As it happens, I’ve been in similar situations. Yes, plural. So that’s a simple question for me to answer: I provided the requested escort.
I carry a firearm for the same reason that I have fire extinguishers: unexpected emergencies that I hope won’t ever arise; mainly for my own defense and those with me. Still, part of the point of being armed is to counter bad guys in general, even when they’re after someone else. So those annoying ladies still fell under my protective umbrella.
“Southern Covenanter’s” situation differed from mine. The ladies who criticized me did it in a mostly respectful (if disdainful) way in conversation. SC’s harasser was doing just that; no conversation, just an unprompted verbal surprise attack on a stranger. Add in the fact that the local cops oppose carry in his jurisdiction (which would tend to make SC a “criminal” in their eyes if that tattooed freak really did assault him or her),and I don’t blame him for declining the request for assistance.
But I would have phrased it otherwise. SC’s response was probably interpreted by the blood-dancing Mom as – at best – an angry reaction to an asshole, not a response to her victim-disarming agenda.
I would have looked at her and quietly replied, “No thank you, ma’am. I wouldn’t want to violate your principles.” That… should directly establish the link in her alleged mind.
But I wouldn’t bet on it.
I have been harangued in a store by a gun-controlling victim disarmer. While grocery shopping, a Masshole came up to me and asked if I were a police officer, and when I told I was not, she went off on her own little rant about how evil guns are, do you have a license, why am I carrying that, you’re scaring me, it shouldn’t be allowed, guns are evil, we don’t allow that in my state, don’t do that, “Bad gun! Go away, gun!”
I let her run down, then asked, “Did you drive here today?”
Clearly puzzled by the non sequitur, she said, “Of course.”
“Ma’am, more people are killed with cars than with guns in America. As it happens, I’ve never shot anyone. I’m more afraid of you killing someone with your car on your way home. Statistically, you and your car are more dangerous than me and my gun.”
She stormed off, I think to find a manager to complain and demand I be ordered out of the store. I kept shopping. No manager came to bitch, this being New Hampshire, and me not exactly being the only person to open carry in that store.
Now, if that woman, by some odd chance, had asked my help, I think my answer would have been along the lines of, “You don’t need me and my evil gun. You have a car to kill ’em with.” But she – happily – didn’t.
-sigh- Missed opportunities.