Chicago DGU

This just in from a member of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia:

“As I begin to write this, not 20 minutes beforehand, I pulled my gun in self defense. For the second time in 4 months. In the gun free city of Chicago. I already know what you’re thinking, I’m not allowed to carry a gun in Chicago. Let’s get this out of the way, I have made the decision to conceal carry in Chicago. Yes this is stupid, but it has already been beneficial for me. Not once but twice.

A little background, I’m a FF/Paramedic that lives in the downtown Chicago area and works in the near suburbs. I work for a municipality on a paid department that I commute to using the CTA. I am a transplant from South Florida that is only here temporarily while my wife finishes  school.

I’m not a large guy, but I’m not what would be considered a soft target. I participate in Crossfit and swim for health and strength. I’ve taken some force on force training and have taken self defense classes with my wife.

As most emergency service providers, I’ve learned to always be aware of my surroundings and situations that I’m entering. I’ve been first on scene for shootings, highway accidents, domestic disputes, drug overdoses and other terrible incidents. My main focus is the safety of myself and my partner first, above and before everyone else. We are trained this way.

All this being said, I have been part of many situations that have been defused with nothing more than words.

This morning I was running late to the “L” and ran the 1/4 mile to the station. Just as I made the platform, the train left. No big deal, I give myself leeway for this very reason. As I’m waiting for the next train, three men step on to the platform on the opposite side of the tracks. They say some words to each other that I’m way too far away to hear and step off the platform and out of sight.

Not a minute later these three same men step onto my side of the platform from the near by staircase. They quickly look around and start walking toward me with fists clenched, I scan around me and I’m the only one on the platform except them. I’m standing about half way down the platform, with both staircases behind these guys.

The man closest to me asked me for a smoke, he was standing still  about 5 feet from me. I told him I don’t smoke with a firm voice well above normal volume but not a yell while making eye contact with him.

He then said, “I’ll take your fucking wallet then dick” while reaching out to me.

I smacked his forearm away with my left hand as I took 3 steps farther down the platform and drew my gun from its five o’clock spot on the right side of my body. As I drew I yelled ‘back off’ very loudly. They all turned tail and ran while cursing their lungs off after giving me saucer eyed unbelieving looks. I thank God that they had the sense to not even move in my direction.

If they had, there’s no question I wouldn’t be typing this right now. It felt like I stood there for a solid 10 minutes before the train arrived but it couldn’t have been more than 2-3. I re-holstered just before the train pulled into the station.

I boarded and spent the ride attempting to calm down. I’m writing this as a way to vent and direct my anger in a positive way. I’m hoping for some sort of an assessment or some feedback from someone. I hope I can get it from you guys here, as I will not be telling anyone around Chicago about this for obvious reasons.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.”

[Click here to read an off-the-record response from a Chicago cop]

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

149 Responses to Chicago DGU

  1. avatarstateisevil says:

    Bravo! We will never know how many defensive gun uses like this go unreported.

    • avatarJeff says:

      Hopefully all of them. In constitution free cities, like Chicago, the first rule has to be to STFU about your concealed carry practice. Don’t admit to committing a felony.

  2. avatarMoonshine7102 says:

    Wow. Glad you’re okay. Stay stealthy…

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      Follow-up: you probably already know this, but keep your guard up for the next week or so. They may come back for some revenge. You know, “That guy thinks he can say ‘no’ to me just ’cause he’s carrying? I’ll fix that shit.”

      • avatarDarren says:

        An alternate route to work or changing your shift (if possible) might be a good idea if you can manage it.

      • avatarHelen A Handbasquet says:

        I agree with this. Perhaps use a different station for the next few weeks if logistically possible.
        Any chance your actions might have been caught on the station’s cameras (if any)?
        Glad you’re ok.

      • avatarILfiremedic12 says:

        Thanks for the concern. I have already figured out an alternate way to work. It’s much more inconvenient but I’ve grown fond of breathing in my time.

  3. avatarready, fire,aim says:

    I would have done the same thing…glad your ok…

  4. avatarJavier says:

    Good work. Well done. Hope Chicago and other gun unfriendly places change.

  5. avatarEric says:

    Good work. Inform authorities? I think not in this case.

  6. avatarSkyler says:

    Sounds like you did everything right.

  7. avatargreat unknown says:

    You’re lucky the muggers didn’t flash badges and arrest you, considering how permeated the Chicago police force is with felons.

  8. avatarTim McNabb says:

    I understand the need to vent, but STFU in Chicago sure makes much more sense.

    I am very glad you are OK. My wife wanted me to take my piece on a recent trip to Chicago and I declined, not wanting to lose my RTKBA over a zealous cop.

    • avatarHenry Bowman says:

      “not wanting to lose my RTKBA ”

      You would not have lost your RTKBA, merely an illegitimate authority would have made the assertion that you had lost your RTKBA.

      Big difference and one we must recognize.

  9. avatarRokurota says:

    Pretty much what concealed carry is for, in my opinion. You seem to have done everything right. I’m glad you’re safe, man. May Chicago’s gun laws die the death of a thousand lawsuits.

  10. avatarIdahoPete says:

    “I am a transplant from South Florida that is only here temporarily while my wife finishes school.”

    1) Ask your wife to work REALLY hard at accelerating her school work.
    2) Congratulations on what was, by the results, a highly effective and appropriate use of a firearm for self-defense.
    3) As far as the legal issues, “it is better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6″ – even though it would be awful to go through the “justice” system in Chicago.
    4) GTFOO Illinois as soon as possible (as if you needed that advice).
    5) Good job in resisting criminals. Even though the residents of Chicago don’t know it (and hopefully won’t), you have at least made their city marginally safer by making three scumbags a bit more hesitant to attack someone else – “after giving me saucer eyed unbelieving looks” (Love it.). “Hey, if that guy was carrying, who else might be?”

    • avatarILfiremedic12 says:

      My wife and I have already set the date, two days after her graduation, and are moving back to South Florida.

  11. avatarDarren says:

    Good work. Everybody has the same number of holes they started with, nobody is in jail. In a better world (i.e., outside of IL) you could have called 911 and had the people accosting you arrested, but that is well above and beyond what you are called to do.

