Coolest Head in the Room

Coolest Head in the Room

Carrying a deadly weapon comes with a huge responsibility to be the coolest head in the room. Two of the questions that will be asked in any self defense situation are 1) did the defender start the fight and 2) did the defender do everything possible to avoid it.

If the defender started the fight, even if it started with something as small as a few words, the defender cannot claim self defense. The law doesn’t allow us to pick a fight and then shoot the person with whom we started the fight, even if it escalates from words to weapons.

Likewise, if the defender had the opportunity to walk away before weapons were drawn but did not, the defender cannot claim self defense. Keep in mind, though, that this is only before deadly weapons are introduced. There is no requirement to avoid a confrontation when the attacker is brandishing a deadly weapon.

This is why it’s important to be the coolest head in the room. We as carriers have to learn to let things roll off our backs. Who cares if someone is talking smack? Who cares if a piece of trash is swearing at you? Who cares if a punk wants to start a fight? The bottom line is that you are in relatively little danger of death or great bodily harm; it’s best to just let it go. It’s hard, I know, especially when egos are involved in heated situations. We tend to have a built-in desire to defend ourselves and right wrongs; we just can’t let that happen when we’re armed.

I recently chatted with someone about this very mindset. Prior to carrying he was a bit of a hot-head. He was not the person who would let an insult or injustice go. Now that he carries, however, things have changed. He uses a little bit of psychology on himself. The truth is that he has the ability to end someone’s life but chooses not to. He, therefore, is far more powerful than virtually anyone else he encounters. He also exercises great restraint by choosing not to use that power. That makes him the better person by default and it doesn’t matter what someone else says or does.

From the moment you strap your gun on in the morning until the moment you take it off at night, your top two goals are to stay alive (otherwise you wouldn’t carry a gun) and to not use your weapon (to avoid taking a life or ending up in jail). That’s it. Everything you do during the day must be done from the perspective of those two goals.

Many concealed carriers have found it beneficial to take conflict resolution courses or self defense courses that cover avoidance. These courses put the student in the ‘avoidance’ mindset and offer tools, tips, and tricks to avoid falling into old habits and starting a fight. Any experienced defender whether that experience is with weapons or martial arts will tell you the best way to win a fight is to never get into one in the first place.

It doesn’t matter how you approach the situation or what you tell yourself; the bottom line is that you, as a carrier, have to be the coolest head in the room. You cannot react to petty triggers and you cannot start a fight. The great thing about carrying is that you know you’ll be able protect yourself if someone isn’t as cool-headed as you.