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-   -   Woman draws gun on man in parking lot (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=92914)

E. Q. Taft 10 November 2015 10:45 PM

Woman draws gun on man in parking lot
 
A Murfreesboro woman told police officers she pointed a gun at a man in the Walmart parking lot because he approached her aggressively, according to the police report provided to The Daily News Journal.

The woman Sherry McLain, 67, of Lascassas was arrested. Her bond was set at $15,000.

http://www.dnj.com/story/news/local/...-lot/75451992/

Psihala 10 November 2015 11:59 PM

So, is she one of the "good guys" with a gun? I lost track.

~Psihala

1958Fury 11 November 2015 12:13 AM

I realize the headline's pretty straightforward, but my mind still pictured a woman with a Sharpie drawing a picture of a gun on the man's skin.

Skeptic 11 November 2015 12:20 AM

Quote:

She was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon.
There is hope for the world.

Singing in the Drizzle 11 November 2015 02:37 AM

Sounds like she though he was threating because of his skin color and male.

chillas 11 November 2015 03:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Psihala (Post 1895129)
So, is she one of the "good guys" with a gun? I lost track.

She'd only be a "good guy with a gun" if she'd actually shot him. As it is, she's merely a "responsible gun owner."

Cervus 11 November 2015 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1958Fury (Post 1895130)
I realize the headline's pretty straightforward, but my mind still pictured a woman with a Sharpie drawing a picture of a gun on the man's skin.

Me too.

Maybe I need to move somewhere else, because a person pulling a gun in a parking lot but being arrested before anything actually happens is just not very newsworthy to me. Page 3 local news, maybe.

Sue 11 November 2015 04:50 PM

I'm not going to defend drawing a gun on someone but being approached in a parking lot by someone who asks for a lighter is a pretty classic scam. Maybe she's read one too many "avoid being a victim" articles and took it to the extreme.

Richard W 11 November 2015 05:29 PM

In my experience though, it's far more common to be asked for a light by people who want to light a cigarette (happens quite frequently) than it is to be asked by people trying to scam me (never happened, to my knowledge). Being wary would be reasonable, but simply assuming a scam isn't.

Maybe if I routinely carried a lighter, I'd find that all the people seemingly wanting to light cigarettes were in fact using that as the first stage of a scam. Certainly some might then ask for spare change - but once they'd established contact, they could do that whether I had a lighter or not. From watching other people provide lights, it seems that even the obvious beggars do actually just want a light.

Lainie 11 November 2015 05:34 PM

I have never heard of "got a light" being used as the beginning of a scam. I've been asked for a light, always said no because I never have one, and the asker has always just moved along -- unless his actual intent was to chat me up, which might be annoying, depending on the circumstances, but I wouldn't call it a scam.

ETA: Around here, people who want you tp give them money just go ahead and ask for money. Occasionally you'll get some elaborate hard-luck story, but they launch right into that without any got-a-light? pretext, IME.

Richard W 11 November 2015 06:28 PM

Here too, for the most part.

Some people do try to establish a conversation first, by (for example) asking the way to the bus station, and then asking if you can spare some change towards the fare - I guess they think you're more likely to give money if you're already talking to them about something else - but I can't remember that happening starting with a request for a light.

Lainie 11 November 2015 06:34 PM

Ours aren't that subtle. Mostly they're at least polite about it, but one guy said "Hey Baby, got a couple bucks?"

A Turtle Named Mack 11 November 2015 07:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sue (Post 1895282)
I'm not going to defend drawing a gun on someone but being approached in a parking lot by someone who asks for a lighter is a pretty classic scam. Maybe she's read one too many "avoid being a victim" articles and took it to the extreme.

I don't know as I would call it a 'scam' in the sense of being an intro to a cadge, as seems to be assumed by others here (not saying you did, Sue). My concern would be that it was a ruse to get close enough to someone with their guard down so that the approacher can rob them without their having an opportunity to defend or run. That's why in first reading the story I was not decided on whether the arrest was appropriate or not. Then the article showed that the store video was checked and it showed there was no intermediate attempt to wave him off, or any aggressive gestures as claimed. She may still have honestly believed she was under threat, and so the charge will probably be reduced, perhaps to something like 'brandishing a firearm in public.'

Lainie 11 November 2015 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack (Post 1895307)
I don't know as I would call it a 'scam' in the sense of being an intro to a cadge, as seems to be assumed by others here (not saying you did, Sue).

FWIW, I have made no assumptions about what type of scam Sue meant. I added my postscript about people asking for money in response to Richard's post. I wouldn't call panhandling a scam, exactly -- to me, scam implies some trickery, and however annoying or problematic panhandling may be, it's pretty straightfoward, IME.

Little Pink Pill 11 November 2015 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard W (Post 1895293)
In my experience though, it's far more common to be asked for a light by people who want to light a cigarette (happens quite frequently) than it is to be asked by people trying to scam me (never happened, to my knowledge).

But would you feel comfortable approaching a strange woman in a parking lot to ask for a light? Or would you choose a man so you wouldn't seem intimidating?

It would be unusual to me to have a strange man approach me under those circumstances and not be looking for more than a light, though I wouldn't assume he wanted to hurt me. Maybe it's a gender or location thing.

I have asked men to not come any closer when they were striding towards me making eye contact, and I have been ready to pull out my pepper spray because they were scaring me. I've never had to, though.

