Work With What You Have

by Braxton Taylor

Louisiana, about 15 years ago…

Walking across the parking lot, he looked just like any other old man, gray headed and using a walking cane. However, to the two thugs that were watching him, he looked like a wealthy old man and an easy target. His fine clothes and gold watch, maybe a Rolex, meant that he also probably was carrying a good bit of cash… old people liked to carry cash instead of credit cards, you know. Even high on drugs, the two thugs’ estimation was quite accurate… all except for the part about an easy target.

This particular old man was using a cane due to a leg injury sustained during the service of his country. He was no stranger to violence. Further, he had spotted the two thugs when he first left the restaurant and was keeping them in the periphery of his vision, just in case they might be trouble and hoping that they weren’t.

Long ago, this particular old man had realized that, due to his bum leg, he wouldn’t be able to get away from trouble quickly. So he had enrolled in a stick-fighting school that helped him learn to use his cane as a defensive tool, and he stayed tuned up with the 2-inch Smith & Wesson Model 10 that he carried in a shoulder holster under his left arm. In addition to this, he had learned that using cover was even more important when a fellow couldn’t quickly get away from trouble.

Cover was what he had in mind when he saw the two thugs make their move. As they approached, he stepped behind the front end of a Ford pickup so that the engine block would protect most of his body from incoming rounds. When his attackers pointed their pistols at him, this particular old man was already prepared and quickly acquired his front sight and started the double-action trigger roll.

As the closest attacker fired a wild shot, the intended victim planted two rounds in the thug’s upper chest. At this point, the second thug could have escaped unscathed if he had been smart enough to turn and run. Instead, he turned his pistol sideways and began to crank off rounds. He also went down with two hits in the vital zone.

I guess the main point of this story is that, as we get older, we begin to look like easy targets for criminals. We can’t jump, run and fight like we use to. And what’s worse, we look like it. What is critically important is to find ways to overcome our disabilities, whatever they may be, and still have a reasonable chance to defend ourselves. We structure our personal defense plan around our particular situation.

I thought about this particular old man when I heard Toby Keith’s song, “Don’t Let The Old Man In.”

It fits.

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