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“Sure, many schools start too early. And, sure, getting out of bed can be hard sometimes,” states, sensibly enough. “But one Tennessee teenager had an extreme reaction to his family’s request on Tuesday morning that he get up and get ready for school: He shot them, according to Nashville police.” Well that sucks. Both for the unidentified teen’s family — who were injured in the incident — and the cause of gun rights. But it does highlight an important self-defense stratagem . . .

don’t antagonize people who are likely to go ballistic.

I’m not advising adopting the kind of paranoia that anti-gun rights people project onto The People of the Gun. Not everyone is predisposed towards attacking you, your loved ones or other innocent life. But there are people who are likely to lose it if you push them too hard or, maybe, a little bit too far.

I put cops on that list. I know: most police are quiet, calm, courteous and professional. But I’ve also encountered some who don’t answer to that description. At all. In all law enforcement encounters I’m quiet, calm courteous and professional. If I have a beef with a cop, I’ll save it for later. Much later.

Homeless people are mostly harmless. But there are some who forget to take their psych meds and really need those meds to maintain a grasp on reality. I’ve seen people get up-close-and-personal and lecture homeless folks while handing over hard-earned cash. I think that’s a bit silly.

In fact, I generally avoid interacting with angry, disturbed, authoritarian or disheveled people. And people who look like they might become angry, disturbed or authoritarian. If, for example, someone starts asking me why in the world I’m open carrying I smile, give some simple answer and Snagglepuss.

As an armed American I don’t ever want to be in a “he said, I said, he attacked, I attacked” post-mortem. So I let sleeping dogs lie. Note: by “lie” I mean I leave dodgy-looking people alone and ignore people who to use falsehoods to get their way. I’m a truth teller but I don’t feel the need to for correct bald-faced lies. Unless I’m blogging.

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  1. Emotionally disturbed people (including some cops obviously) can be a powder keg and it is best to avoid sparking them off. With the cop it is generally smarter, safer, and easier to let them have their way short term and if the situation warrants it, you do have the option to deal later.

    • Driving home from work one afternoon I could hardly keep my eyes open. I hate that. You think you are good, until you aren’t. I made it within 5 miles of my home and was in a turn lane behind a row of cars waiting on the arrow.
      I woke up in time to see the light was still green but the cars in front of me were gone. I stomped on the gas to make it through the intersection and as I came out of the turn, I looked in my rear view mirror to see a County cop car close on my tail. When I say close, I mean I could not see anything but the windshield and the light rack. I was in an F150 and this guy was literally tailgating me. I thought he must think I am under the influence for sitting so long at the light but he never lit me up. Instead, he just rode my ass for three miles. Along the way I started increasing my speed thinking he was getting annoyed that he couldn’t pass. I turned onto a road that used to be a dirt road but was paved a week earlier. The speed limit was 35 but since it was paved, everybody went 40+. (It has since been changed to 45) I sped up a little more and then on a straight away he whipped his cruiser around and pulled along side me. I thought he was going to pass but he rolled down his window and started pointing indicating to stop. He never turned on the lights. I stoped and rolled down my window and this is our conversation word for word:
      Cop: “What the fuck dude?! I know this road is paved and wide open but you can’t do 15 over the limit! I’ll give you 13 but 15? And right in front of me! You have some gall! That’s just fucking stupid man!”
      Me: “Yes sir.” “Sorry sir.” “Your right.”
      He wasn’t in uniform and was either on the way to or coming from some other man’s wife’s house and couldn’t light me up because the incident would go on record.
      I use this experience to explain to all my black compadres that if you give police more respect than they give you, you will not wind up like Rodney King. Or as TMOT would say: “Put paper on dey ass!”

