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Old October 13, 2013, 09:09 PM   #1
groverdill
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Life before CC vs. life after CC.

So here I am, a guy about to join the world of concealed carry. I'm not armed just yet. My wife and I plan to buy each other our first guns for Christmas (by the way, that's only 73 days away!). Anyway, as I was sitting at a red light behind one other vehicle, the light changed. Naturally the first car in line wasn't paying attention, so I lightly tapped my horn to let them know the light was green. You all know how that turned out. I got a glaring look in their rear view mirror and a finger out the window. Now, I tapped my horn as lightly as possible, not in a mean way at all, and that's what I got in return. As she (yes, she) drove away I thought to myself, "I won't even be able to do that once I start carrying since it could escalate into a situation". So my question to you folks is, how have you had to alter your behavior since you've been carrying? Avoiding situations is number one on the list, but that's got to be hard to do at first. Is it difficult to keep your ego in check? I'm non-confrontational by nature, but the horn-honk-finger thing has me wondering how much more laid back I'll have to be.
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Old October 13, 2013, 09:46 PM   #2
JohnKSa
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It is not uncommon for people to find that they are more careful when they carry because the act of carrying helps them keep the possible repercussions of their actions in mind.

That said, it's wise to ALWAYS be careful in your interactions with others regardless of whether you are carrying or not. It's unwise to do things that could reasonably be expected to escalate into a violent encounter whether or not you're armed.

"Reasonably" is the key. Honking at someone who is sitting at a green light is not something, in my opinion, that could reasonably be expected to escalate into a violent encounter. It's clearly possible that it might cause an unbalanced person to go over the edge, but it's not reasonable to live your life assuming that everyone is unbalanced and ready to turn violent at the least provocation.

On a lighter note, your story reminds me of my favorite bumper sticker:

Honk if you've never seen an UZI fired out of a car window!
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Old October 13, 2013, 09:49 PM   #3
JERRYS.
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lets say you avoided trouble before... now you will still avoid trouble but have a viable option should you not be able to.
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Old October 14, 2013, 01:11 AM   #4
Rikakiah
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Re: Life before CC vs. life after CC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JERRYS. View Post
lets say you avoided trouble before... now you will still avoid trouble but have a viable option should you not be able to.
I don't carry (I work at a university, so couldn't carry 80% of the time anyway), however, that's the way I see it. What happens differently in the above situation had you been carrying? Nothing. What happens in the above situation if she got out of the car and came at you violently with a weapon and you're unarmed? If you're armed?

A concealed firearm SHOULD change nothing in your life until that moment you or someone in your proximity is in mortal danger.
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Old October 14, 2013, 05:50 AM   #5
spacecoast
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I have no problem reminding someone that they should be driving instead of looking at their phone... and I'm not so careful to tap lightly on the horn.
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Old October 14, 2013, 07:16 AM   #6
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Groverdill I think it is a great question. I find that I am far more likely to ignore behavior that might have caused me to react in the past. Your example is a good one IMO. A tap on the horn to get the attention of the knot head in front of you is one thing, laying on the horn is another. Walking away from potential trouble or avoiding it all together takes far more discipline and self-control than responding to it. So my answer is yes, I believe carrying a weapon increases our responsibility to behave civilly and maturely.
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Old October 14, 2013, 07:32 AM   #7
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An armed society is a polite society...goes both ways, eh?
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Old October 14, 2013, 10:45 AM   #8
Louca
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Something one of the instructors in my CCW class said that I will never forget was, "Getting your CPL should make you a nicer person." And that is generally true. And it doesn't matter if you are carrying. The class taught more about interactions in negative situations and their consequences (physical, emotional, and legal); how avoidance is often times better than confrontation.

And let's face it, when we got our licenses, we signed up to obey a rather strict set of rules (i.e. laws). In Michigan, there are so many things that can get your license taken away or suspended. And none of us here want to have that happen so we, like the OP, are often hyper-aware of anything that could lead to that.

