Friday, August 21, 2009

"Beware Little Old Ladies With Handbags"

Particularly if they've raised a large family.

"Tribute to OAP who tackled robber "
BBC (September 19, 2007)

"A pensioner who chased an armed robber with her handbag has been likened to Glasgow Airport hero John Smeaton by court prosecutors.

"Helen McAdam, 71, found herself in the middle of a raid on a security van as she popped into her local Tesco for a pint of milk.

"The 5ft 4in grandmother swung into action after being threatened at gunpoint by 44-year-old William Carlin.

"Carlin was jailed for eight years at the High Court in Glasgow...."

"...She said: 'I tried to hit him with my handbag. I was angry. When I swung it he was away like a shot.'

"Mrs McAdam then chased Carlin and memorised the make and colour of his getaway car and a partial registration.

"She handed the details in to Tesco before carrying on with her shopping.

"When she returned home she told husband Danny: 'You'll never believe what happened at the supermarket, a man stuck a gun on me. I never put that on my shopping list.'..."

"...When asked by prosecutor Iain McSporran if she would do the same thing again if confronted by an armed man, she said: 'I'd face the devil. I've raised a big family and I'm afraid of nobody.'..."

I'm not at all sure that raising a large family is quite equivalent to combat experience: But I think it does encourage a certain level of mental discipline; and a capacity for reacting quickly and decisively to unexpected situations.

And of course, as law enforcement nearly always says here in America: conventional wisdom is that one should not take on an armed criminal. There's something to that.

A tip of the hat to irish_brigid, on Twitter, for the heads-up on this.

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