Saturday, December 13, 2008

at a glance

I called Mike at the office yesterday afternoon and asked if he'd meet me for a pint at the brewery after work. I had made fresh bread and dinner would be waiting for us in the crockpot for when we got home so would he like a hot date with the wife, a pint of Christmas Ale and a home cooked meal, all in the same night? Naturally, he agreed.

We like to sit at the bar, talking politics and laughing together at the newfangled invention that is cable television. The sports channel is always on and we find ourselves confused and mesmerized by the spectacle, commercials especially. We enjoy our pints and leave before too many weekend revelers arrive. Stay overlong and the band starts up, seats are few and far between and suddenly happy hour isn't so happy anymore.

So last night, as I was waiting for the check, I felt a presence to my right. I turned my head slightly to see a man squeezing in next to me, trying to place an order at the bar, even though the place wasn't that crowded yet. He was about 6'2", dressed expensively and very close to me. Too close, in fact - I could feel the heat of his body and some part of his torso was pressed up against my shoulder. I looked at Mike and whispered, "This guy is in my bubble."


I subtlety gestured. "My bubble. He is in it." I was beginning to feel a bit cross.

I signed the receipt, put on my scarf and still, the man didn't move. Mike stood up and put on his jacket. "Perfect timing!" the man said. "Are you buying too?" Smarmy.

I put away my credit card and started putting on my coat. The man put his hand on the back of my chair, despite the fact that 1.) my purse was still on the back of it and 2.) Mike was already standing up. He was hurrying me out of my seat and I daresay he would have pulled it out from under me if given half a chance. Rude.

For a moment, I considered sitting back down and ordering another beer just to spite him. Instead, I turned to face him. I very calmly said, "Excuse me."

The look in my eyes, however, said something else entirely. It said,"I will kill you where you stand if you don't back off."

And just like that, he backed off, surprised and apologetic as I gathered the rest of my things and walked away.

Women often can't tell the difference between being polite and being submissive. We believe we have to be accommodating to perfect strangers. We fear being thought of as anything other than "nice." We apologize too much and for no good reason. We are the first to offer up that fake smile, the one that says, "Please don't hurt me. See? I'm harmless."

Act like prey and that is exactly what you will become.


Old NFO said...

VERY well done Breda!

the pawnbroker said...

when the knowledge that you are armed begins to alter the way you deal with the day to day inconveniences and irritations of life...especially after a "pint" or's time to go back to school. and this time, pay attention when the instructor says "your weapon is there for your protection when you fear for your life".

you're not a badass because you carry, and that guy was not a threat to your life...he was just an asshole, and the world is full of them. "i will kill you where you stand if you don't back off"? pure idiocy.

your attitude and behavior is fairly common among those new to handling and carrying firearms. it is extremely dangerous. change it before something terrible happens.


LawDog said...

Very good, Lady Breda. Very good, indeed.

Breda said...

Pawnbroker - I am 5 feet tall and a strange man was in my personal space. In fact, he was pressed up against me. Also, please note that I said NOTHING to him except "excuse me"

And secondly? Most importantly? This is Ohio. We are not allowed to carry in bars. I didn't HAVE my gun on me.

Perhaps you need to work on your reading comprehension.

LawDog said...

pawnbroker, I think you're reading too much into the writing.

Breda is not champing at the bit with gunfighter's syndrome; she is merely expressing confidence.

She was not indicating her willingness to gunfight over a chair (or poor manners) she is simply trying to convey her recent understanding of the viewpoint that we -- as gun people -- should, and do, develop.

Having read Breda's blog for some time, and having met the lady on-line, I find nothing objectionalbe about this post of hers.


Breda said...

Again. Ohio. No carry in bars. No guns involved. Breda was gunless.

alan said...

I'm not surprised at all. Have you seen her eyes? Spit fire they do.

phlegmfatale said...

Brilliant post, Breda. Good for you for looking that oaf in the eye and demanding respect, however grudgingly it was given. And how dare anyone try and tell you you're out of line for standing up for yourself.

farmist said...

BRAVO! Well done.

Buckshot said...


I am male and 52 now and finally have my CCW (only for 5 years now, carried via the Prudent Man Doctrine for years before that) but due to a previous job I had, I have a VERY well developed sense of personal space and AUTOMATIC reactions when it is invaded.

The gentleman in question probably would have gotten an accidental elbow in the solar plexus or the edge of a bood down his shin and into his instep had he treated me like he did Breda, and then I would have finished it up with the silent offer her eyes made to him had he taken exception.

There is NOTHING more rude and infringing on a person than invading their personal space and one's PERSONAL SPACE SHOULD be aggressively defended.

Finally, just to emphasize, in Ohio you CAN NOT carry a firearm into an establishment that sells alcohol for consumption on site! Nor can you carry on the way home if you have imbibed at all as the standard there is simply "under the infulence, NOT the standard for DUI!


the pawnbroker said...

"The look in my eyes, however, said something else entirely. It said,"I will kill you where you stand if you don't back off.""

little room there for miscomprehension. however, remove that reckless comment and the foolish link it references, and i would agree with and support everything you said and did.

law dog, i have observed breda's discovery of shooting and even anticipated her embrace and enjoyment of it, including her current lust for bigger and better has been a joy to see that growth, and i have seen it many times before as new shooters, especially females, discovered its joys and empowerment. and in breda's case, her ability to relate all of that to others who identify with her has been especially enjoyable. all the more reason to be shocked at the lubricated attitude embodied in that sentence...and at you, as a man of the law, to endorse it.

breda, it matters not a damn bit whether your gun was on your person (most reciprocal states exclude bars from carry), in your car, or at home. it's the mindset that is important here.

submissive? overly nice? hell, no! but that sentence and the stupidity of that link? utterly and completely wrong.

"And just like that, he backed off, surprised and apologetic as I gathered the rest of my things and walked away."

he was just another asshole, and he didn't even know it, until you told him. but you sure as hell didn't need to "have a plan to kill everyone you meet" to get that message across to him.


Breda said...

pawnbroker - what is it you have a problem with, exactly? My uppity female "attitude" or my writing?

Are you going remind me of my place? Tell me that I should keep my eyes to myself, like a good little girl? I do not suffer assholes lightly. I imagine you will learn that very soon yourself.

Jay G said...

I know that look. I call it my "Which part of you am I going to eat first?" look.

Which is sometimes confused with my "One more [word/look/motion] and I'll be hosing your DNA out of a woodchipper tomorrow afternoon" look.

The best kind of fight is the one you don't have to be in. If you can make the other guy back down without throwing a punch, or throwing down, you're much better off.

There's two parts to this look. The first part says, yeah, I know what you're doing and I'll brook no part of it. The second part says, I'm willing to back it up. You?

Good on you, Breda.

the pawnbroker said...

wow breda, speaking of failure of comments make my point well enough, and that is likely what makes you so angry and defensive.

sexism is like racism; it is serious and real, but is devalued by pretend victimization...i have two daughters in your age range who were taught their whole lives to speak up, stand up, and fight back, and have encouraged and personally armed more women than you know, so keep it real.

but yes, it is your writing that i criticized, to the extent that it influences others of limited experience; i think you've done a great job and set a strong example, but not this time.

read again what i wrote, and if you find something there that offends you, quote it and respond to it rather than making silly accusations and empty threats...i said before that the world is full of assholes; spend your time planning to kill them all and you will likely miss the real threat in the unlikely event that it comes along. and coming from someone who has been called an asshole by the best (and occasionally justifiably), you want to be careful not to act like one yourself, and gender matters not a whit.

don't like being called to task? delete my comments, no matter to me. but let this exchange resonate with you the next time you are tempted, through word or thought, to threaten deadly force in the course of day to day minor irritations.


Breda said...

You might like to go back and reread your own comments, pawnbroker, because initially you took issue with my actions. Then, when that argument didn't quite work out as planned, you decided that you had a problem with my writing. Convenient.

And to be honest, I don't find you offensive as much as I find you tiresome and pompous. Bloviate all you want - you're proving my point quite nicely yourself.

Larry said...

All approval here. Handled with no excessive words, no overt threats (and a descriptive phrase calling it am "I will kill you look" is simplay that: a description.)

I am unlikely to have had the same problem, being a large male, but I would have seen no problem with her saying more. I know several (sadly not enough) dimnuitive females who have the presence to communicate such confidence. It has little to do with the immediacy of being armed or not, but the philosophy that informs your decision to be armed does have something to do with it.

It seems a bit like Pawnbroker and Breda are talking p-ast each other a bit, but I would say that Pawnbroker has the wrong of it. You're taking one phrase and fixating on it, when the point it that rudeness should not be tolerated or even ignored. It should be challenged, immediately. Immediate feedback is far more effective than passive aggression.

There are parallels here. Particularly in comments.

Stingray said...

And here I thought the first rule of finding yourself in a hole was to stop digging. Breda nailed you dead to rights - "I don't like that attitude! ... wait, I don't like how you said that!" Pawnbroker, put down your shovel.

And telling LawDog what to think? Good grief, my momma didn't raise no genius, but even I'm not that dumb.

HollyB said...

IMHO, and I do mean humble, I think the misunderstanding here lies in a mistaking the FEMALE mindset for the shooter's mindset.

