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Old 03-07-2008, 12:50 PM   #57
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I love scary movies! Here's another...Wolf Creek. I even had to look it up afterwards to see if it was based on a real incident.

Wolf Creek (2005) - Movie Info - Yahoo! Movies

Michelle, Dearborn MI... worst urban rap in all your travels ???
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:42 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
Knowing you as well as I do, I would never imply that you are paranoid or unreasonably concerned by all this 'cause I know you aren't.

.Again, Jack... my apology.

Roger
And knowing you well enough Roger I didn't have concerns regarding the post. Thanks for your concern. It is appreciated!

Jack
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:47 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD
There are actually TWO recurring themes in this thread: 1) the degree of perceived threat from others while camping, and 2) how those who feel the most threatened are "packing heat". What I would like is a response to the following question:
Among those who don't feel safe without a gun while camping, who has actually displayed and/or pointed a firearm (loaded or not) at another person in self-defense while camping? Feel free to briefly describe the circumstances if you feel you were justified.

-Jerry
3 years ago, in a private campground near Garner State Park in Texas. My campsite was the end of a row, adjacent to another private campground divided by a loosely tied wooden fence made of wire and large mostly straight branches for pickets.

I was outside my trailer, enjoying the view of the river behind me, when I suddenly saw movement and a dull shine peak between some loose branch "pickets" 20 feet from me. I quickly realized it was a muzzle, and saw a silhouette figure crouching behind it. The muzzle was sweeping back and forth, and I realized I was in the line of fire.

I assessed the situation quickly as follows:
  1. What is in the line of fire? I quickly told my wife to get out of the trailer and move away and go to the camp office to call 911 - and report person with gun (no cell signal at this location). As this occurs I move towards a flanking position.
  2. What is in my line of fire if I shoot? Can I see what I am shooting at? What is behind my target in case I miss? What if my bullets pass thru the target? What is the collateral damage that can potentially occur and is it worth it based on current situation?
  3. It is currently Spring Break - many families with kids - I am thinking could this be a kid with a toy with dumb but not so unintentional motives or an adolescent or adult with far more malicious motives?
  4. I hear giggling as I get closer to the fence line, and quickly determine that it is a small group of teens, and being that age, I assume the muzzle is that of a pellet gun.
At this point, I could have drawn my sidearm and taken different paths that could have escalated the situation, or even worse, I could have chosen to stop the threat right then and there, but my previous life told me otherwise. Instead, I left my sidearm concealed, approached the muzzle from the side, and stated "If you fire, I will fire back in response".

The teens withdrew the muzzle from the fence line, produce a nervous giggle, and responded "I was aiming for your dog".

Within seconds, they retreat. I remain at my campsite and choose not to pursue into the adjacent property. (There is a good legal reason for this)

A few minutes later, a county deputy arrives. I describe the situation as it has occurred, giving my assessment that I now believe the weapon is a pellet gun, and the suspects are teens. At time I also inform him that I am armed and my sidearm is on me. I also inform him that I also used to be a deputy, but make it clear that he is in charge of the situation without bias from me.

The deputy then goes over to the property and disappears for a few minutes, and comes out with a 15 year old male, on the verge of tears. The teen quickly saw the reality of the situation when the deputy went to find him, place him in cuffs, and was quick to admit he was pointing a loaded pellet gun at my dogs behind the cover of the fence.

At that time, the retrieves the weapon, and places him in the patrol car. He then come to me and asks what I would like to do anything other than the charges the deputy was going to file.

I informed the deputy that I think the teen has learned his lesson and to allow me to speak to him with the intention of teaching him the possible outcomes of his actions, and let him go. Scare tactic if you willÖ..

The deputy then takes the teen out of the car, and brings him to me.

I tell the teen that his actions were stupid, and could have cost him his life. I remind him that this is Texas, damn near every other person has a gun, especially out in the country where we currently were at, and they can and will shoot. I then informed him that I also am armed, with a REAL gun, and lift my shirt to show him. (He did not know this, and assumed my earlier statement that I would shoot back was a bluff) I tell him that I used to be a deputy, so based on my experience, I chose not to escalate or shoot, however, not everyone will have that control. He then realizes the gravity of his actions, breaks down in tears in front of me, the deputy, and his "peers" (no parents or guardians) that he was camping with, and begins to apologize profusely.

