Remember the outbreak of squeegee men back in the late 80s and early 90s? You’d stop at a traffic light and some grifter would sidle up, perfunctorily wipe your windshield and then demand money in exchange for leaving your glass in one piece. While it happened in a number of cities, it was one of the best-loved parts of the gorgeous mosaic that was New York City under David Dinkins’ administration. Along with the race riots, that is. Anyway, a new twist on the scam is back now that a large swath of the country has spent most of the last two months under a thick blanket of global warming . . .

As lowellsun.com tells it,

“A man forcefully demanding money for shoveling the driveway of a woman who hadn’t asked that her driveway be shoveled found himself dealing with a very tough customer in Centralville (Massachusetts) Tuesday night.”

Probably figuring they’d be easy marks, the opportunistic shoveler picked the home of a 79-year-old woman and her 81-year-old husband. But when granny told him to get lost, he became more insistent.

“He started banging on the door louder so they got nervous,” Capt. Thomas Meehan said of the couple who live in the home.

It turns out fear wasn’t all the couple had, though. The woman also has a license to carry a firearm.

“She feared he was going to break in so she opened the door again with the firearm at her side,” Meehan said. “She never pointed it, but she said ‘get off my property. I’m going to call the police.’ “

“He decided to leave,” Meehan said of the man.

Imagine that. The cops later found him, but no arrest was made. And Capt. Meehan told a reporter that the woman broke no laws in displaying her handgun in the doorway of her own home. But we knew that.

[h/t LeftShooter]

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81 Responses to Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Shovel This Edition

    • bro my mind is a very fertile imaginative place that I have little control over, thanks for likely giving me granny associated PTSD

      • If you’re new to the great national gun debate, you may not have heard the opposition every so often tell us that the only reason men want to carry guns is that they feel they have a small penis, and the gun somehow adds enough manliness that they can go about their business.

        One of the common responses is to point out a woman defending herself with a gun, but I prefer simply admitting that if I found myself in a fight for my life, I would not, in fact, rely on my penis to stop multiple attackers, attackers at a distance, or armed attackers. I don’t think I ever met anyone who would be able to handle themselves that way, and I certainly never ask.

  1. In SC what she did is called “Pointing/Presenting” and is a felony. Personally know a guy who spent the night in the clink for answering the door to a drunk with a gun in his hand. The drunk was a tenant at another property and was arguing about rent. The landlord pulled a .45 out of his waistband and let it be seen by the drunk. The drunk left, waited a day, then called a cop and filled out a report that the landlord threatened him with a gun. Cop got a warrant from a judge, picked the landlord up, confiscated his gun, and put a 5000.00 bond on the guy, as well as bond conditions that you would think he had pulled the trigger. After hiring a lawyer and waiting a year the charges were quietly dropped. He got his gun back in a nifty white box wrapped with yellow police tape. He calls it a 5K Ruger, thats what he spent on the lawyer to essentially do nothing but speak to the DA a few times.

    Everybody thinks SC is a gun friendly state but there are loopholes and anachronistic laws that are completely anti gun. Its the Jekyll/Hyde syndrome, sure you can carry a gun but if anybody complains the law comes knocking, and they do not give a crap if lies were told to get the warrant. Its a well known revenge tactic in SC, of which the revered pro gun Nikki Haley has shown no inclination to change.

    • Think of it this way.

      Better $5,000 and a weekend in jail, then a $100,000 legal bill and a dead body because the bad guy attacked instead of leaving. As bad as being charged with a brandishing rap is, it’s money and time well spent if if avoided a bigger problem .

    • “In SC what she did is called “Pointing/Presenting” and is a felony.”

      In your own home?

      Wow, I’d love to see the SC statute. Makes me glad I live in CO – where our “castle doctrine” says I can shoot an intruder in my house if he might brush up against me while leaving.

      • This is where having an OC gun on the belt would help with this; home carry, it’s not just for paranoid people, some times they are out to get you.

      • SC is a Castle Doctrine state, which flies in the face of the “Pointing/Presenting” laws that negate it. The two cannot go together yet they do in SC, which is part of the weirdness of it all. I can understand “Pointing/Presenting a Firearm” charges in a public place, but SC lets this crap happen on private property. Like another poster said, its just another way for the system to get in your pocket. The cops overcharge, the judges sit back and issue bogus warrants, the DA will never indict, everybody gets paid and looks busy, and the poor target of this legal hypocrisy gets the bill.

        • I’ll undoubtedly grow to be pnoeecdirg once more in the direction of your web web site to pass by means of considerably far more content material articles considering that we cherished that particular.

