There’s no denying, society and current events have been a little more unpredictable and crazy than they typically are in a given year. Between COVID shutting down the country for the last few months and recent unrest in major cities, it’s easy to get into a defensive mindset when traveling. Recently, I took a trip from my home state of Michigan to Tampa for some much needed vacation and family time. One of the biggest concerns was what to pack in terms of carry guns and gear.
The night before I was going to drive back home from Tampa is when the Atlanta protests started to really kick into high gear. I tossed and turned most of the night thinking about what could happen or what I may have to deal with. Over the course of my 18-hour drive home, a common theme kept coming to mind so let’s jump into the best ways to stay safe and the art of avoidance.
1. Planning Ahead
One of the best ways to navigate a stressful situation is to have an exit plan for common situations. Not all scenarios will let you easily escape but the majority of day to day actions can be prepped with a basic plan. It doesn’t even have to be more than a general escape plan or seeing the exits as you walk into a certain place. Sitting in traffic or being stuck in your vehicle is one of the rare circumstances where you may not be able to evade easily without abandoning your vehicle or making drastic decisions. There will always be certain situations that will catch us by surprise and planning ahead can be a great start to avoiding a confrontation or dangerous situation altogether.
Rather than worrying about the riots and unrest in Atlanta, I simply took a 20-minute detour around the city and completely took myself out of a possible confrontation. Now don’t get me wrong, I know this seems like a simple concept but it’s almost unfathomable how many new gun owners are out there paranoid after everything happening this year. At the end of the day, it’s important to all be mindful of others.
2. Defusing and Deflecting
Don’t get me wrong, there will always be times where people catch you off guard or make it impossible to easily leave. There’s been a few times where I’ve found myself in situations where avoidance just won’t work. If you find yourself in this position, it’s time to turn on the drunk college version of yourself. People become insanely uncomfortable with people who are overly friendly and outgoing when they have other plans. If you’re stuck, it’s time to start throwing out question after question to whoever you’re unsure about.
Presenting yourself as a friendly person while bringing attention to them will typically be enough to defuse a situation and put the attention onto the people in question rather than on you. I know it sounds insane but being out in the city late at night has proven this works. I’ve been in more dicey predicaments than I care to admit but being positive and turning the attention has saved my ass more than once.
3. Realities of Defending Yourself
If you find yourself in the last resort situation where you are debating about pulling your carry gun, you either made a really poor life choice or it’s just not your day. Between the media, movies, and forums there’s a sense that you’ll always come out on top of the fight. The honest truth is there’s a fairly large probability that if you end up pulling your firearm, you’ll either be shot, stabbed or seriously injured. Doing any force on force sim training will teach you how dangerous self-defense situations can be. After a few practice runs with simunitons, it’s not a guarantee you’ll always survive the fight.
Even when you’re lucky enough to stop the threat and survive a life-threatening encounter, you’ll then have to explain your situation and experience with the police. Typically, this will result in you being detained and taking to the station to give statements and sort everything out. Most self defense situations are extremely fast and violent unlike most action films or the perception of what self defense is to some people.
I know it may seem like I’m bringing up negative assets of concealed carry and don’t get me wrong, I fully understand the risks associated with concealed carrying but I leave home every single day with my firearm. It’s a choice we all make on a daily basis and for most people who conceal carry will never have to use their firearm in self defense. It’s important to remember how crucial it is to avoid unnecessary situations when possible and to defuse the situation whenever you can. Sometimes the only choice is violence to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, but it’s always better to avoid potentially dangerous situations if it’s possible.
Carrying a firearm for self defense is a great way to be independent and self sufficient when it comes to safety, but it’s important to really be honest about the possibility of the outcomes and wrestle with that in your own time and way. It’s important to have a set of standards or Rules of Engagement when you decide to protect yourself or innocent people around you. This is typically a topic that isn’t really touched on in most publishings around the community but it’s definitely important to think about the big picture both good and bad.
Let me know what you think about being realistic about self defense and your skill level when it comes to defending yourself. I think it’s an interesting topic that doesn’t get talked about enough online so let me know in the comments below. If you have questions feel free to shoot me a message on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!