When You’re at Their Mercy

Burglar (courtesy woodenwindow.com)

By B.R.

Being from a Mid-Western state, I grew up around guns. I was one heck of a crack shot, judging Kentucky windage and “bullet drop” with my single shot BB gun, nailing those empty soft drink cans off the wooden stump in the back yard. I eventually grew up, went to college, and didn’t think much more about shooting those BB guns, rifles, or pistols that I used to when I was a kid. But there’s no doubt in my mind that I’ve been “lucky” in any one of the following situations . . .

– An unfamiliar man sees me getting into my car, opens the door, gets in and says “I’m gonna ride with ya”
– An unfamiliar man walks up to the passenger door of my car and knocks on it asking for money while I was ordering at the drive through at a local fast food restaurant
– An unfamiliar man walks up to me face-to-face at bad-breath-distance at a gas station and asks if I have money for gas
– An unfamiliar man stops his car in the middle of the road in front of me, gets out and storms towards my vehicle yelling that I was following too close
– An unfamiliar man knocks on my apartment door and then I hear the lock start jiggling as it sounds like he’s trying to open it

It finally took the last one – the final straw – to make me realize I didn’t want to be at the mercy of someone else. In that moment, I realized that I only have a $20 1-wood in the closet to defend myself against someone who has decided they want to get into my apartment, potentially regardless of whether I’m there or not. It only took that one instance for me to wish that I had a gun, just in case. The police showed up only minutes later, but found no one around and chalked it up to a drunk probably trying to get in the wrong apartment. I hope that’s all it was.

Hindsight is 20-20 and now that I know the actual outcomes, a gun wouldn’t have made a difference, but it only takes one. In that moment, when you’re confronted and sometimes caught off guard, there’s comfort in knowing you have that option.

Because you do have a choice. You have the choice of accepting the personal responsibility of buying a gun and protecting yourself and your family. If you choose to accept that responsibility, you must make the commitment to store it safely, learn how to use it and understand that it’s the last resort. Just because you have the option doesn’t mean you ever have to use it. It’s like buying insurance, it takes some research and effort to get what you need and know how to use it and there’s a cost associated with it. You hope to never have to use it, but it’s there just in case. The ultimate life insurance policy.

You also have the choice of not having that option. Perhaps you feel that you can’t put in the time to understand all the necessary requirements that go along with gun ownership. Maybe you decide that you just don’t have the discipline and can’t trust yourself during those instances or that having a gun is simply too much of a personal risk. Some choose to accept this and, for them, it may be the right decision. No one will fault you for your choice, just as I don’t want to be faulted for mine.

It only takes one, one “bad guy” that can change your world forever. All the gun control in the world won’t help you. They don’t care. The bad guy is at the door, banging away. The police may be on their way, but you realize you don’t have an option. You have a golf club. You realize that you’re at their mercy. Have you made the right choice?


  1. avatar Tim says:

    Awesome write up. Well said!

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Well said indeed.

      This reminds us that many people still have no firearms in their home and are currently at the mercy of violent criminals. If you are one of those people, use the Internet and look for a shooting range or “sportsman’s club” in your area and pay them a visit. Most “people of the gun” (as we sometimes call ourselves) are very friendly and would be more than happy to answer your questions and share thoughts and advice on training, what type of firearm to purchase, how to store it safely, and so on.

      If you have trouble finding a shooting range or “sportsman’s club”, look for a gun store in your area and pay them a visit. They can almost certainly direct you to local people and trainers who can share as little or as much knowledge and experience as you would like. If you go this route, please be mindful that the primary focus of salesmen at gun stores is to sell guns. While they may be able to help point you in the right direction, they cannot help to the extent that enthusiasts and trainers can help.

  2. avatar RockThisTown says:

    Liberals tell us they are all about choice . . . . except when it comes to choosing to own/possess a firearm, and the type of lightbulbs, showerheads, toilets & automobile fuel we use.

    1. avatar thatoneguy says:

      Just tell them your gun is for shooting fetuses

      1. avatar Zachary Hunt says:

        Good one. I am going to steal that one from ya. Liberal hypocrisy

        1. avatar RockThisTown says:

          Great idea. Stop calling them ‘assault rifles’ – call them ‘abortion rifles’, and all will be OK.

      2. avatar Merits says:


  3. avatar phoenixNFA says:

    Excellent article. Glad you found a good choice for yourself.

    I agree, if someone doesnt want a firearm and has made that decision based upon fact with a logical argument, i respect that decision.

    1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      The criminals won’t…..

      Indeed, they’ll rejoice at the easy pick’ns….

  4. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    I can say I have only had a few issues, one was attempted entry of my home, once was successful entry into my attached garage. Both were 05/06 both times I had a Mossberg 500. Thank God I have never not had the option of armed self defense at home ever, now armed at work unfortunately has and will never be an option.