      • Yeah, I have my doubts about this, as well.

        But if true, it’s proof of just how removed from reality the Palmetto State has become.

        • Here is the statute so you can edify yourself. In the statute you will see no carve outs for “private property” or anything like that. Its vague, intentionally so, and gives wide latitude to LE to arrest on any complaint they receive by anybody who felt threatened and “saw a gun.” The only carveouts are self defense and theatre plays. Sure, self defense claims will get the charge dropped, eventually, but the arrest will still occur if someone fills out a police report and lies, and people tend to lie alot.

          http://www.lawserver.com/law/state/south-carolina/sc-code/south_carolina_code_16-23-410

    • http://scstatehouse.gov/code/t16c023.php

      ‘SECTION 16-23-410. Pointing firearm at any person.

      It is unlawful for a person to present or point at another person a loaded or unloaded firearm.

      A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than five years. This section must not be construed to abridge the right of self-defense or to apply to theatricals or like performances.’

      Judging by that last line and the fact that the charges were eventually dropped, I believe the charges against your friend were without merit from the start.

      • I posted the statute above without seeing your post. Agreed, it was a false arrest. The kicker is, there is no such thing as a false arrest in SC, the DA always backs up the cops. They just kick the can and age the charge, then after a year or so quietly let it drop and pretend nothing bad happened. There is no recourse because the cop will just say he acted on the complaint, the judge will say he acted on what the cop brought him, and the DA will act like he is doing you a favor by dropping the charge. They never charge the complaintant with filing a false report, because ostensibly the lying creep felt threatened. The lawyers get paid and everybody is happy except the poor sap who got caught in the good ole boy loophole. Good ole boy politics is alive and well.

    • That is why if feel the need to draw your weapon you should call police to report a threat especially in your home. The presumption that it is justified is in your favor.

    • Wurzel, your guy did a number of things wrong in SC. First off, he opened his door to a belligerent drunk. He should have yelled through the door that he had a gun and he was calling the police. Then, having made that threat, he should have called the police. You always want to be the first to the phone. If he had to open the door (why?) he should not have had his gun in his hand. If he felt there was a threat (again, why open the door?) and the guy was on the porch or attempting to enter the dwelling, shoot him if he thinks he must. But the major point is to call the police first.

      • I respectfully disagree. The drunk guy took quite a risk by going to the police. At the very least he was guilty of public intoxication and disorderly conduct, and could have very easily been accused of assault, harassment, trespassing, etc. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred the drunk guy has enough sense not to get himself in trouble. His real mistake was answering the door with the gun in his hand and immediately displaying it. The biggest advantage to a handgun for home defense IMO is that you can easily hide it behind your back when you answer the door. If your uninvited guest threatens you, you have a legal right (at least in SC) to brandish (or use) your weapon. If he doesn’t, keep it behind your back.

        Had the odds worked in his favor he would have never spent a night in jail or had to hire a lawyer. As it turned out, he was not tried or convicted of any crime, but I don’t know if I’d be in any hurry to call the police and tell them I had just brandished a firearm at someone.

        • Drunk guy waited til the following day to go to the cops. He was no longer in any threat of being arrested for his drunkeness.

          Dude with the gun should have gotten 5-0 out there while drunk guy was still drunk and acting the fool. Cost dude 5 grand and a near felony, which wrecks your gun rights.

        • What prevented the guy with the gun from claiming that drunk guy was drunk and had threatened him? Did he claim he was sober? Did he claim the altercation didn’t happen on gun guy’s property?

          In my limited experience with police, on one occasion I have seen them lie on a police report misrepresenting my statement. I think you’re a little too trusting of the men in blue to be calling them up and telling them that you may have just committed a felony.

        • I’d also ask what makes you think drunk guy will hang around for 30 minutes waiting for the PD to show up?

        • It’s a crapshoot Guv. But the guy did it without the cops and it cost him 5 grand and a year of worrying about a felony conviction on his record.

        • Agreed, it is a crap shoot, but I’d prefer to play the odds. If there’s no other witnesses and I haven’t fired my weapon, I’m keeping it to myself. My guess is that if he would have reported the incident himself he would have still had to hire a lawyer and worried about it for a year.

        • If the issue was bad enough that you need to brandish or point it was bad enough you need to call the police.
          If you feel you didnt need to the call police then you certainly shouldnt have had a firearm poonted or brandished at someone

    • In SC in all things, (I lived in the low country for 13 years) it is who gets to the justice of peace first. The system is flawed for sure, and even the LEOs know it. My neighbor had a justice of peace issue an arrest warrant for him on a complaint from another neighbor, it was unfounded, but no matter to the justice. The Sheriff send a deputy out as a formality, I was over there when he got there, everybody had a good laugh, and the deputy left. The sheriff had told the justice of the peace he had no authority, but he was obligated to send a deputy. Never a word on what happened to the “arrest warrant”.

