“Mama always told my not to look into the eyes of the sun
But Mama, that’s where the fun is”
– Bruce Springsteen
I recently shared this photo on social media, and there’s a lot of truth there. Not only are the best tacos found in places where you might get stabbed, the same is true for the best music, or the best barbeque, or the best of a lot of different activities. I can’t tell you how many fights I’ve witnessed break out at music festivals, or watched as two drunks try to monkey-dance their way into proving who is the better man (Spoiler alert: Neither of them).
Avoiding this sort of thing is the essence of John Farnham’s oft-repeated quote: “Don’t go to stupid places at stupid times to do stupid things with stupid people,” and for the most part, he’s right. However, if I had applied that principle to my youth, I’d have missed out on the first Lollapalooza Festival, or never watched the Gin Blossoms or The Replacements form out of the clay of the Tempe music scene. Those are great memories, and they’re a big part of who I am today.
Living the concealed carry lifestyle doesn’t mean giving up on your life. What it means is living the life you already have, but with the skills, attitude and gear to deal with whatever may come along as you live your life. Like to go to live music festivals? Great! Almost all of them will let you carry in a penlight to help see the way, and a coin purse trauma kit can go just about anywhere. However, when you do go somewhere where guns are not allowed, realize what you’re doing, and adjust your awareness accordingly. Not carrying a sidearm means you’ve changed your ability to respond to what might happen, and you’ll probably need more time to react due to your reduced options. Understand that, embrace it, and let it change how you act.
This doesn’t mean you should push the envelope, though, and go to places like a taco truck on 67th Avenue and Bethany Home in Phoenix at 11pm on a Saturday night. Yes, the food there might be AMAZING, but no, that is not the place or the place to cure your late-night munchies.
Avoiding stupid places at stupid times doesn’t mean giving up living life to its fullest. Instead, it means taking all the steps you need to live a long, happy life, one that is worth living.