Carolann Miracle was open carrying in the early morning hours of August 1. The 4-feet, 11-inch, 85-pound Arizonan was leaving a gas station with a drink in her hand and a GLOCK on her hip.
Miracle said she was leaving the Circle K near 59th Avenue and Camelback Road with her family early Monday morning when the suspect, Frank Taylor, tried to bum a cigarette. She told him that she didn’t have one, and then seconds later, Miracle said, she could feel the barrel of the gun against her skin.
“He put the gun up to my neck and said, ‘It’s loaded, don’t move,’” Miracle said. ”I think he thought, ‘She’s a little girl. Maybe she doesn’t know how to use her weapon.’”
Miracle said, “I dropped my soda, released my gun from my holster and cocked it. I shot him and ran in the opposite direction.”
Miracle’s father was a Marine. He apparently taught her well. The pistol appears to be a GLOCK model 17 or 22, with night sights.
There are several things to note about this encounter; elements of her story are often found in accounts of armed robberies/muggings.
Robbers/muggers use a pretext to close the distance and distract their victim. Asking for a cigarette is a common pretext. So is asking for the time. Even if you choose to answer a question from a stranger, it’s always best to maintain distance. Answer while walking away.
Targeting weak prey
Like their animal cousins, human predators tend to pick on weaker prey. Perhaps the perp didn’t see the GLOCK on Ms. Miracle’s hip. It was dark. She was holding a drink from the gas station, possibly in her right hand. If she was wearing a dark top, as she was in the video, the GLOCK wouldn’t have presented much contrast. While open carriers tend to be more aware of their defensive firearm, many people never notice it.
Recognize the threat
Ms. Miracle did many things right. She instantly recognized the threat. Many people become mired in the thought that “this cannot be happening” and “this isn’t real.” People who carry are much less likely to remain in “condition white.” They have considered the possibility of attack and tend to be prepared for it.
Ms. Miracle dropped her drink. Dropping things to access your weapon or to fight better is not an instinctive reaction. Many people instinctively hang on to useless things even if they impede their ability to fight. I taught my students to practice dropping things at the beginning of a fight so that they could draw their firearm and fight more effectively.
Ms. Miracle fled the area in the opposite direction from her attacker. Many attacks, perhaps as many as 50 percent, involve an accomplice. She purposefully made the decision, moved to safety, then called the police.
Prepare to fight
Miracle says she “cocked it,” referring to her GLOCK. We can only conclude she was carrying “Israeli style,” with an empty chamber. While that’s not ideal, if you practice pulling and releasing the slide as you draw, preparing your firearm can be done fairly quickly.
Miracle was openly carrying when she was accosted by a violent, armed felon. He didn’t simply “shoot her first” — as many who oppose open carry claim will happen. Even though the bad guy “had the drop” on her, she won the gun fight.
Action beats reaction. Dropping the drink likely gave her another second, as the felon probably thought “dropping drink” not “drawing a gun.” Not having to remove her cover garment gave her an additional advantage.
Carolann Miracle; small woman, Marine’s daughter, open carrier, mother, and now undesired gunfighter. She survived and lived to see her daughter’s third birthday. Result.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.