  5. avatar marcus says:

    Is unfamiliar man” now the “Newspeak” used for criminal black male? From my considerable news readings that is the documented event.

    1. avatar Andrew says:

      Nope, its still “youths”

      1. avatar Mark N. says:


        1. avatar Ing says:

          Yoots. As in “My cousin Vinny will help get those innocent yoots out of jail.”

    2. avatar Reggie says:

      Statistically speaking, if you are ever the victim of a violent crime there’s an overwhelming likelihood that the perpetrator will “look like you”. So unless you yourself are a black male, I see little reason for concern with deciphering the racial make of someone else’s “unfamiliar male”.

      FBI Violent Crime stats by race:

      The BJS website is currently down so I’m unable to provide the reference for victim data by race, but I’ll leave it to you to do your own research.

  6. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

    TO: All
    RE: The Scenarios

    Numbers 2, 4 and 5 are easy. Pull your gun.

    Number 3 is ‘awkward’. Tell him you don’t have any cash and play it by ear from there.

    Number 1 is ‘awful’. Before he fastens his seat belt, punch it and then slam on the brakes and hope he breaks his neck on the windshield. THEN pull your gun or knife and finish him off.


    [Be Prepared…..]

    P.S. We had an instance of #5.

    10 pm. We were in the living room (ground floor) watching a movie when someone tried to come in the locked front door. They were trying real hard.

    I was (weapon drawn) behind the 3-wyth brick beside the door yelling at them to back off. They claimed they thought my house was a group home. I told them it wasn’t and to go away.

    They went away…..

    1. avatar JoshinGA says:

      Pulling a gun in #4 could make the situation A LOT worse. The first rule of a gunfight is do everything you can to avoid one. When carrying you should be defusing situations. #2 lock your doors and tell them you dont have any money for them. If they persist or try to enter your car, THEN pull your gun IF necessary. #1 is tricky…legally, in most states you could pull your gun on them and fire if necessary. If a strong suggestion that they leave your vehicle fails, a call to the cops doesnt get them to budge, then you should exit your car and wait for the cops to arrive. If the person continues to make advances towards you is when you theoretically, in my monday morning quarterbacking, draw down on the threat. #5 is the only situation that screams out for immediate armed response.

      1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

        Not necessarily…..

        ….I know a guy who passed some character in a pick-up truck with Texas plates. The guy had some other state tags.

        The pick-up overtook and passed him and the driver got out with a hog-leg and threatened to gut shoot the guy if he did that again.

        Then another guy I know was driving his utility truck to an appointment out in the country when a four-wheeler full of ‘kids’ ran him off the road. As they got out of the car and started to approach his truck, he got behind the door and leveled his .45 cal ACP at them.

        They got back into their car and drove away.

        1. avatar JoshinGA says:

          And yet, as an example of what could happen on the other end of the spectrum…http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/19/michigan-concealed-carry-road-rage-two-dead_n_3956491.html

          If someone levels a gun at you, your first thought would be to get to cover/concealment and pull your own piece right? That makes the situation wayyyyy worse than avoiding it entirely.

        2. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: JoshinGA
          RE: When the Guns Come Out

          If someone levels a gun at you, your first thought would be to get to cover/concealment and pull your own piece right? That makes the situation wayyyyy worse than avoiding it entirely. — JoshinGA

          I’m familiar with the incident you cite from HPost. I suspect it was the reason for the recent post here about how to defend yourself from inside a car, i.e., using the door and keeping your feet inside the vehicle.

          Sometimes you can’t avoid a ‘situation’. As I pointed out in a reply to another of your posts.

          Then again, in Denver, some years ago, when I lived there, there was an incident of ‘road rage’ involving an off-duty Denver police officer.

          The driver decided to drive away. The DPD officer pulled his gun and fired at the retreating driver.

          Go fig….


          P.S. No charges against the DPD officer…..

      2. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

        If you think that scenario #1 doesn’t involve an immediate threat….

        ….just wait until it happens to you.

        I’ll wager dollars against donuts that you have a serious change of heart. But then it might be too late.

        1. avatar JoshinGA says:

          They’d have to bust my window to get in, at which point I will take that as a sign of aggression. Lesson to be learned here is drive around with your doors locked.

        2. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: JoshinGA
          RE: Heh

          They’d have to bust my window to get in, at which point I will take that as a sign of aggression. Lesson to be learned here is drive around with your doors locked. — JoshuaInGA

          You’re violating the scenario. They’re in the car with you before you can do anything to stop them.


          P.S. My regular car doors lock a moment after I turn the key in the ignition.

          But between the time I get in and the time the locks click, I’m ‘vulnerable’ to scenario #1.

          I suspect the same might be true for you.

          On the other hand, the other vehicles, less ‘modern’ than the regular car, always have the passenger doors locked.

