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Thread: Avoiding confrontation while OC'ing. What would you do??

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    Regular Member Jay's Avatar
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    Avoiding confrontation while OC'ing. What would you do??

    So I was OC'ing when I stopped by the local gas station to pick up a couple items. When a 20 something year old man decided to cut me in line. I know at that time he did not see my sidearm cause he did not pass me on my strong side and I think it was blocked by the display case to my right. However when he got in front of me I said in a stearn voice "Excuse Me". He then turned around and he look at me first with a PO'ed look on his face. Then he glanced down at my sidearm his eyes went big, and his demeanour completely changed to the point that he said "Oh my bad" and then he got behind me and the other three people who were standing behind me. I am usually not someone that is confrontational at all, and actually when I am carrying I am usually more pleasent because I want to set a good example for all OC'ers. Did I have a lapse in judgment? Should I have said anything at all? Let me just emphasize that I in no way shape or form said or did anything to him to let him think I was threatening him, but at the same time I think it helped that I was carrying. Curious to see what some of you have done or if you have been in the same situation.
    Last edited by Jay; 07-01-2011 at 06:29 PM.
    "Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again"

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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    So I was OC'ing when I stopped by the local gas station to pick up a couple items. When a 20 something year old man decided to cut me in line. I know at that time he did not see my sidearm cause he did not pass me on my strong side and I think it was blocked by the display case to my right. However when he got in front of me I said in a stearn voice "Excuse Me". He then turned around and he look at me first with a PO'ed look on his face. Then he glanced down at my sidearm his eyes went big, and his demeanour completely changed to the point that he said "Oh my bad" and then he got behind me and the other three people who were standing behind me. I am usually not someone that is confrontational at all, and actually when I am caring I am usually more pleasent because I want to set a good example for all OC'ers. Did I have a lapse in judgment? Should I have said anything at all? Let me just emphasize that I in no way shape or form said or did anything to him to let him think I was threatening him, but at the same time I think it helped that I was carrying. Curious to see what some of you have done or if you have been in the same situation.
    I think it's what any reasonable person would have done whether they were carrying or not. What may have been different in this case was his perception of you, not your behavior.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    As someone who has been castigated for what was said when those doing the castigating were not there to see and hear the totality of te interaction, I have a few comments for you and for anyone who wants to add their opinion to the discussion.

    First, it is not so much what you say (unless you use "fighting words") as it is how you say it.

    Second, armed or not you, IMHO, have at least a moral/ethical duty to try to preserve some of that thin veneer of civilization that keeps us from just clubbing the living daylights out of the rude and crude folks who think they are entitled to the head of the line because <insert asanine reason here>, as opposed to asking if they may be allowed to go ahead of you. As noted above, it is more about how you fulfill that moral/ethical duty than actually doing so. Being just as boorish as they are does not help the cause of civilization or, if you are bearing arms at the moment, the cause of RKBA.

    Third, if it takes the overwhelming force of arms, or the perceived threat of the overwhelming force of arms, to get the young protagonist to consider the possible error of his ways, then civilization probably needs to chalk this one up in the loss column even if he did go to the back of the line and wait his turn. Had he, instead of staring at your hogleg, looked at you and the other people in line and hung his head in shame and uttered an apology for being crude, then I would say civilization could chalk it up as a win. All this is said with Marko Kloos' wonderful essay "The Gun as Civilization" (google Major Caudil, that plagarizing bast*rd, to read the essay) well in mind.

    Fourth, IMNSHO you did right and good and what was proper. See #1 - #3 above as to why. Even so, our young protagonist could, if he were smart enough to figure it out, could have entangled your life via a complaint of brandishing. To avoid or counter that is why many of us recommend the carrying and use of digital voice recorders at all times we are outside the house, and even going to the point of asking those behind you, and the clerk, for at least their names as witnesses. No need to get out the old notebook and pen when the DVR is running. It's also a good opportunity to engage others in conversation about RKBA and how this event demonstrates its effectiveness without ever needing to put your hand near your handgun. (I know that last sort of flies in the face of a lot I wrote above. So what? Deal with it!)

    stay safe.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Sounds like you made the right move and I think I would have done the same. What would you have done if he had decided to escalate the situation?
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    There's not a CONFRONTATIONAL bone in my body....so I can't help you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    ...... have at least a moral/ethical duty to try to preserve some of that thin veneer of civilization that keeps us from just clubbing the living daylights out of the rude and crude ...
    Skid - you do have a way with words! :-)

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    Regular Member Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    Sounds like you made the right move and I think I would have done the same. What would you have done if he had decided to escalate the situation?

    If he would have shot (no pun intended) of his mouth. I would have just let him be I am not going to get in a peeing match with someone over cutting in line. I do not think it would have escalated to much because there were to many witness's. However it all depends I guess on how much he escalated it past that. I think I have a pretty good head on my shoulder's.
    "Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again"

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    Regular Member Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    First, it is not so much what you say (unless you use "fighting words") as it is how you say it.
    Exactly thanks Skidmark
    "Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again"

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    What I usually do is calmly point out, "I think the line starts back there..."