    A purist might have made an issue of letting them get inside the Tueller bubble (2o feet), but you can’t maintain a 20′ radius distance in all cases, and there is something to be said for the deterrent effect of standing your ground. They figured a 3 to 1 advantage was going to be enough (students of Clausewitz, no doubt) but did not count on the handgun. Standing your ground is a judgment call, one that I am not qualified to make as I was not there.

    Not sure a knife or ASP baton would have equal deterrent effect in this case. A taser would have turned a 3-on-1 fight into a 2-on-1 fight, assuming it even punched through Chicago winter clothing to immobilize the main assailant. That still leaves you on the bad side of the odds.

    I’m sure Mike will be along soon to tell you that this never happened, so that should be comforting when it happens.

    As far as the legality of CHL in Chicago, etc., it’s better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Just a shame that the law makes nominal criminals of people just trying to go about their business without being accosted by actual criminals.

    • avatarHenry Bowman says:

      “Not sure a knife or ASP baton would have equal deterrent ”

      A friend was similarly accosted by two young punks on an “L” platform late one night when he attended school in Chi-town. He pulled pepper spray and hosed them both down, giving them a few kicks for good measure as they writhed on the ground in pain. When he left the state, he immediately bought a handgun and trained how to use it. Intermediate weapons have their place and you gotta make due with what you have, but a firearm is the most effective tool of self-defense.

    • avatarILfiremedic12 says:

      I always carry at least one knife on me at all times. Days that I work I have no less than three. But as it’s 25 degrees out in the mornings here, anything short of a 9 inch fixed blade is useless. An Asp baton would be more effective but I have never carried or been trained with one. Plus 3-1 is shitty odds without a significant advantage. As for the 20 feet thing, they basically had me cornered, the only option I saw was to stand my ground. I’m thankful that it worked.

      • avatarcmd says:

        First, well done! Good decision making skills applied appropriately.
        Second, training with a baton would be a good skill set addition to what you have posses already. A good rule of thumb taught to me in the Navy is go low. Waist to knee. Most people can raise an arm reasonably quickly but don’t move their legs much. In winter people wear layered clothing on their upper body but less clothing around their legs.

  12. avatarStick says:

    “I smacked his forearm away with my left hand as I took 3 steps farther down the platform…”

    Those three steps were pretty crucial – kudos for having the presence of mind to maintain draw/standoff distance.

  13. avatarjean says:

    you do well and you ‘did’ Well….take heart in your choice to ‘be prepared’ and not the ‘roulette’ for ‘their choice’. Had i not ‘equipt’ my bride for just such an eventuality that has come to Many Women at one time or another, i might not have been able to ‘live with myself’ let alone ‘her’, for a man[husband/boyfriend] cannot always be ‘present’ to be a Defense for Our beloved, but we can have the “Choice” to “be Prepared” !!!

  14. avatarAvid Reader says:

    I lived in downtown Chicago for five years, and generally got around either on foot or by public transportation. Many’s the time I wished I had been carrying, but fortunately I never had to face the situation you encountered this morning. This is a city that not only tries to disarm its populace, it resists arming its cops with rifles, making them jump through hoops to qualify to have one in the car. They don’t have shotguns, either.

    Of course, the mayor has a bodyguard detail, and all of the aldercreatures are authorized by statute to carry concealed. The sheeple are supposed to be prey, while our betters are allowed to defend themselves.

    One further note-all of the EL platforms have video surveillance, so be aware there’s a remote chance you may have been caught on video. Fortunately most (not all) of the cops in the city understand the need to carry.

    I still visit the city frequently, but I must admit I always breathe a sigh of relief when my plane leaves the ground.

    • avatarILfiremedic12 says:

      I’m painfully aware of the cameras. I can almost gurantee I’m on it. If that isn’t bad enough, my work jacket has my department name on the front and back and my last name embroidered on the front. If it comes down to it, I’ll lean on the police for some professional courtesy.

      • avatarJeff says:

        Ha! Lean on the cops to give you a lawyer and STFU ASAP. If pushed by your lawyer, say the gun was a toy gun (e.g. Airsoft).

        • avatarSA Operator says:

          +1 to the airsoft! there are no witnesses to say otherwise!

        • avatarEarnanM says:

          This is actually a good idea.

          But take it a little further: get an airsoft version of your carry gun now, and have it available in your home, so if you need to use the “it was just a toy gun” excuse you’ve got the toy gun there to show them.

      • avatarRobert Farago says:

        If it comes down to it, STUFU and ping me (guntruth@me.com). I’ve got Chicago area NRA lawyers on stand by.

      • avatarAnthony Meruelo says:

        Miami here, please hurry back home. Good job handling the situation. I bet you could get the NRA to send you Alan Gura if you do end up getting arrested.

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          Alan Gura (Second Amendment Foundation) and the NRA are not as friendly as you might think.

        • avatarAnthony Meruelo says:

          I wasn’t aware that Gura was strictly SAF. I knew they weren’t on the most friendly of terms but I didn’t know Gura was exclusive. To be honest, I like SAF better anyway. Keepandbeararms.com fundamentally changed my life.

        • avatarBC; MT says:

          Maybe a piece someday about this part of the 2A landscape?

      • avatarzak b says:

        With any luck nobody will ever bother checking the tapes.

  15. avatarTim says:

    It is sad you can’t report it (understandably) – the concern with this incident is the the knuckleheads could report you to the police as “a man with a gun”.

  16. avatarRalph says:

    Is it real or is it Memorex? It can be both. Whether it happened to the writer or not, it’s probably happened many times, gun ban or no gun ban.

    Still, I’m somewhat skeptical because three BGs don’t usually ask for one’s wallet — typically, they take it.

    • avatarILfiremedic12 says:

      I missed your comment earlier Ralph. I’m on my cell phone and this website isn’t friendly to mobile replying. They seemed very confident in themselves, they had obviously been drinking. I doubt this is the first time they have done this. I’ve been playing it over in my head over and over, and for the life of me I can’t understand why he even spoke after asking me for a smoke. From my memory, that is what he said. But he did say it as he reached for me and I deflected and drew. So do i have it exactly right? Don’t know, don’t care really.

