That’s a good question. I don’t know the answer for sure.

Question of the Day: Would You Provide Security for a ‘Disarmenter’ Who’d Mocked You?

Lo and behold, when I got inside, some yuppie soccer Mom type wear(ing) a “Moms Demand Action” t-shirt spotted me and the sidearm on my hip and immediately started ranting about how I was dangerous and scary, that my big, bad SigSauer made her nervous, how did she know I wasn’t going to shoot everybody in the joint, etc. I did my best to ignore her, hit the latrine, and came back out and paid for my gas.

While I was walking to the door, I noticed the doped up potential troublemaker was waving his arms around, beating on his chest and (gesturing) at people like he was going to throw a punch while yelling, “I’ma f* you up! Y’all don’t want none!” and so on.

I walked out the door to head to the car, and when I did, the Mom’s Demand nutjob approached from my right and quietly asked, “Would you walk me to my car?”

My first response is to say I’d go ahead and do it, because I like to keep on the plus side of the good/bad karma ratio. I’m not certain that’s the right answer.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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19 Responses to That’s a good question. I don’t know the answer for sure.

  1. MamaLiberty says:

    As with so many such “what if” situations, it would depend. Voice, body language, the severity of the potential threat, and lots of other things would have to be considered. As one of the commenters there said, it could have been a set up for harassment. Or the freak outside could have been a serious threat to any and all of them. I’d want to assess that before I went out myself, let alone escorting someone who was unarmed and fearful.

    But yeah, probably. If she’d actually asked like that… I would most likely have gone out with her and hoped I’d get a chance to slip her my card or even talk to her about it. Even before that, if the mini-mart had coffee and somewhere to sit down, I might have encouraged her to join me to talk until the freaks went away or the cops came, whatever the clerk decided to do about it.

    Lots of potential for both good and bad in this kind of thing. But I think just ignoring her, or even insulting her like this guy did is the wrong thing to do.

  2. Robert Evans says:

    I agree. It’s not according to Christian teaching, if Christianity is what he professes; nor is it in accord with simple human decency, to protect the women and children from harm. Maybe he meant it as a “tough love” lesson; if so, it failed miserably. If I’d responded in such a manner I would have regretted it the rest of my life.

  3. Goober says:

    Scared of guns until they need one, then they all cry in unison “WHY DOESN’T SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING!?”

    Effing morons.

  4. Goober says:

    That being said, I would walk her to her car…

    Unlike most people, i live by a set of rules that requires me to at least try to be nice and not be a dick. Telling her she’s on her own when she’s obviously scared is not being nice, and totally being a dick.

    Not because i owe her anything, but because I owe myself better.

  5. Ben says:

    If I believed she was genuine, yes. Learning takes time and it’s not every day that you get to both demonstrate “why” and show that you’re a good, kind person who simply has different viewpoints (something that probably diverges from her beliefs).

    That being said, I wouldn’t try to start a discussion or press my viewpoint. Real change is gradual and I tend to think that letting something fester is ultimately far more powerful. Historically, conversion under duress doesn’t tend to be very lasting.

    Joel, if I can put in my .02$, I’m pretty convinced that you would do so too, and without much hesitation. I’ve followed your blog for a while now and it seems pretty evident that you put being a good guy before any loftier ideals. The way everyone should be, in my humble opinion.

  6. sevesteen says:

    I’d maybe ask for her parole–if she wants to be protected by a citizen with a gun, ask her to agree to stop trying to take gun rights from citizens.

  7. I’d walk her to her car, because neither she nor her actions get to decide who I am.

    If I could manage it, I’d walk her to the car with a big smile and no words at all. At the car, I suspect there would be ample opportunity to read her reaction and either attempt to engage, part with a zinger, or even say nothing at all. Again, I’d like to think I’d have the presence of mind to do it well; may I be up to the task if it happens!

    Still, it seems like at least a steam-blowing exercise to contemplate the possibles:

    “Don’t worry. This never happens, right? So this didn’t happen.”

    “Actually, sorry, should I walk you back? I didn’t clear this with Bloomberg.”

    “What was it, exactly, that made you ask me, over anyone else here that represents far less of a hazard to you?”

    “Sorry, this thing is obviously malfunctioning. Should I make it go off a couple times to pad your stats?”

    “Just think…maybe next time you’ll have made some progress and I won’t be able to bother you this way.”

    Or, again, maybe the best answer is just to say nothing at all.

  8. PJ says:

    Two responses come to mind:

    1) “Call a cop.”

    2) “You made your bed; now sleep in it.”

    You guys are so nice, but I guess I am done with coddling people who would stab me in the back in a second. People need to feel the consequences of their actions. BTW, I actually have walked a woman to her car from a meeting. I wouldn’t have, though, if she had so advertised her hatred of me and mine.

  9. wyowanderer says:

    I’d walk her to her car, and not say another word, except “you’re welcome” if she said thank you. Actions, not words, win people to our side.

