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By Dan S.

My wife was in the hospital (again, she has a frequent flier card). The power was out at my house for the third day now. I figured I might as well go to work since the nurses were sick of seeing me and at least the office had heat and light. And oh yeah, I had work to do. I was grumpy . . .

I was driving my normal route to work in my own little world, thinking about my wife in the hospital, the cats at home, what I was going to eat for dinner, etc. After a while, I noticed I was behind a car going about 15 MPH below the posted speed limit. The rest of the street was vacant and devoid of traffic. I gave the driver of the car friendly toot on the horn to let them know that they were driving a little slower than was acceptable. It was early, maybe they hadn’t had their caffeine yet, I don’t know.

We came to a red light, and that’s when the occupants of the slow vehicle all got out and started to walk up to my car. They did not look friendly. Crap.

I had a lot of (supposedly) good reasons not to get a CCW permit. It was a huge hassle. I had to take a course (of course). I had to make an appointment with the county sheriff. Cops would give me an extra hard time if I got pulled over. A gun was one more thing I had to carry around with me everywhere. Would I ever use it? Of course not, so why bother? What if I did something wrong by mistake? Boom! Instant felon, just add gun. It wasn’t worth the aggravation.

I didn’t really have time to evaluate my life choices; the people walking up to my car weren’t coming to welcome me to the neighborhood. My stomach had taken up residence in my big toe. Fortunately for me, there were no cars behind me, so into reverse I went, and away I sped. I was lucky.

Once I got to the office, I calmed down a bit and did some thinking. That little incident was a wake-up call for me. What if I hadn’t been able to drive away? What if they had attacked? What if they had weapons? What if my wife had been with me? There were half a dozen ways that situation could have gotten much worse, and all over a little horn honk.

I thought back to my days in the Navy. As a nuclear operator, we were constantly training for situations and casualties that would almost certainly never happen. Almost. The almost was what we trained for, because sometimes s**t happens that we have no control over. You better damn well be prepared, keep cool, and think fast. I wasn’t adequately prepared.

That little incident quickly changed my entire mindset. I had a responsibility to protect the lives and safety of myself and my family, and I needed to start taking it seriously. As I was sitting with my wife later that night, I signed up for a CCW class on the upcoming weekend. I made an appointment with the sheriff to get my license the following Monday.

Now, just a few short months later, I feel naked if I go anywhere without my gun. I try to “keep my head on a swivel” as they used to say on the boat. I read, I learn, and I practice. Because sometimes s**t happens.

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  1. Here’s a thought.

    Next time do not give the driver a “friendly toot” on your horn just because you are in a pissy mood and want him to drive faster

    You don’t need a CCW to exercise common sense.

    • There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little honk. Its disgusting how quickly you jump to the defense of thugs with criminal intent.

      • And I have a legal right to walk into a biker bar and shout “Which one of you pussies is riding the blue bike?”

        Doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

        In the suburbs people don’t generally try to kick your ass over a horn toot or waiting too long to decide what you want in the Starbucks line. In other places, or with people from other backgrounds, they do.

        Is it right? Nope. Is it civilized? Nope. Do those facts change the reality of the way some people act? Nope.

        • “And I have a legal right to walk into a biker bar and shout “Which one of you pussies is riding the blue bike?”;

          The bikers I’ve hung out with would probably laugh. 🙂

      • They should probably stop walking down dark alleys alone.

        See here’s the thing: you don’t have to be wrong to get in trouble. Honking at people because you’re annoyed that they’re not going fast enough for you is asking for trouble.

        • “They should probably stop walking down dark alleys alone.”

          Probably…. but if they live down that alley, or have a reason to go down it, they have the right to travel down that alley without being assaulted…. and that’s why people carry guns.

          “Honking at people because you’re annoyed that they’re not going fast enough for you is asking for trouble.”

          No, it’s not. People honk their horn all the time without there being violence. It is extreme stupidity to expect violence or for someone to get violent over that. If someone honking their horn at you upsets you enough to think about violence, please go shoot yourself.

        • *slow clap*
          way to blame the victim

          for years, my favorite bike path lead down an alley, somewhat obscured from view.
          what if i was, in fact a woman, and someone had stopped me? would it be my fault i got assaulted? hell no.

          • Just because someone was a victim of a criminal doesn’t mean the victim didn’t do something stupid. If you do something stupid, do you deserve to be raped or killed? Nope. But you do deserve to be criticized for putting yourself at unnecessary risk.

