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Old August 11, 2012, 11:18 PM   #1
SirHerc
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I Am New To Concealed Carry Got 1 Question

I have my permit coming. I am in my 40's and been around guns my whole life. Had much training for real world use of weapons, God forbid, should ever need it. Iv taken many firearms safety classes including the one for my permit. I am getting old! I work with people who have chemical dependencies. I go to the worst parts of town at the worst hours for my job. So, for the past 40 years I have never regularly carried a gun (excluding my M16 back in the day) or felt like I should. I am comfortable with weapons and having one on me. Iv decided to carry now because I am aging, I am diabetic now, I work job with some criminal danger to it, I have my special needs son with me often and the area I live in seems to be turning to CRAP more and more each day. Yes I am confident that should I need to use it I wont hesitate.

So, all this said, does anyone have any good advice for someone new to concealed carry that trainers, instructors, gunny sergeants, dads and granddads may not have told me. Again, I have training and I know how to be safe and responsible but I am always open to more insight and instruction especially when you consider the serious ramifications of concealed carry and / or having to use ones firearm for defense.
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Old August 11, 2012, 11:38 PM   #2
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My best advice to you is to get some CCW specific training. Without knowing what area of the country you are in I cannot reccomend any trainers, but if there is a local specific firearms forum that would be a good place to ask (ie floridashooters net if you are in Florida or the ar15.com hometown forum for your state). If Shivworks has a class coming to your area I highly reccomend them since they cover a lot of stuff that most classes are just now starting to look at. Things like, managing possible threats verbally before the fight starts, integrating hand to hand into your draw stroke, force on force training against fully resisting oponents at close/grappling range, in fight weapons access (drawing your gun while someone is trying to beat you unconscious), etc.

Second I would suggest you get into IDPA competition after you have had some training since it will give a chance to test out your weapon and carry gear under stress. Most ranges I go to will not let you draw out of a holster and one even requires us to only fire one round per second. Obviously in real life you will most likely both be drawing from a holster and shooting much faster then one round per second.
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Old August 11, 2012, 11:56 PM   #3
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Find someone that already bought 100 holsters, and try theirs. That way you can break the chain of always buying 100 holsters before you settle on one.

Oh, and your initial thought will be to carry the biggest gun you can conceal. After a year, at least 50% carry their lightest gun that prints the least.

Most of your clothes will no longer fit you. Unless you're not carrying.

Half of what you read on the Internet is bogus .

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Old August 12, 2012, 09:00 AM   #4
ClydeFrog
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Best advice...

I'd start off with a small simple DA only revolver or pistol then move up to a larger caliber(.45acp, .44spl, .357magnum)...

A stainless steel Ruger SP101 .357magnum revolver(5 shot, DA only) or a LCR(.357magnum) can help you learn the basics. These snub revolvers or a S&W model 442/638/642 .38spl are small, lightweight & can be ordered with a bright lasergrip: www.crimsontrace.com .
A DA only pistol like a SIG P239 DAK or a P290 may help but I'd buy a new revolver first.
You can buy a .45acp or a .357sig(my first choice for a defense caliber).
For top defense ammunition, see; Corbon, Speer Gold Dot, Ranger T/T Series, Golden Saber, Hornady(Critical Duty).

Only use factory rounds for a carry-defense weapon; NO reloads or hand loaded ammunition. Clean & inspect your pistol often too. Dust, grit, crud, etc can damage a carry pistol.
Get skill training & join the NRA too, www.NRA.org . They work to protect your 2A rights.

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Old August 12, 2012, 09:45 AM   #5
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He said he is not new to shooting or to guns, just new to concealed carry.

OP, choose a handgun or two that you are already comfortable with. Personally, I would recommend at least one small gun that you can conceal under the widest range of conditions, and one medium or full size gun that you can reasonably conceal.

Some mind weight more than others.

Personally, I have been carrying for five years, now, and still prefer medium or full-size. Typically, for me this means a full-size (with outer shirt or jacket) M&P, or a compact (with loose t-shirt) M&P; but I sometimes carry a 5" 1911, and because it is so thin, it can conceal under some loose t-shirts.