      But we are all entitled to our opinions and thoughts, and I don’t have to like or accept them, but I respect the right to have them.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      I suppose whether three guys ask or not depends on your neighborhood. I’ll give you the facts of a case two years ago. A young college-age WM was in the vicinity of the Drexel Univ. campus, studying at a friends apartment during finals. At approx. 3 a.m. he went out (one block) for sandwiches and tea. Coming out of the store four young guys blocked his path and asked for his food. He said no. They then said, “give me your Nikes.” One of them reached out. The student took remarkably ‘effective’ action and then ran. It turned out well enough for him because he was athletic and could run fast. They didn’t take anything, they asked for it. It’s normal ghetto and semi-ghetto mugger behavior. Surround the person, intimidate the person, try to freak them out, read them, THEN move on the paralyzed victim. It takes mere seconds. This routine gives the muggers time to find out whether the victim is armed or otherwise capable. This kind of stuff happens most nights somewhere in the area served by SW Detectives/SW Lockup in Philadelphia.

      • avatarRalph says:

        Good to know. In NYC, the muggers are better trained. They don’t say a word, just jump you, beat you down and take your stuff while you lay on the ground unconscious and bleeding. The process takes about five seconds.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          Now I’ve got it. A New York Minute….equals 5 seconds. Muggers….there ought to be a Nat Geo special about them, a wildlife feature series.

  17. avatarsdog says:

    i am very impressed with the handling of this situation. well done sir!

  18. avatarJSIII says:

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/02/06/burglars-torture-man-with-red-hot-spoon-steal-van-used-for-disabled-son/

    Why you do not comply with criminals in Chicago…unless you like torture.

    We need CCW in Illinois worse than any other state, Chicago is somewhere near #1 for homicides and despite the books being cooked crime is much more brazen, if not up.

  19. avatarbontai Joe says:

    You were able to finish your day unharmed. The 3 bad guys got away with their lives. No police involved, no court dates, no lawyers, just 4 quarts of adrenilin to get rid of. I’d say that was a pretty good day considering any of the alternatives. I’d also pick a different station to go to work from or leave 30 to 45 minutes early. I’d also be VERY aware of anyone following you to and from work for the next few weeks. You don’t want these clowns figuring out where you live, so change routes, change routines, and keep a heightened situation awareness around yourself for the near future.

  20. avatarSA Operator says:

    I too have made the choice to CC in IL. While I have not had to produce said firearm for any situation, it is a risk I am willing to make. I routinely take my 2 1/2 year old nephew to the park, or out to eat, and I refuse to be unarmed and unable to protect my family. Kudos to you my friend, you handled the situation extremely well, and I would hope that is how I would be able to react. We need CCW in this state bad. I have my Utah CFP, but it does me no good in my own state.

  21. avatarST says:

    As a former resident of Chicago,let me assure the membership here that the author could have faced that situation anywhere in the city.The Chicago Police Department are hated by the biased city media,the city government,and the criminal underclass of the city.Thus their numbers have been allowed to dwindle to a dangerous low on account of not having had a new class of recruits since 2006. Thus the thin blue line has been allowed to deteriorate to nanoparticle size and the crooks know it.

    Its a blessing there were no witnesses around to dime out the author to the CPD.Its very probable that the Illinois sheeple would respond to a DGU by calling the authorities on the victim of the attempted attack,and that’s something to consider for those who take ownership of their security in Chicagostan and thereabouts.

    • avatarJames says:

      I’m curious what you mean about the new class of recruits statement. Are you referring to the last time they actively recruited for police? If so, you are incorrect. There was a test offered in December of 2010, with record numbers of applicants. They are also hiring police from the 2006 tests and are sending officers to the academy out of this 2010 test as well. Are they sending enough? Not a chance.

      You really should drop the “Illinois sheeple” nonsense. It’s tiresome. As a citizen of Chicago and a daily rider of the CTA, witnesses would not likely dime out the author. The author may not be applauded for his actions, but certainly most people would turn a blind eye to it. Sure, there is always the chance that someone will take issue with the fact that he pulled a firearm, but Chicago, as you know, is a big city. We get all types of people and some will find an issue, some won’t. Chicago residents are tired of the crime and are sticking up for themselves.

      Not trying to attack you, but as a former resident, you don’t know what you’re talking about right now.

  22. avatarMatt Gregg says:

    Good work but I’d keep quiet of I were you.

  23. avatarAharon says:

    I’m glad you’re ok. Good for you to do the right thing and still carry without the blessings of the dirty politicians. Keep doing what is right and true for you. Modern politicians and their brainless supporters would have us believe politicos and big government should be treated and revered as the new priesthood and new world religion to obey. Screw them since they don’t care if you live or die as long as you obey.

    I noticed the train station in the background said ‘Skokie’. I grew up there. If that was the Skokie Swift Station or one TTAG used simply for background, then (if they are still there) it is in close walking distance to Kaufman’s Bagel Bakery, Irvings Hot Dogs, and Uncle Dan’s Army Navy Store. Great places. Damn, I’m getting homesick.

    • avatarTexas Deputy says:

      Ashkenaz Deli? Italian Beef sandwiches from roadside vendors?
      It has been over 45 years since I moved away from there, but still remember selected foods. I probably would not mind going back (I still have a lot of relatives in the Skokie area), but with the metro Chicago politics (and corruption) and lack of respect for constitutional rights, I could never live there again.

      When I did visit relatives in Skokie a few years ago, they were appalled that I was carrying concealed, and thought that HR218 (Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act) was terrible and that no one except local police should be carrying! Despite several opportunities, I have not been back since.

      • avatarAharon says:

        Italian Beef yes! I so miss that type of comfort food. And the Pizza. Did you attend high school there or did you move away earlier? I can relate to your experience with the relatives. My sister who now lives in the NYC area asked me why I need more than one gun. Why do people need more than one type of knife in the kitchen?

        • avatarTexas Deputy says:

          Went to Oak Park and River Forest High School, then started college at IIT before moving to Maryland and finishing college and grad school there.