            By the way, “blame the victim” is a phrase coined by the academic left to stop anyone from giving serious consideration to moynihan’s prescient 1965 report on the decline of the black family. The tactic worked, unfortunately, and now the black family – and the white family, too – are in much, much worse shape. I’d prefer to discuss things frankly rather than shutting up because someone is offended by the truth. It’s better for everyone concerned.

    • Seriously? If they were going the speed limit that’s one thing but 15mph under? Honk away my friend, because that’s absurd.

      • If I lived anywhere near NYC I’d somehow figure out a way to attach my break line to my car horn!

      • I’ve got a bumper sticker on the back of my car that says “Horn broke, watch for finger”

    • Good advice. I don’t hit the horns when someone is driving down the 2-lane highway at 40MPH (55MPH speed limit). I just soot them as I go by. Sorry, I needed to accelerate to pass you, I didn’t feel like downshifting, and I only had 10psi of boost when I hit the throttle.

    • Good point Paul, BUT….

      I had a VERY similar encounter to the one above, except the antagonist was an over-the-hill ex-Hell’s Angel type on an old Honda CB750 (or similar bike), and my only offense was apparently following too close. Son of a bitch tried to start a fight with me through my open driver’s side window, fortunately I was able to eject him from the driver’s compartment, put the car in gear and drive away. Car was slow enough he still was able to chase me for a few yards and give the back window a hell of a whack. This incident occurred on a peaceful Saturday morning at an intersection with Highway 7 in Lake Hamilton, Arkansas…in 1992.

      Again, my only crime was closing up to pass in an old VW wabbit, apparently. No horn, headlights or anything. Yes I suspect he was on PCP or something of the sort. Yes he was crazy. Yes I was scared. and HELL YES, I started carrying a weapon (huge bowie knife) under the seat (illegal as hell at that time, but such incidents have a real way of adjusting your worries about legal issues.)

      A lot has changed since then, but the most important thing is that I’m generally more aware of everything and I try to think of possibilities, ins and outs and such regardless of where I am. Naturally it’s become much more second-nature.

      And no, I don’t honk at slowpokes – flash my lights maybe, and only on the open highway at that.


        • Well, I’m fairly sure it WAS an old Honda CB (I’ve been a motorcyclist since I was a kid, and do know my bikes) and he certainly did look like he was an outlaw biker and definitely over the hill, right down to the ugly woman riding pillion. And he was certainly crazy and/or on some sort of drug. I saw the wild look in his eyes. I saw his bad teeth. I certainly heard him screaming “I’m gonna kill your fat motherfvcking ass!” at me over and over. Fortunately for me he had worked his head in through the window instead of his right arm so I was able to jam the heel of my hand under his chin and drive him out the window. But as for his membership card – no, I don’t think I had time to check for that.


      • Flashing your lights at someone driving slow is good idea, but doesn’t work too well in bright sunlight. If someone is driving to slow in the fast lane at night, I will flash my lights. If that doesn’t get them to speed up or pull over, I will position myself to where you can see my headlights in the rear or side mirror, then turn on my high beams until they move over – if that doesn’t make them move, they can enjoy my bright lights. 🙂

    • If it was me driving like a jackass, I would want someone to let me know about it. That’s why cars have horns, to signal other drivers.

    • I lay on the horn whenever I please. You know why? I live in the United States. I don’t have to just sit there and take it from anyone. If someone does something stupid or tries to cut me off, or is driving like a jack ass. I lay on the horn. They’re gonna get so pissed off as to put THIER life in danger because someone honked at them, that’s THIER problem. Not mine. Theres nothing wrong with honking your horn, you should not be so stricken by fear of attack all the time that you just roll over and take it from people.

      • A horn is not for cursing at the drivers who offend you. It is to alert other drivers that their actions are exceeding the tolerances, at which point, very bad things will likely happen. If you honk your horn after-the-fact, you’re just cursing. You’re using your 2 ton metal chariot to hurl curses at total strangers. What could possibly go wrong there?

        You don’t get armed and prepared for all the bad things you can think of…..

        • “If you honk your horn after-the-fact, you’re just cursing.”

          Bullshit. That’s just PLAIN. STUPID.

          I always honk my horn AFTER avoiding a collision, because DURING the time I’m trying to avoid to the other driver, I’m BUSY AVOIDING COLLISION!!! I hit the horn to wake up other drivers and let them know they just did something very unsafe. In actuality it usually takes a driver a couple seconds to realize where the sound is coming from. I am not going to risk my safety just to sound the horn while I’m doing dangerous maneuvering!!! Especially if it might not even stop the other driver.

