My son did something one night last week that seriously shocked me. He allowed himself to be attacked in a parking lot; taken completely unawares by two muggers who thankfully had no interest in anything beyond his wallet and his shoes!
As the story goes, he was returning to his apartment around 1 am after having dallied with some friends over drinks. He pulled into the gated complex in a fairly upscale area and parked his car. After he got out and locked his car (and simultaneously locking his pistol in the car’s console) he was grabbed in a headlock from behind by someone operating in “Ninja-mode”. The other attacker came from out of nowhere and attempted to pull Joe’s feet out from under him. He said he felt like the guy was actually trying to remove his shoes as well.
There’s no telling what would have happened if they had been successful getting my son on the ground.
However, the two thugs had no idea that for his size, Joe has uncommon strength and ability. Joe also has a long history of fisticuffs to his credit and has no qualms about settling issues the old fashioned way. Imagine their surprise when Joe easily broke the headlock and began slugging it out with both would-be thieves!
While I am very relieved that Joe was able to overpower and chase off two strong-armed attackers, I also can point to several aspects of the tale that gives me real cause for concern.
First of all, it is just by the grace of God that his foes were apparently unarmed. Otherwise finding their easy mark to be NOT so easy, they might have decided to “bust a cap” in Joe just out of pure frustration! These two clowns had only theft in mind and no wish to watch someone die. But, instead of a headlock, Joe’s first warning he was under attack could just as easily have been a knife in the rib cage.
I have hammered home the idea to my kids that one should never go about unaware of their surroundings. Unless you’re home on the couch with all the doors locked, there is no excuse for leaving one’s guard down to the extent that Joe did. However, I bet these two thugs have gotten the point through to my son far better than anything I could ever say or do. I sincerely hope this is one lesson Joe will never have to re-learn.
Closely related to the question of general awareness is the concept that a .22 in your pocket is better than a cruise-missile locked up where you can’t reach it. Again – I think that lesson was amply brought home to Joe, and he’s fortunate to have survived it.
Finally, and perhaps the most worrisome aspect of all, is that the two thugs now know approximately where Joe lives, and specifically what kind of car he drives. If upon further reflection they decide that the many shots to the head and face they received at the hands of their “victim” warrant some kind of payback – they are well positioned to deliver such payback in a way, and at a time, of their own choosing. My daughter-in-law and my 10 month-old granddaughter pull into that same parking lot every day, and I am deeply concerned that these two yahoos are out there - somewhere - waiting to try it again!