          Had (have) a lot of relatives in the Skokie area, and my parents seriously considered moving to Skokie, even to the point of house hunting there. I almost spent my senior year of HS at New Trier!

          My dad was an executive at the now defunct Polk City (Polk Brothers complex of stores) on N. Central.

        • avatarAharon says:

          I went to Niles East and then college in Iowa. I’ve heard that Skokie has changed alot (obviously most places do change). I looked up the old family home on google maps. The block looks the same.

        • avatarMark N. says:

          I am a new trier grad. Best pizza we got was from skokie, but the best italian roast beef was in cicero. Oh I miss those sandwiches!

        • avatarAharon says:

          There was a place called La Rosa in Skokie that had great thin pizza. In high school, my buds and I liked going to Gullivers and Barnaby’s Pizza which I think was located in a bowling alley. Downtown, in a food cart was Al’s Italian Beef which was my favorite. On Cicero Blvd there was (now ruined and gone by the grandson) a Chinese restaurant called Hi Howe that had really good food and a really rude and obnoxious owner.

      • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

        “and thought that HR218 (Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act) was terrible and that no one except local police should be carrying!”
        —–
        Lucky you; you can carry when visiting relatives in Chi-Town and still be within the confines of the law…

  24. avatarNxSW says:

    Help me out with a question here, because this is something I am still trying to answer for myself with daily CCW: how did you figure that this guy demanding your wallet and reaching toward you constituted eminent threat of death or great bodily harm? I don’t mean that as a criticism, because I certainly wasn’t in your shoes. But, realistically, if the hoods hadn’t run off, how would you have been able to justify to yourself that shooting one or more of them was a reasonable response? I totally get not wanting to give them your wallet, but isn’t that in itself something short of them actually indicating in some way that they were going to hurt you?

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      Ah, the Monday-morning quarterbacking begins…

      • avatarNxSW says:

        The question I’m asking is not some little issue, and I really am not calling into the question the decision the OP made. What it comes down to is what criteria does anyone use to make the decision to deploy deadly force in the face of a threat. Everyone in my family that doesn’t agree with my decision to carry concealed seems to think that a CCWer is probably going to use his/her gun at the drop of a hat, and thereby unnecessarily escalate minor problems. For that reason, I am particularly sensitive to the question of when is it appropriate and not appropriate, and think that anyone who is carrying concealed (wherever you are) had better approach that question with great fear and trembling.

        • avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

          I’d do the exact same thing the OP did 100 out of 100 times. I’d be like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Same thing, over and over.

        • avatarLaszlo says:

          You make the assumption that the average street criminal cares about human life as much as you do.

          It is an incorrect assumption.

      • The fact is we’ll never know. And neither did the author.

        But, Moonshine objects to even asking the questions.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      I wasn’t there, but I’d take “I’ll take your fucking wallet then dick” plus 3 on 1 odds as prima facie evidence of personal danger.

    • avatarILfiremedic12 says:

      I wont pretend to be an expert on this subject, but you can gain a lot of information from observing people’s body language. The moment they stepped onto my side of the track, red flags popped up everywhere, and when they advanced towards me with closed fists, red flags practically knocked me over.

      • avatarNxSW says:

        Great answer. Seeing the red flags is the first step, and then trusting yourself enough to respond to them is the second. I was told in my CCW class that a person’s ability to articulate these signs and the sense of great danger they represented is super important in the aftermath of a DGU. Thanks.

        • avatarScott says:

          I have to agree with GS650G. Please be careful. I suspect Chicago needs more people like you.

          Well done though.

        • Your flagrant disregard of laws you don’t agree with makes you a hidden criminal. Plus, it puts the lie to the oft-repeated nonsense that gun owners are super careful and law-abiding because they don’t want to risk losing their right to own guns. I’ve always said that’s a load of crap, thanks for confirming.

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          Read some history. This country was founded by people who flagrantly disregarded laws they didn’t agree with.

        • The law disarming people in Chicago is unconstitutional & thus in itself unlawful. Thus I see nothing wrong in a law abiding citizen ignoring it.

          Or do you have a different interpretation of “shall not be infringed” to the English one?

      • avatarGS650G says:

        Be careful about posting ILfiremedic12. Rahm’s boys might demand data from RF like your IP address so they can nail you.

    • avatarST says:

      Disparity of force. Three guys on one is a legal justification to use lethal force.

      • avatarBegemot says:

        Not necessarily. Other criteria must likely be satisfied for a legal justification. Using Ayoob’s widely accepted (but not indisputable) model, three on one meets the “ability” criterion. The fact of the desolate platform and inability to retreat seem to meet the “opportunity” factor. The “jeopardy” idea may be of most legal relevance here. Would a “reasonable” person conclude that the aggressors meant to kill or cripple him, or just take his property. If the latter, then lethal force may not be legally justified. If the aggressor brandished a weapon, then “jeopardy” would likely be satisfied.
        This is just speculation in response to OP’s call for feedback and not a criticism – I don’t know how I would react in a similar situation. Possibly the same way.

        http://www.useofforce.us/3aojp/

        • avatarILfiremedic12 says:

          Extremely interesting read. I freely admit that I have read absolutely nothing written by Mr. Ayoob. I will be “correcting” that shortly I believe. What does “jeopardy” entail exactly? Does it mean something along the lines of my life being in jeopardy?

        • avatarEric says:

          I wouldn’t over think this. You did a great job and made a great decision under pressure. If you had been worried about Ayoob’s legalities you could be beaten to a pulp due to your indecision.

        • avatarK.C. says:

          Doesn’t necessarily mean in fear for your life; the standard I’ve heard most is “great bodily harm”. If you thought you were going to get your teeth kicked in for declining to give them your wallet, then jeopardy was certainly satisfied in my opinion.

        • avatarMark N. says:

          I think that standard is pretty universal. Don’t know about NY City–it’s probably like England, where they’ve almost completely outlawed self defense.

        • Oddly enough things have improved here recently, with the Home Secretary stating that people can use “reasonable force” up to & including lethal force to defend themselves.
          There have been several justifiable homicide verdicts since this came about.