      • I can relate to that one, neighbor. It was back in ’74; I was near late for work, running hard for a 40 mile
        commute, in a rural county ( hwy. 165( going north ) thu Caldwell Parish, Louisiana. Traveling thru a school
        zone ( but, about a 1/2 hour before school traffic. A state patrol officer ( who 12 years later, became th local sheriff ), was sitting just 200 yds, or so past the school entrance ( I didn’t see him, soon enough, of course ).
        Doing 70 mph, thru the 20 mph zone, passing thru the yellow paint striped, center, school; dr. turning lane,
        to get by some old grandpa, I saw the strobe lights just as I went by them. I recognized the cop, ( who everyone in the district respects ) and said a very mournful, good morning sir. He started in on me, very well lit up. He chewed my a–, like an addiction. He cursed me, like I was somebody’s redheaded, stepchild. Though, I was usually, fairly nieeve, about law enforcement people ( old fashioned / always respecting them ); I did know, however that, they aren’t supposed you speak to you this way. I also, knew that he could have thrown me under the jail and thrown away shovel. But; while the language was highly degrading, I did figure,
        however, that he’s likely thinking, if he writes me up, I could get him in trouble in court, for the foul mouth
        he’s using. ”””” I was right, to keep my mouth shut and let him act like the bully-type. “”””‘ He didn’t even write me up.
        So; as a ref., to your story, you see why I can relate to your meaning, about using restraint against an
        obnoxious cop. It paid off, for me.

      • Similar experience, though not with a cop, when I was living in disarmed MD about 5 years ago. I got caught daydreaming at a left arrow at 5 o’clock on a work day. As usual with MD drivers, if you are not on the gas a nanosecond after the light turns, they are on the horn. And the crazy broad behind me GOT ON HER HORN. I pulled out, made my left onto a two lane road. Admittedly, I pulled out slower than I should have to prove a point that now seems unimportant, and she went tearing into the right lane, drove past me cursing and shaking her fist, then cut right in front of me. And, I did what I NEVER do when I’m driving and this stuff happens. I don’t know why I did it this time, but it was a lesson learned to not sweat the daily discourtesy of fellow human beings: I blew my horn at her and flipped her the bird. And, the crazy broad then SHORT stops on me. Dead stop in the road. Fortunately, I’m paying attention and I get on the brakes hard, and just tap her back bumper. Only damage to either car was the front emblem on my car broke, which I couldn’t even tell at the time, so it looked like no damage. That’s it.

        She gets out of her car in the middle of traffic, comes over to my window and starts screaming at me like a lunatic, banging on my window, telling me to get out of the car because I almost killed her dog (which was apparently in the car with her). I tell her to get away from me, get back in her car and go home, but she keeps screaming at me and banging on my window, telling me to get out of the car, she’s going to kick my ass if I hurt her dog, blah, blah. I pick up my cell phone right in front of her and call 911. I relay what’s going on, calmly tell the dispatcher what happened, that’s she’s at my window, threatening, banging. Dispatcher tells me not to move, stay in the car, lock doors, cops are on their way, but she’s keeping the line open. I say fine, “Can you hear this lunatic screaming at me?” Dispatcher says “yes, stay in the car.” (By now, crazy broad is on her phone calling 911).

        County PD shows up within a few minutes. 3 of them. They restrain her, get me out of the car, and hear our stories. She’s still raving like a lunatic, so of course, she goes first. She’s claiming I sped up and rear ended her and that I did it on purpose. I’m just calm and I say “That’s not what happened. She cut me off, I blew my horn at her, and then she short stopped on me for no good reason other than I was day dreaming at the left turn back there and didn’t move fast enough for her.” I mean, I’m shaking and my voice is cracking as I speak, but I’m calm. That sets her off and she calls me a “fucking liar” and continues screaming.

        They have us pull into two separate sections of a strip mall parking lot. She’s got three cops on her now as she continues ranting at me, and I got one. I say to the cop “That’s not what happened and she’s knows it. There are traffic cams at the light I was at and the light right up there. One of you needs to tell her she needs to rethink her story. Look, I admit I was day dreaming at the light, but there was no reason for her to tear around me like a crazy lunatic and stomp on her brakes. There’s no damage to her car, none to my car, tell her to let it go or I want to press charges.”

        He skeptically ask “what are you pressing charges for?”

        I say “Harassment and disorderly conduct to start, she was banging on my window and threatening me in the middle of the road which is at least harassment, and causing a safety issue for every other driver on the road, which is at least disorderly conduct. I also think there is at least enough probable cause to go with Terroristic Threats, though I’m not entirely convinced a jury would find her guilt of that.”

