I have returned to Stately PolyKahr Estates. We traveled yesterday. This morning, I am catching up today on e-mails and any gun news that might have escaped my attention during our brief vacation. However, I did want to recount something that happened Sunday, while we were still in the Atlanta area.
Mrs. PolyKahr and her friend wanted to visit the outlet mall for some shopping. I went along to carry bags and generally be useful. At one point, they went into a Wedgewood store. Wedgewood is known for having lots of very expensive glass objects on its shelves. Now, on such extended excursions as the trip to the outlet mall, Mrs. PolyKahr drives around on an electric scooter. However, she wasn't sure she could maneuver said scooter with enough precision so as not to knock some very expensive glass off the shelf and break it. So, she left me sitting outside on a bench, guarding the scooter and her purse.
At such times, I watch people, and their reactions to various stimuli. Some were so intent on what they were immediately doing that they barely noticed anyone else around them. Some almost tripped over me as if I wasn't there. Others, especially mothers with small children, usually gave me a wide birth, which practice I heartily applauded. After all, for all they know, I might be a child snatcher! I also deduced that a bus had deposited a load of tourist at the mall, because I saw quite a few walk by in foreign dress speaking a language I didn't understand.
At one point, I spotted a man coming towards me, whose behavior seemed off somehow. He wasn't moving as a man going from one point to another, but ambling along and stopping frequently. I took note of the fact that he was a Latino wearing a dark blue jacket, but I couldn't make out the logo on the jacket at that distance. I kept my eye on him. As he approached, he noticed that he had been noticed, and turned toward the parking lot, turned again and stopped. Realizing that he might be making a spectacle of himself, he went and stood by the Ked's shoe store, perhaps 50 feet away. After a few moments, he went inside, though he had no child in tow. After a few more minutes, he came back out, walked around me, and stood by the Wedgewood door. He didn't look like a typical Wedgewood shopper either. Of course, I kept my eye on him, and at some point reached my right hand under my coat in case I might need to get my gun out quickly. He seemed to take note of this action, and moved off looking for an easier target. I didn't even have to have my hand on the gun, much less brandish it. While I believe that his target was the purse, he might well have had a knife, and might have used it to get what he wanted. Now, I would not have shot him merely to save my wife's purse, but if he had pulled a knife, that would have changed the situation considerably.
There are several lessons to this story. First, you need to be alert to anything out of order in your environment. Despite news reports that the economy is growing, the facts say otherwise. I can not tell you how many boarded up businesses we saw on the trip. In such times, more people may become more desperate. Outlet malls and other places where people gather may attract unwanted attention from pick pockets and petty thieves. Since you must sometimes be in such places, have you thought about what you would do? If you don't carry a gun, what other means of defense do you have? Personally, I am thinking about additionally carrying a cane, and learning how to use it as well.