Generally speaking, grip height affects concealability more than slide or barrel length do (until you get into longslides or 6" barrels). Thickness impacts carry garments more than length (again, in general terms).

I find strong side IWB to generally be the best compromise for concealability and accessibility. Some prefer pocket carry, but that can pose serious challenges if you spend a lot of time seated. Some like smartcarry; I tried it with a PPS, but found it physically uncomfortable. (My wife claims good genetics...)

Different carry modes should be tested in different positions to determine accessibility. Some carry positions can be blocked by seat backs; some may not work due to limited range of motion in joints. My father can't rotate his shoulder enough to draw from strong side IWB, so he has to use a crossdraw IWB or front pocket carry.

Once you identify preferred carry mode(s), and ideally get to try some friends' holsters, you may need to modify your wardrobe. A purpose-designed belt, that doesn't flex or sag much will help distribute weight and keep the gun from flopping around. For IWB, you may need to buy one pants size bigger. For pocket carry, you may need pants with bigger pockets. Outer shirts with a seam structure and pattern tend to conceal better. Solids can work, but will need to be structured.

Good luck.
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Old August 12, 2012, 10:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
I am always open to more insight and instruction especially when you consider the serious ramifications of concealed carry and / or having to use ones firearm for defense.
I don't think the OP is asking HOW or WHAT to carry...I think he is asking about the WHY of carrying.

I highly suggest you go to any reputable book store and purchase/read a copy of "In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection" by Massad Ayoob.
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Old August 12, 2012, 01:31 PM   #7
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SirHerc, . . . allowing that your training gets you "up to snuff" in the ability and safety department, . . . I can only see at this point that you need one or more of the "finer points" added.

The first and most important is the weapon you carry: it needs to be big enough to do "your" job, . . . and light/small enough not to be an impediment to your tasks.

That said, . . . take a real good look at those available to you. If you have an 8 inch barrelled S&W model 29 in .44 Mag, . . . that is probably not a good choice unless you are the size of Clint Eastwood or the Duke.

Conversely, . . . a .25 double derringer may be too little gun in many gun fights.

The most important decision about the gun, . . . is it big enough to win the gunfight I most likely would get into?

My decision at 175 lbs / 6'1" with bad knee, arthritis, and minor heart problems, . . . is a full size / commander size 1911, all steel, 8+1 rounds, carried C&L, . . .

It is simply because sometimes I have to go to a rough part of some places where there rough people who play rough games and play for keeps. I have a caliber big enough and with enough magazine to compete should I get involved. My Colt Det Spec .38 just doesn't have enough muscle, . . . and my high capacity 9mm auto only has capacity, . . . not power.

If they made an 8 round .357 revolver no thicker than my 1911, . . . I would own and carry it, . . . so my 1911 is perfect for me.

You need to find what is perfect for you. Most likely, . . . it SHOULD BE the single handgun you regularly shoot the best with. After all, . . . you cannot miss quick enough or good enough to be a winner in a gunfight.

May God bless,
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Old August 12, 2012, 01:42 PM   #8
Creeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirHerc
does anyone have any good advice for someone new to concealed carry that trainers, instructors, gunny sergeants, dads and granddads may not have told me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MLeake
Once you identify preferred carry mode(s), and ideally get to try some friends' holsters, you may need to modify your wardrobe. A purpose-designed belt, that doesn't flex or sag much will help distribute weight and keep the gun from flopping around. For IWB, you may need to buy one pants size bigger. For pocket carry, you may need pants with bigger pockets. Outer shirts with a seam structure and pattern tend to conceal better. Solids can work, but will need to be structured.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight55
You need to find what is perfect for you. Most likely, . . . it SHOULD BE the single handgun you regularly shoot the best with. After all, . . . you cannot miss quick enough or good enough to be a winner in a gunfight.
These are probably the most useful responses to the specific question in this thread.
Having a gun... and carrying a gun every day, comfortably and securely are not the same things. Plan accordingly.