        He frowns at that point, because he knows (1) I know at least something about the law, (2) I’m right at least on the minor offenses, (3) I’m the calmer of the two, and (4) this is going to be a lot of paperwork. He goes over to her car and the other officers. She’s still raving like a lunatic. He starts to explain it to her, and then she gets even angrier, but within a few minutes, common sense prevails, and she calms down, and nods her head.

        He comes back over and says that there’s no damage, and she’s ok with letting it go, but we both need to go home. He says “you are definitely the calmer one here and that helps me believe your version of what happened.” Then he asks “But you know what you did wrong here, right?” I said “yeah, I should’ve just let it go and never blown my horn at her.” He says “Exactly, because you never know who has a gun in their car. She could’ve gotten out and shot you.” I grit my teeth thinking “if I didn’t live in this craphole state that doesn’t have ‘shall issue’ CCW that would’ve been the worst mistake of her life,” but then simply say “yeah, you are absolutely right. I’m a criminal defense lawyer and I should know better.” He then smiles and says “yeah, I kinda figured and you definitely should have known better. So don’t do that again.”

        So Rule #1: Like Mas Ayoob says “be the first to call 911.”

        Rule #2: “Stay calmer than the crazy person you are dealing with. There are witnesses and cameras everywhere.”

        Rule #3: The old adage “an armed society is a polite society” is correct. Buck it up with the minor inconveniences and nastiness that happens on a daily basis. Karma will sort it out in the end.

  2. g damn right. Let those dogs lay no matter how bat shit crazy they look or otherwise. Saw two teens freakin over a crazy homeless guy following them. I rolled up on my bike and spoke calmly and said, stop rationalizing with a crazy man. Cross the street (six lanes) and be on your way. They were stunned at the simplicity and I was dumbfounded they couldn’t figure that out on their own.

  3. Bet that kid just got put up for adoption/recycling. I can tell you, he wouldn’t be back in MY home. Ever.

  4. I’ll bet the kid’s going to learn to get up on time from now on – inside a prison.

    Boy, he thought life was a bitch before? Hah!

  5. Wow how bizarre. The gay 1950’s-60’s lion. Anyone remember Huckleberry Hound show?? Yeah plenty of experience with crazies. Ex-wife,Chicago homeless and worked in a nut-house over 30 years ago. I got treated as low paid security as I was a big, strong(and fearless-then) guy. Good times…

  6. “well that sucks. Both for the unidentified teen’s family — who were injured in the incident — and the cause of gun rights”

    from the compost:

    “He threatened the pair and then retrieved a handgun no one knew he had before firing multiple shots in the family apartment, police said.”

    Unless this stupid SIXTEEN year old kid was in legal possession, how does the actions of this POS affect “the cause of gun rights”?

    I for one can’t wait to hear him enjoying PRISON.

    • You might enjoy listening to him enjoy prison, but I personally take no delight in screaming, moaning, crying, and gagging. Even if it’s well deserved.

  7. As my dear old Dad always said, “Never get in a p*ssn contest with a skunk!” Still good advice. The old man actually was pretty smart, too bad I didn’t realize that at a younger age.

    • I think most of can agree with that. I’ve got 4 younguns, and I can’t wait until the “Daddy doesn’t know anything” stage. It’ll be a gas I’m sure.

  8. 1. I have no idea what the body of the post has to do with the introduction.

    2. I’ll bet that kid was on some serious meds and having a bad reaction.

    • His having a handgun he’s not supposed to legally possess and his family knew nothing about does suggest malice aforethought. Whether he’s crazy or just a common thug, he definitely belongs on the inside of something with a good, strong lock on it.

  9. This reminded me of a passage from The Godfather:

    The Don had proceeded to instruct him. “There are men in this world,” he said, “who go about demanding to be killed. You must have noticed them. They quarrel in gambling games, they jump out of their automobiles in a rage if someone so much as scratches their fender, they humiliate and bully people whose capabilities they do not know. I have seen a man, a fool, deliberately infuriate a group of dangerous men, and he himself without any resources. These are people who wander through the world shouting, ‘Kill me. Kill me.’ And there is always somebody ready to oblige them. We read about it in the newspapers every day. Such people of course do a great deal of harm to others also.”

    I took note of this when I originally read it and thought it made a good What Not To Do.

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