      • “I lay on the horn whenever I please. You know why? I live in the United States.”

        Damn right!!!

    • Can’t sanction this.

      If you drive in a particularly abnormal fashion, don’t be surprised when drivers around you recommend you get with the program. It’s no excuse for any kind of violence or aggression.

      I carry in part *because* there are lunatics in this world who react to normal social situations with violence.

    • A little common sense dictates that a “little toot” is not something to start a fight over, and anyone who is assaulted more than deserves to defend themselves.

      A little common sense also says that the horn is there to sound in case someone is not paying attention for whatever reason and needs to be waked up.

    • Honking to give a heads up to another driver is a perfectly legitimate use of the device. Sometimes they have a turn signal or brake light out, or a tire’s running low. It’s entirely possible that the other driver was lost, sleepy, tipsy, texting, or otherwise distracted and unaware they were driving too slowly. Tickets are given not just for speeding, but for slow driving, too.

      First, it’s suggestive of an inattentive driver and it should attract police attention. Second, it’s inherently dangerous to have vehicles travelling at a large disparity in speeds. If another driver doesn’t realize what they’re doing and the risks they’re creating, then a quick tap on your horn does them, you and others a public service by providing the quick heads up.

      Now, no one is suggesting laying on the horn for a minute and a half, or rapidly pounding it like you’re sending a telegraph. A simple, quick tap, as this writer apparently did, is fine. If they’re psychotic and exit the vehicle in response to that, then, well, their trigger is set too lightly to begin with, so to speak, and pretty much anything would have set them off, anyway. You can’t live your life geared toward accommodating the caprice of the least rational among us.

      • “You can’t live your life geared toward accommodating the caprice of the least rational among us.”

        Excellently said.

      • A quick tap on the horn is where it’s at, if you want to bring attention to someone that they need to “wake up”. Laying on the horn as you say, is almost sure to raise the hackles on the recipient. It also may get you shot!

        • Well, then we will shoot back of course!!!

          I get the feeling you’re not a fan of guns, and probably shouldn’t be on this site.

          If I see someone getting out of their car angrily, start cursing or waving their arms, and generally looking like they want to kick my you-know-what or cripple me, I’m not going to wait until I see their gun, I’m going to draw mine from the center console and put it right next to my thigh on my seat (not flashing or showing it, not drawing it to use as a threat). I will be ready if he draws a gun or tries to break the window to get into my car. If he doesn’t try those things, well, then there’s no need to use it, and it goes back as soon as he leaves.


          As for anyone who wants to tell me some BS that I don’t have the right to use a gun unless the attacker has one ** :

          Florida Statute
          ” 776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—
          (1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
          (a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
          (b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.”

          That also means that you shouldn’t go banging on my window and swearing, you might not like the end result.

          **Note in particular the part in (a) about using defensive force against someone trying to forcefully enter an occupied vehicle.

    • I did not get the impression from reading this story that the reason he honked was because he was having a bad day. 15 miles under the limit is suspicious on its own. A cop would have pulled them over. People honk at drivers like that or worse, tailgate them with high beams on. Slow driving can also be a hazard.
      Two weeks ago, I was on my way to work at 5 am. I stopped at a dangerous intersection where the crossing traffic has a blind curve and the limit is 55mph. A vehicle was coming from the right and it seemed too close for me to try to cross. Turns out he was not going the limit so I had to wait longer than expected. That vehicle, a large Silverado, turned right onto the road I was taking. After he made the turn, I checked to my left where the blind curve was and proceeded across the intersection. However, the Silverado was still out in the middle of the road and I was briefly stranded in the oncoming lane to my left. Luckily no cars were coming. The Silverado finally cleared the intersection and I followed close behind to get out of the intersection. Then the asshole brake checked me at 10 to 15mph. It isn’t tailgating when you are only going 15mph and I had to get out of the road. The limit on this road is 45mph but the Silverado continued at about 20mph for 1/4 mile. Finally, a passing lane came up so I started to pass. I got up to 35mph and the asshole sped up. I got up to 45mph, the limit, and the dickhead sped up again. There was oncoming traffic so I floored it in my wife’s 6 cylinder Sebring and passed him doing 70mph. Now the imbecile in the Silverado was pissed for some reason. He followed me for 7 miles at high speed, two feet from my bumper with his high beams on. It was the only time I drew my pistol and waited for him to do something more threatening. He eventually lost interest and I reported it to the police since I had his tag number, a personalised tag, GADDIS.

