Self Defense in a McDonald's in Arkansas

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Bill Mattocks, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I just got back from my daughter's wedding in Texas. Drove down from the Detroit area. It was a 2 day trip each way. Had a great time.

    [​IMG]

    On the way back, I stopped into a McDonald's in a small town in Arkansas. It was maybe 9 PM local time.

    I noticed a tall muscular kid standing at the door looking out into the parking lot when I got out of my vehicle. My little internal voice registered him as trouble right away. However, I was hungry and I don't always just drive away at the first sign of trouble. Turned out to be foolish. Should have listened. I usually do. Not this time. You know that voice. I'm sure you hear it too. Situational awareness. Should have listened to it. My fault.

    So I opened the door and walked in. Tall muscular dude gives way and I walk past him. The restaurant is nearly empty, but there are about 6 what I would judge to be teenagers in there, hanging out near the drink dispensers, laughing and joking around. Loud. Too loud. I'm keeping them in my peripheral vision. Now I'm thinking I made a mistake, but the damage is done, I'm in the lobby in front of the counter. There are no other customers in the place. I get it - the local toughs have made this an unhappy place to hang out.

    I go ahead and make my order. Listening to my inner voice for the first time, I ask for it to go instead of to eat in the restaurant. I'm not going to try to brazen it out, I'm looking for an exit.

    About that time, I start hearing huge hooting laughter. Like way loud. I look.

    The biggest guy there, maybe 6' 5" or so and very muscular, has managed to get chocolate shake on the seat of his track suit (yes, track suit), like the old Nike things. Guess they're back in style now. It makes it look like he has soiled himself. Everyone is laughing at him. One guy is really laughing hard but he's watching me. He sees me look. He points at me and starts to hoot. "LOOK, EVEN THIS OLD DUDE IS LAUGHING AT YOU!"

    Oh. Not good.

    Mister Poopy Pants looks up from wiping the back of his track suit and says "I'm fixing to f*#@ you up." His hands make fists. No real heat in his voice, not yet. That's good. He makes eye contact with me. He's looking for something. I know what he's looking for in my face. You do too. You've been there. We all have.

    I've got a bag of food, and an empty drink cup. He's standing in front of the drink dispenser. His boys are on all sides and they start to move in towards me. I look over at the restaurant employees - they are suddenly very busy with something else and won't make eye contact. I know where this is going.

    ...

    I put a smile on my face, look Poopy Pants in the eye. "Happens to all of us at one time or another," I say. "No need to get upset, it's all good." I am being 'not a threat' and 'not aggressive' and 'not worth the bother'. That's what I'm doing.

    I walk past Poopy Pants and fill my beverage with Diet Coke and ice. I'm now standing behind him, he didn't turn as I went past. I don't think he wants to be a bad guy. He's just big and angry and humiliated and his boys are laughing at him. All I have to do is not be an irritant or a threat or an excuse.

    His boys are still hooting, really loud. The guy who tried to point Poopy Pants at me is still making eye contact with me. He wants me to get my butt kicked, he's the instigator. If I have to fight, I know who's getting it first, this guy. He's also the smaller one in the group. He's trying to fit in. He's not quite, so he's trying harder than he should. You know this guy. He's not a jock, but he hangs with jocks and hopes they will accept him. That kind of guy.

    My cup is filled, the lid is on, I'm ready to go. Gotta walk past these guys. Nothing for it.

    I keep my head up, smile on my face, non-threatening. I make eye contact with Mister Instigator, he with me. I'm telling him as well as I can through my eyes that if the caca hits the fan, he dies. I will go down, but he dies, first and with a quickness. No question that's going to happen. I'm not going after the biggest guy, Mister Poopy Pants, he's acting out because he's humiliated. I'm going after the little guy, the big mouth, the one who started this with me. I want his friends to see me kill him. My car key goes into his eyeball, then I drop the food and the key and grab the chair next to him. That goes into his brain housing group, as hard as I can swing it. And those McDonald's chairs are heavy. I'll hit him as many times as I can.

    I'm checking out the chairs as I go. Can be used for weapons? Yep. Floor? Wet-ish tile. Slippery but my footing seems OK. They're all wearing these slick nylon style hoodies. Those get pulled over the top hockey fight style if I can manage it. Might get one or two that way, give me a second of confusion to run. I might go for the door, or I might vault the front counter and look for something dangerous to use as a weapon back there. Dunno. Are these guys armed? I can't tell, but they don't favor any side or have hands covering anything they might be wanting to protect. I'm thinking if they have any weapons, they're in their cars. Like me.

