Threat Mitigation and De-Escalation
"An Armed Society is a polite society"
So the saying goes. If you are armed you are no longer free to shout invectives and hurl insults for fear that the situation may get out of hand and you may be forced to use your gun. This is a common sentiment among concealed carry holders. It is referred to as DE-ESCALATION. Conversely, you do not feel like shouting, hurling insults, or threatening someone else who you know for certain is armed. That is the reason why you do not feel like arguing or insulting policemen or security guards whom you see to be plainly carrying a pistol on their hips. This is THREAT MITIGATION.
If you a a licensed carrier of a gun, De-escalation is actually your obligation. If a fight breaks out and you were seen as the one who started, provoked, or encouraged it, and you later shoot your adversary, you cannot claim self-defense. The law requires that for self-defense to be valid, there must be lack of sufficient provocation from the defender or the person claiming self-defense. So if you started or provoked the confrontation, you will be judged as the aggressor, not the defender. Consequently, you will be charged with murder or homicide.
So if you carry a firearm, you are no longer free to shout insults or threats arising from petty arguments for fear that the situation may escalate and you will have to shoot your adversary. This is particularly true in traffic altercations whereby an armed citizen loses his cool and brandishes his pistol against an another unarmed motorist. In such situation, you know that the gun wielder cannot claim self-defense if a shooting occurs- even if his adversary later on turns out to be armed himself- since the gun wielder himself started and provoked the fight. Consequently, "who started it" is material to determining who was the aggressor and who was the defender, and who could claim self-defense and who could not.
Threat mitigation simply means that you make it clear to the adversary that you are carrying a gun- and that you have the intention and capability of using it, if necessary. Oftentimes, this is enough to deter and mitigate a further escalation of the threat. Thus, a clutch bag visibly carried, or a bulge in your waist - with the body language of possessing a gun - sometimes is enough to stop a potential threat. For example, during the service of a court writ nearly 8 years ago, we entered the house of a defendant and served a writ to take possession of his vehicle and some household items. Naturally, the defendant started to get angry and began kicking around the chairs and tables in his house with verbal threats against us. The Court Sheriff, who was armed, calmly went up to the defendant, put his arm around his shoulder, and rubbed his waist- where his pistol was tucked and concealed- against the body of the defendant. The defendant felt the butt of the pistol, while the sheriff calmly said, "Pare wag ka na manggulo, ayaw namin ng gulo." Needless to say, the defendant behaved well from then on.
As for myself, I also exercise at times the art of intimidation. When we serve court orders, writs, and warrants of arrest, I carry two pistols in a gun bag slung over my shoulder. To make it visible, I sling the bag across my stomach. There is no gun visible, and no flashing of any weapon. But with my poker face and body language, the adversary knows that I am armed and willing to use it, if he starts to create trouble or resist..
These are two important concepts that gun owners ought to learn.