“If not you, who?” – Fortress Defense Motto
Yesterday, a student in Florida contacted me about a recent potentially violent event he and his daughter were involved in. Below is his account:
“My daughter works at a local fast food establishment which is across the street from a shopping mall. Yesterday there was a traveling carnival set up in the mall parking lot with approximately 2000 unaccompanied teens in attendance and only two off duty local police and two private security guards there to deal with the crowd.
Around 8:45pm two different people in the crowd fired shots into the air (no reported injuries.) This prompted a ‘shots fired’ call to the PD by the officers present, and a mass response by multiple patrol officers. Basically, every available beat car in town showed up.
The arrival of police caused the mass of the young crowd to vacate the property and reassemble in smaller groups at local nearby businesses.
Approximately 60-100 wound up inside the restaurant where my daughter works, with an additional 200 in the parking lot.
Those inside immediately began tipping tables over and damaging fixtures, and a few were even rolling joints and openly smoking them during the fracas.
The manager on shift, who happen to be the only legal [over 18] adult there, immediately moved all the employees to the back of the building where they could lock themselves in and away from the violence in the dining room. She immediately called 9-1-1.
Dispatch informed the manager that help would arrive when it arrived as all units were currently busy. In other words: “we can’t help you, stop bothering us.” Like you have always said, we’re all on our own!
It was at this point that I received the call from my daughter asking if I would come get her.
As is my habit at home, I was already carrying my pistol with reload – Tourniquet and IBD [Israeli Battle Dressing] were in my pants pocket. It was a matter of throwing my soft armor on with an over shirt, tying my shoes and grabbing my go bag and my rifle [AR with collapsible stock], which was all stationed by the door.
My go bag contains an advanced trauma kit [My student is paramedic – Frank], water, power bars, spare magazines presently charged with Super Vel solid copper hollow points, gloves, electronic hearing protection, note pad, pen, spare batteries, and a few other incidentals.
My rifle is in a Savior “coffin” covert carry bag with the stock collapsed and in “transport mode.” [chamber empty, safety off, fully charged magazine inserted.] There are three extra rifle mags in the bag, plus a cleaning kit.
The wife had borrowed my vehicle to run errands, thus I jumped in her SUV and quickly made my way. About 4 blocks from the restaurant the town’s Emergency Services personnel had already set up road blocks at intersections cutting off access to the area.
After a useless conversation with one of them, I decided to ignore their advice which was to take an 8-mile detour – instead jumping a median and taking a route down a now deserted street (the wrong way), then cutting through an alleyway a block from my daughter’s location.
While briskly making my way down the alley, a State Trooper, who was sitting in his car doing nothing, jumped out and flagged me down. He was not happy with my driving performance and began to read me the riot act. I remained calm and was eventually able to communicate to him that my daughter was trapped in “that (as I pointed) building” which was presently surrounded by a mob. I then explained that I was going to go retrieve her and that he would be welcome to arrest me once that objective was accomplished.
Of course, the idea of a patrol car running red and blue’s following me into the parking lot seemed like a great way to get the mob’s attention, and I assumed that if it progressed to that the officer would have had other things to deal with once on scene.
However, it ended up not being a gamble I had to take, as I’m almost certain the officer was simply embarrassed at his impotence. He, and a few other squads, were outlying, waiting for back-up from other jurisdictions to arrive before they went in and cleared out the crowd. Once he realized what I was doing, I could see shame on his face. He cut me lose with a “don’t make things worse” warning.
As I pulled up behind the building, I parked and called my daughter on her phone. The next trick was going to be getting her out of the building safely through the crowd. At that moment, as luck would have it, one of the mob decided to light off a pack of firecrackers. This caused the mass of the crowd to start running away, one yelling “they’re shooting!”
Also as luck would have it, at that moment the restaurant owner, a former Marine, pulled up and saw me exiting my vehicle. His first words to me over the sound of people screaming and firecrackers exploding were, “Sir, we’re closed. And it’s not safe for you to be here!” I quickly introduced myself and told him my daughter was one of his employees. He immediately asked, “Are you armed?” To which I replied, “Heavily, and well trained!” His response was, “Good man! Follow me!”
As we started to move towards the store, it was then that his head manager showed up, as well – the owner informed me he was also armed.
The three of us made it into the store without incident, and after a big hug from my daughter, I asked if anyone there needed medical attention. One employee begin to have a panic attack, we got her water and were able to clam her down.
Once it was established I was no longer needed, I collected my daughter and we planned our exit.