We un-cuffed him, confiscated his pellet gun (with his overwhelming consent) and let him go...

Oddly enough, the previous nights at camp, that side of the fence was loud and rowdy with borderline loud music and the occasional profanity. That night, it was quiet as a hospital....

Point in telling this story is that yes, there are those who choose to carry firearms, but the firearm itself is not adequate defense. One must be able to understand and quickly analyze the situation before concluding to use it. There are many who take a class to obtain a permit to carry guns, but in my opinion, the class does not adequately teach the thought process leading up to its use.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the right to bear arms, but there are many out there that don't fully grasp the responsibility that comes with carrying a gun. I think only training, experience, and common sense can best qualify a person to carry a gun, but that's just my opinion.
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:37 PM   #60
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Back in the good ol' days when I used to sit inside my 'weapon' at 40K feet, the one thing that was always drilled into our thick skulls since the first day of OTC was Situational awareness, something to this day I never forget about. It saved my life in the past and present and is always something we should all think about no matter where we are.
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:57 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
Point in telling this story is that yes, there are those who choose to carry firearms, but the firearm itself is not adequate defense. One must be able to understand and quickly analyze the situation before concluding to use it. There are many who take a class to obtain a permit to carry guns, but in my opinion, the class does not adequately teach the thought process leading up to its use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the right to bear arms, but there are many out there that don't fully grasp the responsibility that comes with carrying a gun. I think only training, experience, and common sense can best qualify a person to carry a gun, but that's just my opinion.
Kevin:
Thank you for your valuable reply to my post. Itís clear from your story that you appreciate and value the alternatives to deploying a firearm, and that a gun is, and should be, the carefully considered response of last resort. Your comments (Iím assuming the product of a law enforcement background) stand in stark contrast against comments on this, and other forums, suggesting many guns are carried as a response to naked fear, and not experience. When I think of the combination of alcohol, fear and access to a gun by my fellow campers, Iím even more concerned for my safety while camping. I just wish more forum members had your ďsoberĒ and responsible take on camping while armed.

-Jerry
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:16 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Clark
...snip... I worked in a Federal Office and could not carry but he didn't know that. He had figured out the blind spots and would approach from the side as soon as a door opened. I worry what thugs will try to do to more passive individuals.
I also worked in the Federal sector. Although I wasn't an actual law enforcement officer, I carried a law enforcement ID (black book) because of the nature of my job. Whenever I flew for work, I had to show that ID when boarding a plane.

The first time I was asked if I was carrying I had a puzzled look on my face (what the heck would I be carrying, anyhow?) The gate agent looked at me again and said "sir, are you armed?" I looked at her and said, "yes, I have two of them." That was the wrong thing to say!
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:45 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD

Kevin:
Thank you for your valuable reply to my post. Itís clear from your story that you appreciate and value the alternatives to deploying a firearm, and that a gun is, and should be, the carefully considered response of last resort. Your comments (Iím assuming the product of a law enforcement background) stand in stark contrast against comments on this, and other forums, suggesting many guns are carried as a response to naked fear, and not experience. When I think of the combination of alcohol, fear and access to a gun by my fellow campers, Iím even more concerned for my safety while camping. I just wish more forum members had your ďsoberĒ and responsible take on camping while armed.

-Jerry
Jerry - that was very well said. The combination of alcohol, fear and a gun can be very scary.

Although I firmly believe in people being able to excercise their constitutional rights I also can't help but believe the current system in place for procuring a weapon is seriously deficient. It really comes to light with incidents like Va Tech, the Amish schoolhouse shooting and scores of others. The seem to happen weekly now. Anyhow, that's not the point of my post.

I lived in Washington DC for 27 years, Rod lived there for 30. We didn't live in a remote quiet suburb - we lived in a very urban neighborhood in the District (a local term for in-town DC.) In all my years there, we never felt threatened or afraid. We had to exercise some street smarts but we enjoyed the city day and night. Overall we felt pretty safe there. As a matter of fact, we were gone for 2 weeks once on vacation and our kitchen door was unlocked the whole time!