    • I never have been entirely clear on the law regarding such in Ohio. However, over the years I’ve had opportunity to discuss it with many LEOs, 2 consecutive county sheriffs and most of the team at the prosecutors office and to see how law enforcement reacts when this actually happens. The consensus is that as long as you stay in the house and the person you ‘pulled the gun on’ doesn’t live there (or have some other legitimate reason for being there) you’re fine. I’m not sure how much of that is state law and how much is local custom so YMMV, but at least here I’d feel pretty safe legally speaking answering the door with a gun in hand.

      Again without consulting the code and relevant case law Ohio tends to favor the property owner when it comes to displaying guns. That is, walking around ones house or land with one in the hand is probably ok even if you’ve gone out to see what someone else is up to, just avoid pointing it at anyone or gesturing threateningly unless you are in fear of imminent harm and all that.

      To some degree this might be LEOs and the prosecutors upholding local mores as much as state law. This is a largely rural area and unwanted visitors are both rare and cause for alarm.

      An illustration of the local norms and a funny side note: After dark it’s not uncommon to approach the home of another while shouting something to the effect of ‘Hello inside!’ or ‘Hello the house!’ since it’s generally felt that thieves don’t announce their presence and non-thieves don’t like having guns pointed at them for simply trying to get help for a stranded vehicle or what have you. We also tend to call before visiting light or dark since with only 62,000 residents and over 1000 miles of paved road in the county it doesn’t usually do to drive out to see someone who might not be home.

      Then again, when 911 response times are often in excess of 30 minutes and for non-violence calls sometimes not until the next morning it pays to be prepared to handle things oneself so as to be the one alive to fill out the reports when the police eventually arrive. Visit a stranger after dark here in a more rural area and until they are sure of your intentions (often accomplished by sharing who your family is and who you know in common) you’re apt to be talking to someone deep in shadows while you’re in the light (it’s considered polite and non threatening to either walk into a lighted area or to illuminate oneself with a flashlight) and you can bet their armed. Again, they are taking basic precautions and you’re displaying the opposite of threat behavior by intentionally putting yourself at a disadvantage. It might sound tense but it’s really not and this vetting process usually lasts less than 30 seconds before most of the defenses come down and more normal conversation starts. The people here are friendly and polite by and large, just a little cagey at night with strangers, and that’s just good sense.

  2. When I lived in the city during the ’90’s this was common. A guy or 2 would knock on my door at night “offering “to shovel .

    They were never dressed for outdoor work though,thin costs no Boots etc.

    Really it was a chance to knock on doors with no tire tracks in the driveway and check out the house .

    Worst case ( for them )some would agree and they would do a crap job and make a couple bucks. Nobody home, break in.

    • If they’re doing it at night, nobody answers, and they break in, “‘worst case’ (for them)” would seem to be getting dead.

      It is funny because the squirrelbad guy gets dead.

    • Quite a few years ago I was vacationing in a semi-remote cabin in the mountains south of here. With me were my cousin, his wife and their two young children. The other adults had gone into town one morning leaving me with the kids when there was a knock at the front door. We sure weren’t expecting anyone so I spoke to them through the door. They insisted that they worked for the leasing company (it was a vacation rental) and were plumbers and as there had been a report of a water leak they had to come in and investigate. They persisted even when I insisted that there was no leak and that I wasn’t letting them in. Then they began rattling the door.
      I went out the back and around, gun in hand and at the sight of it and me approaching they fled.
      I called the police who responded quickly, seemed unconcerned about my admission that I’d pointed a gun at the men and more interested in their descriptions and particularly that of the truck they were in.
      It turns out the vehicle had been stolen and they had already robbed another cabin further up the mountain.
      This was in TN and those cops didn’t even seem to care about the whole gun pointing thing but whether that’s because they believed the men I’d pointed it at were felons in the attempt at another felony or because TN laws on pointing guns at people favor the ‘homeowner’ I’m not sure but those cops (and there were a lot of them eventually) seemed to dismiss my excited attempts to explain my behavior (I was much younger and less informed then). It was as if they couldn’t understand why I was so worried about it and as if the mere attempt to enter on the part of the men (trying the handle after being told to leave) was ample enough cause to chase them away at gun point.

