News via the Internet from various retired law enforcement people on encounters with bad guys on drugs crosses my desk on a regular basis. I just read one chilling story that bears repeating here and should serve as a reminder for a simple life lesson: when in doubt, bring your gun. No movement out in public, on foot, and away from the safety of your car or home, especially at night, is too routine or mundane for you to not to bring along a gun.
Drugs | Always Have Your Gun With You At All Times
It seems that a retired law enforcement sergeant was in front of his house late in the evening when he heard shouts and yells coming from his neighbor’s house up the road. He saw an unfamiliar car parked in his neighbor’s driveway and knew they were not home and the car didn’t belong there. He put a gun in his pocket and walked down the road to check it out. He said as he got closer, a man got out of the car and approached him. The retired sergeant said, “The guy started yelling at me to leave, saying he was with the government and that they were in control of the property and they were running a black ops program. He said that he had the authority to remove me by any means.”
Let’s pause the story for a moment while we do a quick situational analysis. What risk elements do we see, hear, or know so far? It’s night, it’s late, it’s dark. No one is supposed to be at the neighbor’s house and a strange car in the driveway probably means a burglary in progress or at the least, someone who shouldn’t be parked there. A man yelling at no one is hardly ever a good sign, since it means he’s either injured, in distress, drunk, high on drugs, mentally unstable, or at the least, highly confused or agitated about his situation and his surroundings. The subject’s threatening ramblings about being with the government and being involved with top-secret “Black Operations” seems about as likely to be true as him having sprouted Batman wings and flown himself to that driveway.
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When I hear about disconnected thoughts, fantastical statements, and out-of-touch with reality psychotic ramblings, I think two things: meth use and/or schizophrenia. Use of the first can cause symptoms of the other. Meth tweakers without mental illness can become problematic in their behavior because the drug is so useful at creating high degrees of paranoia. Meth tweakers with mental illness often use the drug because they can’t afford or get their real psychotropic medications, usually used (effectively) to treat their schizophrenia, or they don’t like taking them because of the side effects. So they switch to meth because it’s cheaper, readily available, and helps them self-medicate.
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The hallmarks of meth users are disturbing and dangerous: agitation, aggressiveness, confrontations, paranoid thinking and delusional beliefs (especially after chronic use or long binges), suspicion and disrespect of authority figures, and cyclical and erratic behaviors. We will see evidence of this last one in a moment. The subject appears to calm down and then . . .
Back to our story. The retired sergeant continued, “I asked him for his ID and he refused. I asked him for [any kind of ID] some papers and he said he didn’t have any. I told him I watched over the property and house for the owner and that I was retired law enforcement and my wife was calling the police as we spoke. The guy said, ‘Let’s be friends’ and showed me his hands. He said, ‘Let’s shake on it’ and wanted to shake with his left hand as he put his right hand behind him.”
Another warning sign: how many people do you know that shake hands with their left hands, even if they are left-handed? About 10 percent of the population is left-handed, but they always shake hands with their right hand, unless it is somehow injured. Wanting to shake with his left hand because his right hand is now behind his back can only mean one thing: he is holding a weapon in his primary or strong hand.
The retired sergeant said, “I refused to take his hand and in the blink of an eye, he came out with a knife and stabbed at my throat. I blocked that thrust and the blade hit my breastbone but did not go through. Before I could reach for my gun in my pocket, he stabbed again in my chest. I blocked that one also but took another cut on my arm. He then hit me in the chest and I deflected the blade, but he hit me with the butt of the knife in the solar plexus.
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He hit me full bodied and we tumbled over the bank. All the time he was yelling that he was going to kill me. He landed on top of me and cut me a couple of times, one puncture on the right side of my chest that did not go in very far. He then put both hands on the knife to push it into my chest. At that time I hit him on the side of the head with my flashlight, which caused him to let go of the knife with his support hand, which allowed me to get the gun out of my pocket. He screamed one more time, “I am going to kill you!”
Here's a video by Guns Save Lives on citizens with concealed carry permits stopping crime:
Had quite enough of this scary and life-threatening scenario? Me too and so did the retired sergeant. He shot and killed the man on top of him trying to stab him to death. He rolled the subject off of him and began walking back to his house as his wife arrived with their car.
The responding investigators told him the man was a transient with a history of drug use (and I’m guessing a history of mental illness and weapons use as well). Score One Win for the Good Guys on this encounter. If you need to prove our most basic CCW rule – Better to Have a Gun and Not Need It Than Need a Gun and Not Have It – go back to the top and read this story again.
Have you ever had or know someone who had a scary encounter with bad guys on drugs? Let us know in the comments section below.
Steve can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @DrSteveAlbrecht