The following is a ficticious scenario I wrote. After last week's Tac Tuesday discussion, I thought about how I would act around my wife if the fecal projectiles started getting diced by the fan blades. It was brought to the fore, again, when I read some posts on packing.org about how to talk to a wife/girlfriend about carrying concealed.
The question I ask each of you is, "How would you react in this situation?"
The night went better than expected for John. Blind dates were not his cup of tea, but Barbara turned out to be the exception. He would have to remember to thank the ladies at the bank for setting them up.
The evening was winding down as the young couple strolled through the mall. Arm in arm, they conversed softly as they window shopped their way back to the parking garage. A warm breeze filtered the sounds of laughter and music across the promenade. The sights and sounds of a warm summer evening drifted around the couple. Young kids splashed near the fountain and parents sipped their evening cappucino along the benches. Young teens frittered here and there immersed in the world that only teens can know. Other young couples strolled casually along the way as only Norman Rockwell would have imagined.
Barbara was enjoying the moment. She stood next to a wonderful man. Here was a guy she only read about in novels and women's magazines. Strong and athletic, she was surprised by his casual manner and comfort level around her. Obviously not nervous about a blind date, he impressed her with his character and stunning looks. Momma obviously raised this one right. The girls behind the teller line were right, too. This was a very good catch. Barbara hung on his words as John recounted a humorous story from his recent trip to Alaska.
Apart from great conversation, John was a very talented individual. The 30 year old account executive for a local radio station spent as much time outdoors as possible. Fishing, hunting and cycling were his main active pursuits. The physical nature of his hobbies and John's competitive streak keep him fit and healthy. Something about being outside appealed to John, and he appreciated more the liberty given by these activities.
The young couple strolled past the fountain at the mall's entrance. The siren song of the dance club drew the attention of the younger and heartier souls through the doors. The music followed them out into the night and into the stairwell of the garage.
The night air took a mild chill as Barbara and John started up the steps to his car. The five story parking structure carried and ominous aura that was right out of a Wes Craven film. Barbara suddenly got that creepy crawly feeling that occurs when she experiences something distasteful. She moved closer to John.
John fed off of Barb's body language. He placed a protective arm around her waist and drew her closer. At any other time, Johm might think about stealing a quick kiss. The poorly illuminated structure had his thoughts elsewhere as John nervously scanned for any unseen danger. The powers that be hastily threw this garage together to alleviate the parking situation and provide a more convenient place for their visitors to park. In their haste, the developers and mall management overlooked some of the critical details during construction. Whether it was an oversight, or fiscal shenanigans, the money men skimped on basic security features. To correct this oversight, they hired the lowest bidding security firm and installed faulty call boxes. A modest investment would have netted armed security patrols by off-duty police, strategically placed video surveillance, and decent illumination.
John's attention was split between Barbara and his surroundings. They finally reached the third level and John hit the unlock button on his key fob. The doors to his 2003 Lexus 300IS made and audible click and the dome light bathed the interior in a warm glow. "Home free," thought Barbara as the light clicked on. She was becoming apprehensive and wanted dearly to retreat to the safety and comfort of the car. John was deeper in thought. He scanned the parking lot as was his habit, but his mind was working out the final details of the night. He hasn't played the dating game in some time and was trying to work the nerve to ask Barbara out again.
Barbara tensed as they reached the driver's side of the car. Three cars down, John saw the reason for her tension. A couple of thugalicious looking youths stepped out from behind a mini van. They were the garden variety type that populated most malls and caused real estate values to plummet. One kid looked like he was carrying a half pound of Aunt Betty's Apple Nut Butter in his drawers John thought. His pants were halfway down his buttocks and he was constantly adjusting to keep them up. The other youth was decked out in the latest hip hop fashion. It looked like the clothes he wore just off the rack, clean and pressed. John briefly admired the kid's impeccable threads as they approached.
The two young men looked long and laciviously at Barbara. The young bank teller was wearing a spaghetti strap summer dress and modest heels. The light ensemble drew envious looks from many a young woman, and furtive side glances from the attached males in the restuarant. John was not about to let these two chumps ruin the evening with lewd remarks, or worse. He turned to Barb and handed her the keys, "Why don't you drive tonight, honey?"
She seemed confused by this request. The sudden appearance of the two individuals and John's question threw off her thinknig and she froze briefly. She noticed that John's whole demeanor changed. Gone was the smile and his quirky chuckle, and it their place was a hard look from a worried individual. He guided her to the driver's door and placed the keys in her hand.
Before he could say anything, Droopy Drawers spoke: "Yo, baby, you lookin fine! Come over here and sho' my man what you got goin' on."
John opened the car door for Barbara and guided her in. The punks were now one car away and slowing their approach. "Why you lettin' that fine piece leave?" asked Hip Hop, "Bring her over here an' let us get some looks."
"She's a little tired guys," John stated. He turned to walk around the front of the car to get in the passenger's side. "Why don't you let her alone and pester someone else." It wasn't a request coming from John's lips.
"Yo, fuck you, man. I got's the right to be here. Why don't you start walkin' away before we thump your sorry butt," Hip Hop started puffing his chest and throwing his hands around. Typical macho weenie talk, thought John.
"I am not in the mood for your attitude, gents," John plainly stated, "We just finished a nice evening, and I am not about to ruin it by getting into it with you two."
