Your observations are spot on.
I got in a fight with three guys outside a bar one time, and they did this exact same thing as the old man.
Guy ake a comment (I, being not terribly bright, responded) and they waited until folks cleared out of the area and came back.
One punched me in the face, but I was able to push through and it turned the situation enough to where I didn’t get beat down… at the time, I had my back to a fence and a building.
In this case especially, had my SA been better, I could have easily avoided the entire situation, though I’m glad now that I didn’t.
It was a valuable lesson in handling multiple attackers, improvising weapons and how to react to police contact post-altercation.
Needless to say, I was a good bit more wreckless back then. I’ve got a few more stories that are reaaaaal similar and all of them could have been avoided by better situational awareness and following a simple rule:
"Don’t do stupid things in stupid places around stupid people."
I formally adopted that one in my mid-twenties and have been a lot better of since.
…But I still hate a bully and can’t stand how passive society has become to this kind of stuff.
As an aside, both of these situations are "ECQC" Engagements – in short, in order to defend yourself with a weapon, and not just lose it to an attack who is:
c. has the iniative
d. has numbers
You’ve got to take and maintain dominant positioning. Another board (where I found this like – it’s a shooting school) had a few comments like "he should have just shot the guy". What do you think would have happened if the old man DID have a gun? What if he DID access it?
How would things have changed?
How about the kid on the subway in the hammer attack? What if he’d have pulled a gun? Could you have shot it effectively from supine, with your legs being hammered by a psychopath?
These two videos bring up some extremely important questions about how we address violence, when to pull steel and when to fight.
I’d love to see this discussion continue – it’s one of the best I’ve seen on the subject. This site always surprises me in the best ways possible.