Bob leaves the parking garage for the short two-block walk to home. In this large urban area you don't have driveways and everyone lives in tall buildings. The night is cold and his parka is buttoned up, but as he notices a car that obviously doesn't "belong" he unbuttons the coat for access to his pistols. The car turns into an alley that is often used to cut over to the next street. As Bob nears the alley two young men, teenagers, step out from around the corner. One has a gun at his side. He yells at Bob to "Stop!"
I've known Bob for years. He is well trained, and has worked with many top instructors. Bob takes the self-defense seriously, training, practicing and studying the art. He is ready, willing and very capable of defending himself and family -- of this I have no doubt.
Bob's response is verbal. "Go away!" He never breaks stride and keeps walking. Again, the young man yells, "Stop!" Bob continues walking. At this point the two men are behind him. They laugh, walk back to the car and leave. Bob calls the police and files a report.
"At no time was I afraid," Bob told me while describing the events. He was aware of a possible problem, noticing the car and unbuttoning his heavy jacket so he could get to his pistols. (Yes, he's one of those guys who carry more than one handgun.) He understands the problem and how to deal with it. And his only response was to tell them to "go away" and keep walking.
Was Bob's response correct? "At times," Bill Jordan says in his book No Second Place Winner, "the right action is 'sensed' against all logic and the wise man follows his hunch and lives." Every situation or confrontation is different, and Jordan tells us our reactions "… even if proven correct by their success, are not always logical appearing."
We are told that when faced with a possible violent attack that we'll react according to how we train and practice. Yet, even with lots of training, practice and research under his belt Bob solved the problem in a unique way, without using force. He applied tactics that are never taught on the gun range. He didn't panic or just starting reacting. He didn't freeze or lock up. Everything he did was a conscious decision, and in this situation his unusual response worked.
While filing his report the police told Bob there had been numerous situations where young men, teenagers, had been using fake pistols during crimes. Bob didn't know this prior to his confrontation. Had he responded with force and it turned out the threat was armed with a "toy," things would not have gone well, especially considering the city where Bob lives.
I know there are people who will disagree with Bob's response, but it's hard to argue with the results. He didn't get injured or killed; he didn't have to shoot anyone. The main points we learn from this account are that you have to be prepared, and you must remain calm in order to solve the problem. And the solution, well, the best answer may not be what you think.
Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama. He is the author of "The Book of Two Guns" - http://shootrite.org/book/book.html writes for several firearms/tactical publications, and is featured on GunTalk's DVD, "Fighting With The 1911 - http://shootrite.org/dvd/dvd.html Website