Something jumped out at me when I first read this story, besides the elderly man using a firearm to defend himself and his wife guess what it is
An elderly Oklahoma man passing through Sioux Falls (SD) was attacked by a man half his age who must have thought that a man 42 years his senior sitting in a car with the door open would be easy target for a carjacking.
“The driver’s door was cracked slightly. While they were in there, what ends up being our suspect came along and pulled open the door and started punching the man in the head. Telling him to get out. He was trying to take the car,” said Sioux Falls Police Officer, Sam Clemens.
What the suspect didn’t know was the 71-year-old man he was was hitting over the head was carrying a concealed weapon. The Oklahoma man sitting with his wife took a 38 caliber handgun out of his pocket and shot the suspect twice.
The elderly man used his firearm, and defended his wife and himself, great! But what stood out to me? He made himself a target. Bob Owens at Bearing Arms explains
The older couple were sitting in a stationary vehicle in a parking lot, with the driver’s side door of the car open.
While the majority of nice normal people would think relatively little of seeing that, a criminal views a person sitting in a car in a parking lot—with the driver’s side door open, even!—as a flashing neon sign, screaming ROB ME.
Parking lots are a transitional area, where you’ve neither physically protected by a structure (a home, business, or store), or the movement of a vehicle in motion. The average person is at one of their most vulnerable points when sitting in a parked car. You have no cover, limited movement options, and in general, are a sitting duck. There’s a reason that self-defense professionals tell you to keep your head up and on a swivel looking for threats when moving from a structure to your vehicle, and to get buckled in and on the road quickly.
Owens makes excellent points, and a lot of what he says is common sense. I see people doing things every day that make me cringe. I see folks unaware of anything around them, their faces buried in their smart phone, not checking out their surroundings, and generally not paying any attention to potential threats. I am always looking around, my head up, aware. Just a few weeks ago, I stopped at a gas station after work, and, as I pumped my gas, I observed a seedy looking guy, walking through the parking area. He began to approach me, I made eye contact, and shifted my body to face him directly. He turned in a different direction. Was he up to no good? Was he going to ask for money? Selling something? Who knows, but, my behavior and awareness, and body language made him know see me as someone to avoid, which is good.
Does that make me a bad ass, or Mr. Tactical? No, it just makes me someone who realized threats exist, and the sooner we recognize potential threats, the sooner we can avoid them, or at least make a potential threat think that we are not an easy mark.