      • Michael,

        I had a very similar event at 5:50 a.m. on a Sunday morning on a two lane road. I was driving the speed limit at 55 m.p.h. when a car turned onto the road about a 1/4 mile ahead of me. They were poking along and I started to pass them. As I was approaching, they hammered it (a muscle car no less). Upon reaching 70 m.p.h. in the oncoming traffic lane, I conceded that his muscle car was faster than my 4-cylinder import and started braking to get out of the oncoming traffic lane and get behind him. Of course he braked too which meant I was stuck in the oncoming traffic lane. At that point I figured he had wanted to show-off or something. Since I was down to 40 m.p.h. I floored it to pass again. So did he. I braked again. So did he and I was still in the oncoming traffic lane. I concluded that the other driver was a psycho and stopping in the middle of the road unarmed was a bad idea. I was also convinced that continuing to drive in the oncoming traffic lane was a bad idea. So I floored it again … and so did he. I finally managed to brake faster and get behind just in time to turn onto the only intersection for the next few miles. (It was a “T” intersection and the other road only went to the right, which the other driver would have been blocking if I was unable to get into the right lane.)

        Had I been armed, I would have stopped in the middle of the road, promptly jumped out, got behind my car for cover, and prepared to draw. That was the pivotal reason that led me to get my concealed carry license.

        • Which brings up this point…There are way more irresponsible car owners than gun owners.
          After I contacted the police using an online form to report the incident, they called me back later that day. They asked me what I wanted them to do. I asked them if the guy broke any laws besides speeding. They (I was on a conference call with an officer and the sergeant, must have been a slow day) said “absolutely but if we can’t catch the guy in the act then there is not much we can do. You should have called 911.” I said that I was too busy trying to evade the pursuit to use my cell phone. I didn’t tell them that my right hand was occupied by my Glock 19. They said that they would put out a BOLO for the light blue Silverado with Newton Co. tag GADDIS. I have my own BOLO for him too and I have seen him two other mornings since then but acting more civilized.

    • I hate to break it to you, but in MOST countries you wouldn’t survive without using the horn. If people here in the USA get their panties in a wad because someone uses a horn, they really need to get their priorities straight.

    • Paul, does that “T” stand for troll by chance? It seems that more often than not, your comments really tick people off here…

    • I seriously I doubt that the honk had anything to do with it. It sounds more like they where intentionally driving slow with the purpose of ganging up on him.

  2. I too see nothing wrong with a small tap of the horn. They actually advocate it in driver’s education.

    Perhaps they were looking for an address, and didn’t notice anyone behind them. Clearing the car is not a reaction I would ever expect to a small tap of the horn.

    As for Dan S., good story. I hope your wife is well and hasn’t had to go back to the hospital.

    • Indeed. We can’t assume that someone will be provoked into a rage by a mild and reasonable gesture.

    • No they don’t. They advise honking when someone’s about to pull into your lane and doesn’t see you, not because you want to go faster.

      • Whether it’s advised or not does not make it right to become violent or extremely upset over.

  3. Right, wrong or otherwise, how is the horn honking working for everyone in this situation? Well enough to continue the practice?

    • I find horn honking to be extremely irritating and rude unless it’s to greet a friend, or in when it’s urgent to get the other driver’s attention. .

      Of course I would never attack anyone over it, so instead I slow down and make it more difficult for the honker. Horn honking just slows everyone down if you do it to me. For your own good, don’t do it unless you know me, or because my gas cap is open or something like that.

      • That doesn’t really give you the right to be an asshole. In fact, people are probably honking their horn at you for exactly that reason: because you are being one!

        • Given the surprisingly strong feelings many apparently harbor about honking, I am starting to consider whether I should give up driving.

        • If you can, GO FOR IT!

          I hate all the unsafe drivers in my city, and if I could avoid being around them, and didn’t need my car to get to work, I would…… at least in the city – I still like driving.

        • No, I’m talking about the ones behind me who honk because I’m not about to kill myself pulling out into oncoming traffic. Those guys are the assholes. If I’m about to accidentally run into someone, or fail to go at a green light, then a little toot is fine.

          If someone isn’t driving in the exact style you would prefer them to, but is otherwise driving safely, then you’re the asshole if you honk at them.

        • BTW, I never honk at other people or flip them off, or even give them dirty looks. I’ve been driving since I was 11, and in all the decades since I’ve honked my horn at someone maybe two or three times, when they were about to run into me. I don’t even know where the horn is on my new car.

