Deciding when to stand and fight
I have seen several threads lately where the issue of when to take a stand has been raised. I feel this is a critical aspect of understanding the responsibilities one has as a concealed carrier.
Manging one's temper and avoiding situations that can escalate into a fight is far more important than what caliber hollow-point you carry.
"For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill."
I much prefer to fight my battles by proxy. This may not sound "manly" to many posters here, but it is certainly much safer for me and my family. I know when I get the feeling that I want to puff out my chest, make a rude hand gesture, or call someone names, I need to find a proxy.
I see situations that end up in a fight or, worse, a gunfight, and wonder how else it could have been handled. Even drug dealers are smart enough to find arrogant "tough guys" to actually sell the product for them (their proxy), so they can avoid the dangers that come with defending a sales territory - the most dangerous aspect of the black market.
Why fight with your neighbor if you can invoke a proxy that you've already paid for with your taxes? Use the legal system or law enforcement.
Why be confrontational with coworkers when you can solicit support from other colleagues and use the management chain to deal with your concerns?
Why confront a neighbor on your property or your porch when can call 911 from the safety of your home?
Why confront strangers with the ubiquitous "What's your problem?" attitude when you can quietly slip away?
I even used a proxy in a potential bar fight a few years ago. I was in the Caribbean drinking with some buddies, and one of the group managed to get himself entangled in a tough guy contest with a couple of huge palookas. He was motioning for us to come bail him out. Yes, he was dumb enough to think I was going to risk a beat-down because of his mouth.
I simply asked for the bar manager, showed him our large bar bill, and said I wanted to settle up - leaving a $100 tip. He and a couple bartenders marched over and promptly tossed out the two big palookas and escorted us out to make an escape.
My buddy asked why I didn't come to his rescue. I said, "I did. I sent the manager. I'm sure as heck not going to risk a beating because you're a fool."
He asked, "What if they wouldn't intervene?"
I replied, "I would have called you an ambulance."
"Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate."
You may feel cocky because you tote a handgun under your shirt, but it's not a good replacement for avoiding the fight in the first place.