Not Intimidated

I was having a conversation with a woman at a social event recently and the subject turned to guns, as it often does. It was by no means a gunnie event, but enough of the regulars know that we are shooters that it comes up. (I know, I’m being vague.)

So anyway, this woman makes the comment to me that she wouldn’t carry a gun because she’d probably use it. I respond with something to the effect of being glad to have it should the situation ever arise that I’d need to use it, God forbid that ever happen. This moves the conversation in the direction of situational awareness and carrying yourself in such a way as to not look the easy target. You know, head on a swivel rather than buried in your phone sort of thing.

And she proceeds to tell me that no one would ever mess with her because she’s got some sort of attitude. That she can just give those thugs a look and they back down.

Uh huh. Great. Yes, the vast majority of bad guys do not want to be identified and so looking at them directly will deter them. But I’d rather not count on it.

Particularly not when said look is a weird crazy eyed stare directed up at 5’4″ me. It took a minute for me to figure out that she was apparently demonstrating her magical force-field look on me. She had to take a couple of steps into my personal space before it was obvious that she was trying to stare down the gunnie girl.  And she was enough of a non-threat to me that I didn’t really care that she had closed the distance.

I should win some kind of award for restraining the eye roll. Seriously, I’m not known for having that kind of restraint.


Don’t depend on your posture and attitude to keep you safe, and you just look crazy trying to stare me down.  You’re probably a lot less dangerous than you think you are. Your attitude and facial expressions don’t make up for the disparity of force between you and a 300 pound rapist.

Also, for future reference, when meeting new people that you know are armed, demonstrating your powers of intimidation is a bit less than brilliant.  You may think you’re moving up the power ladder, but really, I’m not intimidated and you look like an idiot.

14 thoughts on “Not Intimidated”

  1. My wife once stared down several thugs at a mall, but the right hand resting inside the fannypack might also have been a factor.

    1. I’ve done it too. I just wouldn’t want that to be my last line of defense. Hopefully, it’s the only method I ever need to employ, but I’m not hanging my life on that kind of hope.

  2. I think I know what that woman meant about attitude and staring down a (possible) attacker. It worked for me once. ONCE. I wouldn’t try it given a choice. I was waiting in an apartment building parking lot for a ride, very late at night. We’d been drinking and I wasn’t good to drive. While waiting, a truck comes screeching up and the 2 men inside made some comments. I didn’t respond verbally, but prepared to be attacked. I expected to be and I was going to fight. After a few more comments and no verbal response from me they finally left.

    I’ve never been so scared. I was 22-23, and it made me a lot more aware of what was going on around me. Almost 20 years later and I still don’t carry, though I’m thinking about taking the class after the first of the year. That’s how I found your blog.

  3. The flip side of the “attitude only deterrent” is that you aren’t equipped to come to someone’s aid, and you have no fall-back option if it doesn’t work.

  4. Using a defiant attitude alone as defense against a Bully (or other miscreant) is only 100% reliable if you find yourself in an old episode of Leave it to Beaver.

    For all other circumstances, its best to have something else besides Moxie to fall back on.

  5. Heh…reading this post, I got the mental image of a 1.5 pound chihuahua growling and barking from the other side of a 3-foot garden fence. Sounds tough when discussing the day’s events with the parakeet, but not much use when the rottweiler decides to go ahead and step over the gate.

  6. Excellent point, and I believe too many women think (wrongly) a look is all it takes, because people are ‘afraid’ to cross them at work or in other circumstances for fear of a harassment charge. Criminals could give a s**t less, and then it’s too late…

  7. The direct gaze will do one thing: make the perp know you are aware of them. Great. Maybe you will deter a situation because you’ve eliminated the surprise and interrupted their OODA loop. Now, what are you going to do when they don’t care that you know they are going to do something terrible. I hope those eyes shoot lasers.

  8. While she was looking at you did you find yourself saying, “These aren’t the droids we are looking for” for no apparent reason?

    What do you do if his fearsome stare is better than yours?

    What if he is a process criminal who gets off on your reaction to the crime?

  9. This sounds like a perfect opportunity for some cheek pinching and baby babble.

    “Oooooohhhh who’s got such an adowable mad face? Suuuch a cute baybee!”

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