We have readers that occasionally submit stories from their own personal lives. It offers us a fresh take on what we see from the concealed carrier’s point-of-view versus always dealing with news stories.
One concealed carrier recently wrote in and this was his story. For anonymity, we’ll refer to him as “Dr. M. Dade, Menaced In Miami“.
DISCLAIMER: We are publishing this story for educational purposes only and nothing within the article should be construed as promotion or advocacy for any of the words, choices, or actions of this individual. If you are easily offended by explicit language, this article is probably not for you.
PART 1: Why The Doctor Decided To Carry
“Well, as my story goes I was walking my little old dog through my neighborhood in [Miami, Florida]. It’s a very suburban, upscale gated area which is adjacent to a public state park off Biscayne Bay.
I had my face buried in my iPhone as I took my dog for a long walk. There are very few cars, no sidewalks, and rarely do you even see a neighbor; just kids heading in and out of the park.
I did notice two young boys on one bike approaching me and passed by me. [The] one in the back [was] holding a baseball bat. Nothing to alarm me, there are several fields in the park.
I kept my face in my phone, reading an article, and bam, I got struck in the back by the kid that passed me with the bat. My phone flew out of my hands. One gets off the bike, picked up the phone, and they fled on the bike yelling, “Apple pickins”*.
Mind you, this kid could not be a day over 14. What would I have done if I was carrying and shot a 14-year-old snot nose? I attempted to get up but soon realized my alter ego superman had at least one broken rib, if not more.
“Help! I’ve been mugged and can’t get up! Crap!”
Eventually one of my neighbors noticed me on the ground and drove me to the ER and took care of my dog. I ended up with 2 cracked ribs and broken lumbar spinous process. [It took] 7 months of therapy. I can walk but now like an old man.
This was the first time in my life I ever became a victim, I swore it would be the last. I bought a tazer and the world was turning people. I knew [people who were] prepping, hoarding ammo, etc. A friend invited me to a local gun show. I got my carry permit and own, let’s just, say one of every flavor [of] pistol, revolver, and semi-auto rifle. I go to the range 2-3x a week and feel a false sense of safety.”
*EDITOR NOTE: ‘Apple pickins’ refers to hitting someone for their iPhone or smartphone. It’s a fast assault and robbery tactic.
PART 2: Fast Flash To The Mean Streets Of Vice City
“About 2 hours ago, at sunset, I took my dog for a walk. I will not go into every detail but from one of your videos I learned be aware of your surroundings and it’s always in my head as is [that I’m carrying a] concealed pistol, thank you.
I sensed someone behind me walking at a fast pace . He was no more than 3 feet directly behind me. A flashback. “No, no, no, I will not be a victim.”
I did not turn around and said out loud, ‘you’re getting a little too close, buddy.’
And he responds in some form of English, “Whatcho gonna do about it?”
I turned at him, preparing my carry slowly, and said, ‘I’ll sic my dog on you.’
He looks at my old dog that weighs 16-17 lbs. and he starts laughing.
He says, ‘you think you funny, nigga?’
He barely finished his sentence when I pulled out a Sig [Sauer] 229 Elite, laser in his eyes and I yelled, ‘not that dog, this dog, motherfucker!’
And he went running.
I was not going to wait to see if I bleed red, I know I do. Florida law, as understand it, is Stand Your Ground. I was not a victim, I was the crime. Now I’m asking you, I’m alive, I never had to fire a shot, and I would be be crazy to report the incident to Miami-Dade police.”
Question: Did I do the right thing? I never saw any weapon I never saw both his hands and frankly, between us, I didn’t look. It was about 65°F and this shithead was wearing a winter coat that could have easily concealed a weapon.
Dear Dr. M. Dade, Menaced In Miami,
Our instincts and our situational awareness are likely the two basic things we have to operate from in a potentially dangerous situation. It’s good to see you made the decision to carry concealed and to train regularly with the use of that pistol. Thank you with writing in about an honest situation that some concealed carriers may have a hard time talking about.
In terms of this specific scenario, the one where a man approached you and you confronted him, I would have hoped to try to de-escalate the situation. Whether it’s something simple like crossing the street, letting the man pass, I would have liked to see another solution to this problem.
However, I wasn’t there. All I have is your recollection of the event. You experienced a traumatic event involving two teenage boys and serious injuries as a result. I think you may still be experiencing unresolved trauma from that first event. It may have contributed to your actions in the second.
One thing I think a lot of people overlook is the long term effects of trauma. Trauma is deeper than just physical injuries. Getting hit in the back with a baseball bat, having ribs broken and your spinal column fractured is nothing to sneeze at. Seven months of physical therapy to get back to a quality of life you’re accustomed to is nothing to discount in this story, either.
I’m glad you included that first part.
No doubt, you likely interpreted that man’s actions as potentially hostile. It is impossible to know another man’s mind. All we have to judge is his actions. Did this man demonstrate a clear intent to inflict bodily harm, injury, or death upon you or was it just a hunch?
This is where a lot of problems can crop up in how people handle themselves in tense situations. No one I’ve ever met wants to be a victim. Carrying a gun is part of the decision an individual makes because he or she doesn’t want to be a victim.
In the first scenario you described, outside of things you already know, there wasn’t too many opportunities to avoid the damage that was caused. In the second scenario, you started with control of the situation. You assessed that a person near you was a threat. You reacted to that threat by directly addressing it. And then, from my limited understanding, you drew a personal firearm and pointed it at the man.
If a police officer had been sitting in his car, looked over and saw you doing that, do you think he could easily determine that you were the good guy?
We wrote an article about speaking with police — namely, you should be in a secure, safe location first. I stand by that. And because I don’t understand the law well enough to discuss what you legally did right or wrong, I would strongly suggest you speak with an attorney.
I, too, have experienced trauma in my own life. Because I am a concealed carrier and maintain firearms, I have to stay aware of both my surroundings and myself. I have to know when a situation is making me upset and actively figure out a way to de-escalate it. It’s my responsibility to be aware of my emotions — not some stranger’s. If that means removing myself from the equation, then I leave. I don’t even feel bad about that. Because my safety is important and the safety of the people I care about is also important, I have to be aware how prior traumatic injuries affect my judgement.
No court in the world is going to give a crap about my emotional well-being if I hurt, kill, or endanger the life of someone else. That may be something for you to consider as well.
Be safe, Dr. M. Dade, Menaced In Miami.