(courtesy clickondetroit.com)

“A manicurist at Nail Tech in Eastpointe brandished a pistol Saturday afternoon during an argument with a customer about glitter nail polish,” clickondetroit.com reports [click on image above for the video]. “Police said the customer requested glitter nail polish. The employee refused and the argument escalated. ‘She angry because she put a nail polish on and she don’t want it and the pedicure took two hour,’ the manager’s sister, Lee, said.” It’s generally true that you can only unholster your firearm . . .

when you are facing an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm. Judging from the video, that was not the case here.

While a 1951 Illinois Supreme Court decision ruled that a person defending himself has “no duty to retreat,” retreating should almost always be option A. Remembering that distance equals time and time equals life. If you do end-up drawing your gun, the more distance between yourself and and your potential attacker, the better able able you’ll be to use your firearm effectively (up to point, obviously).

There’s something of a gray area here. Well, not here. Again, in this case, the manicurist went full retard (as they say).

But you may find yourself in a situation where you want to be as prepared as possible to deploy your firearm. For example, when you’re in the proverbial empty parking garage and you see nefarious characters heading your way. Or someone is acting extremely violently or aggressively towards you or other innocents, but hasn’t yet launched an attack.

The line between preparing for combat and brandishing is entirely situational and subjective; it depends on a large number of variables. But the central question is simple enough: am I really in danger?

Ultimately, if you’re arrested for brandishing (i.e. threatening someone with your gun without just cause), it will come down to the “reasonable person standard,” as decided by the police, prosecutor, judge and/or jury. Was it reasonable for you to conclude that you were in danger of death or grievous bodily harm?

All that said, there is nothing tactically wrong with preparing to access your firearm in dangerous circumstances. Preparing as in removing a cover garment or putting your hand on a concealed pocket pistol. Preparing as in placing your hand on your gun like Officer friendly approaching a car at a traffic stop? Maybe. Maybe not.

But the moment you unholster your gun and show it to someone is the moment you run a very real risk of a brandishing charge. When faced with an ambiguous threat, move away from the danger. As it becomes clearer, consider improving access to your gun. But only remove your gun when you reasonably believe you’re facing an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm.

35 Responses to Don’t Brandish Your Gun: Guns for Beginners

  1. “A manicurist at Nail Tech in Eastpointe brandished a pistol Saturday afternoon during an argument with a customer about glitter nail polish,”

    I’m not saying it’s right, but I understand. After all, few things are more important than glitter nail polish.

  2. I have to apologize for the idiots in my state, this incident, the woman shooting at a fleeing SUV in Home Depots Parking lot, and the GR woman who shot at the drive thru worker due to lack of bacon on her burger. I guess out of my examples bacon lady probably had the most reason to improperly use her firearm.

    • You guys got nothing on Florida. And don’t get caught with an illegally concealed weapon in any state.

  3. I don’t feel the manicurists did anything wrong here. I think the customers manner and posture were decidedly threatening.

    • I’m really hoping you are being sarcastic here. There’s no way drawing a gun was reasonable. Plus, the male employee was about a foot taller than the female customer and probably had 40lbs on her, easy.

      • I guess it’s easy for you to play Monday morning quarterback when it’s not your life at risk.

        • You don’t get out much? If you do, you must slap leather often. Cause all I see is a little girl verbally posturing, with a plastic water bottle in her right hand.

    • Actually, this video represents such a small sliver of time surrounding the whole incident, I do not think anyone can make a definitive determination one way or another based solely on the video. Personally, I am leaning toward the conceal carrier drawing when there was no threat. But, even after he drew the gun, the aggressive customer continued to be aggressive. This is where I have to ask myself what kind of person continues an aggressive argument with someone who just drew a gun.

  4. So… I would have just asked the customer to leave and refund their money. The end.

    If she didn’t leave, call the police, play along with a fake pedicure, and have her soak up a free chair massage while the police arrive, and then they can remove her.

    It’s not like she was trying to stab him with some clippers, no real reason to draw a firearm here.

    • Nail Salon employee should have call you first…he call you Captain Obvious of the Internet.

