Complexities of Carrying: Consider Your Surroundings

So, we all know that bad things can happen anywhere, at any time, which is why we carry (or should) everywhere. A few weeks back I found myself in some interesting situations. While nothing came from it, it just illustrates some of the complex situations that you can find yourself in.

I just wanted to highlight some of these instances because we always need to be thinking.

Incident #1

First, we went to a family friend’s musical. It was a big production, so it was held at a performing arts center locally, in a not-so-good part of town. This friend’s child went to a Christian school, that was rather conservative, and to me, made a potential target for people who might want to be violent.

To make matters worse, the musical was The Sound of Music, which has a lot of 1939 German pictures and themes … so you can see how some might have reacted poorly.

The venue itself had a “no weapons” sign on the door. So, what do you do? Do you take the risk of being unarmed in a bad part of town, at night, in a glorified shooting gallery? Or do you risk taking your weapon in?

I did notice a single security guard, who was not armed and reeked of pot. So there was no adequate protection provided.

There were thankfully no incidents there. But one has to consider and weigh the consequences of being in such a place, in a bad part of town, and with messaging that some might get violent over.

Incident #2

The second event happened the next morning when we went out to the park with the little ones and our dog. In the dog park, as with kids, some owners just don’t believe that “their kid is a problem.”

One of the dogs was visibly aggressive toward other dogs. In fact, the owner’s wife and child wouldn’t even go into the part where the dogs “played.”

Now, we own a big dog, one that has taken on coyotes with no issue. But, he submits to other dogs and has no desire to play the dominance game. The other dog decided it was a good idea to play rough. I usually have no issues because dogs will be dogs.

However, I look at it a bit differently when one dog clamps down on another’s throat and starts violently shaking back and forth.

That’s more than normal play and I wasn’t having it.

I jumped in and stopped the one dog with a rough hand. The owner got rather upset (he wasn’t paying attention), and I had a few choice words: “If your dog does this again, I will put it down.”

The owner was a good 3-4” taller, younger, and pretty fit and decided to immediately try and intimidate me. Bad choice. I verbally tore him down, explaining what his dog did, why he shouldn’t bring the dog around and said “what if it was a child” as my kids usually play in the same area.

His wife who saw the whole thing but was outside the fence, said I was right and they left. My dog was shaken up but he seemed to be ok.

Now, we can argue if I was in the right or not, or if I was willing to shoot a dog if it was violent or not. However, a normal occasion that most people go to without thinking about, had the ability to go to that level. If it had been a person, or God forbid one of my children or wife, how do you get a violent dog off of you or a loved one?

If you have never tried to pry something harmful out of a dog’s mouth, imagine trying that when it’s an arm, leg, or throat.


These were two normal events, usually low threat, but both times could have been problematic if something had happened. It is important to remember that the second event escalated and even though I was carrying, it never left my High Ride holster.

The person never knew I was carrying. However, in the argument, if I had lost my cool and drew my weapon I would be writing you from jail.

Think about the unthinkable, a routine run can be a kidnapping. A trip to the park could be the time a crazed shooter decides to target his ex and his kids and yours are in the crossfire. Bad things happen, so carry like your life depends on it … because it might.

Author: Ian Bolser