As per your lessons, my family has been informed and practiced on commands and actions to take during emergencies. In this case, as we reached the exit door, I told my daughter, “belt, left side.” As I carry on my right side, I wanted my daughter to my left, and I also wanted her “connected” to me while leaving my hands free. So, as we had practiced before, she moved to my left and hooked her right hand into my belt, as she held her canister of OC spray in the left. I was also carrying my OC in my left, which was attached to my wife’s truck keys.
As we exited the building the crowd had milled back into the lot, and a number of them were around our vehicle.
Here’s where I admit a preparation failure on my part. A month ago, my wife brought it to my attention that the battery on her vehicle’s key fob had gone dead – I remembered it when I pressed the button to no effect…while moving through the hostile crowd in the dimly lit parking lot!
Shame on me!
However, the problem it created was that I now needed to get both of us around to the driver’s door since most new vehicles have key inserts on that door only. So, instead of bringing my daughter to the passenger’s side, letting her load in as I kept watch, then locking the vehicle and traversing to the other side, I instead had to load her in through the driver’s side, making her climb over the center console. Not a huge deal, but it TOOK TIME AND ATTENTION. And not having the automatic locks at the push of a button reduced my options.
That will not happen again!
We arrived home safe 20-minutes later no worse for wear.
I have since had multiple conversations with her boss, who is a great guy and is doing everything he can to help his employees recover. I was also told that the quick-thinking shift manager has received a raise and a number of other perks. He’s also working on a plan for either private security or an off-duty officer to be employed when such events are scheduled again at the mall. I’m incredibly impressed with the owner – it’s comforting knowing my daughter is being looked after by a responsible man of action. Go Marines!
I’ve also had a conversation with our Police Chief, although it wasn’t all that productive. Politics has infested the police business to the point of rendering it impotent – The police are no longer in charge of policing, the leftist mob is – that’s simply the way it is, now!”
The location in the above account is considered a “good neighborhood.” But, all good neighborhoods can quickly become bad neighborhoods when event’s like carnivals, car shows, festivals, concerts, etc., are scheduled. Such affairs draw in transients that can bring with them all manner of bad/criminal behavior.
Our student decided years ago to always be ready, and on this day it paid off. Not only in being able to immediately aid his daughter, but in the example it set for us!
There are those who consider home after work “down time” where nothing can harm them and no evil can visit. Thus, many have a 2 beer or 2 glass of wine habit each evening – imagine our hero above getting the call from his daughter when his blood alcohol level met the requirements for legally drunk. Imagine his conversation with the state trooper when he reeked of booze. Imagine his decision-making abilities and his emotional state while under the influence. This story may have had a completely different ending!
Instead, he was sober and lucid – he performed and prevailed! And he did so by remaining calm and making the best choices under the circumstances. He also benefited from some luck along the way.
Funny thing luck. Leftists would have us believe that ALL success in life comes from luck (accidents of birth, “privilege”, etc…), thus no one has actually earned anything they have.
However, It’s amazing how many people who have worked hard, made good life choices, and taken responsibility for their actions seem to have such large amounts of “good luck”. And conversely, how many whining, complaining, lazy, professional victim losers constantly suffer from “bad luck.”
As we watch the quickening of Western Civilization’s demise it will be up to us, individually, to decide how to adapt and overcome. Intentionally allowing one’s self to become weak and more susceptible to machinations of predators is never a good idea, however, at this point in world history it’s personal and national suicide.
Let’s use this account as a lesson:
– Never go unarmed.
– Keep the alcohol to a minimum, and keep those with substance dependencies out of your life.
– Always take the time to fill up the gas tank, change the batteries, stock the pantry, fill the prescription, service the vehicles, clean the guns, etc… Don’t put it off. Don’t say you’ll do it later.
– Have go bags at the ready.
– Expand your medical training beyond basic CPR.
– Form plans and set emergency communications with your friends and families.
– Remember that self defense isn’t just about a response to physical violence. Self defense is about protecting one’s self against everything on this Earth that poses a threat to well-being. Its about legal, medical, political, health, mental, and economic defense. So, exercise, eat right, get rest, save money, pay off debt, get checkups, take vitamins, cultivate healthy relationships, get involved at a local level with your school board and city council meetings, and legally protect yourself by taking classes like Mas Ayoob’s LFI 1 and Andrew Branca’s Law of Self Defense, and by joining organizations like the Armed Citizen’s Legal Defense Network.
– Of course, don’t go to stupid places with stupid people and do stupid things. However, should should stupid people doing stupid things come to you, HAVE A PLAN!
Always remember, no one cares more about YOU than YOU do. Expect no help – the cavalry is not on its way! You’re on your own, and you will have to deal with whatever happens as it happens, alone and without backup.
Ready or not, here it comes!
“To hell with circumstances, I create Opportunities.” – Bruce Lee
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