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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This happened to me a couple of weeks ago, and has prompted me to obtain a permit and procure an appropriate firearm.

My wife, 3 kids, and myself arrived at Fashion Place around 7 pm. We intended to have a bite to eat at the food court, and then meander for a bit. We were in the Meier and Frank parking lot, outside after dark. I was holding my 5 year old girl's hand, and my wife was pushing the stroller with our infant girl and 2-year old boy. All of a sudden I got that feeling that someone was VERY NEAR me, within my personal body space. I turned quickly to my right, and glanced over my right shoulder. There was a guy that had somehow snuck up behind me, and was 2 feet behind, right over my right shoulder. I caught his eye, and he immediately stopped. My adrenaline hit hard, "fight-or-flight" response kicking in. He then hung back about 20-30 feet, then continued to follow.

As we got closer to the mall, I tried glancing over both shoulders to catch a view of him, but could only catch him in peripheral vision (ie. he was now DIRECTLY behind me.) I whispered, "Let's pick it up," to my wife, and we got into the mall safely.

The guy followed us into the mall and while we traveled the LEFT path around the beauty counter, he traveled RIGHT. He caught up with us to where I could see him directly across the beauty department, and he kept eyeing me. It was this point I told my wife, "This guy is following us and looking at us", and told her how he'd snuck up on me in the parking lot then dropped back after I made eye contact. We got thru the department store, with him still in tow, and then into the main center of the mall where Santa Claus was seeing kids.

My wife turned and looked, and having NO FEAR whatsoever, stared at the guy. He looked away, put his head down, then GOT IN LINE at the Santa Claus stand! Weird, weird. Middle-aged fella just stepped into line with the kids and parents at the Sanda Claus line. All by himself.

Creeped me out. I have never felt the need to carry, but after having that experience, it has changed my outlook. I had my wife and children with me, although I could be wrong about his intentions, I felt like he was going to attempt to rob us. I am SO GLAD nothing happened, and never want anything like that to happen ever again. At that moment, I realized I need to carry something with me, ESPECIALLY when I'm with my wife and kids. I am their defender and protector, and need to be able to do that effectively.

I spent the next 15 minutes at the Food Court, still uptight and shaking from the adrenaline hit -- telling my wife how glad I was that nothing happened. I feel like we were somehow protected by an unseen angel or something, or that he just chickened out at the last moment when I caught his eye. Scary experience for me. PHEW!

I just finished the class last night (Thanks, Clark!), and getting the permit all taken care of. An appropriate firearm will have to come a bit later, but I'm on my way. I don't feel that this situation would have warranted use of a weapon in any way, with me catching his eye, and having him back off. However, I would feel more, how do I say, "capable", or "not vulnerable", or "helpless" in a situation like that, would it have gone further than it did.

Comments? Anyone ever been in a situation like this? Anyone ever been carrying and been in a situation like this?
 
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Glad to hear you were ok.

I have never been in that kind of situation, but similar ones. Im 6'5" 195lbs, so not the weak prey that a criminal would want. I have however been chased in my car early in the morning and had groups of people threaten friends that I was with.

I know what you mean about feeling capable. hen wierd situations arrive where I am not carrying, I always feel naked.

Good job getting your family into the mall safe and sound. Welcome aboard! :D
 

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In the interim, a cheaper but less effective alternative is to invest in some pepper spray. I know it isn't as good as a firearm when it comes right down to it, but it is better than nothing.

Also, there are some discreet pepper spray canisters that you can have out and in hand, ready to use and no one would be much the wiser. Check out the ASP key defender. It's what both my wife and I carry (in addition to my 9mm).
 

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handyrandyrc said:
... I would feel more, how do I say, "capable", or "not vulnerable", or "helpless" in a situation like that, would it have gone further than it did.

Comments? Anyone ever been in a situation like this? Anyone ever been carrying and been in a situation like this?
I'm real glad nothing happened.