        3. avatar JoshinGA says:

          Situational awareness should prevent situation #1 from happening between you entering the car and locking the doors…

        4. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: JoshinGA
          RE: Preaching to the Choir?

          Situational awareness should prevent situation #1 from happening between you entering the car and locking the doors… — JoshinGA

          You cannot prevent something like scenario #1 from happening to you UNLESS, you refuse to go out of doors.

          Look at the incident in Lakewood, WA, where a soldier was stabbed to death on the sidewalk. Let alone all the ‘knock-down’ games being played back East.

          You want to live in fear? Fine by me. You’re just another victim waiting to become a statistic.

          As for me and my house…..

          ….we ‘pack’ and are prepared to use what we have at hand should the need arise.

          And woe unto those who threaten US or other innocents in our vicinity. We’re both good shots with sidearms. And we pack .45 cal ACPs.


          [.45 cal, because it’s just silly to have to shoot someone twice.]

    2. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      ADDENDUM: Scenario #3:

      As I stated initially, tell the guy you don’t have cash and play it by ear from there.

      If he walks off, fine.

      If he perseveres and asks how you’re paying for the gas, show him your credit card.

      If he wants you to go over to the ATM and pull some cash for him…..

      ….pull the gas hose nozzle out of the car and hose him down with it.

      Then pull your Bic and flick it……

      [NOTE: If you don’t smoke….that sounds like a personal problem.]

      ADDENDUM Scenario #1:

      About ‘punching it and slamming on the brakes’….

      ….it might be better to just ram a light post. More ‘impact’.

      Your car is expendable. Your life…not so much.

  7. avatar tdiinva says:

    Madonna recently gave an interview where she revealed that she was raped at knife point on trip to NYC when she was 15. Perhaps that is why she hasn’t jumped on the gun control bandwagon. In a recent interview on Good Morning America she declared “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” I would not be surprised if the Material Girl was found to be packing heat on occasion..

    1. avatar Jay1987 says:

      Wow and unlikely pro gun ally of the week goes to madonna… who’d a thunk it?

    2. avatar Avid Reader says:

      I would certainly bet that her bodyguards do.

    3. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      Madonna? Raped?

      You can’t rape the willing.

      Indeed, I would not be surprised to hear that she paid the guy. Just to see how it felt.

      1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

        Not cool man, not cool…

        1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: Soccerchainsaw
          RE: ‘Not Cool’?

          Since when has that sl¡t been ‘cool’. She bragged about trolling Madison avenue in a limo packed with female friends looking for cute boys to entice into a tryst.


          [The Truth will out….]

        2. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          What’s REALLY ‘not cool’ is your nom des blogs.

          Who plays soccer with a chain say….other than a homicidal maniac?

      2. avatar tdiinva says:

        So women ask for it?

        1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: tdiinva
          RE: Problems with English?

          So women ask for it? — avatartdiinva

          I suggested that she paid for it.

          Do you have problems reading/comprehending English?

          Or are you just being a Progressive-Liberal ‘twit’?

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          I think that paying for it qualifies as asking for it. Even a call girl can be raped. My comment was entirely apolitical. Perhaps it is because I am a gentleman and you are peasant that you don’t understand.

        3. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: tdiinva
          RE: Heh

          I think that paying for it qualifies as asking for it. Even a call girl can be raped. — tdiinva

          You missed your calling.

          Or are you already some kinda ‘lawyer’?


          [Lawyer, n., One skilled at circumventing the Law.]

          P.S. Rape is an action against the will of the subject.

          As I stated earlier, you can’t rape the willing. So it ain’t ‘rape’.

          P.P.S. Raping a ‘call girl’, occurs when she doesn’t get the money she expects. Like those babes the Secret Service ‘short changed’ in South America earlier this year.

    4. avatar Bob4 says:

      If I recall correctly, a security guard shot a crazed fan who trespassed on her estate a number of years ago. Many people do not have a horse in the race on the 2nd amendment because they think crime or tyrants only happen to other people. When it happens to them, they tend to do a 180. Liberals, on the other hand, have an agenda; a gun toting citizenry interferes with their pledge to fundamentally change America.

  8. avatar JimmyW says:

    Nice piece. In light of our nations discussion on disarmament, I was left wondering about the last sentence.

    Perhaps – have you made the right choice – for you? Recognizing that that that coice is perhaps not the right choice for another non-criminal citizen…

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    If you’re aware and armed, you’re not at their mercy. They are at yours.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:


  10. avatar Joseph says:

    Anyone that I don’t know who jumps in my car is gonna get a ride to the morgue.

    1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      And just HOW will you arrange that one-way trip?