    • avatar"lee n. field" says:

      how did you figure that this guy demanding your wallet and reaching toward you constituted eminent threat of death or great bodily harm?

      You’re kidding, aren’t you?

      If you’re not kidding, go back and read what he said: “He then said, “I’ll take your fucking wallet then dick” while reaching out to me. I smacked his forearm away with my left hand”.

    • avatarTim McNabb says:

      I understand your question NxSW. The answer for me would be three toughs hanging out together and one wants my wallet.

      I have no idea if the wallet will be sufficient payment to not get an ass beating or not. Three guys beating my ass is definitely a lethal threat.

      I defer to other legal minds, but as a potential juror, it seems to me that three toughs, and one going for your wallet would strike me as a reasonable threat. It seems to me it is what a juror would think is reasonable.

    • avatarGS650G says:

      NxSW,
      Is English your first language or is there something about ” I’ll take your fucking wallet, dick” that confuses you? If there are 3 of them and you are by yourself do you seriously think they will merely thank you and be on their way so you can tell someone what they looked like?

      To put it another way, would you trust them not to hurt you?

  25. avatarLeftShooter says:

    Ralph (above) makes some very good points. That said, allowing the benefit of the doubt, I am happy that you’re OK and not physically harmed. I also think that I would wear a windbreaker or other cover garment over any uniform that lists my name, unit, etc. And, while I disagree with Chicago’s CCW laws, I’d think long and hard before carrying there. Suppose the bad guys had pointed you out to a cop and said you scared them by brandishing your firearm? Your story would be three against one and you’re the one holding the gun—and probably heading for a felony charge. I’d recommend another plan to limit your exposure to harm—and work like hell to get the city and state rules changed.

    • avatarILfiremedic12 says:

      I had a conversation with a buddy of mine and came to the same conclusion. About wearing a different garment to and from work. I’ll be wearing “plain clothes” from now on. Many of us have brought the fact our names are on our uniforms for everyone to read, memorize, and look up. But it’s policy for the department, so I’m stuck with that.

      I agree with you it’s not a great situation, but its the one I’m in. I have made the decision to carry and I’m glad I did. Do I recommend carrying in Chicago? Certainly not. But it is what it is. I understand what will happen. Notice I wrote will. I’m not naive. But i prefer to not be a sheep. It doesn’t suit my ambition to grow old next to my wife.

      • avatarNR says:

        I’m just wondering if would be possible, if RF got hit with a subpoena, to force him to provide the police with your IP address.

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          IP’s can (sometimes) be tied to a physical address. In the case of a cell or wi-fi connection, though, the tie is tenuous at best.

      • avatarCowboy Dan says:

        I carry when I have to go into Chicago, too. Hey, concealed is concealed, right? No one knows, and I’m real okay with that.

        Leave your uniform shirt hidden as best you can, man. I worked in a prison for a while. One of my sergeants told me he carried his uniform shirt in the car and only wore it inside the institution. Outside, he was Jim. Inside, he was Sergeant Jim. Wised me up. If you carry a duty bag, put your shirt in it and keep the possibility of anyone ID’ing you down.

        We had an officer who was on some kind of special duty and didn’t get a lot of the lousy jobs most of us did. He walked funny & didn’t seem real bright. I learned from a co worker that he’d left his uniform shirt on the hanger hook in his car. He went into a bar and several guys beat him very, very badly when he came out. Damn near killed him. He was unconscious for several days and spent a couple of months in the hospital. He missed almost a year’s work.

  26. avatarxpo172 says:

    It’s easy for me to say, but your first mistake was moving to Chicago. I grew up there, but you couldn’t pay me to live there now. How are you supposed to defend yourself in this situation? My man had great awareness, training, etc, but is still backed into a corner by the liberal gun blockers AND the 3 criminals at the station.Contact your lawyer…NOW. You probably did the right thing at the moment, but as soon as you left your house with an “illegal” gun, any way this went, it would have been bad. You’re lucky you didn’t end up in jail… for aggravated assault and weapons charges. You may still get a knock on the door. Since this happened at a CTA station, there are cameras…

    • avatarST says:

      In all fairness, anytime a gun owner draws down on a felon within the 50 states of America this is a risk.In a district that respects peoples’ right to carry this is settled easily enough, but in Chicagostan the government is literally run and represented by the gang bangers.

      Think im being sarcastic or extreme? Im not. It is researched fact that criminal gangs like the Vice Lords, Latin Kings, and their ilk have paid representation in the Chicago City Council.

      http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/January-2012/Gangs-and-Politicians-An-Unholy-Alliance/

      From the article :

      ***Baskin—who was himself a candidate in the 16th Ward aldermanic race, which he would lose—was happy to oblige. In all, he says, he helped broker meetings between roughly 30 politicians (ten sitting aldermen and 20 candidates for City Council) and at least six gang representatives. That claim is backed up by two other community activists, Harold Davis Jr. and Kublai K. M. Toure, who worked with Baskin to arrange the meetings, and a third participant, also a community activist, who requested anonymity.***

      • avatarGS650G says:

        “In all fairness, anytime a gun owner draws down on a felon within the 50 states of America this is a risk”
        This is true. The law is surprisingly in the criminals favor, the police are apt to believe a MWAG call from them is a cry for help, and in a city like Chicago personal self defense is discouraged.

  27. avatarsum yung guy says:

    Looks like they were expecting a lamb and encountered a wolf.

  28. avatarILfarWestBurbs says:

    http://www.concealcarry.org/illinois-carry/

    I’m assuming you have a FOID and you are registered in Chicago. Welcome to Illinios :(

    I would suggest a fanny pack holster be put in your backpack. If an issue arises, in the aftermath, that’s where you retrieved your firearm from. Defend yourself 1st. I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6. And do not say a word to the cops. Have a lawers name ready to go.

    • avatarILfiremedic12 says:

      I have a FOID and yes I’m registered. Unfortunately. Stupid system.

      Can you explain the fanny pack inside of the book bag? Is that to avoid a concealed weapon? Thanks.