When I'm out with family, I'm always in heightened state of alert. I think it's partially instinct built in the male, but CC training's made it more focused. When I give my wife and break and it's just me an my two kids (4 and 6), I'll find myself tracking everything in sight.

I had a minor situation last week when I took my kids to ride Trax just for fun (when you're 4 & 6, anything that looks like a train is a blast), Delta Centre, University, and back. It wasn't until the bum across the aisle started whipping out his marajuana and getting agitated that I realized the vulnerability of my seat relative to his. In the end nothing happened; he got off the next stop, which was my plan if he didn't.

I broke out laughing soon after when my boy pulled his plastic toy semi-auto pistol out of his pants, racked it (correctly), and started chattering about how if anybody tried to hurt his sister, bang! I had no idea he had a toy gun concealed in his waistband. He didn't really understand what was going on, but I think he picked up on my tension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the positive comments. I appreciate the feedback.

Merry Christmas everyone! Have a wonderful new year, and while you're at it, make some goals you'd like to accomplish for 2006!

Randy
 

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Welcome to the board, Randy. I live not too far distant from you.

Getting the CFP certainly heightened my sense of awareness when I am out in public. Double that when I am with my family! Glad all was well.
 

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Randy,

First of all let me say-welcome to the forum!

Yes fashion Place Mall can be a scary place. For one, the design of the building lends to too many opportunities for things to happen, and for another it is too easy to get lost when in the parking lot. This latter happened to me on the 24th of Dec. It was a bit scary just exiting from the wrong door & not being able to find my vehicle. However, I was able to contact mall security & was helped by them very quickly in finding wherre I had left my car. The security people were very helpful. All I had to do was enter a store & mention my need & they were there very quickly. So until you get your ccw this is a possible option. BUt you have been given good advice by others on this forum about what to obtain/carry until your permit arrives.
I would also like to have you talk with/consider requesting your wife to take the ccw class as well. Or if she hasn't done much shooting before, to at least take a pistol class & learn to shoot so that, should you not be home, or with her when she is out with the kids, that she may also have that available option of self defense at her disposal.
Having been assaulted before myself (I believe I posted on that here before) I understand what was going through your mind. The simple thing is, you never know what may happen so it is always good to be prepared just in case the worst does occur.
I applaud your decision to carry, and welcome to the sight! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the comments and supportive feedback. I am now getting closer to having the permit come. Still searching for an appropriate carry firearm. I want to have something that I will always carry with me, and have been really eyeing the 3" Springfield XD subcompact. Recently, however, I just noticed the little Bersa Thunder .380. Seems to be much more compact, yet still not TOO small (seems the Kel Tec pistols go SUPER small).

Any feedback on if this is a good brand? I don't know much about Bersa -- whether it will be something I can put thousands of rounds thru or not. I want to practice a LOT, and have something utterly reliable. That's my first priority.

Randy
 

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handyrandyrc said:
...the little Bersa Thunder .380.
For the price, it's a great little gun.

I love my Bersa .380's size. I wear the collared shirts all the time. With an IWB holster, it rides invisibly and comfortably. (9mm short is perhaps a little underpowered, but I'm not going to go around "naked!!!")

I'm conflicted over the DA/SA. The first trigger pull takes practice. Fortunately the convenient safety also decocks the gun, so it's easy to practice the DA first pull over and over. Fire, fire, swip, swip, and it's ready to fire DA agian. I always practice with at least one follow-up round.

I've probably put about 5,000 rounds through it, and the slide is really showing wear. I don't know how long other sidearms hold up, but I knew it was on the lower end.
 

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handyrandyrc said:
... Recently, however, I just noticed the little Bersa Thunder .380. Seems to be much more compact, yet still not TOO small (seems the Kel Tec pistols go SUPER small).

Any feedback on if this is a good brand? I don't know much about Bersa -- whether it will be something I can put thousands of rounds thru or not. I want to practice a LOT, and have something utterly reliable. That's my first priority.

