much as possible. I haven't worked in Denver since 1999. I used to work in the cash register building and got off in the middle of the night. I hated walking to my car. This was before I knew anything about carry laws and that it was even possible.

    Question, if you had not been carrying would you have performed the same actions to try and bluff them?
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  4. #4
    Regular Member Lokster's Avatar
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    Beau- I really don't know what I would've done if I wasn't carrying. I'd like to think I would have either bluffed or started to yell at him to back off. Since I started to carry I've realized the importance of being constantly aware of my surroundings. My whole perspective changed quite a bit and I now take self defense quite seriously (thanks in large part to this forum) and there's a good chance, had something like this happened a few months ago, I wouldn't have even been keeping aware to react fast enough to a possible threat; but who really knows.

    This incident has also affirmed my belief in the using OC as a primary carry method whenever possible. The whole deterrent concept made sense to me from the moment I heard it, but now after last night I realize that I may not always have enough time to react by drawing a concealed firearm when a mere fraction of a second can determine the outcome of a situation. If that guy was walking just a little bit faster I know I wouldn't have had the time to respond had he pulled a knife; and that's spooky.
    Last edited by Lokster; 02-01-2011 at 04:39 PM. Reason: grammar, possibly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokster View Post
    I'd like to think I would have either bluff or started to yell at him to back off, but to be honest since I've started carrying I've realized the importance of being constantly aware of my surroundings.
    Nicely done. Not letting them get the drop on you is 90% of the battle. Being ready to, ahem, "**** their **** up" if you had to is another 9.99%, IMO. A bluff OR a firearm is only good as what's backing it up. That .001% difference is going to be made on whether they think you're serious. I'd say if you hadn't even had your hand on your weapon, it was the "whether you take me down or not, one of you isn't going home" air you turned around with that did the trick. If you've got that, you don't need to bluff.

  6. #6
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokster View Post
    On my way home from a Liberty on the Rocks meeting in downtown Denver tonight I'm sure I was almost made a victim. I've never had something like this happen and honestly believe that if I wasn't being aware of my surroundings and paying attention to the warning signs that were going off in my head, something bad could have happened. I simply want to share this because hopefully it will get others to think.

    Alright, here's what happened: I was walking up 16th street just about an hour and a half ago, trying to make my way to a light rail stop so I could get home. I was approaching an intersection and noticed two guysacross the street on the same side as me.

    At first they just looked like two homeless guys standing around, but once I got a little closer to crossing the street I saw one guy, who was the furthest away, turn to the other guy and say something to the other guy who was closest to me. I then saw him shake his head in agreement to what the other guy said to him. At that point I was just about to cross the street when I got this gut feeling that something didn't seem quite right, hard to describe.

    I crossed the street keeping a close eye on them as best I could. Once I was within a foot or two of the guy who was closest to me started mumbling, asking for spare change I think; the other guy was about 10ft to my right. I was walking quickly, replied no, and kept on walking. Once I got about seven or so paces past them I heard a noise that sounded just like a knife blade springing to release.

    I immediately recognized this sound because I used to have a knife that would sound exactly like this did when the blade was released. Anyway, I turned around immediately and noticed the guy walking toward me and not at all too far behind me. I can't remember if I turned around first then lifted up the back of my jacket with my left hand and put my right hand on firearm or if I did that before I turned around to see him walking toward me, but either way I remember my right hand being on my concealed firearm ready to draw.

    He either noticed my hand placement or wasn't expecting me to turn around because he stopped dead in his tracks. This all happened so fast, but I remember telling him that he needs to turn around and start walking. He started mumbling again I think he said "I'm not tryin' nothin', or something to that effect, but either way he did turn around and started to walk back to the corner. Once he turned the corner I got out of there and made my way to the light rail.

    I just want to remind everyone as I was reminded tonight of the importance of situational awareness.
    Not wishing to embarrass you ,but why would you walk between two BGs that had just set off your alarms? Passed by one at 1-2 feet away and the other at 10 feet away!

    At that distance you could not react fast enough to stop a 75 year old with a heart condition and a knife - poor tactics, but interesting "story."
    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.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Lokster's Avatar
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    Don't worry about it, I'm not easily embarrassed. It was late when I was typing up that post yesterday and apparently I didn't clearly state how everything unfolded.

    Last night was freezing cold and I was in a hurry to get to the train and out of the cold, so I was walking very quickly. The alarm in my head went off pretty much right as I began to cross the street; I probably could have done an about face, but it happened so quickly and I was walking so fast that not crossing the street really didn't cross my mind. Not to mention the guy directly across the street had his hands in his coat pockets and didn't look like an immediate threat.

    Anyway, if walking between them was my only option then I may have turned to my left and walked off the sidewalk into the bus lane after checking to be sure a bus wasn't approaching from behind, but as I said this happened so fast so who knows. The point is I didn't walk between them, I walked a couple feet to my left (his right) of the one guy, pretty much the the furthest I could while staying on the sidewalk and out of the snow & the bus lane which was literally a step to my left; the other guy was to said first guys left by about 10 feet, give or take; his hands were also in his coat pockets.

    Even though I got that gut feeling I do remember thinking I could easily shove him away if he got too close, as some of those panhandlers do sometimes. I suppose if his hands were out of his pockets when I began to cross the street I might have turned to my left and walked away, but who knows.
    Last edited by Lokster; 02-01-2011 at 06:53 PM.

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    I think I'm gonna need a visual here. Maybe twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles
    and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one is.

  9. #9
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokster View Post
    I just want to remind everyone as I was reminded tonight of the importance of situational awareness.
    Outstanding reminder! My only encounter was similar, back in 1989, and firearm or no firearm, without that SA I'd have been rolled, if not killed.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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