Watering Holes

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by Trunk Monkey, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Well-Known Member

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    I work nights and my current gig gives me a lot of down time. I spend at least part of my shift every night reading articles by reputable trainers and SMEs.

    I read articles by people like Kathy Jackson (AKA Cornered Cat), Claude Werner, Masaad Ayoob, Greg Ellifritz and John Lovell among others. I've had some chances to interact with some of these people and ask them questions directly.

    And one thing that I've noticed is that all of them, with no dissent, agree that you're better off avoiding a criminal encounter than winning one. I've also noticed that they all talk about the concept of "Watering Holes".

    "Watering Hole" isn't a term that I made up. I learned it from reading these people's articles. A Watering Hole is a known trouble spot. It's a place where predators are known to gather because they know prey gathers there. They're all also in agreement that you're better off avoiding those places if possible.

    I realize that sometimes you don't have a choice, Walmart is watering hole but groceries are a necessity.

    I've also noticed that there are certain locations that get mentioned repeatedly every time the topic comes up. ATMs are a good example. Criminals literally go there looking for people to rob. Convenience stores are another one. I mean, they call them "Stop and Robs" for a reason. A common topic on every single gun forum on the internet is what do you do if you're in a convenience store and somebody tries to rob it. That should tell you something.

    FWIW my answer to that question is always Stay The Hell Out Of Convenience Stores!!. Why would I deliberately put myself in that position?

    Every time this topic comes up somebody responds by saying "By Gawd I refuse to live in fear." and if that's how you see it fine. I'm not trying to change your mind because I know I'm not going to but I don't see it that way. I see it as looking for trouble that I could have avoided.

    I remember reading a discussion on another forum in which the poster actually said that he drove his wife to Walmart at like 2 a.m. to get Moon Pies for his kid's lunch. The guy even claimed that he parked at the far end of the parking lot and let his wife walk into the store alone so she could "get her steps in". The whole point of the guy's post was how surprised he was does the Walmart parking lot was full of crackheads and Street Rats at that time of night. To me, that behavior is so over-the-top stupid that I literally thought the guy was trolling.

    I make it a rule to avoid places that I know are trouble. I realize that I can't avoid all of the trouble spots but I don't do rest areas, I don't do ATMs (really always but especially after dark.) I don't close bars and even when I'm working nights I stay out of convenience stores in the wee hours.

    I realize this isn't exactly the same thing but when I was working nights as a roving guard there was a place way out in the Southeast corner of the county that I had to go check every night and every night I planned my route so that I would head out there at around 0145 and stay there till about 0230 and be getting back to town around 0300. After the bar rush was off the road.

    There are certain things that I don't do no matter what. Especially now that I'm getting older and I'm moving into that target demographic (old white dude).
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
  2. Nmwabbit

    Nmwabbit Guest

    trunk monkey nicely stated regarding the “watering hole” concept and humanity’s inabilities to grasp the perception these are/could be hazardous to their wellbeing.

    unfortunately, we also have an innate trait to see if we can walk on the edge to see if the rumors of danger are valid, e.g., climb K2 or Mt Everest; go to an ATM or wally world in the worst part of town at midnight - just cuz!

    If we have an incident & survive the encounter, it now becomes a bragging adventure to family and friends on social media, if we don’t experience any sort of incident we repeat it till we do - in even more decrepit locations.

    This is not a new phenomenon but an ages olde concept as the past generations embarked on dangerous adventures to seek “whats out there” or to prove the earth wasn’t flat, or “anybody know whats over that mountain or past that valley?” Sad part is, history normally doesn’t note those who failed in their quests...

    Why today’s citizens are challenged to go to a rest area’s rest room and not get victimized!
     
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  3. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Well-Known Member

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    I'm not trying to restart that discussion. There are other places that are problem spots.

    As a good example last winter there were three or four convenience stores robberies every night in Colorado Springs. Sometimes the robbers would pick a street and go down it and rob 4 or 5 stores in a row. In my opinion that made all convenience stores a known hot spot.

