In the past week in our area, there have been several shooting incidents in which at least 5 people were killed, and 8 others wounded. It appears that most of the victims were probably known by the assailants and not random incidents.
This spate of shootings lends a lot of credence to John Farnam’s credo of, “Don’t go to stupid places with stupid people and do stupid things and be in your own bed by 11:00 PM and you should be OK.” I have to agree. There have been many times that I decided not to go into, or to leave a place, because there was some type of shenanigans going on.
Unless there is a threat directed at you or a member of your family, it is often best not to get involved but rather, be a good witness and call the professionals (i.e., law enforcement) to intervene. Let me relate a true story:
My wife and I went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants one Sunday evening. At the time, there was still ‘smoking’ and ‘non-smoking’ sections, so we were standing in line waiting to be seated in a ‘non-smoking’ section. As we stood there, I noticed a nearby table that was stacked with dishes from dinner and numerous empty beer bottles. There were several Hispanic males sitting at the table having a very animated - albeit a little loud - discussion.
We were seated and, within in a few minutes, we were served our dinner, and began eating. Suddenly, we heard a loud bang near the front window. When we looked up, we saw an individual that appeared to have been thrown against the window. Several people got up and rushed to the window to see what was happening.
Apparently, the owner had asked the individuals to leave as they were causing a disturbance up front. When they got outside, they continued their ‘discussion’ which then turned into a full-fledged brawl. As this was all taking place, I sat there calmly eating my burrito. My wife came back and asked me if I was going to do anything (at the time, I was a Lieutenant with the local City PD). I said I already had – I had called 911 and told them what was happening. My bride seemed a little peeved that I hadn’t charged out the door to make peace out of the confusion.
Within a couple of minutes, the first Officer arrived, When he got out of his car, he ran up to the group that was still fighting and tried to pull two of the ‘battlers’ apart, one of them turned around and punched the Officer in the face, breaking his nose. Eventually, other Officers arrived, and things were sorted out.
After all was said and done, my wife asked why I didn’t get more involved in the situation. I explained the following:
Based on my observations when we walked in, I concluded that several friends had been out enjoying a friendly game of soccer after working all week.
They had come into this restaurant to eat some ‘home cooking’ and enjoy a few ’adult beverages’.
They began having a discussion and, as is apt to happen when alcohol and strong feelings are brought together, there were some conflicting opinions and, when they got too loud, they were asked to leave.
I also said that quite often in the Spanish/Hispanic culture, men routinely carry some type of edged weapon and, there were five individuals and only one of me. Also, I had no back-up and only had my firearm with me, which limited my options.
So, I opted to call 911 and get the cavalry in route.
After I explained, my wife was taken a bit aback. She was amazed that all the information was developed solely by my initial observations and my familiarity with other cultures. By staying out of a conflict that had nothing to do with me, I managed to enjoy my meal and go home without a broken nose or having to injure someone else.
So, there are a bunch of folks out there shooting each other and causing a level of apprehension and concern to spread throughout the City, and rightfully so. Can you avoid it? Probably so if you adhere to Farnam’s credo, stay situationally and environmentally aware, and don’t put yourself in situations that you do not need to be in.
BE SAFE • BE EFFECTIVE • BE READY