There’s an old saying that the best way to survive a gunfight is to never get into it in the first place. That’s very sound advice for those of us who carry a firearm for personal protection.
In our increasingly litigious society, if we can avoid having to use our guns, our lives will be much less complicated — and a whole lot less expensive. Reminder: There’s really no such thing as a good, cheap lawyer. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Staying out of trouble starts with self-awareness. Keeping your cool and not allowing your emotions to get the better of you can save you a lot of pain. Refusing to be sucked into a road-rage confrontation is a good example. Regardless of who started the squabble, you’re the one with the gun.
Awareness of Your Surroundings
OK, you go about your business, avoiding confrontations and basically behaving like the good, solid (and courteous) citizen that you are. But even then, recent public shootings have shown that there is no such thing as a safe space. After all, that’s one of the very reasons most of us carry every day, everywhere we legally can.
Look at some of the protests that have occurred recently, many of which have taken place in business and commercial areas not normally associated with trouble. Violence can erupt anywhere — and quite suddenly.
We also know that every city has its high-crime areas that are the source of news reports week after week. Chicago has more than its share of such neighborhoods, but I’m sure readers know of similar locations in their own cities or towns.
Enter at Your Own Risk
The shooting last weekend in a Kansas City bar reminded me that some individual businesses or social venues can be more dangerous than others. According to police reports (FOX News):
“Xavier Alatorre, 23, was taken into custody Sunday afternoon after a shooting at the Tequila KC Bar in Kansas City, Kansas, which left four people dead and five others wounded.”
As the Kansas City Star reported, around 11:00 p.m., the suspect threw a cup at the bartender and subsequently was kicked out with the help of four people. Later, at around 1:30 a.m. (the bar’s last call), the suspect came back with another man, and both opened fire.
I doubt that the patrons at the Tequila KC Bar expected to be in the middle of a shooting. And it’s easy for us to say that when the eventual suspect first caused trouble and was forcibly ejected, it should have been a warning sign.
Sure, we have the advantage of hindsight, but it is still worth imagining what you would do in a similar situation. After the initial dust-up, would you have stuck around? Or would you have called it a night? Just a thought.
‘Is This Really a Good Idea?’
It’s impossible to predict when and where bad things will happen. Every situation is different. But let’s be honest: We all know of some establishments that are simply more trouble-prone than others. I’m just suggesting that you acknowledge that reality.
Bottom line, whether a bar, a political event or even some music festival, before you put yourself into a situation that has a higher potential for violence, just ask yourself if the reward is worth the risk.
Be smart. Be safe.
About John Caile
John Caile, contributing writer for USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine, has more than 35 years of experience in concealed carry training and practical handgun shooting skills. As communications director for the Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee, John was instrumental in passing Minnesota’s landmark concealed carry permit law. Certified through the NRA as an instructor of Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Home Firearm Safety and Personal Protection in the Home, John continues his lifelong activism for gun owners and their rights in Palm Coast, Florida. He has appeared on national talk radio and network and public television and is frequently published in the press.