Tom in Oregon

By Tom in Oregon

As a disclosure, I was a full-time police officer during my first defensive gun use, so I was allowed to carry concealed as long as I had ID with me. I have been retired for a bit over two years now. The problem during this particular time was that I was working undercover and had been for some time. I had a fake ID, and was told to not carry anything police-related. I was allowed to carry a gun, but if I got arrested for it, I’d need to make a phone call for some splainin’ to do. Besides working for my own department, I was frequently on loan to other departments as I had a fresh face, and could walk the walk . . .

One fall day, I had left the house dressed in grubbies as usual. My undercover car was a 74 Monte Carlo beater. I took the two kids to the baby sitter across town and realized I had left something at the house. So, back the way I came. As I wound my way through some residential streets, I got a bit paranoid as a car behind me seemed to be following me. (Paranoia comes fast and easy when you’re undercover).

I made a mental note of the license plate and double checked the GLOCK 17 I had jammed into my waist.

I was stopped by a red light. The car that had been behind me had the couple acting a bit animated while seeming to stare at me. The old saying, “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you” crossed my mind. As the light turned green, they seemed even more animated. He’s in the passenger seat, waiving his arms around. She’s driving, and looking like she was yelling at him.

Across the intersection, now we are in a school zone. Another half a block and this gal is riding my ass like Freddie Mercury in a San Francisco bath house. Suddenly the car starts to pass me. I’m thinking, “Really! We’re in a school zone.”

Then the car veers in front of me and locks up the brakes, blocking me against a curb with the school playground on my right. The next thing I know, the guy is getting out of the passenger seat. He’s got a tire iron in his right hand, cocked, and coming at me.

Chronostasis has set in. My seatbelt is on. Crap is on the passenger seat, so no retreat there. Getting out of the drivers side would just put me closer to him. Distance equals time, and time equals options. I’ve got about 20 feet. I’m out of time. Only one option.

Gun drawn.

Front sight, front sight, front sight. Trigger press. Backstop is his accomplice, too bad for her. Beyond that, a filbert orchard. Good to go. I scream, “DROP IT”!

He drops the tire iron (I can still hear that sound). He then drops to his knees and puts his hands on top of his head. WTF?

The gal driving begins to laugh hysterically. Double WTF? Then he starts laughing. Really, WTF?

I blindly dig in my backpack and find my walkie talkie. I never did hear what I sounded like on the playback tape from our dispatch center, but in quick order, the on-duty uniformed officer got there. Cuff and stuff, times two.

They were a creepy pair. Goth before anyone knew what goth was. She had two black eyes, along with black makeup. They were Wiccan. Of the not nice Wiccan variety. Neighbors complaining about bonfires and chanting. An odd couple.

As I’m writing up my report and probable cause affidavit for the charges, I find out that the dynamic duo had been at the coast the week before, robbing tourists in a similar fashion. One would drive by pedestrians, the other would hang out the passenger window of the car and use a baseball bat to smack an unsuspecting person. They would stop, grab the purse and shopping bags then drive off. They were out on their own recognizance, pending trial when they ran across me.

The truly funny part is that they thought I was a drug dealer and I might have some money or drugs. Back to jail, and they didn’t collect $200.00. (I saw them in traffic about a week later due to jail overcrowding).

In retrospect, I felt that training and a lot of range time had really kicked in. During the period when time slowed down, I took into consideration my escape routes, (in this case, the lack thereof), target, backstop. It was all there. And, I didn’t have to shoot. Because training. It was a good feeling.

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94 Responses to My First (And Not My Last) Defensive Gun Use

  1. Given their modus operandi, I kind of wish you had shot him.

    Seriously … Baseball bats from moving cars? Sounds like attempted murder to me.

    • Yeah, it’s a shame they didn’t press their luck with a Glock drawn on them. “People” like that shouldn’t be given the revolving door treatment.

      • So killing them is a reasonable alternative? You know progressives visit this website, right? You know they’re looking for any reason to shed bad light on the gunner community, right? You two ought to know better. You’re making our community look like murder-hungry monsters. Not okay.

        • The goth couple had multiple counts of armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon pending against them, and were attempting yet another assault. If someone is incapable of understanding self-defense in that scenario, then their mind was already made up and no amount of censorship in the narrative will change their mind.