          I always assume the best about the other drivers’ motives, and I expect them do the same for me, and not go around making noise and trouble like drivers in other parts of the country do. Most all of the time, this works well. But if someone perchance really is being an asshole with the horn, I don’t reward them for their rude behavior.

    • We don’t honk here in the South unless we are indicating that we are giving up a right of way or we see someone we know or a hot chick is walking down the street. The only time we do honk at other cars are when they fall asleep at a green light. We give them 5 seconds to wake up before we honk. Unlike in the Northeast when the guy behind you tries to time the light turning green with his blaring of the horn. Those drivers are the most uptight sons of bitches in the country.

  4. Here is one I posted last year about what is still the only time I ever pulled my gun on something other than a paper target. And hope to keep it that way.

    Last fall I was on my way home. The traffic was very heavy and there were the usual folks darting in and out trying to gain a few feet. I was keeping about a 10 foot gap in front of my car as we moved along about 25 MPH. All of a sudden I had a very large black truck trying to move into this small space. I started to hit the brakes and noticed the guy behind me was inches from my bumper so I laid on the horn and braced for impact. Truck dude figured out he was not going to bull his way in and it seemed to really inflame him. Next thing I know he is swerving at my car with his window down and a steady stream of profanity streaming out the window. I slow down and he roars in front of me and instantly lays on the brakes, This happens several more times and I am looking to get away from him so I slow and move into the middle lane several cars behind him. Things seem OK now until we get to a light. All of a sudden the door to the truck flies open and this mass of muscles jumps out and takes off running back towards my car with the profanities flying. As he comes around the front he slams his fist on the hood and is yelling he’s gonna kick my )&(^())( **^*%(ing scrawny ass. He comes up to the door and finally notices he has a problem. As soon as he exited the truck I reached down and picked up the little Sig P938 I had inside my med kit ( take insulin ). I’m holding it just under window level on my side and he see’s it.
    Apparently he still had some control over his rage as he throws his hands in front of him and starts backing away facing me the whole time and is now silent. He gets back to his truck and when traffic starts moving turns off on a side street. Me, I’m feeling like my Blood sugar is in the 30′s but I want to get away from the area so I drive. All the way home I just knew police were going to show up or truck dude was going to appear again. Could I have shot him. yes if he had reached in the car I would have. I spent the next few weeks looking out to make sure he did not show up around me again . I’ve since traded in that car so the odds of us meeting again are slim.. I suspect other drivers knew why he suddenly backed away and just knew one would call it in. Apparently none did. I do have a concealed carry permit and where I keep the weapon while driving is a legal storage spot in Florida.
    That was my first and hopefully only time I’ll ever aim at something besides a paper target.

  5. Had a similar situation happen to me.

    We were two white guys, in a bustass minivan, driving through the ghetto. A train came, leaving us surrounded with lifted cars riding on 22’s. One was painted like a Froot Loops box. The car in front of us, kept peeking back, pointing and talking. Then, they got out.

    They were all wearing blue. Baggy clothes, assorted afro picks, and do rags. Oh HELL no.

    We’re boxed in. We can’t back off. We can’t go forward. We’re stuck dealing with whatever comes to us, and they were getting closer. They were tall, looming over us, which is pretty impressive when you’re sitting bolt upright in an astrovan.

    “Yo man, roll down that window.”

    Well, hell, lets just see.

    “Hey man, we just wanted to let you know you got a blinker out.”

    That was the nicest basketball team ever.

  6. The headlines would say,”CCW holder shoots man for driving too slow”

    No, I think keep the horn tooting to yourself in this circumstance.

    • So we should modify our everyday behavior because a large proportion of j-skool (left leaning) morons dislike armed self defense? No thanks.

      What’s the limit for avoiding a possible beatdown in your driver seat? Not honking at the clueless texting driver sitting at the a changed green light for 5 seconds? Or passing a slow vehicle too quickly?

      Driving is a social activity – if you can’t handle an occasional horn for errors, stay off the road.

      • “Or passing a slow vehicle too quickly? ”

        In the olden days, when roads only had one lane each way, honking was expected when passing, just to let the driver know that you were passing. Of course, when you’re going through the switchbacks, the elderly couple in front of you creeps along at about 2 MPH in the curves, where you could go at least 5, but when there’s a piece of straight long enough to see to pass, they speed up, because now they can see a hundred feet ahead! ARGH!