I'm NOT a diminutive woman. I'm 5'9" and not svelte. However, in the same situation, I would have been in more confrontational. I'd have leaned into him almost forcefully. If that didn't work, THEN I'd look at him with that SAME expression and say something akin to "I think you'd be more comfortable if you backed off some."

I don't think, knowing Breda, her real intention was a literal interpretation of the "kill you where you stand" thought. I think her look was meant to assert her right to personal space.

I know I'm speaking the obvious here, but pawnbroker seem to need the obvious pointed out to him. No offense, just a translation to female thinking.

The Old Man said...

Madam, I have linked to this missive. You have encapsulated the reaction of a free American. That would be female or male. As was pointed out, we large males get much less of that crap, but we are no more due respect in the real world than other folk. Let not the feedback annoy you, because some of us are on the same wavelength.

Rick R said...

Ata girl Breda. You have developed the warrior (I will survive) mindset.

the pawnbroker said...

and still not a single quote to which you took offense; yes that is convenient and tiresome.

and still not a single comment regarding the link that apparently was the source of your unsaid but incendiary sentence.

tell you what; there is a gunwriter and renaissance man to whom i will defer...if xavier reviews this exchange and says that i am wrong to focus on that stupid link and the thought process that it imbued in you, then i will accept that without another word.

but there is another point that i thought was clearly implied; alcohol in any amount amplifies both buffoonery and bravado, with predictable and sometimes tragic results. is there any doubt that the asshole at the bar was so affected? were you? while i abhor governmental controls of any kind, and especially related to firearms, the ban on armed bar patrons is one that i can't argue against. what i can do is stay the hell out of them, and away from jerks like your friend there. and that really reinforces my original point; control of your surroundings and exposure to potential conflict beats the hell out of planning to kill everyone you meet as advised in your linky.

i was aware that others here would leap to your defense; but doesn't that smack of the sexism that you abhor? that double-edged sword does cut both ways doesn't it? respond with further avoidance or insult if you like, or not at all, but i do hope xavier will comment, whatever his view may be.

best wishes, jtc

Ahab said...

Actually, no one here is "leaping to her defense", mostly we're applauding her actions and watching you bury yourself. She's doing just fine whacking you around by herself.

In the words of my generation: pwnd.

dr mac said...

What Ahab said. From a older generation.

Stingray said...

What, did you get a special deal on that shovel that makes you unwilling to put it down or something? Did that shovel save your best friend? Is there a long and complicated story arc involving time travel with that shovel you keep digging yourself further down with, where after all sorts of cinematic hijinks you and the shovel are best friends for life?

At this point, don't stop digging. We can sit on the side, throw popcorn, and yell "Echo!" to see if we can figure how deep you've gotten.

Oh, and if your main point of exception is the phrase "Be polite. Be courteous. Have a plan to kill everyone you meet," then either you've never heard the fairly common phrase before, and in which case I call shenanigans on your claims of worldliness, or you're deliberately getting butthurt over it, in which case it'd make you look a lot cooler if your heart were in your chest instead of on your sleeve.

Electricfunk said...

Sometimes it helps to have a Klingon attitude when dealing with others. Especially when they are much larger than you.

Anonymous said...

2nd amendment "Rules"
1st amendment "not so much"

Haji said...

The Intardweb: Very Serious Binnis.

TexasFred said...

I'd like to invite you and your readers to join us at The Texas Gun Owners Association Forum

It's NOT just for Texans, ALL gun lovers are welcome!

the pawnbroker said...

garbled analogies of minions aside, there is no defensible justification for someone who holds herself out to be a model for neophyte gunners to proudly flaunt such a dangerous mindset and reference stupid links to chants of false bravado...that is an example that could very well get someone killed.

a firm "excuse me" was all it took, as the bar buffoon "backed off, surprised and apologetic"

and if he hadn't? were you really prepared to kill him? or is it more likely that you or your husband would have been hurt or worse?

assert yourself, do not demure, do not apologize for his invading your personal space...but always, especially in an instance of minor irritation, especially in a bar, especially when you are unarmed, stomp away from the asshole in a huff, removing yourself from danger and conflict.

i'm done making this point, and any who disagree and consider themselves responsible and intelligent firearms owners...and more importantly advisers to others in matters of personal safety and defense...are deluding themselves.

Stingray said...

And thus, pwnedbroker and his favorite shovel Betsy did dig deeper through the crust of the earth, penetrating through the very core of the world, still digging. Never having explained the lusty week spent in Las Vegas with his trusty spade, the rest of us could only stare at his curious dedication to digging deeper and deeper holes in confused wonderment.

Eventually, pwnedbroker and Betsy arrived in China. Looking about, surprised at the unfamiliar faces, they did the only thing they new how: keep digging! And so, through sheer stubborn jackassery, pwnedbroker and Betsy did eventually turn the crust and mantle of the earth into a semblance of swiss cheese, stopping occasionally to replace trusty Betsy's head as she wore to nub after nub, but never questioning the doctrine of never stop digging that hole!

the pawnbroker said...

the minion, bored of video games, all out of scifi novels, frustrated that his overeducation had begun to confuse him as reality overlapped fantasy in his mind, embarrassed himself for all to see as his juvenile attempt at humor bombed...chirp,chirp.

pathetic, dude.

the pistolero said...

pathetic, dude.

Physician, heal thyself!

Glenn Bartley said...

Why in a million years would you have the look in your eyes that you would kill this buffoon just ebcause he wa sin what you felt was your persoanl space because he was eager to get your seat. Maybe you had one too many.

Breda said...

Glenn - What I FELT was my personal space? The man was not only IN my personal space, he was ON my personal space. He was physically touching me, in a uncrowded bar that absolutely did not warrant shoulder-to-shoulder behavior.

the pistolero said...

just ebcause he wa sin what you felt was your persoanl space

Wow. I think maybe you're the one who had one too many.

ahab said...

I guess pawnbroker missed the day of school where they covered "hyperbole". extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

Other examples: "if looks could kill", "death stare", etc. But hey, she obviously meant it literally, right?

Christina LMT said...

Way to go, Breda!
What's all the fuss about, anyway? You didn't take any shit or let yourself be pushed around. How could anyone have a problem with that?

No. Fucking. Way: w/v dumsob

What are the chances of that?!

Ride Fast said...

[...] Space invaders and the evil eye [...]

Mike W. said...

Pawnbroker - I think only one person has embarrassed himself in the comments here and it wasn't stingray.

Also, you called us "deluded" earlier. I'd posit that since you were the only one to interpret Breda's post as you did that maybe YOU are the one who's deluded.

I understood exactly what Breda meant by her post and I'm confused as to why you'd take the phrase "I'll kill you where you stand" literally given the context in which she used it.

He invaded her personal space in an uncrowed bar and her body language said "back off buddy." I see nothing wrong with her relating this experience to the self-defense mindset in the manner she did.

Excellent post Breda.

the pistolero said...

I'd posit that since you were the only one to interpret Breda's post as you did that maybe YOU are the one who's deluded.

Call that one of the corollaries of the old rule that says "if everyone around you is an arsehole, maybe you're the one with the problem." That must be a hell of a lucky spade pawnbroker's wielding. Pwnd, indeed.

smartdogs said...

Space is one of the most primal ways we communicate. And one of the things people (and dogs - my area of expertise) sometimes communicate through their use of space -- is their complete lack of skill in using it. IMO one of the things we seem to be losing in modern, urban society is the innate understanding and proper use of personal space. When people spend too much of their lives (especially young lives) packed into malls, freeways, elevators, mass transit and other abominations of modern culture - IMO they never develop a healthy cultural understanding of space.

One also sees this in dogs (espeically large ones) who are raised in an environment with few or no boundaries. These dogs don't understand the idea of personal space and they are prone to breaking furniture, stealing things, knocking people over, getting into altercations with other dogs and generally behaving like uncouth savages.

Just like that jerk in the bar.

And, FWIW old and fat as I am - I'd probably have moved into his space and "excuse me'd" him sooner than you did.

Larry said...

Really, how hard is it to say, "Perhaps I mistook the meaning of what you said"? Particularly if everyone else seems to understand it differently?

The only witness to the incicdent were Breda and Mr Fallacy. I'm sure if he thought she were out of line, he would have mentioned it to her, perhaps deflating her before she felt vindicated enough to mention it here. She's also thoughtful enough to have considered it again in her after-action report before and during posting it.

Pawnbroker's concerns would be valid if she had actually verbalized a threat or made threatening gestures, or brandished a weapon.

Effectively using body language, tone, and positioning is exactly what she should have done. As for withdrawing, she was in the process of that. Withdrawing more quickly than one intends is unnecessary (it wasn't an overt threat, it was simply a jackass) but the more this sort of behaviour is ignored/rewarded, the more these a-holes tend to presume upon the passivity of others. Arguably, retreating too quickly just encourages a predatory mindset in this type of person.

Criticizing their choice to patronize a bar (however peripheral the criticism) is just silly. She even outlines the circumstances under which they patronize such establishments: i.e. before the crowd hits. It's a common and not especially foolhardy. So the criticism about putting oneself in a compromising situation is also off-base.