      • avatarSA Operator says:

        A fanny pack generally has 2 zipper pulls on it, making it able to be “locked”, making it a legal carrying case. Having an autoloader in it with a full mag, but one not in the chamber is a legal way to carry it in IL. Most cops will not know this, so it would be handy to have a copy of the laws on you. This is the way I understand it, and the way my Utah CCW instructor (who lives here in IL) explained it to me. If I am incorrect, please correct me, I do not want to be giving false information out.

        • avatarILfiremedic12 says:

          Extremely interesting. I’m going to have to do some reading on this one. If that’s the case my backpack and other bags I carry often would qualify as a legal carrying case.

          Thank you good sir.

        • avatarST says:

          That is correct…..legally.

          On the ground in Northeast Illinois you’ll be cuffed and booked for Unlawful Use of a Weapon .

          There is no state pre-emption for firearm laws in Illinois, so each town and village can make its own laws as it sees fit. For example, fanny pack carry in Highland Park Illinois and youll be arrested for UUW. Not because state law was violated, but because local Highland Park ordinance demands that a permit be secured from the local police cheif before any handgun can exist within town limits.There is no exemption for guns stored locked and in the trunk of a car either, so the bottom line is that if the cops find a gun on your person -loaded, unloaded, cased, uncased, disassembled, assembled, what have you-you will be jailed and the piece confiscated.

          If you ‘fanny pack carry’ the charges can be dropped on the back end, but you’ll still get arrested and booked anyway.If you’re gonna pack heat on the QT in IL you may as well carry hot like the author, because either way the consequences are the same if the authorities find out.

      • avatar"lee n. field" says:

        Fanny pack is to be compliant with the letter of Illinois gun transportation law. Or at least close enough to be credible. “Unloaded and in a container intended for a firearm”.

  29. avatarJJ Swiontek says:

    I’m glad that you are not hurt. And you did good on assessing the situation. One of the other posters is correct, there are cameras. However, the images may not be looked at if the three ‘yutes’ do not report the incident.

    “Yo, officer. We was about to mug this guy for his wallet when he pulls a gun!”

    Of course, they may be under the impression that you have your gun legally under color-of-law and they got away without being arrested.

    “Dude, we almost mugged an under-cover cop!” “Yeah. Let’s stick with little old ladies from now on.” “Dude!”

    After a while, the image will be recorded over. I would keep a lawyer near by, just in case.

    Else than that, I would plan to move as soon as feasible to a more gun-friendly state. (Voting with your feet.)

    Good Work!

    • avatarGS650G says:

      Switch routes to work for a while and pray the evening news doesn’t run a story with video from the platform. I promise you they would be looking for you, Bernie Getz himself, rather than the three gorillas who tried to rob you. They you see are the victims of someone that failed to obey the law of don’t carry.

  30. avatarMontesa_VR says:

    I’d say your only mistake was missing the train, which is what put you in a vulnerable position. Your only legal issue is carrying in Chicago. Displaying a gun was a completely reasonable response to a demand for your wallet.

    27 years ago four teenagers approached Bernhard H. Goetz on a Manhattan subway and asked for $5. Goetz shot all four of them with a five-shot revolver. None died, although one was paralyzed.

    When Goetz turned himself in he waived his right to a lawyer and agreed to provide a two-hour recorded statement to police. In spite of that disastrous failure of STFU, he was acquitted of the charges of attempted murder, assault, and reckless endangerment. He served eight and a half months in jail for illegal weapon possession.

    A month after the shooting, Darrell Cabey’s attorney’s filed a civil suite which went to trial eleven years later. The jury awarded Cabey $43 million, of which Goetz recently claimed he has not paid a penny. His legal expenses for the criminal and civil trial must have been astronomical. The other three shooting victims recovered enough to go on to further rape and robberies. One recently died from an apparent drug overdose.

  31. avatarBob says:

    Unfortunately, there were probably surveillance cameras that caught the incident. It is within the realm of possibility that an agressive gun-grabbing prosecutor (most of them are, especially in the people’s republic of chicago) will track the victim down and press charges. They won’t even bother to track down the criminals. Safer to target the peaceful citizen.

  32. avatarRopingdown says:

    I think the attempted mugging described is fairly standard. But for the fact that the gun is illegal (as described) I have little doubt but that three on one and a demand for one’s wallet provides justification in my state. Illinois? Who knows. I would be very careful about relying on Ayoob’s “In the Gravest Extreme” for legal advice. I have read it (and his handgun and shotgun-technique books). People highly recommend Ayoob’s book because, well, there aren’t any others to recommend. While the book is a good orientation to the physical and legal pressures of armed defense, you absolutely must consult materials, laws, in your own jurisdiction, and follow those to the T, not Ayoob’s generalized formulations. There are not three conditions in most states but more commonly two, sometimes four, and the definitions vary significantly. Further, if someone attempts a mugging and you drew your firearm (at least in PA and especially Phila.,) report it immediately. If the mugger reports your ‘brandishing’ first (yes, it has happened repeatedly in Philadelphia) you’ll be on the legal defensive for hours, in some cases months. In Chicago, laugh, the rule is otherwise.

    • avatarGS650G says:

      One gem from Ayoobs writing is the sage: Carrying a gun doesn’t mean you don’t take shit from people, it means you take a lot of shit.”

      Very true words and cooler heads prevail. A hand outstretched going for your wallet with two other crack addicts standing by signifies you’re done taking shit for the day.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        Yes. I’m conflicted about Ayoob. Much of his description is useful. Some of it is misleading. I think it’s a good starting point for new people. YES, agree, carrying means keeping a cool head and not encouraging arguments. Agree about the point at which he was done for the day. Didn’t catch the part saying they were crack addicts.

        • avatarRalph says:

          Much of “In the Gravest Extreme” is dated, and I hope that Ayoob chooses to update the book. It was a classic in its time.

        • avatarGS650G says:

          “Didn’t catch the part saying they were crack addicts.”
          Just taking a little liberty with their status. They were probably not looking to spend his money on baby food and utility bills.

