There are a lot of situations where you are performing an action that’s “right,” yet you can still be one hundred percent wrong. Just because you can do something, and these actions are legal in every sense of the law, doesn’t mean that you should carry through with your plans. And, as recent events have shown, there are some instances where carrying out your legal actions can land you in a heap of trouble.
The stop light turns from red to green. This is your cue, and legally you have every right to go ahead, get moving and pass through the intersection. But, if it’s a busy, dangerous piece of road and you don’t scan to ensure that it’s safe to proceed there’s a chance you may get hammered by a vehicle that failed to follow the traffic signal and come to a stop. They may even have sped up in order to get past the “obstruction.” Regardless of the reason why they didn’t stop, and the fact that legally you’re completely in the “right” to pull out after receiving the green light, you’re still paying the price. Maybe it’s just the hassle of dealing with an accident, filing paperwork and scheduling to have some work done on your car. Or, the accident results in serious injury; maybe death.
A lot of the conflicts that people become involved in, like auto accidents, are avoidable. As a younger man one of my second jobs was working as a bouncer – I think they call this “security” now - in nightclubs. One establishment had great music so it drew a cross section of society. It was sort of like the New York City club CBGB in the 1970’s. The clientele included bankers, bikers, hippies and every other personality you can imagine. There was never a shortage of disagreements; it was a great place to practice my unarmed techniques. Once a disagreement turned physical there was no “right” or “wrong,” and all participants were efficiently ejected from the bar.
The latest example of this is the incident on Monday in New Mexico. As “protesters” attempted to bring down a statue of a 16th century Spanish colonial official another group arrived to “counter-protest.” (There are a lot of quotation marks here because definitions are rapidly becoming blurred.) Then, it’s just like the bar scene above. Regardless of who was right or wrong about the statue, there were shots fired – avoidable – and everyone was wrong.
I’m not sure a statue is worth risking your life, injuring/killing someone or possibly going to jail for a long time. Just because you’re “right,” doesn’t mean it’s your job to dispense “justice” on those who are wrong. We have a legal system responsible for this. And, should you decide to jump into a pool that’s full of poisonous snakes – which may be your “right” – don’t be surprised when you get bitten.
Use common sense. Being right isn’t worth a lot if the battle is a Pyrrhic victory; yes, you win but the cost is unbearable. As I’ve said often, the only reason to enter into danger is if it’s worth risking your life. Avoid, escape and fight only if necessary.
Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. He is the author of The Book of Two Guns, AR-15 Skills and Drills, has a regular column in American Handgunner and makes some cool knives and custom revolvers. Visit Shootrite’s Facebook page for other details.