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Old 12-01-2009, 06:11 PM   #1
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To Pack or Not Pack

I've seen several threads in the past regarding whether or not to carry a weapon on trips. Till now it never concerned me because after retiring from law enforcement in 1996 I never carried a sidearm again. Last Friday night changed that thought forever. What happened to us next did not happen on a Walmart parking lot or in some rest stop area. It happened in a private membership RV camping preserve where only members can enter.

We had been playing a board game with another couple at the activity center when we decided to call it a night and retire to respective trailers. Our vehicle was parked further out than the other couple so they were already leaving before we reached out vehicle. My wife and gotten in the vehicle and closed the door. I had not had the chance to close my door before 2 individuals ran up to my door. At first I thought it was a couple of kids playing told them to get away. It was then I realized both were in dark clothing with ski masks and one of the subjects was armed with an automatic handgun. Several times the one with the weapon stated, "give me your money old man or I'm gonna kill you right not." This was repeated several times. I kept telling them that I didn't have any money. This went on for a least 2 minutes before they disappeared into the darkness. Why they ran we don't know because there was no one around. We were in a dimly lite area and by ourselves. I have never felt so helpless in my life and I mean that very much. Was I in fear of our lives? You bet I was.

Thank goodness for that little device we call a cell telephone. My wife immediatley called 911 and was in contact with a sheriff dispatcher and within 15 minutes a unit arrived.

Will I carry a weapon with me from now on? You bet I will.

For anyone who does not feel the necesity to carry a cell phone you're just fooling yourself.

Through some good work by the deputies and some great information from a campground member entering the park as we gave our statements the 2 individual were identified. A ski mask and weapon were recovered. The weapon was a BB pistol and the subjects were 14 & 15 years of age. Since they not adults they could not be arrested. This very comforting to us to say the least. Both subects knew what we looked like and it would not have been difficult for them to locate us within the park. The membership park could not ask them to leave because neither had been convicted of the offense.

We are pressing charges (2nd Degree Felony) and the authorities are in the process of getting warrants for the boys. If I had had a weapon one or both might have been killed or injured.

Will I go back to the campground? Yes.

My advise: carry that cell phone. If you don't have one then get one.
Be alert to your surroundings.
To arm yourself that has to be your choice.

Even after several days it still gives us goose bumps to think about it.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:22 PM   #2
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The membership park could not ask them to leave because neither had been convicted of the offense.

Thankfully you were not physically harmed. I can't begin to imagine the mental bruising this situation caused. I do find it extremely disturbing about the campground's approach. Most everywhere we stay has a specific "We'll boot your butt's out if you act out or inappropriately" rule.

Best wishes,

Kevin
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:27 PM   #3
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You must know that the actions of the assailants were illegal, right. They absolutely should have been arrested for their actions. Thank goodness that they didn't get themselves killed, and leave you with the knowledge that you killed a couple of STUPID KIDS, for the rest of your life.
What do you suppose these kids will be doing when they are a little older, and have gotten away with sticking a gun in someones face? I don't want to think about it.
I pack, and will continue to do so. Ultimately I would rather be around to feel bad about having to shoot someone! To each, their own.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:41 PM   #4
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Cool

everyone has to decide for themselves. there is no one answer + every situation is different.
the police can only take a report , after the event happens + stop a recurrence.
at the time of most crimes , you are on your own.
problem with guns is ,most people don't have any training.
in your case, if you had a gun + hurt a unarmed kid , you could lose big.
there is no answer.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:11 PM   #5
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gaylejoe,

14 year olds or not, a very scary event.

But let me ask you: had you been armed, what do you think would have ensued? It doesn't sound like you knew their age, what with the ski masks, but BB pistols can look like real weapons today.

I guess I'm wondering if one possible outcome could have included an even more scary play of events, had you been carrying a weapon.