        • I’m not murder hungry in the least. I blame the War on Drugs and an overcrowded prison system loaded with people who got thrown in on bullshit drug charges yet somehow it’s acceptable that scumbags like this get to see the light of day. If law enforcement won’t/can’t do its job and repeat violent offenders decide to prey on the unarmed again I’m not going to shed tears if they end up getting a lethal lead injection.

        • If James runs into these two Gothic Murder Hungry people he’s going to wish Tom dropped them both.

    • We had a family friend in V.A. and a bunch of ass hole kids would ride down the street knocking down mailboxes with a bat. My friend got tired of replacing his mailbox so he got an old one and filled it with concrete, so needless to say one broken arm (or maybe two) later, that problem was done and done.

        • Concrete filled mailbox is a great idea. You could leave a slot with styrophome when you poured the concrete so the mailman could still use the mailbox, for letters anyway.

        • Get a large mailbox and a regular size one. Nest them like those Russian dolls, one inside the other, and fill the gap with the concrete. That way, when the mailman opens the door to the large box, there’s still a standard size mailbox inside.

      • And one time outside of Missoula there was a pair that would drive down Hwy 93 at night in an old farm truck and clip the mailboxes, most of which had been there for many years on 4×4 fence posts. After the third rebuild our neighbor got tired of the game and used a 3 inch steel pipe with the box about 36 inches above ground and the other seven feet of pipe underground – he had a well-drilling business on the side.

        They bent the post, but they never came back.

        • My neighbor’s last name was Duck. He had a large wooden duck cutout hanging from his mailbox. After several years, some youth decided to go “duck hunting.” After he replaced 2 ducks, the third was cut out of steel plate. A few nights later, he heard a distinctive “gong” and later found the remains of a baseball bat near the mailbox. Problem solved. Never heard if anyone suffered injury but that had to sting the wrists.

  2. A thought: Is not having a backstop in a DGU going to stop you from pulling the trigger? Yea, no one wants an innocent person harmed in defending themselves…but if you pull the trigger it’s because you have no other option…I wonder if it’s me or them(and possibly someone beyond) am I going down for it…

    Thoughts?

    • Depends on the backstop, I’d guess.

      Your kid’s bedroom vs a bad guy’s accomplice, say.

      A reason to carry hollow points.

    • Regardless of how threatened you feel, you are still responsible for every piece of lead that exits your muzzle in criminal, civil, and eternal courts. Backstop is a serious consideration.

      • I thought that in most cases if an innocent is harmed during the commission of a felony by an armed citizen that death/injury gets tacked into the criminals charges.

        • Depends on the jurisdiction, your lawyer, prosecutor, judge, 12 random people who had nothing better to do that pull jury duty, the rantings of your victim’s relatives, and then when that’s all done they sue you in civil court too. And the whole mess starts over again.

  3. The fact that these losers were out on the street a week later is by far the most depressing part of this story.

    • Word. I kinda hope they picked on the wrong victims later that day and ended up in roadside graves. Coupla dicks. Cool story.

      • I don’t kinda hope, I do hope. I don’t lightly wish death upon people, but someone who makes a career of assaulting with deadly force? Yeah…I want them to die.

    • Yeah, I thought the same thing. I wonder if those two graduated to bigger crimes.
      They probably voted for Obama twice.

  4. That picture. OMG. That picture. You looked like Jeff Foxworthy’s less successful cousin. I’ll bet your cover was never even questioned by the bad guys.

        • “… you don’t get a reference to a comedian from the 70’s”.

          First time I have been featured in one of those. I read a bit about him and I must admit he is funny.

          Now would it be copying if I made a similar series of jokes called “you might be an immigrant if…”? Nothing against immigrants, am one myself, just thinking out loud.

        • Comedian from the SEVENTIES?!

          Did they not have comedy central where you were living? He’s been big from the 90’s all the way til recently.

        • Foxworthy is still doing his standup act on tour to this day, IIRC. He and his other three business partners have an ongoing Blue Collar Comedy tour that is, to my knowledge, still performing. He also has the occasional guest appears on the Blue Collar Comedy channel on satellite radio. He is definitely still a working comic.

          The best thing about Foxworthy, Engval, Larry TCG and White is that while they are known for their incredibly catchy segments, they are all solid comics with a lot of material. Sure, everyone remembers “… you might be a redneck” but that is five minutes of a hour show.

