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That Takes Some Gall

Marko asks what you would do as a parent in this situation.  I’m not a parent, but as soon as the threat was made I would have shoved him away from my kid and sprayed him.  I would assume that would stop your average 61 year old child slapper.  It’s a low enough level of force you don’t have to wait for him to follow through.  He announced his intention to commit and assault, a felony assault in most states, since it’s against a child.  Anyone who grabs my kid is getting a gun drawn on them.  I’m not going to wait to figure out what their intent is.

18 Responses to “That Takes Some Gall”

  1. Bill Waites says:

    Having watched the court video, I suspect this man has some mental instability or condition, Perhaps Tourettes, or a similar condition which makes him very unpredictable.

    That said, had this been my child, he would have been on the floor, nursing multiple injured/broken parts, while we waited for the police to arrive.

    While I am not one to say that no other adult should ever discipline my children, (I strongly suspect that the reason young people have lost respect for adults is too many parents who refuse to allow others to discipline their children when they do not!) they had best do so in an appropriate manner, and this was not appropriate by any means.

    This guy will get what he deserves, I suspect.

  2. mikeb302000 says:

    What I was thinking about this guy is, like most bullies, he may have seemed to be acting impulsively and out of uncontrollable rage, but actually he made some very calculated decisions as to whether he could get away with it or not.

    If instead of a woman there had been a big tough looking guy pushing that stroller, I doubt the bully would have even said anything.

    That’s why standing up to bullies is usually all it takes to make them back down or go away.

  3. Robb Allen says:

    “That’s why standing up to bullies is usually all it takes to make them back down or go away.”

    Yeah, because all it takes for my 5’7″, 100 pound cancer survivor mother to ward off a 215 pound bully is to ‘stand up’ against him. Well, by my mom, I mean standing up with a revolver. Works like a champ.

    This situation is my worst nightmare. My children are at the very top of “The Buttons You Should Not Push”. I am the kind of guy who can calmly walk away from most any situation. I have to, I’m armed. But physically assault my child and I will go all Mother Bear on you.

    If someone is willing to attack my child, I cannot afford to sit down and try to determine their ultimate motive or if I think I can “take them in a fight”. Walking up and slapping a child already shows an instability. Unless it’s absolutely obvious that a punch or two would be all it would take to subdue them, then yes, this is a situation that warrants drawing one’s gun.

  4. Stacy says:

    Ten to one the toddler was actually throwing a full-blown tantrum and the mother was acting like nothing was going on. I could (almost) imagine myself popping off if it were the third lazy parent/screaming kid combo that day. And I am a parent of a two year old who is currently in the screaming tantrum phase. Sometimes you just have to go home and take away dessert.

    To be clear, I’m not saying Mr Grumpy Old Man had any right to slap the kid, but it’s likely that the appropriate response would have been more like an embarrassed retreat and a timeout at home, as opposed to drawing a gun on some guy who just can’t take a screaming kid on top of whatever day he’s already had.

  5. Andy says:

    It’s funny, my experience in growing up (Army bases + rural areas) was like Bill’s… adults had authority, but were circumspect in exercising that authority. However, said adults were not total strangers. A situation as described would have more likely gotten a query of “Ma’am, do you need to borrow my belt?”. In which case, Mom, most embarrassed, would take me home and solve the problem herself.

    That being said, this dude would have seen my muzzle and received some strong commands to get on the floor. Failing to obey those commands would involve a clean-up in aisle 6.

  6. Robb Allen says:

    Stacy, under no circumstances does anyone have any right to physically attack a stranger’s child, regardless of how annoying they are. Period. There is no ‘but’ in that sentence.

    A person who would attack a child like that is not stable and is a very immediate danger.

  7. Pol Mordreth says:

    Just another reason why I open carry. Deters even Crazy Old Geezers from touching my kid.

    Regards,
    Pol

  8. RAH says:

    I have to agree with Andy. I went through this stage with children and when my child threw a tantrum. I picked him up and left. I had full grocery carts and I would not subject the tantrum to others. Plus a parent can not physically punish the child in public without possibly going to jail.

    My guess is that the parent ignored the childs behavior and refused to control it. So this old man did it instead. He was wrong. Despite the parents refusal to control their children in public, a person can not hit another person’s child.

    I never went to movies when the kids were small or resaturants because until a child can behave decently in public they should not be in public.

    It is better when the kids are small to have the other parent (which in this case may not exist) watch the children while shopping.

    Other wise the shopping windows are quite small because kids get cranky fast

  9. mikeb302000: I’m not so sure you are right about this guy just being a bully and that he wouldn’t have done the same to a big scarry dude.

    Once when my first daughter was 2 (now 19) she was throwing a fit in a grocery store. So I did what I usually did in that case, I picked her up, gave the command “Stop crying now” and like usual, she sucked it up and stopped crying (yes, she is a rare child). While I was talking to her to try to figure out why she was crying, a bystander (crazy lady) who had seen the whole exchange decided that I “MUST abuse that baby” because I was able to get her to stop crying with a simple command. Crazy lady then proceded to try to take my daughter right out of my hands.

    me (at the time): 23, US Marine, 6’3″, 190lbs of pure muscle.
    crasy lady: around 45-50, 5’nothing, 120lbs more or less.

    When I told her to back off or get a beating she went to store security. I’m not sure what she told them, but when they arrived they ALSO tried to take my child. I took a deep breath and calmly explained the situation to the guy who looked like he was in charge and crazy lady (who was in NO WAY calm) was escorted out of the store and told to never come back.