  11. avatar Coe says:

    1. Fight/Shoot. That’s forced entry the way I see it.
    2. Don’t draw but be prepared to draw. Tell the idiot no and inform him almost got shot for that. (Who does that???)
    3. Tell him he is getting too close and to back up. You have no spare money to give (despite the couple of one dollar bills in your pocket but he doesn’t know that.)
    4. Chill and raise up your window if its down. Let’em bark and yap like the unloved chihuahua he is. If he tries to open your door or smash in your window… last mistake.
    5. Joe Biden Special… Or you could just point a gun (rifle preferred) at the door and wait. If you have the chance, call police.

    Any objections?

    1. avatar phoenixNFA says:


      pulling your gun because some dude decides to ask you a question is a bad bad idea.

      dont let them get to close, and let them know immediately YOU ARE IN CONTROL of the situation.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        And be careful – it could be a plainclothes. Especially if they’re aggressive. And in NYC.

        1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:


          ….another installment payment due on their BMW?

    2. avatar JoshinGA says:

      As I replied to Chuck above, #1 is (in most cases) a legal shoot in many states. However, I would like to avoid discharging a firearm if it can be avoided. Im exiting the car and calling the cops. If the guy approaches me further he’s getting drawn on. #2 Sounds good to me other than I wouldnt tell him he almost got shot. I’d tell him to beat it or Im calling the cops and leave it at that. #3-#5 I pretty much agree. In #4 I would make sure I had enough room to maneuver my car to escape if I need to. If my car is stuck in bumper to bumper I might draw the gun and keep it out of sight just so the last line of defense is ready to go FAST should something bad happen. #5 call the cops immediately, then wait at the ready in case he makes it through. Keep the operator on the line but set the phone down after giving address, advise the officers I am armed, this is what Im wearing yada yada.

  12. avatar Frank McGhee says:

    In every one of the above scenarios, afterwards say “Where were the police to protect me IF I needed them?” I point this out to liberals who throw out the mantra that it’s the job of every police officer to protect the public. I calmly point out to them that the United States Supreme Court (USSC) has ruled on numerous cases that it is NOT the responsibility of any law enforcement entity to protect ANY citizen. Invariably they don’t believe me, so I kindly point them to:

    -In Warren v. District of Columbia (1981), the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled, official police personnel and the government employing them are not generally liable to victims of criminal acts for failure to provide adequate police protection… a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular citizen.

    -In Bowers v. DeVito (1982), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, There is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.

    -Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005), was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, in which the court ruled, 7-2, that a town and its police department could not be sued under 42 U.S.C.§1983 for failing to enforce a restraining order, which had led to the murder of a woman’s three children by her estranged husband.

    -In its landmark decision of DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services (1988), the US Supreme Court declared that the Constitution does not impose a duty on the state and local governments to protect the citizens from criminal harm.

    After some of these liberals/leftists do their research I’ve had some of them thank me for that teachable moment. Their whole lives they have been led to believe that there’s a halo or forcefield protecting them at all times. The thought of personal responsibility for their own safety has NEVER entered their mind, as they suffer from cognitive dissonance.

  13. avatar Ardent says:

    1. I’m not very willing to shoot someone over a car, particularly if they’re non violent, thus it’s bail out and call the cops while retreating from the scene. The exception is there are often more guns in my car and I can’t surrender those . . . whole different scenario. I’m not macho enough o fight over a car but then I’m not letting someone tool up after a move like that either.

    2. Tell him to get lost and keep an eye on him, at this point removing seat belt and ensuring doors are locked and all other windows are up is a must. I don’t care if it’s rude, that’s life.

    3. Anyone approaching on an intercept course should have your undivided attention, change course. If they track to continue intercept I’d move my hand to my gun and my gun side away from them with a strong suspicion we’re very close to an altercation. If it obvious I’m trying to avoid someone with clear movement and they continue to track for intercept I’m likely to stop and confront verbally before we’re in grabbing range. I might end up looking nuts, but it’s better than being tackled.

    4. Drive away. Practice leaving enough distance between your vehicle and the one in front to ensure you can steer around it. Wheels and asphalt as they say, you need to see a little of both to be sure you have enough room to go around. If going around isn’t possible begin to consider using the vehicle as a weapon or else drawing without brandishing. This could be a verbal altercation but it has good potentiality to become a fight.

    5. Draw, focus weapon on door from behind cover while telling the ‘visitor’ to go away. Call police and maintain posture until police make contact or it is clear that the suspect has moved along.
    Interesting exercise.

  14. avatar GS650G says:

    The author put up with a lot more than most people would have. Forced entry into the car is carjacking defined and a summary offense.

  15. avatar IdahoPete says:

    “It only takes one, one “bad guy” that can change your world forever. All the gun control in the world won’t help you. They don’t care. The bad guy is at the door, banging away. The police may be on their way, but you realize you don’t have an option. You have a golf club. You realize that you’re at their mercy. Have you made the right choice?”

    That says it all. “Hope it isn’t a criminal” is not a self-defense plan.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email