    If they made an honest mistake, they'll be happy to move. If they're a jerk, well, then they're a jerk.

    The funny thing is that if a person reacts differently because you are OC'ing... that tells me they either are anti-, or have been suckered into believing all the anti-gun nuts' lies about how "violent" we pro-gun folks are...

    TFred

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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    At best, 50% of the situation is up to you.

    Make sure you live up to your part no matter how others fail.

    I apply this to all aspects of my life. Seems to fit here, too.

    I can see nothing wrong with what you did or said. His failure to be a decent human being is not a burden you can carry.
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    I have done exactly as TFred while carrying...

    ...and Skid, that Second point paragraph is pure poetry!

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    I would not have said a word.

    Here's why...

    For someone to cut in line, he already either lacks the social graces or common sense that the rest of us have. When you OC, I think that you have to be especially careful of any interaction that could turn negative. In short, it ain't worth it.

    Second thing is, I don't want some knucklehead who I just dressed down, standing behind me while I OC. Tactical disadvantage.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Jim,

    I agree with the basic premise of your position - to a point. That point is that by doing nothing you ae contributing to the decline of civilization. It's sort of like Mayor Julianni's "broken windows" approach to urban blight. If you allow the windows to be broken and remain unrepaired, the next step is that they will break the doors, then move in and destroy the interior, to the point that the entire edifice is now trashed and not worth the time, effort and especially the dollars to rehab.

    A comment ("excuse me" or "I think the line starts back there") is like the effort to get the property owner to keep the windows in good repair. If the line-cutter does not get the message I agree that it is not worth starting a brawl over. But your "I don't want some knucklehead who I just dressed down, standing behind me" is more indicative of "fighting words" than a polite comment. Yes, I know that there are some folks who will take a cheerful "Good morning" as fighting words. But by referring to him (mentally or verbally) as a knucklehead you have just escalated the situation and you admit you are expecting a confrontation. (remaining situationally aware is good. turning around to try to stare him down is not so good.)

    But if your knucklehead is going to become pissy over being told he got in at the wrong end of the line then anything you would have said ("Here, go on ahead of me. You must be in an awful hurry" declaimed in the most polite and helpful tones) would have gotten the same response as "Get your butt to the back of the line where you belong, scumbucket" while channeling Gunny Hartman. It's a 50-50 chance. But if you don't do something to try and hold the line against the decline of Western Civilization as we know it, all you get is a 100% chance that it will in fact decline and your knucklehead will never have the opportunity to practice his manners. I'd rather go for the 50-50 odds. If he insists on being first I can always let him, while knowing I tried.

    stay safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    There's not a CONFRONTATIONAL bone in my body....so I can't help you.
    Could you please repeat that answer for the record please

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Jim,

    I agree with the basic premise of your position - to a point. That point is that by doing nothing you ae contributing to the decline of civilization. It's sort of like Mayor Julianni's "broken windows" approach to urban blight. If you allow the windows to be broken and remain unrepaired, the next step is that they will break the doors, then move in and destroy the interior, to the point that the entire edifice is now trashed and not worth the time, effort and especially the dollars to rehab.

    A comment ("excuse me" or "I think the line starts back there") is like the effort to get the property owner to keep the windows in good repair. If the line-cutter does not get the message I agree that it is not worth starting a brawl over. But your "I don't want some knucklehead who I just dressed down, standing behind me" is more indicative of "fighting words" than a polite comment. Yes, I know that there are some folks who will take a cheerful "Good morning" as fighting words. But by referring to him (mentally or verbally) as a knucklehead you have just escalated the situation and you admit you are expecting a confrontation. (remaining situationally aware is good. turning around to try to stare him down is not so good.)

    But if your knucklehead is going to become pissy over being told he got in at the wrong end of the line then anything you would have said ("Here, go on ahead of me. You must be in an awful hurry" declaimed in the most polite and helpful tones) would have gotten the same response as "Get your butt to the back of the line where you belong, scumbucket" while channeling Gunny Hartman. It's a 50-50 chance. But if you don't do something to try and hold the line against the decline of Western Civilization as we know it, all you get is a 100% chance that it will in fact decline and your knucklehead will never have the opportunity to practice his manners. I'd rather go for the 50-50 odds. If he insists on being first I can always let him, while knowing I tried.

    stay safe.
    First, I don't see how mentally deciding someone was a knucklehead could escalate the situation. If that was the case, there's be alot of people pissed off at me on Route 64!!

    Your response is all well and good......but there is a decided difference between you and I. You were born with the grace and charm of a southern gentleman, whereas I graduated from the University of Fugettaboutit! I think that my best course of action would be to consider the offense not worthy of my time, and certainly not worthy of my Jersey attitude.