  5. ‘The truly funny part is that they thought I was a drug dealer and I might have some money or drugs.’

    Because everyone knows that drug dealers are felons and can’t have firearms. That makes them easy prey, right?

    • They’re lucky he was a cop. I think a dealer would have just pulled the trigger. I wonder if they ever found a drug dealer to rob? People like that tend to repeat their mistakes.

  6. Thanks for the interesting slice of real life in America today, Tom. You couldn’t ask for much better proof that when you go undercover, you’re very convincing.

    It seems as though most jurisdiction are letting minor-league violent criminals bail, hoping the criminal will leave the jurisdiction, else violate bail terms which makes for an easy no-bail lockup, legally speaking. In other words, “what’s a little more predation on the law-abiding population? We’ve got a tight budget!”

    • Court orders. Jails get “full” and the judges let them out.

      Arrest them cheap and stack them deep is what’s called for. But judges don’t listen to me.

    • Here in California we call it “jail overcrowding.” If it was “just” a burglary or a drug bust, they are out by morning in order to leave enough room for violent offenders. These early releases became so used to not showing up for their court dates that we have a “County Most Wanted” section of the local paper, posting pictures. (Seems to be having he desired effect.) Adding to the crowd are actual prison inmates assigned to the County jail because of prison overcrowding that has been enjoined by a federal court judicial panel. Allegedly nonviolent or at least less violent offenders, most of these people are meth addicts who go right back to their old habits and the burglaries to support it.

    • Here in the Philly MSA arrested suspect make bail. Then, often enough, they cross the river to Camden. When they get picked up, Camden calls Philly. And Philly says “we won’t be picking him up.” The reason? It’s too expensive. Philly has other more pressing problems and budget woes, and besides, “he’s not our problem anymore.” It is a common reality in the big east coast cities and, I’m told, in many other jurisdictions. Naturally part of the cost problem is the cost of a jail cell, but hey, the guy’s already in jail because he’s in Camden, N.J.

  7. Ummm…am I the only one creeped out by this guy? I had friends go to prison for a bag of Mexican pot in the ’70’s. And it was NARCS like him doing it. DGU? More like police state. Yeah I’m pro 2A,conservative,right & wrong guy now but 35 years ago my life would have been wrecked by a guy like him. Just another COP with a gun.

      • I’m talking about 35-40 years ago. He was just enforcing the law…is that anything like Odumbo care,gun bans,magazine limits or Connecticut crap? All these are laws. You takes yer chances. Hope some undercover government agent doesn’t bust you for a “banned” gun.

    • Maybe he would have ruined your life over a bag of pot. But this case wasn’t about harassing potheads. This is about two scumbags who wanted to take others property by force, force with a high likelyhood of being lethal. Side note, I do think pot should be legalized, but in the mean time you take your chances if you want to smoke.

    • I wrote something below hinting at same.
      And to respond to Hannibal, I guess some people in Connecticut are “playing stupid games”

      • Don’t compare the people in ct to some dumb shit thugs beating people with blunt objects to rob them, it gives the thugs to much dignity.

    • Bullshit! Police should be respected. This guy was trying to bring down proper dealers, a good deed. And not to mention, a pro 2A cop? Now that’s new. But seriously, have some respect. I’d like to see you go undercover for that long. Tough job.

      • “Bullshit! Police should be respected.”

        No, bullshit police shouldn’t be respected. Ha, ha. But seriously, the only police who should be respected are the ones who are respectable, that is, those who FIRST respect the Constitution, constitutional law, and their employers, the people who have hired them to “protect and serve.”

  8. They should really call this “The Truth About The Judicial System.” I’d like to hear from some current/former attorneys on the subject of why it is that repeat offenders keep cycling into and out of jail.

    • I would say that it’s at least partially because there are millions of stupid laws, and therefore it’s impossible to keep everyone who “should be” in jail kept in jail.

      Abolish crimes with no victim – for which all parties consent (e.g. drug possession/sale/use for adults, gun possession/sale, consensual adult prostitution, gambling, etc.) – and that will free up some jail/prison space so that those who actually harm others (robbers, rapists, etc.) can stay in prison longer. It’ll also give many of those who are screwed by the system (as a conviction for a crime hampers one’s ability to find decent work) a better chance to make something of themselves.