    There's an area downtown six blocks square were literally every business on the street is a bar. I used to work down there and like clockwork every night around 10 or 11 the fights would start. The sexual assaults would start. People would be breaking into other people's cars. Once or twice a week somebody would get shot. Every week on Friday and Saturday night the police would set up a mobile command post a block away from that area and they would stage 7 or 8 cop cars right there because they knew there was going to be trouble.

    That might even be part of the reason that I adhere so strictly to the Rule Of Stupids because I see every night what happens when stupid people go to stupid places at stupid times to do stupid things.

    I don't work down there anymore and should my business take me anywhere in that vicinity I go out of my way to not even drive through that area.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
  4. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There s a difference, a BIG difference, between "living your life in fear" and living your life in stupidity.

    An intelligent person may not fear snakes, but he doesn't step on a coiled rattler just to see if it will bite him.

    Exercising a certain amount of caution is not living in fear. It's just good old common sense.
     
  5. schnuffleupagus

    schnuffleupagus Well-Known Member

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    I stop at the KwikTrip for fuel. Often I go in for a snack. KwickTrip is a miniature grocery store. Usually in the suburbs or rural area.
    Fuel for big trucks and cars alike. I suspect the location I stop has NEVER been held up.
    I drive past a Speedway, in North Minneapolis, 1 block away from a community of squatters tenting in a city park. The Speedway is 5cents cheaper, but I just dont want the hassle. The percentage for having to clear leather at either place has to be low, but the Speedway just makes my neck hair tingle.
    Pay attention to your unconscious limbic system. It wants you to stay alive.
     
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  6. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Timing does, indeed play into the watering hole concept as well.

    like animals form patterns for bedding down, moving to water, and browsing/grazing, criminals seem to have times they prefer to utilize these spots.

    Stopping at a truck stop at 2 in the afternoon could be much different than 2 am.
     
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  7. Ghost1958

    Ghost1958 Well-Known Member

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    The only credible expert mentioned was John Lovell. Ayoob isnt a lawyer and never fired a shot in SD.

    Lovell has seen combat and actually been in violent enviornments.

    I dont look for trouble but having spent most of my life going into areas police wouldnt after dark, I go where i want when i want. Always have.
    I'm 61, and I'll not be dictated to by boogey men where I go or when. If trouble finds me it just does and the chips will fall where they will. In all honesty I'm past the point of caring .



    As a famous person once said. " You do you"
     
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  8. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Well-Known Member

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    And you're qualified to make that determination how?

    As a famous person once said

     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
  9. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Well-Known Member

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    When the guy woke me up trying to get into my car it was a little past 10 a.m.
     
  10. formerCav

    formerCav Well-Known Member

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    I worked in a Brooks Superette in Maplewood MN back in 72 when I was going to tech school.
    Got ROBBED. I had the shift where you had to CLOSE the joint.
    Of course, I immediately became the NUMBER ONE suspect!!
    The detectives went to my mothers neighbors and asked everyone about me!!
    When a neighbor might ask "what's this all about" the azzhat dick said something like "he is a number one suspect in an armed robbery".
    GREAT.
    The neighbor next door, MR Berry who knew me and liked me since I was FIVE years old all of the sudden wouldn't even look in my direction when I went over to my moms house to help her with anything.
    The BUMS NEVER went around and told everyone I was INNOCENT and they caught the BUM that set up the whole deal.
    I didn't have enough money to SUE anybody for slandering my name either! TOO bad...SO sad!!
     
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  11. Ghost1958

    Ghost1958 Well-Known Member

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    Can make that determination by reading their backgrounds . Granted the Elafitgerald guy I know little about.
    Ayoobs history is public record.
    Cornered cat? Really?

    I dont care who goes or doesnt go where based on fear of what might hsppen.

    Just stop pontificating that folks who live whstever sembelence of a life they have left the way they choose within the law are somehow wrong, less informed, or less expierenced than you. When its entirely likely in many cases the opposite is true.