    So… sometimes it isn’t a bully, sometimes it is an attempt by a crazy person, however misguided, to be helpful. Quite frankly, I would rather deal with a criminal than a misguided crazy person, at least you can guess what the criminal is thinking.

    That all happened in California up the road from El Toro Air Station where I was stationed, I now live in Florida where, I believe, an attempted kidnapping is considered a forceable offence, and I’m not as young and in shape as I used to be. I’m not so sure I would be as nice to another “crazy lady” if it all happened again today (I currently have a 5 year old and a 2 year old).

  10. Stacy says:

    When I told her to back off or get a beating she went to store security. I’m not sure what she told them, but when they arrived they ALSO tried to take my child.

    With that caveat that I completely understand and empathize, it was obviously a mistake to threaten crazy-lady with violence.

    Honestly, in today’s environment I fear this scenario a lot more than the random mall kidnapper.

  11. With that caveat that I completely understand and empathize, it was obviously a mistake to threaten crazy-lady with violence.

    I must respectfully disagree. As was said in many of the comments at Marko’s place, we are not psychic. That little 5-foot-nothing lady could have all kinds of bad intentions when she reached for that kid. If a stranger reaches for my kid, there will be an unmistakable threat of violence in return of that gesture. I don’t want to assume the best and find out the worst.

    You DO NOT take chances where your children are involved.

    Ever.

    Security can show up all they want. For that matter, so can the police, a priest, the United States Army, and God. They will all get the same explanation.

    tweaker

  12. Stacy says:

    I must respectfully disagree.

    Well, and I respectfully stick to my position. To me it’s situational. You’re in the store and have the ability to call on store security. Luckily for Stuart, the guards bothered to listen to him and assess the situation instead of just cuffing everyone in sight and letting a judge sort it out. Or worse, taking crazy lady’s side. Because they don’t know either one of them from Adam, it would have been more than reasonable for _them_ to use a litmus test such as “this person is a busybody, but that one issued a violent threat”.

    Now, if the incident took place outside, with no witnesses or backup, it would be a whole different ballgame and pretty much anything would be in-bounds for dealing with the stranger approaching your kid.

  13. Robb Allen says:

    Stacy has a valid point. Nothing bad can happen in the time it takes to locate store security (who are armed, by the way, with generally some NICE walkie talkies) and lead them back to where your child was being beaten.

    Crazy people are known for taking their time.

  14. Ride Fast says:

    […] This incident surprises me […]

  15. Jake says:

    Stacy said: “it’s likely that the appropriate response would have been more like an embarrassed retreat and a timeout at home, as opposed to drawing a gun on some guy who just can’t take a screaming kid on top of whatever day he’s already had.”

    Maybe up to the point where he reached for the kid that would have been appropriate, but, having made a threat of violence against a child, the instant he moved to carry out that threat the gun is an appropriate response.

    If you physically assault someone else’s kid, regardless of the provocation, you should expect your death as a possible consequence.

  16. Bill Waites says:

    While I can certainly understand the “mother bear” reactions of many, I also know the parents have a responsibility to others.

    I have removed my children from stores, movies, church, school activities, sporting activities, etc. when their antics became uncontrollable by any means apart from removal from the situation. I refused to be a parent who stayed home and did nothing because I was afraid my kids would be loud or obnoxious. Part of them learning NOT to do so was being in those places and learning the consequences of inappropriate behavior.

    That said, there is a vast difference between a 2 or 3 year old being fussy and the same child throwing a fit. WE have no idea which was actually the case. If the child was throwing a fit, he/she should have been removed from the circumstances, properly disciplined, and the parent should have handled that by herself. If it was no more than the “I’m bored” fussiness typical of the age group, well, that’s part of dealing with life!

    However, NO child deserves to be slapped by an enraged adult, under ANY circumstances.

    There is huge difference between appropriate discipline by an adult, ANY adult, and what apparently happened in this case. I would love to see the store video, and every Wal Mart I’ve been in has video of virtually every aisle, so I suspect there is video.

    Those of you that say NO other adult should ever discipline your child, I hope you spend 24/7 with your children, because my childrens grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends were invaluable in instilling discipline when my wife or I couldn’t be present.

    As my father taught me, “I don’t care what discipline someone else had to impose while I wasn’t present, if it was justified, you can be certain the discipline I impose will be much worse, because you know better!”

    And yes, I too grew up on military bases!

  17. Stacy has a valid point. Nothing bad can happen in the time it takes to locate store security (who are armed, by the way, with generally some NICE walkie talkies) and lead them back to where your child was being beaten.

    Crazy people are known for taking their time.

    Hammer, meet head-of-nail. Yes, Stacy, it’s situational, but in a manner that could only be determined by afterthought or the ability to predict the future. You tell me that you can, 100% of the time, predict that woman’s actions when she reaches for the kid. You can’t. And I’m not one to play the odds outside Vegas or Super Bowl Sunday.

    If the Little Old Lady is 99 times out of 100 going to back down and 1 time reach out with a blade and slice my daughter’s throat, I’m going to be prepared to stop that 1 time with any available manner of force as severe and destructive to her as I can possibly summon.

    Again, you DO NOT take chances where your children are involved. You just DON’T.

    And I seriously doubt that playing the odds are gonna make you feel any better if you end up with that 1 out of 100.

    tweaker

  18. Edit: You tell me that you can, 100% of the time, predict that woman’s actions when she reaches for the kid and I’m taking you to Vegas.

    Mistake in copy/pasting. Oops!

    tweaker

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