Randy
Personally I think the Bersa is a little big for a .380. If you want to shoot the Kel Tec, PM me I'll be happy to let you put a bunch of rounds through it. The size and reliability is what makes it an everyday gun.

JMHO. Kent
 

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rhinokrk said:
... I think the Bersa is a little big for a .380. ...
Hmmm... yeah, I do have big hands. I didn't consider that. The Bersa fits nicely in my hands with the extended 10-round magazine. With the standard mag the grip is a tad short for my taste.

It's funny how we get used to certain things and never consider why we started doing it in the first place.
 

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After that post, the Bersa may a be better choice for someone who doesn't shoot a lot. I only get 1 1/2 fingers on the grip of the KT, not a shooter friendly platform unless there is a lot of practice involed. But I'd lean towards the 9mm version (Bersa) if it were me.
 

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Here's a trick for the Kel-Tec which helped me a lot with my grip. The North American Arms (NAA) Guardian finger rest extension can be easily adapted for the Kel-Tec P-32 or P-3AT magazines. I've done this with mine and it helps me solidify my grip. Check out the instructions for doing this in the following article:
Adding an NAA Guardian finger rest to a P32



You can purchase the finger extension base plates directly from NAA online.
Look down the page for where it says, "Two Finger Extension Base Plates for all Guardian magazines: $10.00".
 

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handyrandyrc said:
This happened to me a couple of weeks ago, and has prompted me to obtain a permit and procure an appropriate firearm.
...
There was a guy that had somehow snuck up behind me, and was 2 feet behind, right over my right shoulder. I caught his eye, and he immediately stopped. My adrenaline hit hard, "fight-or-flight" response kicking in. He then hung back about 20-30 feet, then continued to follow.
...
Comments? Anyone ever been in a situation like this? Anyone ever been carrying and been in a situation like this?
I'm brand new here, and I've been reading on the OC board, as well as here for a little while now. I decided to post here first, incidentally, because I had a perspective that I thought might be valuable.

First of all, I wasn't there in your situation, and it sounds like the guy was acting really fishy, so this may not apply to your particular situation. Nonetheless, I felt I would share.

I'm a photographer, just returned from college in California, and I've been here now for about 7 months. As a photographer, I often produce my own photo shoots, and often will scout for "models", (a term not reserved only for hot babes, but people to photograph in general) in places just like where you found yourself that adrenaline filled night. Unfortunately, I often find myself in the situation where I can't get a good look at the people that catch my eye, due to multiple factors such as lighting, distance, angle of view, and even sometimes the lack of expressions as people are meandering, etc. I know that if someone recognizes that I'm following them, it may be uncomfortable, so I often try to be VERY stealthy, while at the same time being openly visible and nonchalant. Despite my recent interest in handguns and CC, I have never really thought about this in regards to approaching someone who is considering the safety of themselves or that of their family. This really got the wheels turning in my head, thinking about how a perfectly harmless situation could quickly escalate, if even only in the mind of the "hunted".

I am usually dressed very clean, casual button up shirts (never t-shirts), shorts or pants that are typically clean and nice, but not formal. I would say I dress "normal", if a little dated (sometimes plaid?). I believe this has kept situations fairly non-eventful. However, if I were approaching your family with the purpose of model scouting, I can't help but think that the situation could have gone very similarly, and you might have ended up posting here about a loon wearing a plaid shirt. Of course, I'm more sensitive to this as I approach single women, but I realized that maybe I should be as careful approaching families, or anyone for that matter.

My main purpose for posting, without minimizing the need to stay vigilant, is that sometimes things aren't what they appear, even if we feel we've given the situation the most thorough analyzation possible. I say this as much to protect myself from you when I meet you on the street and approach you for photography purposes, as I do to keep myself in check when I'm out in public carrying my firearm when I receive my CC permit. Of course your situation sounded absolutely improper to even brandish, but the last thing I want when out carrying is an accidental brandish or - heaven forbid - an accidental or mistaken identity shooting.