Finally, let's remember that the situation she found herself in is one you will NEVER be in: you are not a 5-foot-mumble disabled female. People act differently towards you. She is perfectly justified in using what tools work for her. If it requires being more vocal/posturing to preserve her physical space, then so be it. I don't view this as false bravado or over-confidence. Again, none of us were there, and do not have the totality of the circumstance. So some of my criticism or your critique could be off as well, but the fact that it all worked out, no one got hurt, and she achieved her aims point to the tactics being effective.

Xavier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xavier said...

I'll go ahead and toss in my two pesos. I do not represent myself as an authority on these matters, but I do care about Breda and have a little experience to share.

First, the referenced post was from a sign in Fallujah. In a war zone, staying alive is no trivial matter. Those who have not been to war may not understand, but having a plan to kill everyone you meet is a realistic and reasonable strategy for survival in such a place.

The question is, does the same mindset apply in the relatively peaceful civilian world? I do not think so. I do not have a plan to kill everyone I meet, and I would never want a statement like that to exist with my signature attached to it. Why? I might have to take a life and then defend my actions in a court of law with everything I have written scrutinized by a gun and self defense ignorant jury.

There is a vast difference between having a plan to survive a violent or aggressive encounter and a plan to kill everyone you meet. I do not think that Breda had any intention of killing a man over a barstool or personal space. But then, neither does anyone else. So, the issue is the choice of words to describe her thoughts and and the look she gave the man. I think her choice of words in this case could be prejudicial if she ever had to defend future self-defense actions in court. That is something I would consider.

In my experience, the "look" that Breda is describing is a look that starts confrontations and conflict. I have seen it often in bars and on the street. Directed to the wrong person, it can escalate the situation into an unavoidable fight. It is a look assumed by young punks who want to test each other (not that I am inferring that Breda is such, far from it.)

Over time, the warrior develops an aura that is recognized by the same young punks as deadly serious. It is an aura that cannot be cultivated. It comes only from experience. It is an aura that I saw with Marc MacYoung, Kelly McCann, Gabe Suarez, Jim Cirillo, and a few others, including a couple of women. It is an unmistakable "Leave me alone and let me drink my beer" look. In fact, it is not a look at all. It does not come from the eyes, but rather from every fiber of their being. It gives the unmistakable impression that if crossed, the result will be bloody mayhem. Call it a "I'll kill you where you stand" look if you like, but it is unmistakable that the person giving that impression can and will back it up.

That is where the problem here arises. Could Breda back up the look she says she gave? If she could, would she be willing to do so over a bar stool and personal space? She describes herself as a 5 foot female standing tall against a larger male. Unless she possesses martial arts training or has a firearm, her ability to back up her "look" is doubtful. What prevented a physical confrontation here was not the "look" but the boor's willingness to give way and not press the issue. The conflict was resolved by his decision, not Breda's "look."

I am not saying that women should not be assertive, I believe they should be assertive. I am saying there is a huge difference between assertiveness and aggression. Assertiveness is no panacea for preventing someone from beating you to the ground and stomping on you. Neither is aggressive looks or thoughts. The only thing that can prevent such an occurance is being able to defend yourself. Often the fine line between assertiveness and aggression is learned by the resulting blood, spit and knuckles flying.

If you are in a situation where self defense may not go your way, often the best response is to not up the ante hoping the other person will back down. They might not. Suppose the boor had not backed down....... What were Breda's options? Hit him? Scratch him with her keys? Cold cock him with a beer bottle? Hope Mike jumps in the fray? Further, after such an encounter in a bar, what are the ramifications the next day? Legally? Professionally? Socially? Are you prepared to back up the "look" and then go to court, lose your job and have your friends avoid you because of a bar fight? If so, then cultivate that "look" and run with it. You will scare off 70% of the people who try to intimidate you. Sooner or later though, you will run into one of the other 30% and you will get an education in just what consitutes a warrior.

As far as not carrying and carrying, I rarely do not carry. I subscribe to the idea that one should conduct themselves while carrying a gun just as one would when they are unarmed. The reverse is also true. I also subscribe to the idea that a person should not make threats, both verbal and non-verbal that they are unable, unwilling or may find inconvienent to back up.

I'm not surprised that you have a cheering section here Breda, everyone loves an underdog, especially when they come out on top. But a cheering section will not be available to help you save yourself if you make the wrong move with the wrong person.

And that is what this is really about. It's not about personal space. You could have regained personal space by backing up. It's not about a barstool. There were other ones available. It's about pride. It's about not wanting to have one's pride diminished. Remember that saying, "Pride goeth before a fall." It is true. Among law abiding citizens and non-pathological people, violent conflicts are all about pride. In my experience, which has included a few beat downs and a few empty triumphs that still left my body hurting, each could have been avoided if I had chosen to back down. Today, as an older wiser man, I would rather lose my pride for a moment than lose my freedom, my job, my family and friends, or my ability to carry concealed. In your situation, I would have backed up. Take that as you like. Call me names if you like. I would feel no need to sacrifice my life as I know it over my pride. I've done that before, and I'm not willing to do so again. My remaining life is too short to screw it up now over a momentary diminishment of my pride or my personal space. Besides, if I have to, I never want to enter a fight shoulder to shoulder.

I hope this gives you a bit of food for thought.

Clint said...

And for those who wish to know, Jeff Cooper's book “Principles of Personal Defense” list said principles as:

Principle One: Alertness
Principle Two: Decisiveness
Principle Three: Aggressiveness
Principle Four: Speed
Principle Five: Coolness
Principle Six: Ruthlessness
Principle Seven: Surprise

p.s. Being Politically Correct is NOT a means of survival.

Clint said...

“little room there for miscomprehension.”

Miscomprehension? Try READING COMPREHENSION. She never stated she *wanted* to kill him, only that she gave him a look. “A cold icy stare” is another way to phrase it but 1) Breda didn't actually have ice in her eyes and 2) the imagery Breda used painted a much better picture. Get it? It was an expression!

“remove that reckless comment and the foolish link”
Foolish link?!? It is a picture saying: “Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” Excuse me but just what the hell is CCW for anyway? Do we carry guns to “scare them off”? Of course not, so until the bad guys start wearing signs, EVERY stranger approaching you should be considered a potential threat. You wrote of Mindset. What I just described is called Condition Yellow. It is a simple realization that the world is not perfect and you may have to use violence to survive. What Breda experienced was Condition Orange. She understood that she was faced with an individual who could pose a direct and immediate threat to her.

Now, the other side of Mindset is actually avoiding going into “red alert” every time you see somebody as if you are some whacked out mall ninja. In fact, being aware and dealing with situations like Breda did is crucial to deescalating and avoiding cases of being attacked. BTW, when you realize you MUST use force is Condition Red.

Let me use an example. I believe it was in 2005 when a woman was kidnapped in a Walmart parking lot. The security cameras filmed it and the tape was aired on the news. The woman was grabbed by her wrist and pulled into a vehicle. She was on her feet the whole time. She was later found dead.

(To clarify, what happened was in no way the woman's fault and what I am about to comment on are alternatives to the unfortunate woman's actions. I am not blaming the victim.)

In all likelihood the woman was socially stigmatized from doing anything productive to save herself. Fear of “overreacting” prevented her from screeching her head off the instant she was grabbed. Even more, she could have confronted the man and told him to “BACK OFF!” Again, if she had done that before the attacker got too close the attack could have been avoided. Instead she was polite, mousy, submissive, and overly nice, and what did it get her? She knew she was in danger, if not once she was grabbed, then when confronted, but she didn't act Stongly enough, Quickly enough.

“...all the more reason to be shocked at the lubricated attitude embodied in that sentence...and at you, as a man of the law, to endorse it.”

Sir, the is a difference between Confidence and Cockiness; a difference between “Standing up for yourself” and “Pushing others around.” Learn to know the difference.

“he was just another asshole, and he didn't even know it, ”
Usually those are the worst ones.

For all we know “asshole, and he didn't even know it” was planning on copping a feel and laugh at Breda if she fussed or smiled smugly to himself if she ran off. (If not worse)

“you sure as hell didn't need to "have a plan to kill everyone you meet" to get that message across to him.”

Sadly, she did. If you can tell someone to behave themselves and they would, then you wouldn't need to tell them. You see it is much like how dogs can smell fear. Victimizers can “sense” fear and assertiveness. Talking to people about how their actions are wrong seldom works on anyone and never works on evil people (that is why they are evil). Saying “Please don't rape me” while shaking in your boots will only encourage your attacker. Saying
“Leave me alone” while displaying a Willingness to back up those works will give your attacker a moment of doubt. It is not the words themselves that are the key, it is the attitude that goes with them.

In short, there is more to self-defense than guns...

mythusmage said...

Shorter Pawnbroker

What? You challenge my authority?

to Xavier, at December 15, 2008 1:47 AM

Concern troll!

Bubby, you weren't there, so what would you know about it? Based on what Breda told us in the post, she had cause. The jerk was being more than rude, he was being aggressive. He had gone beyond threats and was engaging in outright assault. In short, Mr. Let's Not Rile the Bully, Breda was under attack and did what needed to be done to stop the attack.

And now I shall do what needs to be done to stop your attack. Don't you ever tell anyone they cannot defend themselves. I ever catch you pulling your shit in my physical presence I will give you a piece of my mind. Get huffy on me and you will will be lectured, and lectured by someone trained in the art by an expert. Never, but never tell anyone they have no right to preserve their own life, regardless of your motivation. Is that clear?

daddyquatro said...