    Want to hide shuck and jive afraid to use an atm or get a drink at a convenience store be my guest. It's a free country mostly. Afford those who differ with you the same courtesy.
    I'll keep my own counsel on where I go and when thanks. Most of us do.
     
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  12. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I guess some of us are more "macho' than others. Makes a great epitaph.

    "Old Joe was sure 'nuff macho.":p
     
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  13. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the watering hole and the animals patters that drink there.

    just making a point that timing can have an effect on what predators may be around, and likelihood in some areas. A Walmart for example may be several degrees safer when most day walkers are around, but a completely different place after midnight.

    There was a gas station near the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, VA. Safe to stop and fill up during the day, but after dark...not so much.
     
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  14. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Folks may not realize it, but most of the criminals we caught over the years were either just unlucky or dumbed out by genetics, substances or mental defect. That said, there was much to be learned with a cigarette and a cup of coffee down in the jail. First, some were just plain mean on their own. Others were cowards alone but brave in a group or with someone else. Although some loved to fight, few would attack if they thought they'd lose, which is why chosen victims appeared or were known to them to be weaker individuals.

    The weakest victims are those who are absent (duh) - car break-ins, closed businesses, vacant-at-the-time homes,etc. Next are apparently disabled (old folks) or females or kids. If they're looking for something in particular, like cash, they'd do ATM customers, purses, and (of course) quickshops and fast-food places.

    Here's my point...they're continually taking others into account - sizing you up based upon your appearance, what you're doing at the time, bumper stickers/window logos/ ball caps/t-shirts/etc. Handicap License/rear view mirror hanger - target. Browning/Ruger/Glock logo on your truck - target. Casinos are hunting grounds. Cash in or get paid in public when you hit a jackpot a large sum - target. Sometimes spotters inside see the cash, phone the actual robbers outside to do the deed.

    It's not always a "Bad place" but it's always bad people. They're quite real.
     
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  15. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Well-Known Member

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    There have been variations on this topic before and every time it comes up someone responds with "By Gawd I go where I want." If that's you fine, I'm not trying to change your mind. I'm just explaining my philosophy based on my experience.

    I've had quite a few run ins with trouble in my life. Over time I started noticing patterns. When I changed the patterns I noticed that a lot of the trouble went away. True story bro.

    I've actually never had a problem at an ATM but enough of the experts recommend avoiding them that I just do. I'm also a follower of Dave Ramsey and he (along with several other financial advisers) recommends keeping cash on hand at all times so I really have no need of an ATM anyway.

    The last time someone tried to take my gun was in a convenience store. The last run in I had with a crackhead was in a convenience store. The last time someone pulled a knife on me was in a convenience store. That last time I spent an ungodly amount of money for a thousand calories worth of red corn syrup, carbonated water and caffeine (AKA red Mountain Dew) was in a convenience store. After a while you figure it out.

    Someone already said it but I get gas at half a tank so I don't get caught short and I have time to get gas when I choose. Which is almost always on my way home from work during the morning rush hour.

    As for the rest stops, I'm a guy. I've never been anywhere in America where there's so much nothing that I have no choice but to stop at a rest stop where there's also not so much nothing that anyone is going to notice if I whip it out behind a tree.

    I don't go to bars because I'm a reformed alcoholic and I have no business in a bar.

    I didn't mean for this to turn into me justifying my life choices (or denigrating yours). I've had enough run ins with street rats to want to avoid the places where they congregate.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
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  16. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you feel like a golfball in a sack of walnuts, you're in the wrong place.

    Whatever the issue, people in protests go there with the "Look At Me" attitude. The more outrageous their sign or behavior, the more attention they get. Mobs feed on each other and, given time, often sink to the lowest individuals' actions. "Good", peaceful folks will bail out, leaving the crazies. You might be caught there by bad luck or start off as a curious onlooker. Whatever the situation, finding yourself there isn't a good thing.

