CCW Weekend: Escalated Conflicts

Guns and Gear | Contributor

By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters

One of the best self-defense and concealed carry tips anyone should learn? Avoid conflict whenever and wherever possible. You aren’t the police, you aren’t Judge Judy, and it’s probably best if you let the small stuff slide.

Yes, yes, there’s the principle of the thing and it’s not that some guy wasn’t a jerk for cutting you off in traffic, but getting into arguments with people over trivial matters never really comes to good.

If you monitor news reports about defensive shootings, most stories seem to boil down into certain themes, some familiar tropes that repeat themselves. The particulars may change, but the basic theme remains the same. For instance, “home invader shot” or “man robs business, stopped by concealed carrier/off-duty officer” or something to that effect.

Another is that of escalated conflicts. The basic format goes something like this:

Party A (or Parties A) does something objected to by Party (or Parties) B. Party B informs Party A of their displeasure. Party A tells Party B off. Eventually, one threatens the other and sometimes tragedy ensues.

Numerous examples can be found.

For instance, there was the Peach Cobbler Shooting earlier this year. In February this year, the trial of Curtis Reeves began Reeves shot and killed Chad Oulson in January 2014, according to Fox 13 Tampa Bay. Reeves and Oulson began arguing in a movie theater, resulting in Oulson throwing popcorn and a cellphone at Reeves, prompting him to draw and fire. In July of this year, Michael Drejka shot and killed Markeis McGlockton in Pinellas County, Fla. The cause of the argument? A parking space.

Just recently, two men in Abilene, Texas, were engaged in an argument with a neighbor over a mattress in an alley that was supposed to have gone in a dumpster. The argument escalated, resulting in death threats on both sides and culminating in Aaron Howard, 37, being shot to death by John Miller and his son Michael Miller. They are both facing first-degree murder charges, according to the Ft. Worth Star Telegram. Video of the incident, filmed by Howard’s fiancé, went viral after she shared it with police and local news.

What do all of these incidents have in common, besides alleged criminal use of firearms? Arguments that were needlessly escalated. One over peach cobbler, one over standing in line in a movie theater, one over a parking space and another about a trashed mattress. If anyone involved in these incidents had decided it wasn’t worth it to get in a fight over, none of these incidents would have occurred and three people would still be alive.

This is the sort of thing that should be obvious to everyone, but just doesn’t seem to sink in for some people. Don’t be that guy, and you’ll likely stay safe.

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.

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