SOCIAL FRICTION: The Ways Your Carry Gun Can Hurt You

We all think about how our EDC is there to protect us, and keep us safe.

Rarely is any consideration given to the ways in which our defensive firearm can hurt us.

Not all those ways result in physical harm, there’s the possibility of social, professional, or legal consequences as well.

If the last 12 months have shown us anything, it’s that there is a surprisingly large segment of the population that’s willing to insert themselves into a stranger’s affairs because they deem themselves a rule enforcer.

There’s plenty of videos online of initially benign interactions that escalate into forceful, sometimes violent confrontations.

This is why it’s so critical for us to be attentive about how well our tools are concealed.

Too many people are dismissive about “people being oblivious, and always buried in their phones.” While this can be a factual statement, people are really good at pattern recognition. When you do something (or are something) that deviates from that pattern, they take notice:

  • Just because they don’t know what they’re seeing doesn’t mean it doesn’t ping their radar
  • Just because they didn’t say something to you doesn’t mean it went unnoticed
  • Just because they didn’t say something to you doesn’t mean they’re not talking about it with others.

Keep in mind, every single real life interaction you have with someone is another entry into the raffle of “getting made”. Collect enough, and eventually one of them is going to hit. It’s imperative that you minimize those chances as much as possible.

If you choose to do that by reducing your social interaction, that’s certainly your call. For others, a more appropriate and realistic option is probably to maintain a greater level of discretion in carrying their chosen tools.

The Suited Shootist
Alex Sansone took his first formal pistol class in 2009, and has since accumulated almost 500 total hours of open enrollment training from many of the nation's top instructors including Massad Ayoob, Craig Douglas, Tom Givens, Gabe White, Cecil Burch, Chuck Haggard, Darryl Bolke, and many others. Spending his professional life in the corporate world, Alex quickly realized incongruities between "best practices" in the defensive world, and the practical realities of his professional and social limitations. "I've never carried a gun professionally. I'm just a yuppie suburbanite that happens to live an armed lifestyle. Having worked in the corporate arena for the last decade, I've discovered that a lot of the "requirements" and norms of gun carriers at large aren't necessarily compatible with that professional environment. I also have a pretty diverse social background, having grown up in the Northeast, and there are many people in my life that are either gun-agnostic or uncomfortable with the idea of private gun ownership. This has afforded me not only insights into how we are perceived by different subcultures, but how to manage and interact with people that may not share your point of view without coming across as combative or antisocial. This is why my focus is the overlooked social aspects of the armed lifestyle."