I hate to think of you getting arrested for attacking two minors. But you are a professional, and put your life on the line for years: do you think you would have been in a better position had you had a gun?
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:26 PM   #6
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wow scary...

but happy to read u were NOT physically harmed.

the following makes NO sense...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaylejoe View Post
...The weapon was a BB pistol and the subjects were 14 & 15 years of age. Since they not adults they could not be arrested.
since when are teens immune from arrest?
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here's an old post with a similar situation, VERY similar principles and outcome.

it's a good one to read, then REread.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/530278-post59.html

that entire thread has some useful posts...

but typically the 'packn' threads head south and get closed.

and the natural response for many is YES i'll carry now,

but it's not clear how that choice would have ended here.

safe travels!
2air'
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:33 PM   #7
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First, glad both of you are alright.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaylejoe View Post
Since they not adults they could not be arrested.
Why not? Armed robbery is a serious offense, regardless of their age.
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Originally Posted by gaylejoe View Post
The membership park could not ask them to leave because neither had been convicted of the offense.
Again, why not? Are they members? If the park could ask them to leave for littering, loud noise, or other unacceptable behavior, why not for attempted robbery? Does this mean that the park considers this acceptable behavior?

I don't think I would ever go back there. In fact, I would like to know where this happened so I can never go there. They threatened to kill you and your wife and the park would not ask them to leave.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:41 PM   #8
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No offense, but you above all people should know that crime can happen anywhere. You should also know that should they have had a real gun and the inclination to use it, that cell phone would have done you absolutely no good, as you'd likely be dead.

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

My personal opinion is that if you are relying on someone else (ie the police) for your and your family's personal protection, no matter where you are, you are unsat and irresponsible.

<<flame suit on>>
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:41 PM   #9
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Only you can decide if you want to take the responsibility to pack. I was a Snap-on tool dealer for nearly seventeen years and know several dealers who were held at gun or knife point. They all were able to get themselves out of trouble by giving up tools or money or both. I know several dealers who pack. I did when I was a dealer.

Having a "friend" in your trailer can be a comfort if nothing else.

When I head for my car or truck I have a habit of holding the remote which is on the key chain. I keep my thumb on the little red button which will set off the horn, until I am inside and have pressed the "lock" button on the door. If someone tried to hold the door open or otherwise cause a problem, I hope they would most likely make a run for it if the horn started honking.

Just a habit I got into some time ago.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:49 PM   #10
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Hi, I was a MAC TOOLS distributor for eight years. I was the last person in our group to carry a gun in my truck. To this day the gun has never been fired and I'm glad for that fact. About one year after I got out of the tool business, there was a report about a local SNAP-ON dealer who was killed and robbed. This occurrance with tool dealers was only one of many reasons I decided to change carreers.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:54 PM   #11
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It is better to be tried by twelve than carried by six.

It's pretty doggone sad when some lowlife would jack a tool truck. I mean, come one, who would rob a guy selling wrenches? What next....jack the Tasty-Cake truck?

I feel for you gaylejoe. That would really suk to have to go through.
I had a dude try to jack me in a major city. He had a switchblade, I had a Walther. I sent him running, but got out of there before he came back with fifty friends with AK's. And, I was sitting in a convertible, in broad daylight, reading a map trying to find my way to the concert....wasn't even a dark and forbidden area.

In the immortal words of Jackie Gleason, circa 1977..."What in the H is the world coming to??!!"
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:15 PM   #12
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Most people don't realize the responsibility that goes along with carrying a weapon legally and safely. Most criminals don't care who gets hit or where their shots may go.

I carry on all trips unless I may be heading into Canada. I have never had to show or use my weapon, and I hope that does not change. I fully expect to have more trouble with a cougar than any of the two legged variety in my area.

I remember reading on one post that about 85% of Airstreamers carried. To me that was comforting knowing who I could depend on when needed.
Sam
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:46 PM   #13
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When I head for my car or truck I have a habit of holding the remote which is on the key chain. I keep my thumb on the little red button which will set off the horn, until I am inside and have pressed the "lock" button on the door. If someone tried to hold the door open or otherwise cause a problem, I hope they would most likely make a run for it if the horn started honking.
I do the same thing for our vehicles with a remote, and for the one without I carry the longest key between my knuckles to use in an upward jab to the nose. I've been doing this for over twenty years.

It seems to me the time it would take to pull a gun after someone has surprised you would certainly get you hurt if not killed.

Carol
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:28 AM   #14
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wasp spray

Wasp spray isn't a fool proof "weapon" but it will spray about 15 to 20 feet, and will temporarily blind a dog or human who is attacking. I now carry a can in my car and in my trailer. Hope I never have to use it.

The "gated campground" is really no safer than any other place. The gates are only designed to keep out non-members - and mine is on an inlet that anyone in a boat can float into.

I am so glad you weren't physically hurt... but I too cannot believe that the campground wouldn't throw out the punks and their parents. I'd threaten to charge them as accessories.

Paula
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