Sue 11 November 2015 09:37 PM

Yeah scam was probably not the best choice of wording on my part. The point I was trying to make though was that it's not uncommon to be warned to be wary of people approaching you and asking for some seemingly innocent item like a lighter. It's a way to get you to open your purse for one thing and it's a way to distract you for another. In a parking lot as I'm trying to get into my car I would definitely not appreciate a strange man coming up to me asking for a light. I wouldn't pull a gun but I also wouldn't be offering a lighter assuming I had one. And like LPP I'd be thinking about where I put my pepper spray.

Lainie 11 November 2015 10:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill (Post 1895339)
It would be unusual to me to have a strange man approach me under those circumstances and not be looking for more than a light, though I wouldn't assume he wanted to hurt me. Maybe it's a gender or location thing.

Last time I checked, you and I were the same gender. :) But yeah, it was often a way of hitting on someone.

Many years ago, I was trying to finish Steven King's Misery, so I was reading it at a stoplight on my way to work. The guy behind me got out of his car and knocked on my window to ask for a light -- scared the crap out of me. He may have been intending to hit on me, but if so, he changed his mind after I jumped and shrieked. :lol:

Little Pink Pill 12 November 2015 01:03 AM

Yeah, that's not the best way to cozy up to someone. While reading Steven King of all things! :lol:

I included "location" because Ca has had smoking laws in effect for so long that I can't remember the last time someone asked me for a light. Add to that a parking lot scenario and I would honestly assume a stranger asking a woman for one was a panhandler or thief. There is so much cigarette shaming here the only thing I really ever see anyone smoking in public are e-cigs.

Lainie 12 November 2015 01:27 AM

I'm guessing there's a lot more public smoking in Murfreesboro, TN. :)

Apparently the guy was never closer than 10 feet away from her.

ETA: Asking for a light at a red light was just weird, all around.

Dasla 12 November 2015 01:49 AM

As for the asking for a light thing, once when I was out with my brother and sister-in-law once, we were asked for a light. My sister-in-law was carrying on "Why did he ask us for a light? None of us are smoking, why did he ask us?" I and I am assuming my brother just thought he was asking us for a light.

Catching public transport I have occasionally seen people asking other for a light (while waiting) even though they aren't currently smoking and often they have one. This was a while ago though as there are a lot more smoke free places now.

Little Pink Pill 12 November 2015 02:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lainie (Post 1895387)
Apparently the guy was never closer than 10 feet away from her.

Yeah, none of that was to justify her pulling a gun on him. I was originally just wondering if there was a cultural aspect in why Richard, as a man in the UK, might be asked more often for a light than Sue, as a woman in Ontario. I also thought the difference in their perception of motives might be explained by a difference in gender and location.

A Turtle Named Mack 12 November 2015 02:40 AM

Another aspect of the different reaction can be the perceived risk - even if both perceived a potential robbery as one of the possibilities and assessed the same odds of it happening, Richard as a man (very likely larger and stronger than Sue) might feel he could take that risk where Sue might not. I am not sure how either would assess the risk of a concealed weapon (of course, there is less chance of a gun in the UK than in N. America, but I have read stats showing the chances of a knife held be a robber are much greater there - and at close range, a knife would probably be more effective).

Beachlife! 12 November 2015 02:52 AM

I like to take a walk on our river-walk every evening. Lately, my walks have been happening at dusk so I often find myself in low light or after dark in what can be a dark, remote and deserted part of the city. I am always careful to be aware of my surroundings and wary of anyone else I run into with the understanding that they are probably just as harmless as I am.

But, I am also very cognizant of the fact that my presence is a threat to others, especially women. I'm not the type to bother a stranger for anyone reason, but if I were to decide to ask for light, I would definitely chose another man to ask because that would lessen the chance that I would make someone uncomfortable.

Little Pink Pill 12 November 2015 07:27 PM

I really appreciate that kind of courtesy. I've seen men deliberately give me a wide berth in those kind of sketchy surroundings and been thankful for their consideration.

Maybe it's wrong to expect that level of kindness from everyone, but I feel like thoughtful men know they can be intimidating, and try not to add to that behaviors that will make them even more so. I've actually come to expect this, whether from privilege or a social norm, I don't know, and it makes men that take a more casual approach to me all the more alarming.

It works the other way around, too. If I find a child alone in a store, I don't pick them up and terrify them and their parent, I stand a few feet away and wait for someone to come looking. I still sometimes get glared at rather than thanked, but I get it, so it doesn't bother me.

Sooeygun 12 November 2015 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill (Post 1895475)
I really appreciate that kind of courtesy. I've seen men deliberately give me a wide berth in those kind of sketchy surroundings and been thankful for their consideration.

Maybe it's wrong to expect that level of kindness from everyone, but I feel like thoughtful men know they can be intimidating, and try not to add to that behaviors that will make them even more so. I've actually come to expect this, whether from privilege or a social norm, I don't know, and it makes men that take a more casual approach to me all the more alarming.

Mr. S walks to work stupid early, around 3:30 or 4:30 am. Because he walks very quickly and is light on his feet, he can kind of sneak up on you. If he is catching up with someone, he makes sure to cough or something so as not to frighten. He mentioned that he has, on occasion, crossed the street earlier than normal to give a lone woman a wider berth.


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