As I said earlier, I'm totally new here. I suspect my profile will state that I've made 1 post, if you're reading this today. Still I think there is some warrant in talking about the "other guy", since in this case that very well could have been me. (I never have stood in a santa line, so I guess I'm clear this time...)

Thoughts, and responses? I'm definitely learning here.
 

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Macwise, you've made a good point. However, my threat level will definitely rise if I see someone dogging my footsteps. Nothing that Randy said in his original post indicated that he would have drawn a gun yet (even if he'd had a CFP). But he would have been justified in contacting the police on the guy so that they could check him out. Had he done so, perhaps the police would have found someone searching for modeling candidates, but they might have found a child-molester looking for an opportunity to grab a child. We just don't know.

By the way, please obey the forum rules and start a thread in the Introduce Yourself forum so that we can get to know you.
 

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Jeff Johnson said:
Macwise, you've made a good point. However, my threat level will definitely rise if I see someone dogging my footsteps. Nothing that Randy said in his original post indicated that he would have drawn a gun yet (even if he'd had a CFP). But he would have been justified in contacting the police on the guy so that they could check him out. Had he done so, perhaps the police would have found someone searching for modeling candidates, but they might have found a child-molester looking for an opportunity to grab a child. We just don't know.

By the way, please obey the forum rules and start a thread in the Introduce Yourself forum so that we can get to know you.
I completely agree with you. Behavior such as what he saw is definitely reason to be on heightened alert. I also fully agree that there was no indication that he would have drawn his weapon had he been in possession of one. My point was consequential in that sometimes we don't see the end from the beginning in a fight or flight situation. I was motivated to post because my first thought was "I'm the good guy, and I might be viewed by someone else as just as questionable in my actions or behavior". It just made me think about the situation and wonder how I would respond both in Randy's shoes as well as the unknown fellow, so I thought I'd share.

I am going to post now in the introduce yourself forum now. I was just sitting down to dinner when I finished my first post. :wink:
 

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I thought someone was trying to break into our house the other day in broad daylight. I was in my room watching a movie, and we had all the blinds closed to keep the heat out. Not only that, but all the cars at the house were in the garage. I heard a crash at the front door like someone kicked it. My heart started pounding as I grabbed my gun and slammed a magazine in it.

Turns out it was the UPS guy leaving a package under the window and I think he lost his balance and fell into the house. Right as I got to the top of the stairs and looking down at the window, I could see a shadow of a head (it was about 3:00 and our house faces west). That must have been when he dropped the package off.

I approached the front door, and looked out the peep hole and was glad to see it was the UPS guy getting in his truck.

I know what you mean though, I would have felt vulnerable instead of on guard if I didn't have a weapon with me.
 

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I had something very simular happen in Las Vegas, 2 friends and I left one casino and were going to go eat, as we go down an escalator a man closes his distance between us. Me being very aware and the others not so much i watch him out of the corner of my eye as we talk, he kept easing closer on my right side which just so happens to be the side my wallet was on when he was about a yard from me i pulled my knfe from my front pocket and let it open up where he could see it. After that he dropped back a few feet obviously he was watching my wallet or else he couldnt of seen the knife, he stayed back there for a moment then decided he was made and walked passed me giving me the eye the whole time.
 
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handyrandyrc said:
Comments? Anyone ever been in a situation like this? Anyone ever been carrying and been in a situation like this?
I would suggest in a populated area make a scene send the wife and kids ahead stare at the man and if he dose not back down ask loudly "Can I help you?" "what do you want?" not angrily just loudly enough to draw some attention. Some will say this is asking for trouble, if the guy is going to bring trouble in that public of an area he is going to do it, If not if he was waiting for an opportunity chances are you would scare him off. Welcome to the world of options tasers, sprays, guns heck even a knife just be prepared for those moments that could get scary and that includes the mindset. Perhaps especially the mindset of refusing to become a victim, awareness is a large part of this.
 
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