      Looking back on it with a better understanding of the law I suppose what they did was to attempt burglary of an occupied residence and my response was a lawful act (defending my ‘castle’).
      At the time I was just working on the operating principle that the only way they were getting to the children was over my dead body, and I meant to make it hard for them. Once in a while intuition and the law do meet, or at least they do in sane places with sane laws.

  3. The window “washers” didn’t start in the ’90s. Maybe that was when they made national attention (i.e., when Rudy Giuliani got rid of them and other miscreants). I drove a cab in NYC while I was in college in the’70s. Stuck in traffic, you were almost helpless to stop them from wiping your windows with a filthy rag and leaving it worse than it was. And then intimidating you into giving them money. Putting the car in park, opening the door, getting out and threatening them with grievous bodily harm usually worked for me. But then, I was pretty scary looking in my younger days.

  4. I’m surprised that AG Martha (we discourage self help) Coakly hasn’t impaneled a grand jury to jack Granny up. Will wonders never cease? Of course, it’s the weekend so maybe Martha will get busy in the coming week.

      • Sorry Rad, I’ve got none. After the Amirault case, and the whole “memory regression” thing, by which AG MC made her bones, I’ve got little truck or respect for the dear lady. She won’t be our next Governor. Too much baggage, no matter how the local press or the MSM spin it.

  5. Hmmm… an ordinary couple oldsters, but armed – in Massachusetts, no less.

    That gun was probably issued to him some time in the ’50s or ’60s, methinks – unless it was a souvenir.

    Chalk up one for the good guys.

  6. On the Don Lemon show of cnn on Thursday was a woman in Detroit who shot at 3 men entering her home after she told them she ha a gun and all on video. I don’t know who the Guy was maybe Crimp, said the gun people are spinning this thing and saying “See she was using her 2Arights” No,she did the right thing. It was so darn funny Don and a woman just sat there with a shocked look on their faces. I was hoping to see that here. Don Lennon has a gun.

  7. Call the police and don’t answer the door. Should this younger man called her bluff, things could have turned out bad. If he breaks down the door, be in a semi hidden defensive position and defend yourself. Answering the door to any unexpected persons is a bad move, and invites trouble. I am 6’4 255lbs and I don’t answer my door and invite in trouble.

      • Really.

        I don’t think we need to turn into antisocial scaredy-cats. There are precautions and then there is over-reacting.

        I’d feel pretty bad if a stranger knocked on my door really, honestly needing help and I did nothing, even answer the door. I remember all those stories from a few decades ago about people getting assaulted / killed and neighbors did nothing even though they heard it. I don’t want to be them.

        Life is not without risk.

  8. Granny did the whole “get off my lawn” thing even better than Clint.

    I once had a squeegee man come over to me and ask if he could clean my car windows. When I said no, he said “please, mister, I’ll do a good job.” He sounded so sad and sincere that I couldn’t resist.

    He did all the windows and both side mirrors. Suffice it to say that my windows never looked as clean and shiny as they did that day.

    • I have no problem at all feeding a street person. Have done it I don’t know how many times. But I don’t give them money. I’ve lived in some pretty crappy neighberhoods and most of the panhandlers I’ve seen were substance abusers.

      • You guys are both part of the problem. Don’t give them money and stop feeding them. There are shelters for that.

        I can’t ****ing stand panhandlers.

        • The guy wasn’t panhandling. I’ve used detailers who didn’t clean my car windows as well as that squeegee man, and who were far less polite.

        • I once had a young woman with small child ask me for my help. Did I point them to a shelter? No, I fed them. i claim no religion. But I’m a firm believer in what goes around comes around.

          You may have seen my comment about a CA cop busting me fair and square for carrying a gun sans permit. He gave me a pass. Now the 9th is breaking down CA’s barriers to legal carry. Had that cop not looked the other way I would have quite probably been screwed for legal carry.

          Call it Karma if you will. But the acts of decency that I have committed have come back to me in droves. If that makes me part of the problem, so be it.

  9. She should have left the gun where it was and called the police and just waited for them to arrive… while the perp then kicks the door in and beats them both to death — oh, wait!

  10. A perp wouldn’t want to badger the 75 year old lady I took my CC class with either, she didn’t see herself as a helpless victim.

  11. State leo somewhere stops a 70 something for speeding. As she is giving him her license he notices a gun permit and asks if she has a gun. She tells him she has a 45 in the glove box. He asks if there is anything else he needs to know about. She tells him she has a G19 in the center console. ONe more time he asks and she tells him she has a 38 snubbie in her purse. He asks, “Lady, what are you afraid of.” She tells him “Officer, I’m not afraid of anything.”

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