Another thing getting my license has changed in me is situational awareness. It is more of a psychological thing really, but extremely important, especially when wanting to avoid confrontation and be better prepared for it.

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Old October 14, 2013, 01:14 PM   #9
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On a more practical note, I find that my gun will wear out a little hole in the area where my shirts rub against the grip, translating into more of the budget getting spent on clothes. Still worth it...
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Old October 14, 2013, 01:17 PM   #10
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You will be a more reserved person, that is for sure.
btw, welcome aboard.
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Old October 14, 2013, 03:27 PM   #11
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Really the only thing that has changed for me is now I have to put more thought into what to wear, and I look at the front of stores for anti gun signs. I also tend to look to see if I notice any other people carrying. But nothing life changing.
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Old October 14, 2013, 03:37 PM   #12
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I wasn't in the habit of getting into physical confrontations before carrying and I still am not. I wasn't in the habit of getting drunk before, nor am I after. I did not use to go looking for trouble and these days I don't do that either.

These days I wear a size larger pants and some shirts or jackets to make IWB more comfortable and remove printing from my concerns. Some guys carry just fine with current clothing but I chose to be a little looser fitting and not worry about it.
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Old October 14, 2013, 04:46 PM   #13
DaleA
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Quote:
I thought to myself, "I won't even be able to do that once I start carrying since it could escalate into a situation".
I'll go with spacecoast on this one and agree that you can still 'remind' someone where they are and what they should be doing.

When they react like they did THAT is when you decide NOT to do anything about their ill-mannered actions and let it go.

If you want to congratulate yourself on being the bigger person in that situation IMhO you're entitled to do that. If you want to be glad you were prepared (or will be in the future) to handle things had they REALLY over reacted, once again, IMhO go ahead.
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Old October 14, 2013, 05:02 PM   #14
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If I had thought for one second that I'd be a different person carrying a gun than I was before I started to carry one, I'd have never carried one.
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Old October 14, 2013, 05:36 PM   #15
glh17
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I've only been carrying since June and really no situations have come up where I have needed to use or really thought about using my pistol until today. Minor thing but I was pumping gas at a convenience store (middle of the day) and I heard someone cussing up a storm to himself. Looked around and it was a young man on foot. I'm sure this guy had mental problems but I keep an eye on him.

I don't think my behavior has changed. For several years I've gone out of my way to avoid conflict, especially in my automobile. There's a bunch of nuts out there many of whom have guns or knives. I don't want to shoot anyone when it could be avoided and I sure don't want anyone to shoot me. Regardless whether justified or not, it's a life-changing event.
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Old October 14, 2013, 09:59 PM   #16
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Its more slow these days that's for sure, but it isn't only cc that slows a guy down. Kids have that effect as well. The truth is theres been a few people try and provoke me since I started. These misguided fools probably think I let it go because of something else. Wrong as pants on a fish. Now I think more of the outcome, of my family, of the reasons that got me into it in the first place and the truth is one jerk or a few is just not worth it all anymore. Used to that'd be a different story. Yeah ive had to let a few folks off since who royally deserved it, but that's how it has to be sometimes. More slow these days that's for sure.
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Old October 14, 2013, 10:54 PM   #17
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Now escalation has deadly consequences. So it's a good idea to give people lots of slack rather than starting up the escalation slope.
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Old October 14, 2013, 11:18 PM   #18
DaleA
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Quote:
More slow these days that's for sure.
I kind of like that. Slower days means I might have more time to enjoy 'em.
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Old October 15, 2013, 12:53 AM   #19
wpsdlrg
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Excellent topic.

As for myself, I have always been one to maintain awareness of what is around me. Now, since I carry every day, I find that I am even more conscious of this. The same is true for my willingness to get involved in confrontational situations. I have become even more careful - and always mindful of how the most minor event can escalate. Finally, as part of my heightened sense of responsibility while carrying, I am always careful to leave myself an out - an escape route, so to speak. I would never hesitate to back away or simply leave the area, in order to avoid a situation that might escalate.