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Old August 12, 2012, 02:32 PM   #9
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I think you need to address the mental side of CCW. Since you made a comment about prior military service, I'll assume you've been indoctrinated to the potential of shooting another human. How well that stuck and if you retained any of that attitude may make some difference if you need to use your concealed firearm at some point.
IMHO There's a big step between being comfortable having, carrying, or handling a gun and pulling the trigger during a deadly confrontation. There are a lot of pistol packers who have NEVER fired any kind of gun at ANY living creature. I shoot stuff for a living(trapping and fur harvest), to prevent loss of assets, and during the process of sport hunting and procuring meat for my table. I wouldn't say this makes me more able or willing to shoot in self defense but there is some level of desensitization when you deal with killing almost daily.
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Old August 12, 2012, 03:27 PM   #10
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I doubt shooting a deer is the same mentally as shooting a human. There is a type of person that will be okay with killing or shooting a human and there is a type that will have problems after. Unfortunately no one will be able to say which they are with 100% certainty till they get there. Most who have been in combat in military probably know how they felt after their first kill. Most likely it was different than they thought.

I think I can live with killing someone who intends to kill me. I do not KNOW that, but I am pretty confident in my feelings of I want to be alive and its me or them.
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Old August 12, 2012, 07:12 PM   #11
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Actually there is some research showing that hunters do a bit better in combat at first because they are experienced at "shooting for blood" and do not suffer as badly from the equivalent of buck fever the first time they have to shoot a human. Fortunately it seems that city slickers (I have to count myself in that category) catch up fairly quickly. It does seem to make a difference though.

That reminds me I need to call a friend about going hog hunting.

I thought of some more advice: Everybody has their favorite carry style. That is partly because different body types make carry in different places easier from a concealment standpoint and more comfortable. You will have to experiment to see what works best for you.
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Old August 12, 2012, 10:09 PM   #12
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SirHerc,

On awareness and tactics:

1. Don't do the three stupids. That is be in stupid places at stupid times with stupid people.

2. Recognize when you are in bad areas keep your eyes open accordingly but don't fall asleep at home plate.

3. If things don't feel right, they usually aren't.

4. Things like speed reloading, tac-loads, malfunction drills, etc.. are need far less than just shooting strait with what you have in the gun. Practice accordingly.

5. If it's a nutjob trying to mass murder presume they have a 'vest' and aim for other regions they have exposed.

Guns and equipment:

1. Ammo is cheap, your life isn't. So shoot till the threat stops being a threat and not one shot earlier.

2. Skill is so much more important than simi-auto .vs. revolver or 9mm .vs. .45. I'll take a crack shot with a .38 over a duffer with a 14 shot .45 auto any day (but if you are also a crack shot with a wonder-nine or 14 shot .45 I won't complain either.)

3. Good simple equipment that has been battle tested beats complex poorly thought out or tested equipment everytime.

And lastingly, it can happen anytime, any place, so if you leave it at home it won't do you a dang bit of good. Take your safety equipment with you wherever you can legally carry it.

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Old August 12, 2012, 11:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
SirHerc

So, all this said, does anyone have any good advice for someone new to concealed carry that trainers, instructors, gunny sergeants, dads and granddads may not have told me. Again, I have training and I know how to be safe and responsible but I am always open to more insight and instruction especially when you consider the serious ramifications of concealed carry and / or having to use ones firearm for defense.
Have you considered taking the NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home (PPOTH) Basic and Advanced course?

It is divided into two levels (PPOTH Basic and PPOTH Advanced). Basic is a nine-hour course and offers the essential knowledge and skills that must be mastered in order to carry, store, and use a firearm safely and effectively for personal protection outside the home. Upon completion of Basic, students may choose to attend Advanced, which is an additional five hours of range training and teaches advanced shooting skills.

The Lesson III of the Personal Protection In and Outside The Home which teaches Firearms and the Law, and Legal Aspects of Self-Defense is conducted by an attorney licensed to practice law within the state in which this course is given and who is familiar with this area of the law or a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) who possesses an intermediate or higher Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certificate granted within the state, or an individual currently certified to instruct in this area of the law by the state in which this course is presented.