Xavier et al,
I don't see it as a matter of self-defense but rather a matter of manners. The dude wasn't threatening, he was frakkin' rude!
The same principle applies when I'm a captive prisoner in the check-out line with my kids and the person behind me is on their cell phone, dropping the f bomb every other word.
In a public place, I have a right to point out to said citizen that there are children present, "Please watch your language"
Will said citizen go psycho? YMMV but in ever instance where it's happened to me, they seem truly embarrassed and apologized.
Breda was merely enforcing the unwritten social contract that we all must abide by.

Clint said...

Also, the best way to prevent a “sexual harassment event” from occurring, (I believe that is the corporate lingo today) is at the first sign of a male coworker touching a woman in an unwanted manner is for the woman to speak up and say, in a voice that everyone in the room can clearly hear, “PLEASE DON'T TOUCH ME LIKE THAT! IT MAKES ME UNCOMFORTABLE!” This tends to clearly deter the offender from every again trying to “push his luck” with ANY woman.

Sorry I forgot the source, but it was a woman in the US Air Force, IIRC.

Also I have to disagree with Xavier. Sir, I ask you to reread Breda's post without any impressions your friend Pawnbroker may have given you. (I do not know but it is possible he brought this up as a “newbie with false bravado” issue.)

There is a difference between “getting in someone's face” and giving someone a stern “I'm not gonna be pushed around” look. I have also found, admittedly in my limited experience, that the most common reaction is the Bully's Back Down; an “Hey it's not what you think" or an "I didn't mean nothin' ” The next likely response is Bluster. The punk, who fears being “punked” get all indignant and loud. Classic “ accuse the victim routine. They are actually trying to prod the other party into starting a fight so they themselves can claim victimhood. Yes, they really do try to flip it around like that. The best course of action to to walk away in a calm controlled manner that lets them save (some) face and gets you out of there without showing fear or weakness.

Sorry but the notion that a small woman was visually threating a large man who was PHYSICAL INTIMIDATING her is absurd on its face. At the very least the man was rude, more likely he was a bully. Either way the best method to deal with such people is to stand up for yourself. Breda didn't Make him back down, he did that himself. And if he became angry over it, that would have provided Breda and co. the prefect reason to turn around and leave. What was the worst he was willing to do? Punch her? In PUBLIC? If he was that type he wouldn't have began with crowding her in the first place.

Larry said...

Totality of the description says "high status douchebag trying to press the limits in an environment where the social rules are somewhat relaxed." It was an act of aggression, but not at that point escalated to physical danger.

Her response was the right one. It wasn't outside the arena where her civilized social rules are appropriate. There was little danger of it being escalated to physical danger. It was a "teachable moment" for a (most likely) douchebag with bullying tendencies. IT's what I would expect and hope for my sister to do in a similar situation.

Different circumstances, different reaction.

Larry said...

If you guys were really concerned with her safety and respected her, you would be asking questions, not lecturing. Maybe at that point you would have enough information to constructively criticize.

Since I am not concerned with her safety (I figure she's got it well enough in hand and is continuing to look into the matter and learn) and have no reason to disrepect her, I give her the credit to believe that all's well that ends well, and that her judgement on the spot had more input than I do from a few lines of text.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Holy cow.

Some guy sidled up to her in a bar, likely intending to flirt, far too closely so she says "excuse me" and shoots him a dirty look and he backs off.

She waxes poetic later on, and you jump on her like she's a psychopath.

I see lots of folks here with issues, and Breda's not on that short list. Talk about mountains out of molehills...

the pawnbroker said...

exactly the reasoned, experienced, and correct response i would have expected from you, xavier...


wv: grain, as in a grain of common sense and maturity

Sigboy said...

I had decided when I originally read this post that Breda was in the right and it did not need to be commented on.
However, this does. "Pride goeth before the fall." Am I willing to lose my job, friends and be criminally charged if I happen to defend myself?
ABSOLUTELY! Again, and again, with my dying breath (oops, I mentioned death, please don't verbally berate me). When you strip away all the labels that modern society places upon you, what is left? Your pride, your honor, your personal freedom. These are things worth defending. Draw your line in the sand, as Breda did, and defend it.

the pawnbroker said...

and to be clear, xavier is not my friend, simply a writer i have come to respect, and i did not communicate with him in any way prior to his comment here; wouldn't have mattered if i had, as he is someone who will speak his mind regardless.

there are a few others whose views on this would be interesting but i believe speak volumes by their know who they are.

Wai said...

"With the first link a chain is forged; the first speech censured; the first thought forbidden, binds us all irrevocably."

Kristopher said...

The asshole was attempting to force compliance for unwanted sexual contact.

If he had done that to my wife, and refused to back off, I would have loudly told him to get the fuck away from and stop pawing my wife or I will hurt you.

And if he didn't, I would hurt him.

And in my home state, I would not have been prosecuted for such an act.

There are limits to what anyone should tolerate ... and sexual assault is well past that.

My only gripe here is that I think the asshole got off too lightly.

Tam said...

I think Breda did absolutely the right thing here.

(Xav, I see the Ayoob angle too, but I think that it might be a bit overplayed in this instance.)

Less said...

I've accused Breda of hubris in the past over an earlier incident in "the pub" and bought up the story of the "One-Punch Murder" in the comments section.

I won't accuse her of hubris in this situation, but just bring up that it is exceedingly difficult to turn the other cheek - especially when you are totally in the right.

I keep trying to remember the phrase, "Life is full of lightweight assholes."

Less said...

Oh, and just to lighten the mood here: Best "Death Stares" scene ever...

the pawnbroker said...

and so tamara, one of those whose views i always find interesting, weighs in.

succint, as she often is...and wrong, as she sometimes is.

others? (with experience and credibility; more armchair warriors need not apply.)

unix-jedi said...


What, exactly, are you even arguing anymore?
Your initial argument you've abandoned, and now you've fallen back to vague insults, insinuations that you'll listen to "other people". You've snidely tried to rebut other people's hilarious comments (failing miserably to be slightly funny, compared to Stingray's slicing comment.)

What in the hell is your problem? You've blathered about alcohol, armed drunks, bravado, but you've yet to deal with the situation literally at Breda's shoulder and in her face:

She was being pressed by a much larger, stronger person for no good reason, in an attempt to intimidate her. It failed, to her credit. She. Did. The. Right. Thing. She presented him with a statement that broke through his attempts at bluff, intimidation and bluster and made him understand that she wasn't playing any silly game, she wasn't doing a "come catch me, you silly man, hee hee hee" or anything like that. She said "Stop. I Mean It." and he understood her immediately. Any escalation would have been to his detriment and his liability.

What, in your mind, *should she have done?* What would you do if I started leaning on your shoulder, pushing on you in an uncrowded bar? I'm larger than average. Betcha you wouldn't like ME pushing on your shoulder, and standing chest to chest with you, would you?
No, you wouldn't.

Now, Xavier seems to have missed several salient points - Breda *was trying to leave* and he was preventing her from doing it. He intruded into her space with no apparent motive, meaning he was either flatly ignorant, or more likely, he had more sinister motives. While he was there, she was quite literally at risk. He was close enough even had she been carrying, she'd likely NOT have been able to draw had he suddenly decided to grab her, pull her.

She didn't pick a fight. She kept her wits, and defused the situation quite successfully. I fail to understand why you're so hung up on telling her she failed, without presenting any compelling proof.

I also note that you're not small, female, and comparatively weak to the other party in this story. Perhaps you might understand more if a very large homosexual rapist were to be breathing in *your* ear?

Tam said...


"succint, as she often is...and wrong, as she sometimes is."


So when someone is convinced that they are absolutely in the right, they should ALWAYS back off and retreat when they are outsized or outnumbered.

Does that apply to comments sections, too, or just bars? ;)

Ahab said...

I'm guessing that only your definition of "experience and credibility" are going to count, which conveniently means you can ignore anyone who disagrees with you. Like LawDog, for example, who has both, in spades.

jimbob86 said...

pawnbroker, Xavier-

A boundary undefined, undefended, and ignored is not a boundary.

Unless Breda was willing to allow anyone to touch her with no repercussions, she did right. Her response was appropriate. To retreat in such a situation because backing up her unstated threat could possibly lead to an altercation ..... kinda smacks of allowing the neighbor to park an your lawn, because you don't want him mad at you. The guy crossed her line, and she responded appropriately. In the event of an altercation, how's that going to look in court: Big Guy brushes up against small female, she says "Excuse Me." and gives him a dirty look, and BG ESCALATES? My money is on the Lady.

Less said...

...and wrong, as she sometimes is.

I think you'll be getting the death stare pretty soon since that's just plain crass, PB...

Me, I won't ever say that something that worked was "wrong".

Bottom line is that it worked for Breda. Was it an ideal solution? Perhaps not in our armchair QB'g on this fine Monday morning...

I'll add that I hope things don't ever escalate for Breda and that she examines reactions antithetical to her own for future, perhaps more even-keeled, reference.

the pawnbroker said...

unix jedi: did you actually read the exchange above or were you so anxious to get to rattling your keyboard as usual that you skipped that formality?