  10. Shoulda thought of this one yesterday, for use after walking a ‘disarmenter’ to her car:

    “You good? Okay. Now I can go back to stomping kittens, eating my young and practicing ritual sacrifice at the ‘Becoming a Better Bigot’ symposium next week.” Add a parting smile appropriate to the reaction, and depart without a further word.

    Okay, I’ll stop with the prurient impulses now. 🙂

  11. Merlin says:

    I’m sorry, but most of your commenters are better men than I. In that situation I would probably say something along the lines of “I’m dangerous and scary” and “I don’t want to make you nervous” (requoting her statements) and walked out by myself. I’m done allowing the other side to be hypocritical about firearms. You say you don’t want them near you, OK. If I’m near you when you really need one, I’ll make sure that big, bad, scary gun doesn’t affect you or what’s happening to you.

    If they can’t learn from observation, maybe they’ll learn from experience.

    (And does this go against my “gut reaction” to the situation, yes. But I’ve come to realize that it has to be this way to have any hope for a change in attitude.)

  12. GoneWithTheWind says:

    There are wolves and there are sheep. Wolves gotta be wolves and sheep gotta be sheep. But there are also sheep dogs and we gotta be sheep dogs. Even a little verbal abuse won’t change a sheepdog into a sheep or a wolf.

  13. abnormalist says:

    @GoneWithTheWind:
    I HATE that phrase. I’m under no obligation to be a sheepdog for any sheep. Its my job to watch out for my family, but they are other dogs. Maybe not as big/strong/nasty as me, but they are no ones sheep.

    Sheep get eaten, dogs get fed, and it isnt my job to be in the way of a wolf eating the sheep as long as hes not after my family in the deal.

    Job #1 keep my family safe
    Job #2 Come home at the end of the day.

    No offense to the MDA lady, but I’m not protecting her, if it means tomorrow I cant do Job #1

  14. Joel says:

    I have to agree on one count, I don’t do sheepdog.

    Thinking it over, I’m more convinced that I would go ahead and walk the woman to her car just because it’s the right thing to do. I might yield to temptation and make a joke about it, ala Merlin’s “I don’t want to make you nervous,” but I’d phrase it as a joke.

    Reasons, other than that that’s what I’d want to do:
    a. It actually is the right thing to do, and
    b. Being nasty will probably do harm, being nice and scoring the moral high ground may conceivably do good.

    Also, having thought it over, I’m not convinced this story is true. I’ve walked into a lot of gas stations in a lot of towns, and nothing remotely like this has ever happened to me. Granted I mostly wasn’t open-carrying, but still.

  15. Robert Evans says:

    I live in the Charlotte metropolitan area, and know that part of town pretty well. It is as described; more run-down and crime-ridden than back in the late 1980’s when I first got here. Other than that, it’s a great story, but I’d have to know the storyteller well before I’d believe it without further proof.

  16. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Believe me I get it. But I do feel the need to protect old ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages. You can argue who is right or who you should protect first, etc. but it is my humble opinion that mother nature made men strong for a simple reason that should be obvious. I feel obligated to help and to protect the weak.

  17. Jake says:

    My instinct would be to walk her to her car, followed by a polite “Now, I’d like you to consider something. Not [X] minutes ago you were saying you thought I was a horrible person who terrified you, but when you got scared, you came to me for help. Why?”

    BUT, I probably wouldn’t have even walked her to her car. The key information is this, from the linked story:

    The poster then goes on to explain that he briefly considered acceding to the request, but having information that the local chief LEO was anti-open carry, and concerned that the clerk might misunderstand a “walk to the car” because of the previous rant by the woman, he decided against it. Another poster mentioned that Moms Demand Action supporters have encouraged others to make, and have said that they would make, false 911 calls.

    A hostile chief LEO (whose hostility probably trickles down through the ranks), a clerk who might take her following me after that rant the wrong way, and a vocal member of an organization that encourages SWATting gun owners and has already done one complete emotion-based 180 turn.

    That’s a recipe for having to fight off lots of felony charges and go bankrupt paying lawyers, and that’s if you survive the SWATting in the first place.

  18. Jake, that’s an angle I hadn’t even considered, but it’s a good point. Just last week my neighbor got hit by his wife with what looks, for all the world, like a deliberate legal positioning attack, of a sort that you have certainly read about before, using the kid as leverage and CPS and state troopers as heavies. We know him well (the kid is nearly the same age as my oldest and they play frequently) and it is hard to imagine the attack as being anything but absurd, but that hardly matters until he gets his day in court (and of course it’s far from a sure thing even then). The dilemma that you describe here is certainly on his mind; he has realized that if he wins any sort of interim custody battle that might well put him and his kid together alone, while his attacker, who has already demonstrated significant reckless disregard for him (and, I would certainly say, the poor kid), could easily drop another dime and have plenty of pretext for TPTB to initiate the sort of story that stays in the papers for a few weeks.

    There is always something you don’t know about, isn’t there?

To the stake with the heretic!