    • why it is that repeat offenders keep cycling into and out of jail

      Because there’s always an election day right around the corner.

    • Abusers of serious drugs, not pot mind you, but meth, heroin, or crack, cannot stay employed because of the effects of their addiction, and welfare doesn’t pay enough to support their habit. So they commit crimes (burglary, shoplifting, car theft, armed robbery). They go to prison and get clean, but once out, they rejoin the same old group of friends doing the same old drugs, and committing the same old crimes to support their inability to overcome their addiction. If you know anything about alcoholics and how hard it is for them to get straight and stay straight, the storyline for drug addiction is the same.

      Others are simply serial or career criminals who can’t get jobs, don’t really want jobs because the only jobs they can get pay crap, and prefer to make their living as criminals, stealing, selling drugs, etc. They cycle in and out of the system for most of their lives, until “Three Strikes” or a first degree murder rap finally put them away for good, they die, or they become too old and too disabled to continue.

  9. Was the undercover work to arrest people where their crimes had no complainants?
    Or to break up violent gang crimes?

  10. So, you made your living as a paid liar. Undercover operations should be banned under both the 4th and 5th Amendments. On top of that it should be a capital crime for a government employee to lie to any citizen for any reason.

        • If Chris believes what he types here, Chris is a very disturberd person. I believe the internet is like alcohol. It brings out the real person. Which is scary in some cases.

    • So that’s how we solve the population explosion, eh, make lying a capital crime. We’d kill off half the country in the first year. Lie on your taxes? BOOM, two to the back of the skull. Embellish your resume? ZAP! Cheat on your wife? Off with your head!

      When are you going to realize, Chris, that the main things governments do in international relations is lie to one another in order to gain an advantage; and our most effective Presidents have been the best liars. What they say about lawyers is even more true for politicians; politicians are paid liars. How can you tell that politicians are lying? Their lips are moving.

    • Hi Mike, first thanks for the work arnuod , still dont understand why Microsoft didnt change it , because your are able to select domain local security groups when grant send-as permissions.But i got a small other issue with exchange 2010, i am using the domain local security group to set grant permissions to a shared mailbox. for a unknow reason the attribute msExchDelegateListLink of the shared mailbox does not get filled in. so users who are member of that group does not get the shared mailbox automatically in their outlook 2010. if i add the permissions per user the attribute get filledin within a few minutes and trhe users sees the shared mailbox in their outlook after 3 min. any help is greatley appriciated

  11. Laws against victimless crimes are evil. What kind of “crime” do you need undercover narcs to get evidence for? Any real crime has a victim, who will complain. If no one is hurt, no crime has been committed. Going after people who do stuff that Der Fuehrer thinks they “shouldn’t” do, is itself, evil. Overriding anyone’s Free Will is evil.

  12. I’m not being at all critical, as I think it was handled superbly, but I’m curious if backing the car up was an option. In states with a duty to retreat, would this have been potentially a requirement?

    • I maybe should have said something about that.
      Backing up would have put me closer to the grade school.
      This happened very fast.

      • Just one more thing, I’m not quite sure that I got it, and if I did, I’d like to see it repeated: He approached you, you drew and pointed it, said, “Drop it,” and he dropped it and the rest was routine?

        That would be another example of just SHOWING one stopping a crime, right?

  13. My old man was on the job for 34 years, at least once and possibly a few more times I was with him when he had to spring into action and pull his firearm. I thank God on a fairly regular basis he is alright after his career and continues to be alright, as only the children of police officers and similiar (Military/firemen & fire women etc.) can understand.

    In your case, good sir, Good on ya, and glad you got out okay, but you should have shot ’em, been doing the rest of us a big favor, Wiccans ain’t never up to any good no how!

  14. Remind me not to move to Oregon! Around here, the goths are actually the nice kids that have careers and responsibilities.

    Glad you didn’t have to drop the striker on them. That’s a nightmare no one needs. Training works.

  15. This is what is wrong with American criminal justice system, revolving doors. If the justice system could learn to pick its fights and keep the truly bad guys in jail. Just one reason I will legalize marijuana.In title 18 § 1001. The only gun control law there should be is that criminals can’t have any firearms. Thanks for your vote, pass the word. mrpresident2016.com

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