Common sense should trump ego, and avoiding conflict is always the better option.
One of the first things any competent carry instructor teaches his or her students is conflict avoidance. This is (or should be) a basic way of life for all of us who carry firearms for self-defense. Someone with a short temper, a belligerent attitude, or, for lack of a better description, a chip on their shoulder, should seriously consider whether or not they should be carrying a gun.
Not only are such people more likely to get into serious trouble, they can make things more difficult for the rest of us, when their actions lead to greater restrictions on our rights. Thankfully, most of us do go out of our way to avoid confrontations.
But what should we do when we meet people who seem to be intent on provoking a confrontation with us?
As you may have noticed, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of “busybodies” in our culture—people who seem to feel entitled to openly criticize the behavior of others, even when it has no effect on them. A couple of examples should illustrate this.
One friend of mine is a fitness fanatic. He’s a former Army Ranger who runs, works out and spends a lot of time on his bicycle. He never wears a helmet, and the other day, as he was riding down the side of the road, some guy in a car screamed at him, “Hey, where’s your helmet, a__hole!” My friend, who was carrying, wisely chose not to respond. He is fully aware that escalating such a situation has no upside to it, especially for him.