After work, I went to a home improvement store
to take care of a return and do some shopping. As I stepped inside, a conversation between a customer, whom we’ll refer to as Phil, and an associate, let’s call him Don, caught my attention. It was loud and animated on Phil’s side but otherwise appeared civil.
I stood in line for the customer service counter.
Meanwhile, Phil and Don brought their conversation to a register and I lost sight of them although I could still hear them.
When it was my turn to be assisted, Phil and Don came back to the customer service area and now stood about 10 ft from me.
Phil, obviously agitated and yelling, suddenly grabbed Don’s shirt.
It was my first experience as a CCW permit holder to witness a commotion like that. My first instinct was to get closer to the counter so I could discreetly feel my piece and be partly concealed from Phil (the aggressor), as he and I were both on the same side of the counter.
I asked the associate assisting me to call the cops but Don was able to get away from Phil and call 911.
At this point, I made a mental note that neither Phil nor Don was part of my “circle.”
As Phil continued to threaten Don, four other male customers came closer and flanked him, one even making a counter threat.
I made a motion to this customer, extending my arm as if saying, “calm down, no need to escalate.”
Phil turned around and asked, “why, what are you gonna do to me? I’m not afraid of you.”
But, cooler heads prevailed, one man and a lady pointing to Phil that he had his two preschool-aged girls with him. He left while still making threats to Don.
What did I learn? My CCW instructor’s suggestion to make a “circle” played a major part in my response. It was brought to fore as soon as I realized that I could be drawing my weapon. If it’s not my wife, son and daughter, I would be willing to be a passive bystander. I don’t fault at all the guy who made a verbal threat to Phil, could be his training or background.
Had it turned into a brawl, I would have been in the middle of it and who knows how I would have reacted.
Another thing I learned was concealing myself came naturally.
I’m home. Didn’t have to call the sheriff’s office that I was involved in an incident where I had to present my weapon. Didn’t need to call USCCA.