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This isn’t about my usual topics, like cool video lighting gear or LED softboxes.
What’s the right thing to do, when you’re loading up your car with equipment for the day’s shoot on a dark rainy morning, when all of a sudden you find someone pointing a gun at your chest? It’s a funny feeling, surreal as much as anything else. Like it doesn’t make sense. Just finishing loading all the Jokers and Kinos and LED panels and and stands and everything else, and then you see someone walk up your driveway. You wonder who this stranger is, what they want, whether they need help with something, and then you see the silver shiny barrel of a handgun pointed at you. You might shout, you might run, you might freak out. You would certainly be late for work. You might shout once, but find that it sort of strangles in your throat, because you’re not sure what this stranger is like, this stranger with the bandanna over their face up to their eyes and the wool cap pulled down low over their forehead, the stranger with black-gloved hands aiming a gun at you, might get upset about you raising a hue and cry and shoot you down outside your daughter’s bedroom window. It’s an awkward thing, having a gun on you at 6:42 AM in the rain.
You might just hand over your wallet; what’s worth getting shot for? But how do you know what state the person is in, whether they’re really in the mood to kill someone, or whether there are even bullets in the gun.
You might be pretty grateful that they just took your wallet and the 4$ that were inside, and didn’t tell you to open up the vehicle and take something very expensive. OR even your phone, which would cost you a bunch to replace but he could only get a few bucks for an iphone 4s with a cracked screen.
So what do you do? You hand it over, even though you’re thinking what a pain it will be to cancel all the cards and get a new ID. Do you buy a gun? Mace? Taser? Keep a baseball bat in your car? What good would that do, really? When there’s someone on your, threatening you, are you going to have the presence of mind or the cojones to pull out a bat and attack them? Install a bunch of outdoor lighting perhaps. Security cameras? If you’re not safe at home, then where?
The stranger was very professional, very fast, in and out. He came in very fast, everything about him was covered up, no way for me to identify him. Other than that he was black, adult, maybe in his 30s, 5’10”, 180-200 lbs. If you can be this good a robber, why not do something useful?
The good news is that I got an email that the first batch of Airbox 1×1 Inflatable softboxes for LED panels are in the air on the way here. And I got another email that B&H is interested in selling them. And I wasn’t hurt, nor did anything bad happen to my family, in bed just a few feet away from where this guy threatened me.
I think he was mad that there was only 4$ in my wallet. But once his back turned on me, I split. I didn’t stick around to find out how he felt about his take.
I love Oakland, but that sucks. In my own driveway in my own house. What are you gonna do. Get over it and move on. And install some motion-sensor lights and things like that. Very soon. Not a nice feeling to not feel safe at home.