    I've got my drink and bag of food in my left hand, I'm a rightie. Got my car key in my right. It's just the new-fangled style of one key with a fob that works like a switchblade kind of thing. I will sink it in a neck or eyeball if I can.

    I press the button on the key fob for the car horn. It starts going off. Their heads whip around into the parking lot. My car is faced towards the door, the headlights are blinking. I walk past the group and out the door. I'm looking at my key fob like I'm just a doddering old man, made a mistake, hit the wrong button is all. Nothing to see here. Keep moving. I'm out the door.

    I walk towards my car, hit the button again and the engine starts, lights and horn stop. I am listening as I walk. Not going to turn around. Just listening as I walk. Can't hear a thing. Severe pucker factor, but I think I'm good. There's no bravado, no rush, in going out into the parking lot after an old man who didn't threaten them in any way. They missed their shot to encircle me, push up their courage, and eventually take a poke at me in the restaurant for some imagined slight.

    I get in the car. Seat belt on. Food down. Put car in gear.

    I leave quietly, slowly, normally.

    I pulled over at the next exit, which happened to be the state welcome center rest stop. I ate in the cab of my car.

    Self defense? Yep. Exciting? Nope. But there it is.
    ...
     
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  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Well done, Bill.
     
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  3. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    That was a long driving distance. Did you have any weapon in your car?
     
  4. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    If I did, I would not talk about it.
     
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  5. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Just trying to understand your definition of self-defense. will you consider to carry a weapon as part of your SD?
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  6. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    "I'm thinking if they have any weapons, they're in their cars. Like me."

    Reading is fundamental.... :)
     
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  7. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Here is the logic that I don't understand. What's good is it to have a weapon in your car that you can't reach to it if you need it?
     
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  8. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Laws vary. When I travel, I carry a gun (when I'm not traveling, too, for that matter...). In Illinois, I'm required by their laws to leave it in the car. If I didn't have a Colorado CHP, I'd be required to unload it and lock it in the trunk.
    Perhaps Bill doesn't have a permit. Or perhaps he does but Georgia doesn't have reciprocity with his state. Or perhaps they do, but have laws like Illinois.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  9. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Was there a drive thru?
     
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  10. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Let me give you a hypothetical situation. Let's pretend I had a knife clipped to my belt under my shirt, and a revolver in my car. I would not have done a thing differently given the situation. A brandished weapon would have afforded me no advantage. Had I been physically attacked, then perhaps.

    In my opinion, once a weapon is displayed, the dynamics change considerably, and it becomes far more likely that death will be involved.
     
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  11. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Forget about all the nonsense for a minute...

    Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding. I wish her all the best.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled ranting...
     
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  12. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Yup. Don’t pull out a weapon until it’s the last thing you can do. Once that’s pulled, now there’s no way out. Waving it around to scare people off doesn’t end well. You wave yours around, and someone will pull theirs, but they won’t wave it around. Or someone in the group will try to take it from you and the rest of them will certainly help.

    While the writing was on the wall, there was no definite physical threat, as proven by no one actually attempted physical contact.
     
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  13. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Bill has no permits. And Bill has no desire to go heeled most times, nor does he have the ability to correctly conceal a S&W model 10 with a 4 inch barrel. Bill has no idea what the laws are involving knife carry in several states. And brandishing seemed unwise given the circumstances. Hypothetically, say a large vintage Spyderco folder in ready position.
     
  14. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    That was my assessment as well. Close to the edge and we all knew it. Some careful management and no one got cut, shot, or dead. Trip not interrupted. This morning I go back to work. No headlines.
     
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  15. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    But you already lost that opportunity. If SD mean to avoid problem then not to walk into that restaurant may be a better choice.

    You did great. But IMO, you still take some unnecessary risk.
     
  16. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, this is completely untrue. In 75% of cases in which a gun is drawn in self defense, no shots are fired. The presence of the gun is enough to end the event without shots being fired.
     
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  17. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I agree that I should have chosen not to enter the restaurant. Assuming it was you, and you had in fact entered, what would you have done?
     
  18. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    And in 25%?
     
  19. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Shots are fired, obviously. It's pretty simple math, Bill.
    Even for a jarhead. :)
     
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  20. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If that was me, I won't walked into that restaurant. To me, to avoid problem is always better than to let the problem to happen and then try to fix it afterward.

    IMO, it's always better to test MA skill in tournament than to test in the street.

    But if I can sense danger and if I have to enter that restaurant, I want to make sure that I have armed myself to the teeth. :D

    [​IMG]
     
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