Friday, December 4, 2009

A Needless Tragedy

"You're going to jail. You're going to jail." You can hear the man behind the counter shouting at the frustrated and helpless man before him. That is, helpless except for the rifle and pistol out in the vehicle.

When you run a towing service, you must expect that many of the people who come in the front door are hostile. You also have to recognize that in today's economic climate, not a few are close to the end of their rope.

Hint: for your own safety, don't threaten to cut the rope.

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Pro 15:1)

This is not to excuse the shooter. He was wrong; he made the sinful choice to express his anger in the form of violence, which only made his problems worse.

Nevertheless, the people behind the counter were asking for it by treating a man in distress with contempt.

Below is a link -- sent by my barber -- to a video of a shooting at a towing service. Please view it with an eye to tactical errors made in the wake of the huge strategic blunder of piling the last straw on a guy who has made up his mind that he's not going to take any more guff.

Here's one of those exercises where we can learn from each other:"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." (Pro 27:17) Please post your evaluations in the comments section.

Also, if you have not already done so, consider getting a copy of Verbal Judo by George Thompson. I have reviewed the book in "The Best Self Defense System, 4".


Leah said...


I have to say, I'm not a big fan of lock-boxes or trigger guards or any other redundant safety that separates people from their side-arm. In this case, the attacker emptied both weapons into that office before anyone was able to return fire and end the fight. Not good. Strap that hog-leg on your hip and keep it there in plain sight during business hours. Especially if you plan to belligerently shoot your mouth off to everyone who comes in the front door. A visible side-arm in this case might have deterred the fight before it started. My thoughts.

As a side note, I talked to a lady the other day who runs a business across the street from a truck-stop with easy on-off access to a major interstate highway. She told me that the POLICE stopped in and advised her to get a gun she's comfortable with, and wear it in plain sight. I was pleased to hear it. I hope she takes that good advice.

Gravelbelly said...

Thanks, Leah. I really appreciate your comment.

I've noticed that people at gun shows tend to be very courteous to each other. Contrary to the popular media, open carry fosters good behavior rather than bad.

Question, though. The subject began his attach from outside the building. It doesn't look as though he could even see the people inside. He just began spraying lead through the walls of the building.

So, for the sake of argument, let's say the visible presence of a firearm was not enough to deter this man.

In this scenario, even an armed person would have to advance through a hail of bullets to face the shooter. How do you believe an armed employee could/should have tactically engaged him before two victims got wounded?

This question is not just for Leah, but also for any of you who may care to join the conversation.

Randall Gerard said...


My initial thought about tactics of engagement are: don't do it head-on if you can help it. I couldn't tell from the video, but IF there was a back door to that place, I would have used that, and then tried to get behind him or flank him.

But the thing is, you can't even think about tactics if your firearm isn't close at hand - like, on your hip close at hand. These things are over so quickly. It took that orc no time at all to empty two weapons!

By the way, I accidently posted as my daughter Leah. I didn't intend to mislead, and I apologize for the mistake.

Gravelbelly said...


Thanks. Believe it or not, your tactical approach is exactly what I was looking for.

Most urban fire codes require 2 exits for buildings over a certain size. Also, if the impound lot was adjacent to the office, I'm sure there would be an access from the office area.