"remove that reckless comment and the foolish link it references, and i would agree with and support everything you said and did."

pretty clear, isn't it? it was my one and only objection, and the fact that breda has set herself up as an example for other women is what makes that quote and link far more worrisome than the "just a saying" that others have claimed it to be.

and having seen several of your tiresome missives, i wouldn't be accusing anyone else of blather.

JD said...

Pawnbroker - in this case I don't think you can call anything right or wrong. What works and gets you home unharmed is great and works. What gets you home works. what gets you hurt or killed does not work. There is not right or wrong.
For the record I think her description of the look is causing the problem here and I think she was right to stand her ground and not be rushed out of her seat. I can not comment as to if the look said "I will kill you" or not. . . as I did not see it.
I think she read the situation, did what she felt was appropriate and it worked . . . . End of story.
One of my karate teachers would go nuts with a post like this - "What IF" students always asked. He would answer by saying there are always "what if's" and there is what happened. There are more what if's here than you can list.
What happened was she got her space and left. Good work Breda

Mike W. said...

"So when someone is convinced that they are absolutely in the right, they should ALWAYS back off and retreat when they are outsized or outnumbered.

Does that apply to comments sections, too, or just bars? ;)"

love the snark Tam!

Pawnbroker - Social situations are fluid. You can't say "she's wrong, I'm right" in this context. She's an attractive, petite female in a bar setting. That alone makes the circumstances infinitely different than they'd be for you. You also have to consider that someone with a physical impediment may have understantably different views about invasion of their personal space.

In a bar setting an attractive woman has an entirely different set of things to deal with. Breda reacted in a manner she deemed appropriate. It was effective. She may not have acted the way you would have, but that doesn't make her reaction to social stimuli "wrong" and your reaction "right"

og said...

As my pal Dick is wont to say, 'Fuck 'em and feed 'em fish heads". Nicely done. Next time, shoot first, explain later, or not at all. Can I get my daughter to spend some time with you?

Wai said...

PawnBroker is beating a drumhead, trying to find something to persecute, no matter how innocuous. Dude needs to let it drop. Seriously. We've all had thoughts at one time or another of wishing demise on some asshole who desperately deserves it. I'm sure PB is no different. Just because Breda is a gunowner does not mean she would put her thought into action. Get real. If each and every one of us got enraged by other drivers and acted out our road rage each and every time, our highways would turn into a demolition derby. Intentions are the same, but the tool is different. So how is she, being a gunowner, held accountable to such higher moral standards than someone who could potentially direct a 3000 pound guided missile towards another human being?

Having a thought and acting on it are two totally different things.

Now move along; there's nothing further to see here...

Squid said...

I'm still scratching my head that the guy who comes out swinging with "You're an ignorant drunken newbie with a badass cowboy attitude problem" is trying to claim the moral high ground here. Say what you will about his powers of comprehension, but there's no denying that this guy has big brass ones.

Kelly said...

At the risk of being frowned upon for crudeness, I'm going to say to any male who thinks Breda handled this in a wrong way, "Grow some tits and a vagina, walk around in public that way for a few years, then let's talk about it again."

There are other ways Breda could have handled this, but that doesn't make the way she did handle it "wrong". And there are many people in this world who will still assume that a woman isn't going to stand her ground, and they will try to harm her because they think they can. She doesn't even have to be a small woman like Breda.

Walk around with your gender broadcasting to these people that you'd be a good one to mug, since you'll probably just cry to your sister about it for a few weeks and buy another purse. Walk around with the shape of your body telling these people that you don't have to say "yes" to sex, because they can do what they want and you'll probably be too ashamed to file a report. Or just walk around with jackasses pushing you around in a way they would never push around a man the same size as you, simply because your gender tells them you're conditioned to see telling them what a jerk they are as "unbecoming behavior". Living like that long enough might encourage you to develop an attitude that stops that crap cold in it's tracks.

To me, "have a plan to kill everyone you meet" doesn't mean you should desire to do harm to others. It means you should be able to quickly identify the weaknesses of another, be confident in your own ability to exploit those weaknesses if necessary (don't be afraid to "fight dirty" if it actually comes to a fight), and be committed to doing harm if that does become your best or only option for defending yourself.

EB said...

I followed a link here so I'm an outsider of sorts who's read all the comments, some interesting and some not.

I'd be interested to hear that guy's version of this story. I understand that your impression is that the bar was not packed and so the guy had no reason for crowding you, but maybe your impression was wrong. But that isn't really the point I suppose.

I understand that your phrase "I will kill you..." is merely rhetoric, buy as Xavier stated, what was the point? I understand that you were leaving and so this episode was all but over except for issues of pride.

It seems like a simple "Hey buddy, could you give me some room?" was in order. Couldn't you give somebody the benefit of the doubt before you whipped out the death stare?

the pawnbroker said...

had to tcb for a few hours...stupid responsibility, stupid real what'd i miss?

hmm, boring, boring, sycophant, armchair warrior...ahhh, my tam!

"So when someone is convinced that they are absolutely in the right, they should ALWAYS back off and retreat when they are outsized or outnumbered.

Does that apply to comments sections, too, or just bars? ;)"

well, not to comments for sure...tie one on, lose control, do a little b.u.i...but no harm, no foul, the sober light of morning dawns, a few apologies are made, and all is well with the world...we all know about that, dont we? ;)...

but, to your question...not only in bars, but definitely especially in bars...that's why i don't go in them. can't carry, and that's where the belligerent dumbasses are; anything can happen.

anecdote: in my early 20's i was an apprentice pipefitter in a mill...pretty coarse bunch of guys buy okay to work with. but after work quite a few would hit the little dive bar nearby, and one night one of the most stable guys on the crew, an absolute artist with the gas hatchet and welding electrode, two kids at home. well, someone put quarters in his pool table, laying dibs on the next game before he was finished with his...words came to push came to shove, and this mild mannered guy picked up his stick and swung hard, catching the half drunk other guy upside the head with the butt, cracked his eye socket, put out his eye, and affected his motor skills far as i know ray is still in prison for attempted murder...over a fucking pool game.

another? okay...i had hired an ex-cop, a local guy who lost his job because he couldn't keep his dick in his pants even when on duty...but he needed a job, and i needed a guy to give me a break behind the counter without having to worry he would rob me blind or be an easy mark for dumb criminals. so about this time, the nics check in fla was expanded to include pawned firearms that were being redeemed by the original pawner...and when i was out, a big...i mean big ol' black guy that had pawned his little pistol a few times before and redeemed it, came in to pick up his gun. jamie ran the nics, the guy was denied, and because of the smirky way jamie handled the deal, telling the guy "i can't give you the gun" which he had already paid for, and the guy went ballistic, threatening to go get his other gun, etc.; jamie called the cops and they were there trying to calm him down when i arrived. i go to the guy, put my hand on his shoulder, tell him "i'm not taking your gun, i'm just following the law...if your appeal is denied, i will turn the gun over to the sheriff's office and the court will let you have a chance to get it back...that's all it took, a gentle, respectful word, and the guy was calm again.

yeah, i know...long winded again, that seems to be my thing. but ya'll, the real world ain't no damn can die there if you don't control your surroundings and yourself.

that's all i've been saying.

but, breda: is this your highest comment total so far? you're welcome.


unix-jedi said...

unix jedi: did you actually read the exchange above or were you so anxious to get to rattling your keyboard as usual that you skipped that formality?

No, not at all. Which is why I could point out that you've changed your argument, that you've insulted others, and basically missed the whole point.
Whereas you seem to have missed much of mine. In fact, I notice that you didn't answer the questions I asked you, save for:

"remove that reckless comment and the foolish link it references, and i would agree with and support everything you said and did."

Which is an answer. But you basically contradicted yourself (and promised not to come back afterward, yet, here you are!) in the December 14, 2008 5:40 PM post.

I was assert yourself,[Gee, I thought that's what she did] do not demure, do not apologize for his invading your personal space...but always, especially in an instance of minor irritation, especially in a bar, especially when you are unarmed, stomp away [Stomp away? Stomp away? So it's only valid if she "huffs" away and makes herself seem like a hysterical loon?] from the asshole in a huff, removing yourself from danger and conflict.

i'm done making this point, [if only - you should be prosecuted for making false promises after that!] and any who disagree and consider themselves responsible and intelligent firearms owners...and more importantly advisers to others in matters of personal safety and defense...are deluding themselves.

You know, you're right. Breda probably should have just let him push her around. And covered her damn hair. She should have never left the house! Hell, had she stayed at home where she belonged, this WHOLE THING would never have happened.
Hell, it's probably because she didn't cover her hair. (Abol-Hassan Bani-Sadr, president of the Iranian Islamic Republic, announced in 1981 that "scientific research had shown that women's hair emitted rays that drove men insane," )
Scientific research to back up your point. Well, one of them, you'll need to stress which one you want to claim now. Your, uh, latter point, that is. Not the one you said, oh, hell, you know what I mean.

Scientific Research.

Top. Men.


pretty clear, isn't it? it was my one and only objection,

Other, than, you know, when you agreed with her.

and the fact that breda has set herself up as an example for other women is what makes that quote and link far more worrisome

Oh, shit. Now the women are going to get uppity. Here we go again.

and having seen several of your tiresome missives, i wouldn't be accusing anyone else of blather.