  7. I carry a weapon in my car and I don’t have a CC permit but I live in Texas. I did the same thing in St Louis 30 years ago. Showing a weapon stopped 3 incidents in 25 years without anyone getting hurt. I used to have to frequent crappy parts of town for business. I’ll make no apologies and you can flame me out of here if you like.
    I’ll take my chances with a grand jury if I have to defend myself. An attorney friend in Dallas years ago told me that as long as you can show just cause and weren’t provoking a road rage incident, you can carry in your vehicle and be reasonably confident in protecting yourself. Just don’t shoot a senator’s son.
    As for tooting at a someone acting stupid, get the F over it. If you get out of your car and approach another vehicle because someone honked at you, I suggest you consider the possibility of getting shot for being a stupid. Seriously.

    • That’s absolutely correct. Key word is concealed, though. Without a license, you may carry concealed in your car in Texas, but it must be kept from discernment through normal observation. Quick access car holsters might be a problem, if they’re seen by a toll booth attendant or drive-through worker, but otherwise you’re fine. You can even carry the handgun with you, concealed, without a license, as you walk directly to and from your vehicle to your home, business, range, etc. All of the normal laws regarding use or threat of lethal force still apply, of course.

    • You take your chances if you get outta the car. Get over somebody honking.. If you try and run up on somebody for honking you deserve to be shot for stupidity. Do stupid things win stupid prizes.

  8. I was in an altercation saturday night while I was out with friends watching a local band… I was outside and stepped off the sidewalk into the street to answer a phone call (it was 1:10am and no traffic In the small farm town). A minute later as I stepping back onto the sidewalk a very large guy (who looked like a character from a Hank Jr. song) confronted me about messing with his truck that was parked curbside about 15 feet from where I was on the phone. After a minute or two he got very upset when I told him I stepped out onto the quiet street to answer a call and began pushing me back to the grill of his truck. With his fist raised I grazed my hand across my back just to remember I wasn’t carrying. I had a knife. So i put a little space between us as his friend was choking him out trying to get him to calm down. I have been in my fair share of bar fights and have been forced to learn how to fight also I am in the best shape of my life but I knew if it came down down to fists and boots it wasnt going to fair well for me. It never got physical. His friends made a wall around him and told me just to walk away, and i did. Getting in the vehicle at the end of the block I looked back and seen the same guy punch two of his friends and take off down the road after me.

    I’ve thought about it everyday since, would have been worth it? If it came to it, should I have let him curb stomp me? I usually have a gun. Usually doesn’t help occasionally.

    • Most guys haven’t been in a fistfight since about eighth grade, possibly high school, so they’re not exactly adept. That said, street fights, bar fights, etc. are not MMA or boxing matches. No rules means no rules and it’s very easy to get very dead or something close to it; even if you know what you’re doing, even if the other just gets lucky.

      The advantage goes to the one who acts first, which puts lawful guys at a disadvantage since acting first means acting unlawfully. Speed, surprise and violence of action are just as important or more in a street fist fight as in a gun fight. So the same advice applies: avoid that crap wherever and whenever possible. “Winning” is more accurately defined in terms of degrees of losing. If it’s absolutely unavoidable, however, then you do what you need to do to defend yourself.

      Might want to keep in mind, though, that in many places a knife is considered a deadly weapon the same as a firearm. So if you’re going to use something to defend yourself, you may want to go with the more potent option.

  9. While we are on the topic, if some dbag is riding your bump, hit the wipers and spray wash.

    It’ll over spray onto their windshield and back them up, hasn’t failed me yet.

      • Your vehicle is moving foward, the windshield spray nozzles face backwards, and the person’s vehicle is behind you…

        No running line is required, physics does all the work.

        • If your windshield washers put a significant amount of water on the windshield of the car behind you, you’ve got some seriously misaligned windshield washer nozzles.

  10. This entry gets my vote. The tight, engaging writing alone merits the victory. Almost noir-ish, Cain-ish. Not long, but evocative.

      • Not even top ten. I liked it but I write longer replies than this post.
        One thing I took issue with in the article is when he says:
        “I had a lot of (supposedly) good reasons not to get a CCW permit…….. Cops would give me an extra hard time if I got pulled over.”
        This is one topic that chaps my hide. There are instructors that actually tell you to always tell a cop that you have a permit and you are carrying a gun. On many, many forums I get into arguments over this. Why does the fact that you have a CCW and a gun in your car, change the interaction with a traffic cop? It doesn’t. I was ticketed Monday doing 68 in a 45 and I was packing…duh?! I already had my DL and insurance card out when the officer carefully walked to the back of my window. I had my DL in one hand and the proof of insurance in the other. Never mentioned the gun or the permit. I keep the permit buried in my wallet and he aint getting my wallet without a warrant.