Droopy Drawers stepped up closer to John. By now, Barbara had locked the doors in fear and was getting her cell phone out to call the police. She didn't know what to think. John was obviously outnumbered, but didn't appear afraid of these kids hassling him. She watched with intense interest as the confrontation continued. Barb hoped John would soon get in the car so they could leave. It was painful to watch him stand there and take such verbal abuse.
While Barb was watching John, Hip Hop was hanging back watching the entire scene unfold. He reached into his back pocket and started to slide a screwdriver out without anyone noticing. Hip Hop and his buddy were not worried about some poindexter out on a date. They have taken more chumps down and could easily overpower this guy. Besides, he was with his girl and she will get him to back down. Hip Hop shielded the implement in his sleeve and started to sidestep around Droopy.
"What's up with your friend?" asked John. He noticed Hip Hop moving towards the car in a funy manner.
"You should worry about me, punk," shouted Droopy. "I'm up in your face, and you became my problem wit' yo attitude. Dissrespectin' me and my boy, I outta fuck you up and get my junk down yo' woman's throat." Droopy was stepping forward and John was cautiously dropping back. By now, his back was almost to the car across from his. He politely put his hands up in a pleading gesture.
"I ain't looking for trouble, sir," John said. "Just let me get out of here with my date and we won't cause any problems. I'm sorry if we upset you guys." The thugs were becoming overconfident and moved to strike.
Hip Hop brought out the screwdriver and shouted, "Give us your money and the bitch's purse, NOW!" Droopy pushed at John. He stumbled back into the car behind him and steadied his fall against the trunk with his right hand.
Barbara screamed. Hip Hop was trying to pull the car door open.
Droopy clenched his fists in preparation to strike John. Bouncing on his feet, he looked like a veteran boxer.
John assessed the situation with a glance. Barbara was frantically trying to put the keys in the ignition. Tears were streaming down her face as Hip Hop pounded on the door with his fists. Droopy was in his face and almost daring John to make a move.
John went to work...
He pushed Droopy back with all his might and slid back across the trunk to his right. Away from the threat, he reached behind his right hip and pulled a handgun from its concealed place in his waistband. Three more people learned that John was legally able to carry a concealed weapon tonight. Depending on the turn of events, two of them might not live to tell about it. John's hand firmly grasped the Kimber Pro Carry II .45, and it cleared without a snag on his shirt. Droopy stumbled and fell on his rear. John moved laterally back to the left indexing his target by the car. Hip Hop didn't notice the commotion behind him.
John leveled the pistol at Droopy's chest, "Don't move! Show me your hands!" Droopy let his hands fall to his side. Rage and anger flashed in his eyes knowing his plan was falling apart. Hip Hop ceased banging long enough to see the gun. "Drop your weapon!" John commanded, switching focus to Hip Hop. The screwdriver clattered to the floor as Hip Hop broke and ran, leaving his buddy to face the music.
Droopy's mind was racing. In all the time he has pulled this off, never has anyone fought back. Hip Hop left him standing alone, and with no back up, he had few options. The only option Droopy was thinking of sit at the small of his back in the waistband of his boxers. He didn't think that John would shoot, at least not in front of the lady. He couldn't do it unless he risked shooting the woman. In a flash, Droopy reached for the small pistol. John's focus on Hip Hop almost cost him as Barbara screamed.
The first shot clanked into the trunk by John's head. His instincts for cover were right on. He put the front sight of his Kimber on Droopy's chest and sent two rounds downrange.
Something didn't feel right. Two sledgehammer blows struck him above his solar plexus. Droopy raised his hand to fire the nickel plated .380, but nothing happened. Trying to draw a breath, the young punk stumbled back against the car and fell to the ground. In that instant, Droopy realized he was wounded. His last shot had not been fired. His last thought to run, not acted upon. John's first round had punctured his lung, instantly deflating it. The second round, fired almost instantly, had struck center mass. The jacketed hollow point bore through the sternum, heart and exited out the spinal column.
The last bit of oxygenated blood kept Droopy alive long enough to realize he had screwed up.
News reports later revealed the long criminal history of one Rudy Brian Tijerinia. Some Op-Ed pieces tried to portray him as a former Catholic High School Student caught up in the wrong crowd. Community leaders cried foul over the ordeal and demanded justice and recompense for the shooting victim's family.
The young accomplice was later found hiding in a dumpster several blocks away. He denies any involvement in the attempted robbery, even after being picked out of a police lineup. The DA has charged him with aggravated robbery, drug possession, attempted capital murder (charged with Droopy's crime), parole violations and concealed weapons charges. He is currently in jail with no bond.
Harris County District Attorneys and the Grand Jury failed to charge John with a crime. City and State leaders from both parties praised John for his heroic act. They pointed out that the Texas Concealed Handgun laws were enacted to prevent just such a crime from happening.
John is slowly recovering from the whole ordeal. Months of target practice and defensive pistol instruction never prepared him for the aftermath. The cold sweats and nightmares are slowly starting to fade. With time and counseling, he will make a full recovery. The family of the deceased has filed a civil action against him which further adds to the headaches he is suffering from. His attorney tells him not to worry, the jury is not likely to find for the family, but stranger things have happened.
As for Barbara, she came out unscathed, but the emotional scars will be there for a lifetime. She took a leave of absence from work to overcome her emotional ordeal. She never knew people carried guns, or were capable of such heinous acts. To think that someone would try to harm her in a supposedly "secure" area is unconscionable. Time heals all wounds, and Barbara will make sure she is never wounded like that again.
Asked if she would date John again.....What do you think?