    Discretion is the better part of valor.
    Last edited by ProShooter; 07-02-2011 at 12:27 AM.
    James Reynolds

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    Regular Member USNA69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    What I usually do is calmly point out, "I think the line starts back there..."

    If they made an honest mistake, they'll be happy to move. If they're a jerk, well, then they're a jerk.

    The funny thing is that if a person reacts differently because you are OC'ing... that tells me they either are anti-, or have been suckered into believing all the anti-gun nuts' lies about how "violent" we pro-gun folks are...

    TFred
    +1

    Also, as a rule, I will always preface my remarks with "Sir ..." or "Ma'am ...", regardess of the age of the other party. (I am nearly 65).

    My hope is that it will set the tone for a peaceful and respectful exchange of words ... that it will reduce any confrontational perception in the mind of the other party. If nothing else, it is just the plain old good Southern manners that my Mommy and Daddy taught me.

    TFred's words say: "I think that you have unintentionally entered the queue ahead of those of us already waiting, and I know that you would not want to do that. All of us would appreciate it, if you would re-enter the line at the end. Thank you."

    It is then up to the other party whether to react politely or confrontationally.

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    There's not a CONFRONTATIONAL bone in my body....so I can't help you.

    That's what I was going to say.
    Kill'em all with kindness.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
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    Dang I hate a line breaker...,

    and when that happens, I'm usually pretty vocal while going to a field interview stance, armed or not. I've had folks tell me that I already look PO'd even on a good day, so maybe that and my size are contributing factors. My encounters have always been with two or more persons, up to as many as five at a time. I never blink, and never let up, and there is no doubt who or what I'm addressing. Only had one guy say something back, he said "Well, I thought there was a gap here." and I said "The only gap here is between your ears, Jack, now if you're gonna ride this ride, the line starts back there.". That was with five guys about college age mixed ethnicity. Had my daughter, niece and nephew with me. At that point I was ready to get busy, for better or worse, they caught me at the wrong time, it must have showed. Thank the Good Lord that was all there was to it. I've been very blessed.

    Never had it happen when armed, but when I am, I'm usually doing everything I can to avoid a situation, and will continue to do so..., and what was that, kill'em with kindness? Very good advice! Now if I can just remember and focus on that!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    Sounds like you made the right move and I think I would have done the same. What would you have done if he had decided to escalate the situation?
    I think he did fine, too.

    I liked the earlier suggestions about using Sir or Ma'am, and "I think the line starts back there."

    If he escalates, however, self-defense law, as I understand it, requires you to disengage. I've read a couple court cases from a book (can't link) to the effect that the defender must, in order to avoid being judged as contributing to the difficulty, declare or in some way show his unwillingness to continue the difficulty/argument/fight. I should think raising open hands to chest height, while backing up, and saying firmly, "Hey, I don't want any trouble." would do it. Maybe even repeating it a couple times to ensure others hear.

    If it comes to it, meaning if he doesn't settle down, I'd leave my purchases on the counter and walk out announcing loudly that I'm leaving because I don't want any trouble.

    Also, I think there is a difference between a mildly grumpy reaction to a line-breaker, and a controlled, polite, pointing out where the line actually starts. The former is more of a challenge and criticism, the latter less so.

  20. #20
    Regular Member sccrref's Avatar
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    I also think that you did a fine job. My concern would be if things did esculate and you did not attempt to disengage, you could be considered as esculating the confrontation by saying anything at all. Stranger things have happened in the court systems of today.

  21. #21
    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    Here's a tangentially related situation. Back when John "Swiftboat" Kerry was running for Pres, the story got around that it wasn't unusual for him to go straight to the head of the line at an airline counter. If confronted, he would turn and bluster "Don't you know who I am??!!" My best response, armed or not, would have been to say "I damn well know who you are, which is why you need to get to the back of the line. Don't all the rest of you people agree??!!"

    The problem is, most of us think of the best things to say long AFTER the situation has passed. (admit it!)

    Oh well. I think the OP handled things properly, but I like to hear what all you other guys have to say anyhow.

  22. #22
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    I would have just let him go in front of me. If he did it by accident, no harm done. If he did it on purpose, I don't want him right behind me.
    Carry On.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Not exactly on topic, my pet peeve is people who crash the express lane with "more than" 20 items...

    I am too polite to actually use this, but I always want to say to them, "Can't you read, or can't you count??"



    TFred

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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent19 View Post
    Kill'em all with kindness.
    I am now overcome with the desire to engrave "Kindness" on my bullets...

    "Stop the threat with kindness!"

    No! this:


    Last edited by ixtow; 07-03-2011 at 01:19 AM.
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
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    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

  25. #25
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    While I believe you handled it just fine, I would probably have commented something to the effect of

    "Excuse me young man, do you know cutting in line can get you thrown out of the park?"

    It seems that parents of today do not teach manners as mine did.

    ;>)

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