        • avatarBegemot says:

          I agree that not everything Massad Ayoob says is gospel. But I’ll consider the legal advice of an expert witness in numerous lethal force trials over my own “gut” in a highly emotional situation. The standards for using lethal force are well, relatively standard: “You may legally use deadly force only when there is an immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm to the innocent.” This does vary by location and research on local “interpretations” is vital, but the point is similar and to a great extent, based on common sense. I won’t belabor this, as there are many more people on this forum that are more qualified to speak about the legal ramifications than I am.
          But ethically, I feel an obligation to educate myself on the use of lethal force and think deeply about the potential consequences of all my choices. I don’t believe you can “over think this”. This doesn’t mean pondering the meaning of existence 10 seconds before being brained with a crowbar, but digesting the realities of dispatching a human long before you’re in a “situation”, and accepting responsibility for your own and your aggressor’s life. Then getting as much training as possible. I think this preparation will make you more (not less) likely to act with commitment and decisiveness in a deadly force encounter. Of course everything can still turn into a big, shiny turd, but that’s life.

  33. avatarAlex says:

    Good on you for taking action and not letting yourself be victimized. F*ck Cook County’s crooked politicians for making you a criminal for doing so.

    Twenty years ago I was mugged at gun-point in Chicago by two ignorant, low-life, degenerate pigs, who I hope have since died agonizing deaths or are otherwise being raped daily in prison. Anywho, I learned that I’d rather risk having a criminal record for carrying a gun than have my obituary read what a law-abiding citizen I was.

  34. avatarjean says:

    BGs dont usually “ask for your wallet” and skeptical ? what Rock have you been under. BGs want ‘easy’ till they get ‘friction’ ,then go for ‘kill’. Were it a ‘woman’ her panties w’d be on her head and robbed of dignity and $$, just one more ‘coup’ to debit from the likes of you ! It is incumbent on Citizens to Defy Criminality.

  35. First, the guy’s a hidden criminal for carrying a gun illegally, if I understood correctly.

    Second, we’ll never know what would have happened if he’d not scared the three aggressors away. If this is what you consider just cause for gun play, then so could a dirty look from some dangerous-looking guy.

    • avatarDuke says:

      First, you must be in upside down world to read about a 3 on 1 assault/mugging and believe that the only criminal is the ordinary citizen who refused to be victimized.

      Second, no, we won’t know what would have happened if the paramedic wasn’t armed but it could only be one of two ways. Either he loses his wallet and doesn’t get murdered or he loses his wallet and does get murdered. You don’t have to be a genius to recognize that both of those options are much worse than the actual outcome (nobody lost their wallet and nobody got murdered) and to your other suggestion, no, a “dirty look” is not just cause. If you read the letter, the paramedic was actively being assaulted and robbed by three thugs.

    • avatarRuffRidr says:

      I wonder how MikeB would have handled the situation. Would you have been fine with being stabbed or beaten to within an inch of your life? Maybe you are hoping that the urine soaked pants would keep them at bay.

      • avatarJarhead1982 says:

        Naw, he just would have crapped his pants, he is about the age where Depends are necessary clothing option anyway!

      • avatarJarhead1982 says:

        Or maybe he would have vomited on them as a woman being raped should do, eh?

      • Nah, I would have spun around like Bruce Lee while secretly taking my car keys out of my pocket and with one forceful blow, I would have stabbed the bad guy in the temple, issuing him a death blow in under three seconds.

        You see, you guys aren’t the only ones who can play this fantasy game.

  36. avatarAdrian says:

    I think you should also remember all of the things you did correctly BEFORE pulling your gun. I.E. being aware of your surroundings enough to notice that those dudes were on one side of the platform and then left to come around to the other side. And although you don’t write this, presumably you turned your body so that you kept them in your vision field the entire time they were on the platform. Preparation is 90% of the battle. Good situational awareness.

  37. avatarSpencer Smith says:

    This guy is either a moron or bullshitting. He’s way too specific about his job and how he gets there. The L hits only a few suburbs directly and him saying he’s from Florida temporarily while his girlfriend finishes school is a little more info than I’d share if I was working in a government job and breaking the law regularly.
    Let’s get back to that government job while we’re at it. I don’t know anyone who has gotten work as a firefighter in a “temporary” basis. People wait for years (even in the suburbs) to get brought on.
    I’m not completely against conceal carry, but this guy doesn’t sound like the type who should be allowed to do so. I’ve lived in some shitty neighborhoods over the course of many years and had my share of run-ins with less than savory types. Not one situation would have justified having a gun involved.

    • avatarMontesa_VR says:

      Yeah, and I’ve been driving for 43 years and I have never been in a situation that would have justified a seat belt. FLAME DELETED

      • avatarSpencer Smith says:

        Disregard that portion of it and tell me how one gets a “temp” job as a fireman in the Chicagoland area? Or why this person would so readily identify themselves?

        If this story goes viral (and it is well on its way to doing so) and this person is telling the truth, if I were him, I’d be worried about losing my job at best and going to jail at worst.

  38. avatarVarmint Hunter says:

    redacted

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      1. It was an elevated platform, above street level. Not a subway.

      2. The 3 BG’s were between him and the stairs.

  39. avatarMike T says:

    I want to believe this true… but to be completely honest, this account sounds completely fabricated…

  40. avatarMarc says:

    For the sake of the victim here, remove this story immediately.

    Like it or not, there were four criminals on that train platform. At least where I come from there are cameras in all public transit stations and you’ve offered a nice timeframe for them to review the tapes and ID you. Shouldn’t be hard. You’re a ff/pm, 12 is what, your station number?

    I’ve probably carried in places where it was not legal for me to do so, but please, use some discretion in who you tell about it.

  41. avatarIndigo says:

    A very similar incident happened to me at the Belmont El station over 20 years ago. Three potential BGs crossed over to my side of the divided platform while I was waiting for a train late at night. No one else around, no reason for them to come to my side of the station unless they were waiting for the Ravenswood shuttle, and their body language did not agree with that peaceful CTA customers. Major difference: I wasn’t carrying. As they approached, I put my briefcase down at my feet, assumed the basics of a Weaver stance, opened my coat and put my hand in my right armpit. And smiled. Luckily, they decided to go down the stairs and out of the station. All I had to face them with was a bluff, and failing that, harsh language. My major tactical mistake was to allow myself to be cut off from the exit routes, and I have never repeated that mistake

    • avatar45 King says:

      I’m sure you are not the only who carries in Chicago. People are scared they would rather risk being caught by Police with a weapon than caught by thieves without a weapon.