    The "dogs" pile on the "Rabbit" - best not to be the rabbit. All it takes is for someone to point you out as a member of an opposing faction (whether it's true or not). I'll cuss 'em on the TV or internet, never in person. Besides, tear gas makes me sneeze.
     
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  17. F4U

    F4U Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am lucky apparently, I haven't been in a fist fight since the 8th grade. Was 1 and 1 that year, seemed like a good record to quit on. I have had jobs that put me in places I would rather have not been in, still happens now and then. I try to manage the time of day I go to those areas. The miscreant trolling Walmart at 0200 is asleep at 0900, and likely won't be available for mayhem until 1800 or 1900 at the earliest. Usually not till after dark. (Learned this as the new guy at the cable company many years ago. New guy got the bad neighborhoods.) This is not universal, but it is the way to bet if you have to go into those types of neighborhoods.

    There is a fairly high end part of town between work and home, I get my gas, and buy my groceries in that area after work. It is all interstate from there home.

    You can't always avoid the bad part of town, but you can lessen the odds of mayhem if you are vigilant, and plan ahead.
     
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  18. formerCav

    formerCav Well-Known Member

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    I learned long ago with my CLASSIC muscle car that going to and from a car show, and coming home after dark that you were MUCH BETTER off driving AROUND the bad part of town then through it.
    You don't want to break down in certain parts of town.
    NEVER run out of gas.. Always fill up at 1/2 so you have a choice. If you are traveling, I hit the road at 4 or 5 AM and get to a hotel by 3 to 5 PM so I have a choice and I can negotiate a better rate then pulling in at 10 PM with your azz .0001 off the ground!
    Another thing. In a "motel". If the lot is near empty, and you have room 110, park your car in front of room 113, so when the do the room invasion it is NOT your room.
    Don't stop at a way side rest that is NOT busy especially after dark.
    ALWAYS be aware of what/who is around you, do NOT get distracted. Keep looking around like you are paranoid.
     
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  19. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Craigslist and similar online marketplaces are another watering hole of sorts. Doesn't have to be an expensive item (car, boat, TV, etc.). Lure the mark to where the robber/rapist/etc. feels they can do the deed and it's on. Couple from Florida drove to buy a mustang, left town in hearses. Selling anything of value is just as dangerous for the criminal knows you're going to show up with something they want. Two brothers from out of state ended up in 55 gallon drums over a cattle deal in Missouri. Young man in K.C. killed with the pistol he'd arranged to sell to a stranger. Just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it's ture.
     
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  20. AgedWarrior

    AgedWarrior Well-Known Member

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    Having already confessed to making a pit stop at a rest area (midday and quite active) for the benefit of my beloved, and having been scolded and derided for my inappropriate decision at the time, I suppose I should be expected to shrink away from a comment here...

    Having grown up in Los Angeles I learned to be watchful at an early age, gangs were already prevalent there before a lot of the country really experienced these types of punk hoodlums, who were a danger to many in my high school days. I developed a pretty good sense of situational awareness then, and I have since improved over the years. That said, I am one who has nothing to do with bars or casinos; not because I fear them, but because I do not wish to be there. I do not drink (impaired situational awareness) or gamble (allows others to see how loose you are with money). I typically avoid most convenience stores because they are expensive and a common supply point for alcohol, which taints the judgment of any man. When on the road, my favorite stopping places are in busy, well lit truck stop areas, but even so, I limit or avoid night travel if possible. I will use an active inter-state rest area on occasion...still without fear. :eek:
    No matter where I go, I always observe people. Are there guys just hanging around outside or near the entry points? Are they watching who comes and goes?
    My wife has commented at times that I am almost too careful because I will not go certain places or I have her sit in the vehicle for a minute before we exit so I can observe for a moment.
    And I am always prepared as best I can to deal with what may come when I leave my home. My lifestyle is not governed by a book or by Hollywood nonsense; I seek to be neither foolish nor fearful, but always watchful. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, but respect my decisions as I do yours.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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