Be lucky that dueling is illegal, sir, because I take great offense at that.
My longwinded diatribes are tedious without a hint of blather. I will thank you to apologise and correct yourself posthaste.

Wai said...

Man, some of you guys just don't get it. When you've got someone invading your personal space and literally physically touching you, you don't just submit to that kind of invasion, do you?

I used to live and work in NYC and I used to work late all the time, getting on the subways at 1 or 2 in the morning. Believe me when I tell you my personal space got very very big, and anyone who deliberately walked inside my comfort zone was immediately suspect, because I had intentionally altered my path to avoid them. If they deviated into me, my hackles went up. If I were allowed a gun in NYC, I'd have had it on me.

Perhaps the saying shouldn't be "have a plan to kill everyone you meet," but, "have plan to kill everyone who confronts you."

unix-jedi said...

that's all it took, a gentle, respectful word, and the guy was calm again.

And at the time, that was what was needed.
Well, and good. Now tell me you'd have been gentle, and respectful if that large man was standing right beside you - blowing in your ear, and refusing to move, despite there being no reason to touch you.

I dare say you'd have behaved far differently. In fact, the two situations are miles apart.
In one, a lowlife you were employing, who liked to get his jollies by throwing his weight around, was able to while working for you. In the other, a lowlife intentionally discomfited a small, petite woman.
In both cases, it was the lowlife's fault. Funny that you're taking the credit for defusing the situation, when you'd created it by hiring someone without basic common sense, people skills, and who liked to be a bully.

You know, just like Breda's "victim".

Robohobo said...

pawnbroker - you made your point the first comment. anything more outs you as a troll and comment wannabe.

xavier - if you mention marc @ nononsenseselfdefense, well enough. you made good pints but see what i said to pawnbroker above.

breda is sensible and just made her point to the 'space invader'. lots of men use this around women to try and be macho. they are usually just worthless.

breda- good on you. do not let the pushy segment of the world get away with too much. but, you might have overstated a tad.

peace and merry christmas. looking at 2" of the white stuff in the desert right now. pretty.

Goofyat210 said...

I think the phrase, "Have a plan to kill everyone you meet!" needs to be evaluated a bit here. Some folks seem to have difficulty with reading comprehension.

The phrase is not, "Plan to kill everyone you meet." Having a plan is just that. Knowing what you can do before you HAVE to do it gives you a leg up in all situations.

In the situation described by Breda, she likely had a plan that she was very happy to not have to put into action. She did not know the man's ultimate intentions (unless she has amazing mind reading powers) and acted accordingly. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

Stingray said...

And so, Pwnedbroker and Betsy shoveled furiously through the night, trying ever harder to dig their way out of that hole. Even though he would occasionally cry out "This is the last shovelful! I mean it!", Betsy's sweet and worn handle was simply too strong of a siren's call, and the digging continued.

As dawn approached, a crowd had gathered to witness the spectacle. Some jeered. Some attempted to point out that digging is a bad plan when you're in a hole (a particularly clever one even turned his own bizarre logic squarely back at him, though the irony was deflected as Betsy tossed more dirt out). A few even figured "What the hell, maybe he knows something I don't," and took a few spadefuls to try it out. Through it all, Pwnedbroker's love for Betsy remained solid, and the digging continued.

Several miles down, our man and his lusty-trusty spade encountered a group of United States senators, also moving earth with a sense of urgency. Betsy asked them (Pwnedbroker hadn't eaten in a while, you see) what they were doing. "We're digging our way out of this financial hole!" replied one. As our lone shovelphile continued his labor of love, the senators were impressed with his determination. "Say," one asked, "do you have any advice for digging your way out of a hole?" Naturally, Pwnedbroker did have such advice. To the benefit of the U.S., however, the senators decided he was too committed to the plan even for their taste, and continued shoveling towards the surface at their own comparatively slow pace.

Against all evidence Pwnedbroker was convinced that the assembled were laughing with him. "Ha ha! You see? I'm almost out of this hole," he cried. Most couldn't hear him since the pit could easily have contained Mt. Everest by this point. Not aware that the crowd was dwindling now, and acting on what he considered sound advice from Betsy, he began telling stories from his youthful days before he knew the bliss of a shovel.

"Once there was this asshole! And I defused the situation with calm words! Just like Breda! Wait a minute... hang on, I've got to get around this rock. Just a sec. Hey, anyone want some earthworms?"

With the sun setting, and a fresh head attached to Betsy, Pwnedbroker dug on. A few hardy folks were sending missives down by rope, trying to figure out the strange process that led to the big dig, much in the same way biologists try to figure out why whales beach themselves, but to no avail.

And so, the heartwarming tale of a man and his beloved shovel (who may someday tell us what did happen in Vegas to cement their bond so solidly) continues.

To be continued?

LawDog said...

Pawnbroker opines:
others? (with experience and credibility; more armchair warriors need not apply.)

What's your experience and credibility, old salt?

the pawnbroker said...

jedi, i stand corrected; you are longwinded and tedious...still, i'd take you up on that duel, but i never did get the hang of that f'n lightsaber. i do cop to failing at the opt-out, but this is just. too. much. fun.

'ray: still pathetic dude, don't give up on that science thing to run off and sign up for "last comic standing"...still, notwithstanding your fetishes for inanimate objects and videogame vernacular, that digging fable rings true as what seems like a hole to the ignorant is in fact a trench in which i am firmly and safely ensconced...not that the sad aim of most here is any threat. 'cept tam, that girl is funny, and that snarky irony hurts so good!

*showing proper deference* mr. dog? opines? oh, you mean need to use simple language when a properly obfuscatory and ill-contexted one will do, requirement of the trade i you mean where commenting on xavier's comment i invited others of similar maturity and experience to join in? are you questioning his? experience and credibility is as experience and credibility does, mr. dog sir...i do know that suggesting that people in bars actively invite escalation of minor infringements with drunken boors is the epitome of malpractice, and that speaking for another while professing her to be completely capable of defending herself belies credibility, mr. dog (esq? don't know. don't care.), sir.


Brerarnold said...

I think the pawnbroker's problem is that he does not see the man as being a threat worthy of such a response. He has probably not spent his whole life wondering whether this particular guy was just a clod, or was setting him up for something much, much worse.

Rapists and molesters all start with a careful grooming process. It may take weeks, it may take seconds, but it is there. Victim selection process. The fact that it is a crowded bar and Breda's husband was there (or, more generically, that she was with some man at the moment) did not mean that he wasn't trying her out for a spot on a little 3x5 card in his mind. Or that he wasn't already prepared to play a little grabass as she stood up.

Or he may have been just an overly pushy jackass with nothing more on his mind than the first chair that came open. But Breda cannot tell by looking at him, or by his actions at this stage. And so she lets him know, in a way that leaves no doubt and may even make him think twice about the next woman he importunes, that whatever he is up to, from merely rude to illegally carnal, is Not Going To Happen.

I have a look that says "I am not afraid to die right now," instead of "always have a plan to kill everyone you meet." Know what? It's the same look. Slightly different dialect. Hers meets her needs, mine meets mine.

My guess, and this is going to sound like some ultra-feminist which I am not, but a simple description of many men I have known my whole life, is that you, pawnbroker, don't know that you send the same messages because you are so unconsciously-entitled, dyed-in-the-wool certain that no one is going to mess with you. Most white men are raised that way. Most of them squeal like pigs when they find out otherwise (seen "Deliverance" lately?)

So, you thought she was doing the "new gun carrier" thing and that you would set her straight, and when it didn't go down that way, tried this way and that to make yourself still be right instead of apologizing like a man, in which case it would have all been over with no respect lost on either side. It may occur to you at some point that, with this many people telling you that you are wrong, you might just be wrong, and re-examine your assumptions.

Never too late to do the stand-up thing.

pax said...

Breda ~

You did the right thing.


Larry said...

Srsly?? 80+ replies?? At least there is some good discussion here.

The one thing that Pawnbroker has not done in this thread or any of the related ones, is admit that he may have misinterpreted or misrepresented. He does, at one point, say that Breda has clarified, and that others have clarified "for her", in reference to Labrat's post. He also appealed to arbitrary authority. That's not the same as admitting he may have mis-read the meaning. When one reads shit on the internet, one should give the most sympathetic reading first, and if someone's an arsehole through repetition and clarification, that's one thing.

But you're not getting the totality of the situation from a few lines of text, no matter your "experience". People with experience in bad places and with bad people tend to acknowledge that every situation is different, and most clues are never even verbalized, and really cannot be; it's a 'sense' of what's going on that requires experience and awareness to develop. Even if one could articulate every. single. aspect. that added up to her assessment of the situation, it wouldn't make for an interesting story (it would read more like testimony or clinical psychology from a text book), and the moral of the story would be obscured.

But from Pawnbroker's first response, he criticizes and tells her to change her approach, without once even leaving wiggle room for the idea that he doesn't have full info on the situation. (As an aside: Dude, even if you had a point, questions might have made it better. Google the "socratic method".)

This is pretty much a prime example of arrogance. Perhaps he is right, when speaking about the dangers of letting pride back you into a corner- at least for his personal experience.