        • Is he the captain of a ship of obscurity and concealment? Captain of that which is not easily perceived, understood, self-evident, or apparent? Yar matey!

  5. And you folks make fun of Florida?
    (not that it doesn’t deserve it on occasion)
    But really….glitter?
    Is this the new crack?

  6. If you draw your sidearm for purposes other than initiating a defensive shooting, you run the risk of somebody thinking you need to receive a defensive shooting.

  7. If angry customers are such a problem maybe the employees should just open carry in their own store? They can make their guns dazzling and pretty too. 🙂

    • ^ THIS. If everyone in this store could openly carry their BBQ guns then customers would likely tend to be a bit more polite, and masochistic customers can find another shop. Granted, they would probably lose their libtard customer base, but if they have a substantial customer base of non-libtards, I don’t know that’s a bad thing.

  8. WTF, why is there a man working at a nail salon? On the other hand he handled the weapon well despite what seems to be an unjustified draw; he kept the weapon down and protected and finger off the trigger.

    • Pretty much all nail salons in the United States are now Vietnamese operated. Plenty of Vietnamese men work in the shops. A great many actually. Normally they are related to someone else working in that shop.

  9. If you all look carefully she grabbed something before he drew. The fact that she did not back down makes you wonder what she said when she grabbed it. I think getting blasted in the eyes with hairspray would ruin my day.

      • Ever wonder why most concert venues will not give you the lid when you buy a bottle of water? Ever seen what happens when a person get’s hit over the head with a sealed, full water bottle? I still think the guy was wrong for drawing, but never discount the danger posed by a water bottle.

  10. I have trouble judging the guy for this without quite a bit more information.

    I have no idea what reputation or skill set this lady might have or what he might be able to see that I can’t. I also don’t know what threats she might have made prior to the start of this video or how credible they might be.

    Video makes good evidence but rarely tells the whole story.

    Also most states define brandishing as “exhibiting a weapon in an angry or threatening manner.” Which I don’t really think this guy was doing by holding it behind his back.

    • Update: I looked up the laws in MI on this.

      Brandishing a firearm is illegal in MI under penal code 750.234e but it does not apply if the action is self defense or defense of another. “A person lawfully acting in self-defense or defense of another under the self-defense act, 2006 PA 309, MCL 780.971 to 780.974.”

      That would appear to allow the brandishing of a firearm to warn off a potential attacker so the guy might have a valid defense depending on what this lady did before this video started.

      Also Michigan doesn’t define what “brandishing” means. In 2014 the Michigan Legislature passed a bill that would have defined what “brandish” means to be “point, wave about or display in a threatening manner with the intent to induce fear in another person.”. That bill was vetoed by the governor on 12/30/2014.

  11. This is the beauty of my LCP in a pocket holster. I can look like I am staying calm and not feeling threatened, by casually putting my hand in my pocket, or both hands, while getting a full grip on that little ace card, which I can have out in a split second if I have to. It did not take much practice at all to get really fast drawing from my DeSantis Superfly (flap removed) once my hand was already on the gun.

    How fast? I can hold my left hand straight out and drop a penny, then draw my LCP and have it up and level in a two-handed modified weaver stance before the penny hits the floor, with time to spare. I don’t have super reflexes either. When you don’t have to lift a shirt, find and grab your gun, the simple draw motion that remains is very fast. Unless you wear tight pants or have pockets that are too small, I would bet most of you guys could probably do it with a little practice. I mean like 5 minutes worth. The LCP’s DAO trigger and no safety is the perfect setup for this. Very low risk of AD and no safety to slow you down. I have the Hogue Handall grip on my LCP. Not only does the fatter grip not slow things down, it speeds it up do to the confident secure grip it gives me. The LCP didn’t work well for me without it. It was too skinny to get a consistent and confident grip on it, and I never brought the sights up to the quite the same place every time. With the Handall, it is pocket perfection.

    Even if you carry a bigger/better gun on your belt, like I often do with my SR9c, a good pocket pistol is a nice option B to have. It might have saved this guy some trouble, unless brandishing was his whole intent.

    • To clarify, I can do this with my right hand already gripping the gun in my pocket. Try it yourself. Gun unloaded preferably!

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