Yesterday afternoon I had my boys, 11 and 5, with me. We stopped at a rural gas station near my home and bought a gallon of milk. Suddenly two women, out of a group of five women and one man, start fighting as I'm at the passenger door of my truck, trying to get the kids in and buckled. The fight went right over the hood of my truck with fists flying. Not knowing if weapons were involved and fearful for my children's safety, I hitched my coat over my holster, exposing my sidearm, readied my pepper spray, then ordered them to separate while the proprietor called 911. There were a few tense moments. The assailant and her posse then retreated to their car to wait for the police but after several minutes decided to leave and of course were long gone by the time the Deputy showed up.
1. I had no interest in getting involved but the fight was all inside my comfort zone and impinging on my family.
2. I really felt like I had no good options. I was in the middle of a sudden combat environment with multiple parties. My kids were half in the truck and I was outside the vehicle, exposed and pre-occupied with a task, although peripherally aware of the argument/brewing altercation. Once I heard "We'll settle this later," and "Bring it on," I knew what was about to happen.
3. Once the fight waned and the parties in their vehicle, I considered leaving, but felt a certain civic responsibility to stay and provide a witness statement. No weapons were presented, the parties were separated, and calm had returned. Some of the actors had tried to stop the fight and were apologetic. The victim was an employee of the store and was inside.
4. Since I had decided to wait for the Deputy, I waited outside so I could watch the vehicle. I kept the boys with me for a time so that I could see to their safety but then decided to send them inside where it was theoretically safer but they were out of my sight.
5. I really struggled over what was the best/right thing to do given the circumstances.
6. Once the Deputy showed up I wrote out a statement. No mention was made of my OCed sidearm.
"Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18
Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
Paramedics With Guns Scare People!
"Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
"Some time ago, a bunch of lefties defied the law by dancing at the Jefferson Memorial, resulting in their arrests. Last week, a bunch of them pulled the same stunt and - using patented Lefist techniques - provoked the Park Police into having to use force to arrest them."
It sounds like you settled into a very good defensive posture. The keyword being 'defensive'.
While some would see clearing your coat from your side arm as brandishing, I do not. I see it as a heightening of a defensive posture. I think what you did was not only very reasonable, it was proper. If you had unholstered your side arm, that may have, again, may have been questionable. I consider what you did, the use of 'minimal force' to protect yourself and your sons.
The first time I've ever heard the SOCMMOB* defense claimed by somebody I could actually believe.
Based on your description, that was Sumdood's sister. Have no idea why she started in on the store employee.
Getting to your response to the situation - and admitting that I'm Saturday-afternoon quarterbacking everything -
- would you consider getting the kids inside the vehicle and closing the door instead of "merely" taking up a defensive posture?
- rather that "order[ing] them to separate, would you consider ordering the combatants away from your vehicle?
- This first part -"Since I had decided to wait for the Deputy, I waited outside so I could watch the vehicle. I kept the boys with me for a time so that I could see to their safety" - sounds like a reasonable course of action. But did you consider when you "then decided to send them inside where it was theoretically safer" that there are folks you do not know, some of whom are from both sides of the earlier incident, who are in an excitable state inside that store?
As I said, I'm Saturday-afternoon quarterbacking everything. The bottom line is neither you nor your kids were hurt. They got to see in real life that their father was/is ready to defend them against real possible harm, not just theoretical harm. They got a good lesson in civics and citizenship.
* Standing On the Corner Minding My Own Business
"He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man
Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.
"No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
I say you handled yourself well during an uncomfortable situation. I give you credit for taking action as a concerned citizen. Glad you and your family are safe!
"When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."
I think you performed well. I probably would have done something similar, but would have less restraint than you did. I may have been quicker to hose 'em down with the OC. That would have seperated them faster than tossing water on a pair of cats in heat.
I really should carry OC, too. Its good to have an intermediate weapon. My ASP is in the car, but when you start carrying more stuff than your pistol, you need a "bat belt" like LEOs carry!
"If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
SERPA retention or concealed...
"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
(Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)
I used to carry both. Then I stopped carrying OC. The cans used to take a beating when I carried them and I got tired of replacing them more often than is normal. Not to mention the extra expense. Then one day I got to thinking about it. If I were ever involved in a justified shooting I didn't want to be second guessed by the cop first, CWA second and judge last that maybe I should have used less lethal means since it was available.
This may be the first true life situation I have read of on OCDO to which I didn't even have a mental "weelll maybe I would have X instead" following your further clarification. Well done.
Dash camera would have been good, I almost bought one for christmas.
How come a DUI you can get your driver licence back, which it is a privilege. But if commiting a felon, even something non violent like stealing, you are denied your constitutional rights for the rest of your life?
If you don't support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, what other parts of the Constitution do you reject?
More restrictions on guns? how about restrictions on chainsaws and knives?
You did fine!
I had a little problem recently and you handled yours a lot better than I did mine.