Additionally, he's on a moral crusade against bars, apparently. If he chooses not to patronize, I have no problem with that, but not every pub is a roughneck hangout where people regularly get into drunken brawls. A married couple meeting for a quick pint after work is not exactly slumming and looking for trouble. Criticism on this point is off-base, IMHO.

Oh, and Pawnbroker: before you poke fun about people defending what they say doesn't need to be defended: I'm not defending Breda. Her words and actions speak for themselves. I'm indulging in public discourse as a matter of influencing and educating people. Apparently you already have all the answers you are willing to consider at this point. Fair enough. Which position seems more reasonable on the face of it:

1. Breda made a workable decision from bad info and incorrect philosophy and explained it incompletely or

2. She made the right decision for the right reasons and you simply don't have all the information that was available to her at the time.

(Some snark redacted in this last bit, because it's just not useful. But I swear it was funny.)

Clint said...

“"remove that reckless comment and the foolish link it references, and i would agree with and support everything you said and did."

pretty clear, isn't it? it was my one and only objection, “

So you support WHAT she did, you only have qualms with how she explained it???

Then what is all this talk about Mindset? Pawnbroker, you have been questioning Breda's MOTIVES since your first comment.

“your attitude and behavior is fairly common among those new to handling and carrying firearms. it is extremely dangerous. change it before something terrible happens.”

Seems to me (and others, apparently) that your problem with this situation was, in fact, Breda's standing up for herself on the basis of that it “might” have backfired.

Remember that there are TWO types of anti-gun people. The Hoplophobes who, in short, have a problem with people having guns (in many ways and for many “reasons”), and then there is the anti-self-defense crowd. These people exclaim “How dare you hurt someone who was trying to hurt you!” Obviously you are NOT anti-gun, but your remarks make me wonder how you feel about people protecting themselves. The best way to win a fight is to avoid it. Sadly, we cannot magic disappear when trouble finds us, that leaves deescalation. Some times, simply being willing to fight for yourself means you won't have to.

Pawnbroker, what SHOULD she have done? Wait until the jerk grabbed her boob then cracked his skull with a beer glass? That is a lose/lose scenario. It is called PREvention. You have to stop bad things from happening BEFORE they happen.

You don't go to bars. Good for you, but you cannot deride someone because the choices they make are different than yours. It is easy to say “I wouldn't be it that predicament” but that does nothing to help those who are. It could be argued that you are criticizing Breda for being in a bar in the first place. I won't make that argument because we have enough issues on the table as is. However, Breda did nothing wrong in going. It is a popular activity that is usually peaceful and totally legal. She did nothing to bring undo grief upon herself. Someone else began a confrontation and she dealt with it. The fact that you would have handled it differently does NOT mean she handled it poorly. That your actions would have been different does NOT invalidate her actions.

One more question: If it was one of your granddaughters in the bar during her 20's and a big man was crowding her, after your granddaughter politely asks the mean man for some space; What should she do when he says “No” and starts making moves at that point?

Being a man who is big on politeness myself, I have learned (the hard way) that some people see politeness as weakness and if you ask politely the first time they think they can walk all over you. But if you are firm, while still being nice, they will seldom stonewall you.

tanksoldier said...

your attitude and behavior is fairly common among those new to handling and carrying firearms. it is extremely dangerous. change it before something terrible happens.

You're kidding, right?

My wife gives me the "I'll kill you where you stand" look almost weekly for some reason or other. She doesn't carry a gun ever and has rarely even fired one.

I think you're just looking for something to be snippy about.

For the record, a woman (or man for that matter) shouldn't HAVE to be armed to assert their personal space and the right to BE in a particular place without someone trying to shove them out of it.

og said...

As for me, when someone invades my personal space, I fart. My farts are considered weapons of mass destruction, and violate the Geneva Convention.

Breda, on the other hand, is too ladylike to do such a thing. So what she did was utterly appropriate. And in fact, most people who have experienced my farts first hand would rather have been shot, and all she did was glare at the guy. he got off easy.

Captcha: Rativia. Activia for Rats.

LawDog said...

*showing proper deference* mr. dog? opines? oh, you mean need to use simple language when a properly obfuscatory and ill-contexted one will do, requirement of the trade i you mean where commenting on xavier's comment i invited others of similar maturity and experience to join in? are you questioning his? experience and credibility is as experience and credibility does, mr. dog sir...i do know that suggesting that people in bars actively invite escalation of minor infringements with drunken boors is the epitome of malpractice, and that speaking for another while professing her to be completely capable of defending herself belies credibility, mr. dog (esq? don't know. don't care.), sir.

Oh, that was an absolutely beautiful tap-dance around my question. Bra-vo sir.

Sarcasm, veiled ad hominem attacks, and an artful protestation of innocent confusion -- why, that masterful performance puts even Gunkid's best try to shame.

Chickwithagun said...

experience and credibility

LawDog: career law-enforcement officer, respected self defense author.

Pax: Editor of Concealed Carry magazine, author of "Cornered Cat", moderator at TFL, respected self-defense author.

Tam: Professional Gunperson, moderator at TFL, also a respected self-defense author.

Ahab: former military LE, also a respected self-defense author.

Pawnbroker: ???

Does anyone else see a pattern here?

the pawnbroker said...

clint to pb: "One more question: If it was one of your granddaughters in the bar during her 20's and a big man was crowding her, after your granddaughter politely asks the mean man for some space; What should she do when he says “No” and starts making moves at that point?"

well, finally...a good and serious question. let's put that one to breda, 'cuz as many have said "she was there".

mr. dog: "Sarcasm, veiled ad hominem attacks, and an artful protestation of innocent confusion -- why, that masterful performance puts even Gunkid's best try to shame."

high praise from a pro, "old salt", thank ya.

c'mon one hundred!


wv: prebar...well, now protocol might have been a little different then...y'know, like sober and armed?

HollyB said...

Something I didn't think of until last night was that this guy might have been practicing Frottage. Itis defined in The Free Dictionary as "the act of rubbing againt the body of another person, as in a crowd, to attain sexual gratification."
Now I know this is a little known sexual deviation BUT, as a former Parole officer working with sex offenders, I tink it's possible this is what was going on.

STILL think Breda overreacted?

og said...

I don't know that I'm qualified. I HAVE been shot, several times, so I guess I'm not pitching, so to speak, just catching. I AM qualified to say this, though, being a husband and a father and a son of women, that anyone who treats a woman rudely deserves a dressing down at the very least, and a swing to the jaw under normal circumstances, and if he's particularly rude, a lot more. Anyone disagree with that? you're wrong. Period. End of question.

Grumpyunk said...

This whole thing shows, if nothing else, what an opinion and a keyboard are capable of.

Jeebus H. on a crutch. The guy may have been just a rude asshole. He may have been in the place to long and his drunken tunnel vision was all that was working. Or he could have been some kinda Perv.

Doesn't matter.

She gave him one of "Those looks" and said only 2 words. And that was that.

Really pretty simple. Well done, Breda.

Paul Simer said...

What? Women standing up to boors, and not slinking away like the prey that they are? What next? Pretty soon they'll be reading books and forming the capability for abstract thought! What then? WHAT THEN?

Pawnbroker: In for a penny, in for a pound, huh?

I would advise you to stop digging while you still had a shred of respect left among members of this community, but I think we passed that point about 50 comments ago...

alan said...

At this point I no longer care about the comment thread. I just want to see it go to 100.

Zendo Deb said...

Xavier, you may not have to have a plan to kill everyone you meet, but you are aware of the threat level around you. When do you recognize an attack in progress?

A big guy crowding into me - this went beyond encroaching on personal space - in an environment where that is not warranted, is immediately pushed all the way into the highest threat zone. I would consider you rubbing your body against me a prelude to an attack in this situation. (If you bump into me in a crowd, that is different of course, but I would still look to see if you were a pickpocket.) I would have said something from the beginning of that interaction, not waited until the end.

Breda, firearms are illegal in Ohio bars, but what about pepper spray or stun guns? Not my favorite choice, but you have to make do with what is available.

Mike W. said...

Zendo - pocketknife is probably OK in bars in OH. They're usually not considered "deadly weapons" and can be carried almost anywhere.

staghounds said...

I am glad to say I have never seen a spade. It is obvious that our social spheres have been widely different.

Monica said...

Was Pawnbroker the guy at the bar?

the pawnbroker said...

102! dingdingding! yeahbabyyeah!

okay, everybody kick in a tenspot and breda gets her 1911! me first? okeydokey...

Clint said...

“well, finally...a good and serious question. let's put that one to breda, 'cuz as many have said "she was there". ”

Well PB I'm going to tell you something that everyone else in this conversation now knows. You see, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt with your arguments being multiple and interchanging, but I see clearly now that my generosity was misplaced.

But first I wish to point out a flaw in your methods. For “my” question, it does not matter what others say about your commentary because “I” have not yet dismissed your opinion. However you have dismissed me, and others, by not answering the “good and serious question” that was placed before you. It does NOT work to your advantage to tell people that your views are so important THEN refuse to participate when your views are sought out. By the way, we already know Breda's response. She DID it; at the moment of truth no less. Also you just publicly stated you have not dog in this fight.

What is So. Painfully. Obvious. to the rest of us is that you are, in fact, intellectually dishonest.

