My Army buddy Jeff has kicked my ass so often playing chess that I quit playing him. Jeff rocks the board because he has the ability to think multiple moves ahead. I’d ponder my next move for quite some time, but because he could process the next several possible moves, he’d usually snap off a move in seconds because he already knew what he wanted to do. This is the essence of preparation . . .
I know my reactions in a self-defense scenario will be faster if I think about them ahead of time. A few months ago, some punks flooded into a convenience store and just started grabbing things and raising hell. The clerks were behind thick layers of protective glass, but if I had been shopping when they came in, I would have found myself suddenly surrounded by fast moving kids stealing, shouting and destroying property.
In a more violent case, a minor riot broke out at the Mall of America a few days ago. The miscreants were attracted by rumors of a celebrity appearance. Watch the video and see the heavy aluminum chairs fly.
My grandkids were at the mall to see Santa, and I can only imagine what could happen to Seven or Eight if they’d been struck by a flying food court chair. I don’t know if anyone was hurt, but it’s not hard to imagine someone being seriously injured in a melee like that.
I now own a can of pepper gel, though I don’t carry it as often as I do my every day carry piece. In the convenience store scenario, my thought would be to back into a corner, keep my strong hand near my piece and start hosing down any a-hole who approaches with pepper gel. Where retreat isn’t possible, in a confined space with more targets than you have cartridges, I’d be hesitant to engage with a firearm.
In a situation like the mall riot, clearly retreat is a more viable option. I also imagine that pepper spray or gunfire would induce more panic than flying chairs, perhaps creating more injuries than otherwise might happen as people trample one another.
Some odious punk hurling a chair into a crowd is quite a bit different than one coming at me or my family with the chair held as a club. Looking at the distances – greater than seven yards by my reckoning – I do not see that as a situation for a gun.
What do you all think? What would you do if a riot broke out at an open shopping mall, or a flash mob appeared at the local Quickie Mart while you’re picking up a bottle of Mountain Dew?