One of the problems with violent altercations is that they often happen in public places like highways and city sidewalks.
These places usually have a significant number of innocent bystanders present — people who can be hurt by a conflict who have nothing to do with it.
This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to cultivate a mindset of avoiding conflict. Honing the skills of de-escalation and understanding that we are not responsible for the actions of others is essential.
While we’re not responsible for what others do, we ARE responsible for the way we respond to and handle the offensive and dangerous actions of others.
The first rule of thumb is to not take the actions of others personally. This is an ego-driven reaction and one that infers that we are more important than others. This is a dangerous mindset for anyone, and doubly so for a person in possession of a firearm.
Did someone cut in front of you at the grocery store? Maybe they are late to pick their kids up. Maybe they have other overwhelming problems at home. Is someone being a rude driver? It’s possible they are simply an uncaring person, but maybe they are racing to the hospital where someone they love has been taken after a car crash.
The point is, we are surrounded by the annoying and often dangerous behavior of others every day and we have no way of knowing their personal circumstances or intentions.
Becoming emotionally involved and choosing to let someone know what YOU think of their actions can have devastating consequences.
In his article “Defcon 1: Road Rage” on USConcealedcarry.com author John Caile wrote about an unfortunate situation where a man honked at and flipped off a rude driver:
“Like too many people today, Todd seemed to think it was his job to let another driver know what he thought of his/her driving. As the Monte Carlo passed his SUV, Todd leaned on his horn, stuck his left hand out of his window and flipped off the other driver, setting in motion events that would alter his life forever.
As it turned out, the driver of the Monte Carlo had heard the horn, turned his head and saw Todd’s gesture. After running the red light, he pulled off to the side of the road and waited for the line of cars (including Todd) to catch up. He then pulled in behind the other cars.
At the next light, which was red, Todd was stopped behind a car in the middle lane. The right lane was “Right Turn Only” and the Monte Carlo pulled up and stopped on the right hand side of Todd’s SUV. He waved a gun out the window at Todd’s wife, and yelled, “You Motherf—-r! I’ll kill you, and I don’t even care about jail! ( Read more about gun safety and the dangers of road rage here)”
As a person with a concealed carry permit, you are held to a much higher standard than someone without a weapon. It’s your direct responsibility to avoid conflict if at all possible. Run away if need be. At the end of the day your pride is worth far less than someone’s life.