You have debated, no, you have whined about Breda's actions, THEN you whined about her explanation. You have repeated flipped back and forth between any one of SEVERAL arguments depending on which way you could phase your point to look smarter than everybody else.

You, PB, have begun numerous “debates” from one point of view only to change when your point was countered. You take “view A” initially to rebuke Breda. When others counterpoint your point, you then switched to “view B” which either ignores the counterpoints or trivializes them, but never refuting them. However, when your “view B” is rebuked you then switch to “view C” and begin the cycle anew. I'm not saying this for your benefit as I doubt you are actually reading this with the intention of understanding it's intent and meaning. Rather you read to find something to argue about or, more recently, dismiss. No, this is not for your benefit, rather it is for the benefit of everyone else reading. Those who actually care.

You remind me of the passive/aggressive woman that so troubles her husband. She can NEVER be wrong because if she can't win using reason she inverts the issue to one of emotional appeal.(“Not everything can be explained by reason/Its the just how I feel about it”) And when her husband makes an impassioned plea to respect the feelings and concerns of others, she ridicules him for not being logical.(“Now you are just being silly/I have my reasons for doing it my way.”)

Yes Pawnbroker, I'm calling you a Bitch....

Breda, I recommend banning this Troll!

Mike W. said...

Good comment Clint - the train of Pawnbroker's comments actually reminded me of trying to have a debate/discussion with an anti-gunner.

the pawnbroker said...

i'm sure you know a bitch when you see one, sweetie...but if you or any of the others who are both too ignorant to understand a multilayered point and objection, and so dismissive of breda's own intellect to presume to speak for her, you would realize that the progression from serious discussion to hilarious funfest (well, for me anyway) was presaged by her complete lack of any acknowledgement or response to two simple irrefutable facts: she escalated (only in her mind fortunately) what was almost certainly, and contrary to the villainous imaginings of some here, a drunk being a drunk being told firmly to back off and doing so, to the wildly fantastic belief that some secret laser stare tactic shocked and awed his very soul, claiming inspiration from and devaluing from real war conditions to an f'n brewhouse ninja battlecry an uncontexted lifedependent reminder to real life soldiers, and in the process ignoring the probable influence of her large husband at her side.
well, she later said hubby was oblivious to the whole thing till she filled him in outside, but of course we know from her original story that she alerted him immediately to the invasion of her "bubble"...and what does it say of the true nature of this salacious invader's real actions that the woman's husband, at her side and on his feet, was completely unaware that his petite wife was being assaulted?

well, lies, self-delusion and literary puffery are one thing, but of course ms. fallacy (her name for herself, not mine, so back off bitchboy) is a genuine internet sensation, role model, guns for chicks promoter, erstwhile trainer, blogcast personality (hey, why are my ears burning? oh, yeah she's on right now), and all-around great gal. and i'm not being facetious when i say i have admired her for all of that. but if she really believes (and i don't think she does because she allowed others in her stead to characterize her imaginings as just figures of speech) the fallacy (now that one was mine) that she was in fact assaulted under her husbands watchful eye and without his knowledge, that her look and simple words to the boor placed him in fear for his very life and not just woke him from his fog, and that a constant inventory of the people in her vicinity and how she might kill their villainous asses, are all a great blueprint for all the heretofore helpless men, women, and children...and bitches, clint...then she has become a dangerous figment and victim of her own imagination.

as for her subsequent comments, go back and cut and paste them all in order...not much there, and no wonder. she was being cheered, protected, interpreted, and ultimately supplanted in all material discussion, by most of the hundred or so who commented here (well, minus my ten or so and the 2 1/2 who dared run the righteous gauntlet). most, with a few notable exceptions, with the real experience, knowledge, and maturity to dissect the episode, its implications, and its expanded effect on others, have abstained. and hell, a hundred is a slow day for a fucking cat cartoon (sorry ahab, i know you love yer kitties...and hey sorry about the arab thing, i guess i was hearing that song...shit now i'm hearing it again). but those abstainers, unlike me, seem to dislike arguing with a fencepost (sorry, you fenceposts up there). me, well to me it's good clean fun, and having the side of right and good is always a bigass bonus.

so, see what i mean clint? points can have various facets that need to be argued seperately, but it does help for those pretending to follow along to have the capacity for multifacet, multilevel thought. but if not, wtf, still a good time and a good way to piss away some time, and let's face it; i'm a sucker for using others' own words, insults, and pathetic attempts at humor against them.

but now even i'm bored, so...

Paul Simer said...

"but now even i'm bored, so..." you'll be refreshing this page every five minutes, seeing as this is the most attention you've ever gotten on the internet. Gotcha.

Anonymous said...

My take the guy was hitting on her and she gave him the look " back off and I mean it" He interpreted the look and backed off, Social cue given and accepted. The is the low intensity way men and women often give cues. He was pushy and she indicated she did not like it.

Women who are too nice and who give way without comment often are inadvertently inviting further advances. Pawnbroker is obviously a man who will not react in the same manner. Then again another male does not commonly hit on him. Women recognize the maneuver and have a different set of responses. The responses don't indicate physical violence but rather verbal escalation.

I understand that Pawnbroker felt her nonverbal message might have needed back up by her husband. He is looking at it from a male point of view that he may have to pay the price of her failure to give ground gracefully.

I have done the same “ don’t mess with me look” to dogs, horses, kids and other adults when needed. It does work it is attitude that you don’t take crap. I have done that look without back up. I refused to be afraid because I am a small woman. Funny that attitude is always been respected. I also never carry a gun, laws do not allow that in my state.

It is similar when a man put s his hand on your arm, trying mild physical intimidation and in a low intense voice, the response is” Take you hand off me” The implied response is you will scream it next time and make a scene. The man removes his hand.

In upper class bars that is all that is needed. Bars that have the reputation of violence are one that I would not be in knowingly.

I believe Breda reason for posting is she felt good of the fact her confidence in herself has results and she no longer has to apologize and submit to get out of that type of situation.

Wai said...

Never before have I seen such a long run-on sentence in a post...till now.

Clint said...

First I wish to apologize to everyone for introducing crude and offensive language to this commentary. I seem to have started a tread of people throwing crass words at one another. Sorry

That said:

“i'm sure you know a b---- when you see one, sweetie...”

Hey, at least I'm not the one who is butt hurt :)

The other response in a line from the movie The Highlander: Why, you cruzin' for a piece of ass :D

“points can have various facets that need to be argued seperately,”

“so, see what i mean clint? points can have various facets that need to be argued seperately,”

Except you never argued the points separately. (BTW, it is spelled with only two e's and please do use the shift key)

“but it does help for those pretending to follow along to have the capacity for multifacet, multilevel thought.”

RE-read my posts you'll see more than one layer, especially in my last post.

Remember it is NOT “multilevel thought” is you don't finish one level before going to the next.

“Pretending to follow along ” Funny, I seem to have forgotten the word that describes someone who accuses others of ones own actions. Can somebody help me out?

“and let's face it; i'm a sucker for using others' own words, insults, and pathetic attempts at humor against them. “

(A)Which is why you are using this post as an expression of your latent homosexually??

My insult was referring to you as a yapping and whining old has-been. Not the prison version. I think you really have a problem misplacing your own fears and short comings on other people and their remarks.

Your entire problem was with a woman displaying confidence to back down a no-good creep. Maybe he didn't know what he was doing, maybe he didn't care, maybe he knew and was trying to see how far he could get. It does not matter. Breda (or for that matter “the woman”) was not allowed to use conflict avoidance level one (he blocked her in) so she resorted to level two. And did so Very successfully. In all of your multiple levels, you never answered, fully, why it is a problem.(B)

staghounds said...

Hey, that's a pretty unfair thing to say about the p'broker!

I know most gay men have higher standards than most straight women, but he's in a pretty low tier market.

And just look at that twinkle in his eye.

For all you know, he's the gay heartthrob of Chittlin' Switch, Florida!

Mark said...

Ignoring the troll:

Good for you, Breda.

gunlovingjohn said...

Breda, Good For You, Good Job problem averted. Pawn Broker, You are obviously what I consider an expert. defined as Ex is a has been, Spurt is a drip under pressure. I have met individuals of your caliber and they are often panty waisted little men with no experience. A real keyboard Commando. Breda, I have fought for your right not to wear a burkha, for your right to give the Look to a Space invading Assclown. God Blees You and I hope myself and The prettypistolera can buy you an adult beverage at some point.
One good thing about trolls, they do not procreate, as they lack balls. Breda

John B said...

I am sorry I missed the early points of the debate.
Pawnbroker; You're just plain wrong. Accept it and move on.

Breda: Bravo and a half. I'm 6'6" and I have a smaller Space cushion than anyone. But I'd have taken him up by the scruff, and thrown him out just after that "Are you buying?" crack. If I'd been there with you and Mike, I'd have transcended my frail state, and put a Swartzenegger hand on his shoulder, and said "You've offended the lady! Apologise!" And squeesed the shoulder until she got a sincere apology, or he got a rotator cuff issue.

The guy was being a rude, deliberate bully, In My Humble Opinion, he's lucky to still be unskinned. Let him try that move with Tam, I promise I'll try to stop her -at great personal risk- if it looke like she's actually going to permanently kill him....