I spent the better part of yesterday watching the full version of this Thunder Ranch video on shotgun defense. Actually, it was only about twenty minutes. But it SEEMED to take up most of my day. Why can’t Clint Smith look me in the eye and stop talking like he’s popped a couple of Black Beauties? Still, the man knows his stuff. One of my prime takeaways: assume a commanding position and most attackers will back off, whether you have a firearm pointed at their vital organs or not. That said, if bad guys ALWAYS backed-off in that situation, hardly anyone would carry a gun. Or would they? As the Supreme Court of the United States considers the legality of Chicago’s handgun ban, the question “to carry or not to carry, I’m gonna cap yo’ ass” (kidding) has taken center stage. Down in Evansville (Indiana), columnist Harden Rathgeber’s faced a heap of blow-back for his pro-Chi Town gun control stance. To “prove” that he’s not just blowing smoke (or smoking blow), Rathgeber reminds readers he lived in The Windy City, where he faced dangerous situations and lived to tell the tale. Without a gun. Question: is Rathgeber lucky or smart? Make the jump for the writer’s list of close encounters of the “say hello to my friends Smith & Wesson (or not)” kind.

n My apartment was broken into and robbed three times.

n I helped break up a couple of fights and even got stabbed with a broken pool cue.

n I was standing in a bar drinking a beer when the guy next to me said “I am going to cut you man because you have been talking about me.” I had never seen him before. I assured him that I had never said anything about him. I felt no fear or nervousness. We became friendly. When we parted he even asked if there was someone I wanted him to cut. I replied “not today, man.” We both left and I never saw him again.

n One time a guy accused me of being with his wife. I think I was the only guy in the neighborhood who wasn’t. They had marital problems. I showed him where I lived and told him to come see me if he wanted further discussion. He never came.

n A couple of guys jumped me on the street because of the views I had expressed on the Vietnam War.

Wow. Inviting a cuckolded husband to sort it out in your home? I’m not saying Rathegeber was asking for trouble, but he sure as hell knocked on the door.

“Each experience helped me learn a valuable lesson,” Rathgeber asserts. “There were no guns used in any of these incidents. None of these incidents caused me to even think of buying a gun.”

That doesn’t sound like a “lesson” to me. It sounds like a man who considers himself immortal, and makes highly contentious political statements based on personal, anecdotal evidence. In fact, that’s exactly the kind of thing you don’t want to say in an unfamiliar Chicago bar, whether packing heat or not. Know what I mean?

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