Thank you everyone for the outpouring of support in the comments of the post about my caffeinated self-defense encounter. I am truly and genuinely touched by your support and encouragement.
In the comments, there have been a lot of good, reasonable questions asked, and I want to do my best to answer those questions here where everyone can see them. Most of the questions have centered around the same general topics, so hopefully by hitting the broad strokes I’ll be able to answer the big questions. Here goes!
- Why a .25 ACP and not something bigger? The Beretta Jetfire (my everyday carry gun) has been riding in my pocket for a year and a half now. It goes everywhere I go as long as it’s legal to carry a gun. It’s light, doesn’t take up a lot of weight, and most importantly I can shoot it very well. Which is why I don’t carry a Kel-Tec .32 or a Ruger LCP in .380 – the triggers on those guns are horrid and mushy, and I just don’t shoot them as well as I shoot the .25. Out of a 2 inch barrel, we’re not exactly talking “hammer of Thor” ballistics for any of those rounds, so I’d rather carry the gun that I can get lead on target fastest.
- What kind of pocket holster do you use? - A very basic Blackhawk nylon pocket holster. It’s been in my pocket as long as the Jetfire. I use a pocket holster for the .25 primarily because it keeps the gun oriented correctly in the pocket, with the butt of the gun facing up like it should.
- Do you practice with it? – Most certainly. I shoot the Jetfire once or twice a month, but my usual practice with the gun is dry fire practice coming from the holster. In practice I usually hit about 2.00-2.5 seconds on the draw with my hands starting outside of the pocket. I would imagine that was about where I was on Saturday for my draw time as well; it just felt ridiculously slow due to the effects of adrenaline dump and time dilation.
- What about the coffee? - It was in a standard Starbucks cup with the lid on. I did hit him with the coffee, and I assume the lid came off when the cup hit him. I don’t know this for a fact, but can infer it from the fact that after the event, the cup and the lid were both on the ground in separate locations.
- What did you see? – Well, to be honest I don’t remember seeing all that much. It’s sort of like my memory is a slide show: I remember seeing the knife, then I remember seeing my gun in the middle of the “A” in Indiana (yes, he was wearing a Hoosiers’ sweatshirt, that I remember) and the next thing I remember is him running.
- Why didn’t you shoot? That’s the most complicated question, and it’s something I’ve been mulling over myself. My previous experiences with situations like this have primarily been in uniform, so as a civilian there’s a different calculation going on. Based on input from others and prior experiences, the best guess as to why I didn’t shoot is that I perceived my assailant dropping his weapon and turning to flee, even though I don’t remember seeing it or hearing the weapon hit the deck. That perception was enough to halt the “SQUEEZE TRIGGER” impulse.
- How long did it take? I have no idea. Best guess from start to finish is 5, maybe 10 seconds. It certainly felt like an eternity.
- Will you be switching carry methods? – No, I plan on sticking with the Jetfire. Did I wish for a bigger gun in an easier to access holster? Yes, but not until after the event. But since I can’t carry a bigger gun in an easier to access holster at the office, the Jetfire will continue to ride shotgun.
I hope I’ve been able to answer the burning questions about this – again, I am tremendously touched by the flood of comments and emails offering support. As readers go, you guys are really a great bunch, and I’m proud that the firearms community is so willing to offer support and reinforcement. You guys are great, seriously.