  11. Carriers who claim they do it to protect their family are lying to themselves and to others. Most do it “because they can.” Most do it to feel cool. Few rational people feel they are at risk of being fatally assaulted. (Some have other reasons, like retired LEOs who made a lifetime of disgruntled, criminal enemies). If carriers were genuinely trying to mitigate threats to their life, they’d all drive at 55 mph or less. They’d avoid riding motorcycles or bicycles in urban areas. They’d stop eating grilled meats. They’d stop abusing alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.

    The nuke sub analogy does not hold water. Nuke subs exist to wage war and deter two other nuke belligerents (china and ussr). Nuke subs relate to another subject. If you want to compare nuke subs with ccw, then the true equivalent would be each ccw carrier carrying a grenade launcher. Nuke subs can end worlds, not merely oppose individual threats to the sub’s existence.

    • Do you tell yourself sometimes that you’re intelligent? Because then you’d be lying to yourself.

    • Hmmm, grenade launcher…Now THERE’S an idea! Few at risk for violent assault? The odds are 1 in 300 per year. Not exactly negligible. We take it that you do NOT carry. Good luck with that. Some day you may need it and not have it. But that’s your choice, and you are free to make it, as we are free to make ours.

    • ” Carriers who claim they do it to protect their family are lying to themselves and to others. Most do it “because they can.” Most do it to feel cool. ”

      This may well be true, but regardless of their reasons, remember one, incontrovertible fact, there’s nothing you can do about.

      You don’t like it, nor agree with their reasons, tough sh*t. Get over yourself.

    • Why would you think driving less than 55 is safe on the highway? It’s dangerous to yourself and the cars around you to drive 20mph slower than traffic.

      • When they first finished the freeways in the 1960’s, the posted speed limit was 70, and the minimum was 40. You were expected to have already accelerated to at least 40 before you even merged. Then they had the “Oil Crisis” and Tricky Dicky issued the imperial edict that the limit was 55, “to save fuel.”

        • “Tricky Dicky”? Do you mean Richard Nixon, the slayer of Alger Hiss, the man who did more to fight communism inside and outside of the U.S. than all past and present members of the Libertarian Party put together?

          Regarding his actions during the oil crisis, he was grievously mistaken, and, as some have pointed out, the ill consequences were of long duration. To be fair, however, his hand was largely forced by overwhelming popular opinion in favor of price controls and other such foolish measures.

    • Do you guys seriously see a poster named “koolaidguzzler” and not realize that he’s parodying antis?

  12. @koolaidguzzler.
    He never said he was on a nuke sub or that he trained to launch anything. Nuke Ships (surface ships) and Nuke Boats (Submarines) train to combat accidents that might occur in the engineering plant. Some of what they train for is stuff that would probably never happen like a reactor meltdown, or a steam pipe bust (which is more likely) that was what he was talikng about. When in an engineering room you must know your surroundings and notice if anything not as it should be.

  13. Yes, I also beep my horn at people who cut in front of me without a turn signal, drive the wrong way down the one way lane in a parking lot, or drive excessively slow……

    for those of you on here who obviously disagree with my use of the horn, and think that I’m “asking for it”: I also keep a gun right next to me in the center console – cocked, loaded, and one in the chamber…… but if you don’t believe me, you are welcome to check 😉

    • “I carry a cocked and locked firearm and blow my horn at people whenever I feel they need me to blow my horn at them.”

      Hope it all works out for you.

      • Yes, it works for me the same as it does for all the unarmed people who beep their horn at a car….. it also works for me when you don’t blatantly misquote me.

  14. I might be biased due to my experiences on a college campus. I ride a bike on a campus that has numerous traffic calming measures. We have 20-25 mph speed limits through out campus. I am young and fit, I ride my bike at a little over 20 mph and I keep left to allow traffic to pass me as a few people seem to wish to drive 20 mph over the speed limit even if it mean all that they achieve is a hard stop at one of the numerous stop signs, red lights and pedestrian crossings. I still frequently encounter people who sit a foot behind me and lean on the horn because they are too lazy to simply pass me even when they have the room to do so. People who think that they should teach me a lesson for riding a bike by using their horn and have such a sense of entitlement that they feel that other road users should simply fly out of their way when they go by simply because they want to go faster than someone else. Depending on the circumstances, this can also be extremely threatening when coupled with riding the tail of the other road user. This experience has convinced me to simply let others be on the road. I am sitting in a two ton blunt force weapon when I drive my car. Just like I would when I carry a gun, I think it is best to be polite.