I'll do virtually anything to avoid having to shoot someone. If it ever came to that (and I saw no way out), I'd do it - but if I can absolutely avoid it, I will. I am proud of the fact that I don't have my ego wrapped up in it.

IMO, the WORST thing that CC can do for a person is to make them "cocky". Cocky and carrying a weapon DO NOT mix well, ever.
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Old October 15, 2013, 12:55 AM   #20
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Life should go on and not change once you start to carry. Life should continue on once you start to carry because you are now armed with the means of defending yourself if some depraved individual deems he wants your world to come to an end.

That is not to infer that you must go out and look for trouble nor does it infer that you should utilize your gun as a first resort...actually it should be a last resort. But, now, you have that option if there is no other means of escape.

It is the hope of all of us that carry that we never have to use our gun other than for target practice and then for cleaning...and of course, the never ending dry practice.
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Old October 15, 2013, 06:54 AM   #21
9ballbilly
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I've CC'd for more than twenty years. As said above I found myself less likely to be goaded into a confrontation and I wasn't an aggressive person to start with. I wholeheartedly agree that "Cocky and carrying" is a very bad idea.

[QUOTE]Honk if you've never seen an UZI fired out of a car window![QUOTE]

My favorite was: Keep honking, I'm reloading.
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Old October 15, 2013, 07:38 AM   #22
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Quote:
An armed society is a polite society...goes both ways, eh?
Sorry, but this is one of the most misunderstood and ludicrous statements about guns that exists.

The quote from Heinlein...

Quote:
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
It basically means that people are living in fear of violence all the time because if they do or say something wrong, they may have to fight for their lives. That isn't being polite. That is fear.

Being armed doesn't make gangsters polite to one another. Being armed doesn't make armies polite to one another, or countries.

It is merely a quote about fictional events of a fictional society. Believing it works in real society is naive. Beyond this Horizon is hardly a good model for society to follow, even if we could.

Quote:
If I had thought for one second that I'd be a different person carrying a gun than I was before I started to carry one, I'd have never carried one.
Absolutely right.
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Old October 15, 2013, 02:27 PM   #23
Glenn E. Meyer
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DNS is quite correct. In the book, the hero - Hamilton Felix - almost has decided to give up carrying as he is sick of the macho 'politeness' gunfights.

He is convinced to keep carrying or he would have to be a deferential wussy to young studs. You could wear an armband which meant you did not engage in 'polite' gunfighting.

The society itself was a genetically stratified tyranny. Not very pleasant. Hamilton was seen as not being a good citizen as he was high quality genetically and didn't breed. He finally hooked up with a rare female who carried - that was discouraged in general. Be the nice lady protected by your male as the norm. She was an experimental genetic type and their hook up was acceptable.

Felix did carry a 1911 as he disdain the ray guns. Young bucks he shot with it were shocked by the bleeding hole as compared to the neat cauterized wound of the blasters.
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Old October 15, 2013, 04:19 PM   #24
markj
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I dont honk, I yell out the window "it isnt gonna get any greener" they usually move.

Why act any different? well unless you are a complete jerk as some are these days.

A smile, a look of confidence will get you far. Besides, we all know each other in my small town.....only one stop sign anyways...
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Old October 15, 2013, 04:50 PM   #25
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I find myself more aware and paying more attention to those around me. I find I have more confidence in what rare personal conflicts I find myself in. This, contrary to some expectation means I am less likely to get hot headed or rash and more likely to be able to de-escalate and calm the situations down. I work in customer service at a repair shop that also handle police impound and towing, so I deal with angry people all the time. Knowing that I have an edge they don't know about helps me to stay above the petty insults and anger they throw sometimes. I believe most ego and machismo that leads to fights is caused by fear and insecurities of one type or another. I find myself less subject to such fear.

( I must say that conflicts are truly rare, even in my position. I can count on one hand the number of serious ones I have ever had in four years here.)
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