  42. avatarCops Wife says:

    You might be surprised…..head on over to “Second City Cop” blogsite and read what they have to say about illegal carry…….they are HAPPY that the Chicago people are starting to carry because they know that CPD is woefully inadequate because they don’t have enough cops on the street

  43. avatarJoe the Pimpernel says:

    You, my friend, are the very type of racist that Eric Holder hates.

  44. avatarTSgt B says:

    I am a telecommunications technician by trade, have worked in the gun-free Utopia of the People’s Democratic Republic of Chitcago more times than I care to count, AND HAVE ALWAYS CARRIED there (and elsewhere). I was waiting to start work at the Wabash Main central office one night, sitting in my car behind the building with another installer, when a dude who looked like Huggy Bear from Starsky & Hutch pulled my door open.

    I put the muzzle of my 1911A1 .45 ACP on his nose, told him to get F@#k out of here, and he was gone before his shadow. Had he not backed off, I would have ventilated his brainpan. My poor friend in the passenger seat, who didn’t know until then that I carried, literally crapped his pants. He thought he was going to see a killing. But we both went home after work.

  45. avatar"gunner" says:

    things like those incidents are the reason i moved to vermont many years ago from new york city, with a temporary stop in massachusetts to meet and marry the prettiest girl in the world. one of the first things i bought for her when we settled down here was a pistol. 45 years later and we’re still here, and she still has that pistol.

  46. avatarBig R Stud A Lot says:

    Right on buddy! As a law student down in Hyde Park, I literally cannot afford to get caught with an illegal firearm (over 200K in debt and a guaranteed loss of my license if I get caught), but every frickin day that I walk through campus I find myself wishing to god that I had my 9mm at my side.

    • avatarSame Initials, Different Person says:

      Are you me? This must be the sentiment of a lot of people. BTW, congrats on U of C, great school. And it would be a shame if you had to report that on your bar app; I just turned mine in.

  47. avatarMark N. says:

    Foumd this on anothre website with a link to this article: http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1285487_Street_robberies_and_you___The_Basics.html
    From what this article says, the OP done good.

  48. avatarBaby "G" says:

    Now that you published the incident, CTA and the Mass Transit Unit will review the video. If you use the same station they will be able to identify you. Board and exit at a different station for the remainder of your stay in Chicago. Too bad you didn’t shoot the bastards, now someone else will be victimized. Also, why not give their race? Are you afraid of offending a minority? Judging from their approach, those of us who ride the system know they were black. Working blacks who also use the System and are also victimized by these pigs will not feel insulted by identifying the miscreants amongst them.

    • avatartwency says:

      “Also, why not give their race”

      Why give their race? It is irrelevant to the encounter described.

      • avatarCraig says:

        Sorry but race is relevant. Only white people feel guilty about giving the race of an offender. Shit, I hear 911 calls that the victim or witness won’t give the race of the offender. I’m sorry to tell you this but it is more likely to be robbed by a young male black than any other demographic.

    • avatarBAZZOKA Joe says:

      Hay Baby G

      Was dat you I saw riding the el with your stuff on your hip and little homies wanting be me ? Just asking !

  49. avatarJohn Boch says:

    Bravo on happy ending.

    Almost perfect, in fact.

  50. avatarBaby "G" says:

    Race, age and clothing description are imperative to identify and make potential victims aware of what they should be most concerned of. To avoid giving race and approximate age descriptions is the nonsense that Liberal/Progressives want us to do, as if the actions of a few is a reflection on all members of that race. This paternalistic, White Plantation mentality is common among white Liberal/Progressives who have spent most of their lives and money living away from minorities; but I am sure you’ll feel better when you vote for Obama. But remember, your “Black Super Hero” is half white.

    • avatarAdrian says:

      Yeah, that way you can spend your attention scoping out the black high school student in baggy jeans, while the white crackhead gets the jump on you. Real smart.

      • avatarSteve Miller says:

        You might as well have said leprechaun riding a unicorn for relative chances. If you separated chicago from the rest of the state you would have a state with the same murder rate as Finland, and an island that belongs near africa using INTERPOL’s data.

  51. avatar45 King says:

    I love the way some of these people think. Pure ignorance dont always bet on black. You spend your time watching us instead of paying attention to everyone. Crime is not a racial issue as well as drugs either. Just as many crackheads and criminals in all races. I pay attention to all people in general. It’s 2012 I don’t put nothing past anyone of any race.

    • avatarbontai Joe says:

      I’m white, my wife isn’t. And I live in a state that has the largest membership in the Klan (Pennsylvania believe it or not). So I look at EVERYONE, because my potential attacker can be a drug addict, a gang member or a Klan member.

      • avatarChris Rich says:

        You should be suspiscious of everyone regardless of race. That would be very smart. But it would be even SMARTER to understand statistics and odds. Much like the TSA shouldn’t be wasting a lot of time molesting grandmoms and little girls most of your attention shouldn’t be diverted away from high risk subjects to low risk subjects. The fact is, no matter how PC or hold hands and drink Coca Colas you want to be……there ARE different types of people who you are MUCH more likely to commit a crime against you than others. It is SMART from a self defense standpoint to be able to realize who/what the high risk subjects are and address them accordingly.

    • avatarSteve Miller says:

      The problem is blacks committed 52% of the murders in 2010 (most recent avialible) but are only 13% of the US population. So committing about 1/2 of the murders doesnt make the 13% equal to the 87% of whites, hispanics ,asians, and native americans combined. How is it that asians are a minority but excel in everything but crime? http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl03.xls

  52. avatarReni says:

    Comment removed to create a new post.

  53. avatarMrMonarch says:

    Justifiable use of force statute for Illinois. Read and enjoy.

    http://illinoiscarry.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=19429

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