  15. I hate to agree with the rev but I only honk when some jag is about to hit me.

  16. I hate to agree with the rev but I only honk if some jag is going to hit me.

  17. I think it is very stupid, that this article that is obviously not about cars, has turned into an argument over:

    “To Toot, or not to Toot?”

    excuse me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure this is a Gun discussion forum, to discuss GUNS, and WHEN TO USE GUNS (and, of course, other gun related topics)

    …… I don’t see anything about car horns in the forum description… maybe the forum name should be changed to:
    “The Truth About Guns & When to Use Your Horn”

    Extra point: He already used the horn, that doesn’t need to be debated any more = what’s done is done. What should be debated, if anything, are things like “when should have drawn a gun?” or “should he have retreated (if he [the author] had a gun)?”

    • “To Toot or not to Toot?”

      Now are we suddenly talking about elevator etiquette? Hey, don’t laugh. The change in atmospheric pressure from 0 to, say, 360′ AGL can cause a dramatic expansion of some gas bubbles.

    • You were free to start that discussion and , now I think you have. I believe the author stated that if he had no escape route then he would have to use his gun. Given the structure of that sentense, I belive that he would have reversed the car out of there even if armed wich I believe is the right choice.

  18. I liked the article. It illustrates that normal guys, i.e., guys with wives, jobs, homes and a normal sense of concern for other people, can by happenstance find themselves having crossed paths with some unbalanced and potentially dangerous people.

    You don’t have to be a gangsta, dealer, badass or run the streets looking for trouble. You can do everything right and avoid stupid people, places and things, but still they find you. Consider carrying a sidearm like carrying homeowners insurance. Sure, you don’t smoke, leave candles unattended, leave iron on while you go on vacation and you do clean the dryer’s lint trap and vent hose regularly. So your risk of house fire is negligible. Still, lightening can strike, literally, and your home goes up in flames. It’s nice to have that insurance policy for those one in a million events.

    Carrying a concealed personal defense sidearm does not make one a trouble seeker any more than carry a homeowners insurance policy makes one an arsonist. Nice contest entry, my friend, and good luck.

  19. I’ve had a couple of run in’s with overly irrational people over the last couple of decades. Seems to be more of them now than years back. About a year ago, I was making a quick stop at Home Depot after work. I work nights, so this was early morning. I was on my motorcycle, and the weather was a bit drizzly. Proceeding down the lane, heading for a parking spot, a pickup truck starts backing out of a spot kind of quickly. So I gave a short tap on my horn to let him know I was behind him. I saw that the driver wasnt even looking behind himself. No yelling, no laying on the horn, just a tap. I figured its early, a lot of folks arent at their sharpest yet. I park the bike, and here comes the truck flying down the lane, around the turn and down the lane I parked in. The guy pulls up and starts running his mouth. What was my problem and so forth. With of course a generous amount of profanity and insults. I stayed calm and said hey, was just lettin ya know I was back there. Not being good enough for him, he and his passenger climb out of the truck. Now these guys looked like a couple of real dirtbags. Had a pile of assorted roofing material in the truck. And I was sure there would be tools. Hammers and wrecking bars and such. Myself, I’m a bit older and I’ve managed to accumulate enough injuries to the point that I’m not gonna outrun too many people. So I took my gun out. Didnt point it at them, just let them know I had it. That was enough to persuade them that the parking lot beatdown they had in mind was off the agenda. They piled back into the truck and left. I went about my business. I dont know what would have happened if I was unarmed, but I think it would have been an unhappier ending. I saw their pictures in the paper about 3 weeks after. They had been arrested for burglarizing some of the houses they had previously worked on. Both had arrests for assaults, burglaries and drug offences. So yeah, thats why I carry a gun. Theres far too many low lifes running around that are socially defective enough not to care about going to prison for beating or killing someone for trivial reasons.

  20. I used to live in a ethnicly diverse part of Alabama. My roommate at the time drove a Yugo. He was always having issues with some of the rednecks and a few youths of color. He made it worse by dressing like the frat boy he was.

    I never understood how it could happen. I drove an old bronco with a lift kit. The paint didn’t match and it had a few bumper stickers on the rear. I found the other motorists to be quite friendly and helpfull. When I needed over, I would signal and it seemed like the first car would make a hole for me.

    When he asked me why this happened, I told him they respected my work clothes and I had a nice smile.

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