I haven't camped in a while and we're getting the AS in a few weeks. After reading several of these posts, I'm beginnig to wonder if I wasn't safer in DC than I will be camping again! Are there any folks here that have had any problems camping or is it just a perceived fear? I've heard of a couple of campers murdered on the Appalachian trail but that was years ago. Are the incidents low or am I just not hearing about them?
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:58 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimandrod
Are there any folks here that have had any problems camping or is it just a perceived fear?
Answer: Most of us value our lives and that of our families. therefore, in the remote instance we have to defend our lives, we chose a firearm.
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:06 PM   #65
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:34 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmreilly10000
Answer: Most of us value our lives and that of our families. therefore, in the remote instance we have to defend our lives, we chose a firearm.
Actually, I realize that - and I don't have a problem with it. I know the point you are making and I understand your choice and totally respect it.

But - I wasn't asking why people carry guns, I was aksing if anyone here has had a serious problem while boondocking. That's what I'm really wondering.
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:40 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimandrod
Are there any folks here that have had any problems camping or is it just a perceived fear?
It's a perceived fear, which prompted my asking for REAL stories of peril from members, instead of the scary movie scenarios. Don't let naked fear stop you from enjoying your Airstream; pure common sense will be your best protection.

-Jerry
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:10 PM   #68
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Just for background, I have been active in law enforcement for over thirty years... I've worked in big cities, rural sheriff's departments, and rural cities. I am currently a police chief in a relatively small town in Iowa.

Many of these discussions aren't about guns, or bad guys. They're about the psychology of fear. We've seen that illustrated here, and I just haven't been perceptive enough to pick up on it until just now.

So, to that end, I want to give you a little perspective on sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. A guy by the name of Lt. Col (Ret.) Dave Grossman has made a career of the psychology of fear and has authored an interesting body of work on the subject.

One of the most interesting pieces he's written on this subject is called "On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs" which explains the difference in the way people see the world around them, and the way they deal with the fear of being harmed by others.

I hope you all find his essay of interest in terms of the discussion on this and other threads on the subject.

Oh... and by the way... I carry my gun in church.

Roger
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:02 PM   #69
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I think some level of common sense can go a long way...for all other situations where someone wants to do something bad, I do pack a handgun and I don't make any excuses for it. I want it, I have it and it's legally registered. I follow all the laws as to it's transport and ownership.

Do I ever really want to use it? Nope, but I sleep well knowing it's there. I go boondocking way, way up north, no cell signal, 30 miles in the state forests, at least 30 minutes from a cell signal or civilization.

Even with that handgun though, things can still happen and you just have to do you best and use your head first. I think if I lived my life in total fear, I'd never go into a skyscraper or venture outside the house.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:05 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
...
So, to that end, I want to give you a little perspective on sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. A guy by the name of Lt. Col (Ret.) Dave Grossman has made a career of the psychology of fear and has authored an interesting body of work on the subject.

One of the most interesting pieces he's written on this subject is called "On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs" which explains the difference in the way people see the world around them, and the way they deal with the fear of being harmed by others.

I hope you all find his essay of interest in terms of the discussion on this and other threads on the subject.

Oh... and by the way... I carry my gun in church.

Roger
Absolutely fascinating! Thank you for sharing that Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs link.

I am "sheepish" most of the time, but take a healthy view of paranoia as a survival tool, and try to actively avoid situations that might be trouble. I feel that instincts are not always right, but may not be wrong. I guess I really don't want to find out what I am "missing" when I get that "move along, don't stop here" or "don't go there" feeling.

We do overnight in Wal-Mart when traveling, and only once had a restless evening when a latenight group (5 or 6 carloads) of young adults had a rather loud disagreement in the parking lot. I had a flashback to many years ago when I watched a riot escalate into property damage and overturned cars. But, nothing happened. We now try to find Wal-Marts in little towns with hopefully very few late-night parties. (We're not staying in Dearborn (or Dearborn Heights, or whatever); in fact not in Michigan at all! But not because of fear, it's just too far North!)
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