The link below will allow you to see if this course is offered near you.
http://www.nrainstructors.org/searchcourse.aspx
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Old August 12, 2012, 11:56 PM   #14
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Congrats on making the choice to carry. I have been carrying for over a year now and the advice I can give is as follows:

1. Always carry, everyday and everywhere it is legal to do so.

2. Know your carry piece inside and out and be able to diagnose and fix a problem in seconds.

3. Shoot your carry gun often and keep it clean after each range outing.

4. Don't go and tell everyone you meet that you carry a pistol. Only tell those that need to know. I.E. The wife, and any close friends that you feel you can trust with this information.

5. Go through your wardrobe and see what clothes no longer fit. You will need new shirts, trust me.

6. You will buy several holsters finding the right one, we all did.

7. If you have chosen a carry piece already, great. If not don't do what most of us did. I went through about 15 guns before I found the "right one" for me. Rent guns if you are able and shoot as many as you can.

8. Don't buy in to the caliber wars on this site, choose what you are comfortable with.

9. Lastly, always respect the permit you carry and the responsibility it entails. If you have a temper, leave it at home. Learn your state laws and memorize them. Don't ever drink alcohol and carry, it will bite you in the ass should you ever need to shoot someone.

Congrats again and stay safe!
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Old August 13, 2012, 08:23 AM   #15
SirHerc
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Quote:
I think you need to address the mental side of CCW. Since you made a comment about prior military service, I'll assume you've been indoctrinated to the potential of shooting another human. How well that stuck and if you retained any of that attitude may make some difference if you need to use your concealed firearm at some point.
This is not an issue for me. Let me qualify this by saying that I DO NOT DEVALUE HUMAN LIFE. That stated, if I am ever in a him / them or me situation its going to always be me. I feel that’s a decision you have to make before you ever buy a weapon gun, knife, club or rock.

All the responses so far have been exceptionally helpful but several have given me a great deal of focus I had been lacking.

Quote:
Lastly, always respect the permit you carry and the responsibility it entails. If you have a temper, leave it at home. Learn your state laws and memorize them. Don't ever drink alcohol and carry, it will bite you in the ass should you ever need to shoot someone.
I asked this question because I have been struggling whit the decision to carry because I am a family man and it is an awesome responsibility. All my concerns about CC came back to the same conclusion. I am going to CC because I want to see my family at the end of every day. I have a clear plan now. Leave everything at home and only take my work stuff, insulin, blood tester, food, weapon, training and most importantly responsibility with me. I may make a card for my wallet I can put in a photo flap behind my permit that says this. Also, you will be pleased to know that since I am diabetic I never drink, EVER, been dry since 1999 when I was diagnosed.

Quote:
Don't go and tell everyone you meet that you carry a pistol. Only tell those that need to know. I.E. The wife, and any close friends that you feel you can trust with this information... And lastingly, it can happen anytime, any place, so if you leave it at home it won't do you a dang bit of good. Take your safety equipment with you wherever you can legally carry it.
Were you a Gunnery Sergeant? Because, that is gunny wisdom, I love it.

Quote:
I highly suggest you go to any reputable book store and purchase/read a copy of "In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection" by Massad Ayoob
Trying to find a PDF version of it. If anyone has one or knows where to get one please post a link.
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Old August 13, 2012, 07:55 PM   #16
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Sir Hec:

I still don't have a clear picture of your previous training, but it sounds like it was more firearms safety and firearms marksmanship.

There is a huge difference between being able to shoot a gun, and being able to defend yourself ("fight") with a gun.

Irrespective of your training, however, and irrespective (to some extent) of where you live, you would benefit from an "immersion level" handgun self defense course such as those taught by Tom Givens (Rangemaster), James Yeager (Tactical Response), Clint Smith (Thunder Ranch), John Farnam, Massad Ayoob, et al.

Some of these guys have mobile training schedule -- they may be coming to a town near you. If not, there are scores of other top rank instructors. All will cover defensive use of a handgun, but all the good ones will also include strong doses of mindset, awareness, avoidance and de-escalation -- in addition to "where do we shoot attackers if the foregoing fails to work.

Most of these schools charge ~ $400 for a two day class. Clint Smith & Ayoob can, and do, usually command a higher fee.

