Be Aware, Be Very Aware
Deciding the proper response, i.e. when it’s justified to use lethal force, is a huge part of carrying concealed. How exactly to make that decision involves quick reasoning powers and breaks down into a two-pronged process.
Step one is simply being present enough in the moment to know when a threat exists. The ability to quickly and accurately identify danger separates those who carry from those who know when it’s appropriate to USE their carry.
If you’re walking around tactically oblivious, situationally unaware, then you’re just asking for trouble.
This is not to say you have to become super-paranoid about everything and everyone, but when carrying concealed, you have an obligation to heighten your sense of your surroundings. Hey, being alert goes with the territory. Deal with it.
Before you can react to a threat, you need to have a grasp of the level of jeopardy. This can get tricky because the actual severity may be hidden or may not be immediately obvious.
Your response needs to match the perceived threat level. If you overreact, you could wind up in prison. If you don’t react properly, you could wind up dead.
Assessment should first take into account whether or not the danger is a direct threat to you and your response should be based on the nature of those circumstances.
For instance, is the threat LETHAL or not? Does the attacker want to kill you, punch you out, run you off the road, or just scream at you a lot?
Lethal force is only justifiable if you’re facing grave bodily harm or worse and the law dictates that you can use commensurate force — i.e. the same level of force that threatens you.
Remember, the whole point of a concealed carry is to get you out of trouble, not into it – and recognizing a threat is the first step to doing just that.
Understanding when force is justified or not is quite literally a life or death decision. In either case, stay vigilant, hombre.