Guest Column: How to Avoid a Gun Fight or a Violent Confrontation

Today is the second part of the fundamental skill that every law abiding gun owner should master: “How to avoid a violent confrontation.”

I will never get tired of repeating this: Even when you have the legal and moral ground to stand up to a violent confrontation, it is always the best option to avoid it. If you do not have any other option to save your life and the life of an innocent it is always worth it to fight back. Please remember, “the firearm is a tool of last resort.”

Last time we concluded the article with the importance of the right “Attitude.” Now let’s examine other several factors on how to achieve the goal to avoid a violent confrontation.

2) De-escalation

Sometimes a “sorry,” or a smile, or the right tone of voice could change the whole dynamic while dealing with a jerk looking for an excuse to create drama. I am not saying to be a coward, I am just saying be smart. You do not need to prove anything if you already know who you are. Treat people with respect and most of the time they will respect you.

3) Awareness

You can be the fastest or most skilled gun owner, but if you do not see that fight coming, then you will be taken off guard and find yourself in a situation of disadvantage. You will be in a reactive mode rather than a proactive status. Reaction is always slower than proaction. More importantly, if you knew that trouble was on the way, you could have had the chance to avoid it.

4) Avoid wrong people

Stay away from losers. My grandfather used to tell me “You walk with a limp person you will start to limp, too ...” Grandfather was always right.

5) Avoid wrong places

Do you really need to go to that bad part of town at 2 a.m.? Or going to that bar where you know fights happen every night? Unless there is a real need, avoid dangerous places.

6) Avoid dangerous situations

Same as avoid wrong places.

7) Avoid regular patterns

It applies to everybody, but especially to people at risk. Single women working late at night and driving back home; avoid regular and predictable patterns.

8) Don’t respond to provocations

Yes, they just called your wife a name, and your manly instinct tells you that you should defend her honor. But please, do not think with your private parts, use your brain instead. You are carrying a gun now. Do you prefer to spend the night at the police station or with your woman having dinner? Be smart. I am sure your lady would prefer that you spend your money having fun with her rather than on a criminal defense attorney.

9) Keep Distance

Distance is your friend. The average criminal hopefully has not your train with the gun, and beyond colloquial distances good chances are that he will miss you. More important, keeping the distance will give you the opportunity to create an evasion plan and avoid that potential violent confrontation.

10) Look for escape route

No matter where you are: restaurants, offices, streets ... always have an exit plan.

11) Beware of Strangers

Do not let strangers approach you, especially if you are alone. Be polite, but stern. Display both of your open hands as sign of rejection, and say loud: “STAY AWAY, I do not want to talk to you.” Why using your open hands? Well, that person could be deaf or maybe speaks another language. Sign language is universal, but more importantly for witnesses and security cameras is that you are showing you are not the attacker. You want to just be left alone. Open hands are signs of peace.

12) Stance

Once I came out with the phrase “Wolves exist because of sheep.” Act like a sheep, and you will invite wolves around you. I am not saying to overreact and start to get all tattoed and talk like a drunken sailor to be tough. I just say be straight, look people in the eyes without confrontation, and be confident.

In my next article we will talk about the color of awareness and how to create a plan in case you face a violent confrontation.

I invite you to any of my Free Gun Safety Classes that I teach around Mohave County go to www.FreeGunSafety.com, and to my next AZ CCW class that will be held in Kingman Saturday. If you have any questions feel free to email me zanna@zanna.us.

Until then, be responsible, be safe, be armed, but remember, you are a weapon and the gun is just an extension of your brain.