If you'll post your geographic location, I'm sure members here can offer some specific recommendations.
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Old August 13, 2012, 08:06 PM   #17
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K.I.S.S., good gunleather, and LOTS of practice under simulated stress such as shooting against a friend.
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Old August 15, 2012, 12:24 PM   #18
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I like to read about how bad guys carried out their evil plans. And then ask myself if I could or would have been able to respond appropriately.
Video surveillance of people getting robbed are great as well. Not that getting robbed is great, but that you can get a real time stamp and distances that were involved.
I saw a video of a man getting robbed in his drive way as he was returning home. As soon as he opened his truck door there was a revolver in his face.
The BG said give me your money, and the Vic reach back into his truck to get his wallet.
After watching that video, I got a pistol magnet that can be mounted anywhere. I put an LC9 ready to go on it, and I practice.
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Old August 17, 2012, 09:52 PM   #19
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One last piece of advice...

It's the code of the west
You must honor your neighbor
The code of the west
To your own self be true
The code of the west
You must do unto others
Do unto others before they do it unto you

and..

You don't draw with the stranger
If he's faster than you
You've sung your last ditty
You've kissed your last pretty
And played yer last hand if you do!

Ah.. Roger Miller! From Waterhole Number 3.

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Old August 18, 2012, 08:55 AM   #20
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When to Draw

The concealed gun sure is a big responsibility...I also volunteer in a bad area, my instructor, tho, told me a great bit of advice.....

"If you use that gun, you WILL be arrested, possibly lose the gun, possibly be sued by the family and lose your house, certainly live with the memory of having hurt or killed another human....so you pull that gun when none of that matters..."

So yes, I carry, I practice, am ready to use it....but I'm going to walk away, cross the street, do anything to avoid having to....
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Old August 18, 2012, 10:28 AM   #21
TheNocturnus
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Quote:
The concealed gun sure is a big responsibility...I also volunteer in a bad area, my instructor, tho, told me a great bit of advice.....

"If you use that gun, you WILL be arrested, possibly lose the gun, possibly be sued by the family and lose your house, certainly live with the memory of having hurt or killed another human....so you pull that gun when none of that matters..."

So yes, I carry, I practice, am ready to use it....but I'm going to walk away, cross the street, do anything to avoid having to....
What a great first post. I like that quote your instructor said. Good advice all over this thread.
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Old August 18, 2012, 11:26 AM   #22
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Practice…

Then practice some more…

Draw from concealment, target acquisition, rapid sight alignment, both hands, strong hand only, weak hand only, malfunction clearing, reloading “hot or cold” firearm, drills - double tap, double tap followed by head shot, multiple targets, differing distances, moving targets, you moving backward, lateral and forward, use of cover, low light situations, room clearing, shoot in IDPA competition, additional training, etc., etc.

If you practice, as much as you should, you may need to think about reloading, since it appears you don’t have some “department” which will furnish you with practice rounds.
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Old August 18, 2012, 11:28 AM   #23
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+1 StlGuy - good one!
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Old August 18, 2012, 12:01 PM   #24
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Not to be a salesman, but...

Quote:
...and LOTS of practice under simulated stress...
You may try out pistol competition such as IDPA. It mainly focuses on "practical defensive" scenarios, such as drawing from concealment and engaging "enemies." Even though it is competition, it puts the shooter under stress. Also, it's likely that there is a chapter relatively close to you as it is an international association.

From the IDPA website: "The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is the governing body of a shooting sport that simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters. It was founded in 1996 as a response to the desires of shooters worldwide. The organization now boasts membership of more than 17,008, including members in 50 foreign countries."

http://www.idpa.com/

As other people mentioned, I'd also recommend reading Massad Ayoob's book. I'm not aware if it has been released as an ebook, but check out sites like amazon.

Best,

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Old August 18, 2012, 01:33 PM   #25
Woody55
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Walk away from anything that could lead to an altercation. Retreat. Be timid until you have absolutely no choice.

Accept insults. Ignore rants.

Because anything can turn from words, to standing too close, to a shove and downward. And you are going to have to draw your weapon so it can't be taken from you.

You don't want to be involved in an incident that started with words or a gesture or something stupid.
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