While visiting a local Wal-Mart today to pick up just a few items I find myself in the electronics isle securing printer ink for my printer, I notice a African-American male, early to mid 30's with a gold tooth take a decided interest in me. I recognizing it as being weird back out of the isle and move towards the pet section.
He decides to follow.
He approaches with his hands by his side in an aggressive stance. His eye'e are extremely bloodshot and he mumbles:
"I know you , I was a Marine." (Referring to himself being a Marine & inferring I was)
He moves in close to my comfort line of stranger proximity.
I say to him:
"Excuse me?" he then replies:
"I know you, your a DICK & I am a Marine".
To which I reply:
" I don't know who the fuck you are and you need to back the fuck away."
He moves in closer & I raise my left arm and point into the direct he should be fucking off in and move my right hand close to my side to prepare to draw. I simultaneously begin to back pedal out of the isle trying to get distance.
He then retorts:
"See I told you, you were a dick." "Don't play you were following me." He says.
I retreat further, and I command even louder:
"GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME." "I haven't been following you, I've been shopping, you followed me here."
Working as an EMT sometimes put's me in the position of treating criminals while they are in jail. They constantly try to keep your attention with nonsensical ramblings & questions. Me knowing this & recognizing this same behavior in this guy I decide that I have to deny him of that and get away as quick as possible because he clearly wants this to escalate.
Thoughts are rushing through my head at this time, back out, retreat, don't draw if you don't have to, I'm not here to kill someone today. At the same time I am noticing that despite my loud tone & large hand gestures all the other shoppers in the area were totally oblivious to the incident happening.
Feeling alone- When I was in firefights in Baghdad, Iraq. I knew I had back up. I knew I had my brothers I could rely on to help.
Here in the sheeples company store you have no one. Police are 3-5 minutes away and this guy is here now causing problems.
He begins to back away after my latest command and I make a B line for the other end of the store.
I track down a employee on the other side of the store and alert them to the problem. They notify security and I wait in line waiting to check out.
I constantly scan for this paranoid, probably drug induced haze, mad man. The employee I alerted about the issue returns and said that their security was handling the issue.
I notice all the other shoppers are still milling around like zombies oblivious this event has even occurred & the possible danger this guy was.
As I am leaving the parking lot I observe 3 police cruisers approaching the area with lights & sirens on. Guessing security had some kind of trouble with this guy.
Moments like this make me relieved I carry. Even more relieved I train often.
This guy was nuts. Paranoid and most likely on some kind of mind altering substance judging by the extremely bloodshot eyes. He may have been a Marine and maybe some Marine dickhead who looked like me had him confused with me. He seemed ready to get vengeance on who ever he had mistaken identity with me.
Carry everywhere! Even if you are just popping in to a store to grab a couple of items. Threats can come at anytime, even around noon on a Friday.
Look for tell tell signs of a threat: This guy took an immediate extra interest in me & followed me. He had no shopping cart and no merchandise in his hands. He was clearly mind altered and not there to shop.
Retreat & disengage: Just because you are carrying doesn't mean you have to present & shoot when you first feel threatened. However, this is the closest I have came to drawing.
It was the nat's ass razor edge away from me having to defend myself, I truly believe this.
By retreating, disengaging & reporting the threat I avoided being personally involved with what transpired after my departure.
I am not a cop. It is not my job to personally stop and detain this guy.
However if he had made direct verbal threats to myself, attacked myself or any other person, then it would be a citizens responsibility to intervene to protect life and prevent bodily harm.
Since I've began carrying this is the 3rd random encounter I've considered to be a threat to myself. It was certainly the most threatened I've felt & the closest I've came to clearing holster.
Hope this provides some lessons for you other concealed carriers & hopefully gets some non-carriers off the fence about carrying everyday, everywhere.
Because only you can defend yourself at all times.
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