Farnam Quip “New Scam”

13 Sept 10

New scam, from a female friend and student:

“Last Saturday afternoon, I pulled into the parking lot at our local Walmart. As I put my car in park, I looked to my left to see that someone had rushed up to my car and was pounding frantically, with both fists, on my driver’s-side window, which was rolled all the way up.

It took me a second or two for me to understand what was happening. The one doing all the pounding was a brown-eyed, five-year-old girl, so short that she was looking up at me as I sat in my car! An adult male, standing right behind her, was actually pushing her up against my car. As he forcibly jammed her into my door, he was ordering her, in a loud voice, to hit my window. In addition, she was repeating a line the man behind her was instructing her to say.

I then noticed that she was holding an open box of ‘weathered’ candy bars, also jammed against my window, and was whimpering, in broken English, that I needed to buy a candy bar, in order to ‘help pay my bill.’

I foolishly opened my window a crack, and, before I could say anything, the man said, also in broken English, that they needed money to ‘send the girl to school.’ He then demanded that I roll the window down the rest of the way.

I became incensed at this disgusting scam, and, in perfect English, yelled at him to get out of my face! I put my car in drive and slowly rolled forward. The man and the girl moved away quickly.

In retrospect, I did not handle the situation well. I need to realize that there are some people who are sick and desperate enough to place innocent children in harm’s way while committing crimes! I should have disengaged immediately, pulling away slowly while ordering them both to get away, without ever opening the window, even a crack.

I immediately reported the incident to Wal-Mart management, and gave them a detailed description of the man and little girl. I also suggested they call the police. I was assured (amid yawns) that they would ‘look into it.’

We really are ‘on our own!’

I feel sorry for desperate people, but I’m ready to carry a gun now! I
didn’t think I’d ever say that. I was stupid and naive. Not any more!”

My Instructor’s reply:

“… ‘feelings’ could not be more irrelevant! What is important is anechoic mindset, perception that is (1) accurate, (2) sharp, and (3)  emotionless, correct responses (well trained-in and ready to download instantly), combined with weapons, including guns, always carried, that may be needed to successfully disengage from any threat.

Excess emotion is actually a hindrance. My use of force, even deadly force, is never anything personal. No one has a right to employ criminal violence to victimize me, and, when it happens, my response is, for lack of a more polite term, “conditioned.”

I’m surely happy that you were not harmed, nor was anyone else, this time!

Don’t wait too long to take the next step!”


This is a perfect example of why we need to stay on our toes. I’m not talking about acting like we are “manning our post” 24/7. I’m saying we need to be aware of our surroundings. Are there people in the parking lot? Are they around the cars where I intend to park? Just a basic knowledge of what’s around you is enough to keep you from being taken off guard approximately 80% of the time. Now I didn’t give that a full 100% because if someone wants to surprise you they will find a way. There is evil in the world and we need to not let evil take us by surprise.

This is why I think this quip is so significant. We all run to the store and don’t think much about it because it’s a frequent occurrence. Even if it’s just a quick trip to Walmart that still means we need to keep our heads on a swivel and size up people that come inside our bubble. Complacency is something we can’t afford but is something we all slip into from time to time. The important thing is that we recognize that fact and catch ourselves before we get caught in a bad situation.

2 thoughts on “Farnam Quip “New Scam”

  1. My only disagreement here is this:
    Emotions are useful. See Col. Cooper on this. If your emotions are telling you something is wrong or out of place, time to go to Condition Orange.

    Your emotions are often more acute than your intellect, and should be used for your defense, rather than ignored.

    1. Allow me to differ with you slightly. What you are calling emotions I would define as instincts. You have to be in tune with your surroundings and the job at hand. I think what Farnam is getting at is if you are in immediate danger then your emotions are likely to be off. Your fight or flight state in full go mode will narrow the way you view things in more than one way. By getting too emotional you are likely to freeze when you should move and be too rapped up in the emotional effects to shoot when your life depends on it. There needs to be a level of temperance in order to do things with purpose in a life or death struggle.

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