Over a Parking Space…

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This is more for the citizen concealed carriers who might be reading this. A wake up call, hopefully.

Just because you think you can articulate a threat, and you “follow the law,” doesn’t mean it’s reasonable, or that anyone else will see it as reasonable either.

That starts with the reason for the confrontation. When you appoint yourself a parking enforcement officer, and approach someone else, YOU just became the “unknown contact” in Shivworks parlance – and the potential threat.

Put your pet peeves away.  You aren’t the “Courtesy Police.” It’s not your business to regulate the rudeness of others. Especially when you are carrying a gun.

I had my own encounter with this type of individual just two days ago. The wife and I had just finished dinner at a wonderful tapas restaurant, and enjoyed a walk in a trendy neighborhood in our city. A Beatles cover band was apparently having a show at a theater nearby where we parked. Our vehicle was along the curb just up the street from the  theater entrance, and a line had started queuing up, the end of it still some fifteen-twenty yards away from our vehicle.

Walk over, we got into the car and my wife started it up. It was stuffy inside and we rolled the windows down. She was checking her phone for the address to our next destination  when, not twenty seconds after starting the car, a self-appointed courtesy cop, just walking up himself, veers over to my window and faux-politely says:

“Hey guys, can I ask ya not to sit here and idle? We are going to be standing in line here and don’t want to be breathing in lots of toxic fumes! Thank you!!”

Sooooo much more coulda happened. Nothing did.

In Portland, Oregon this kind of politically correct passive-aggressiveness is rampant on many levels, and people seek to chastise others all the time. I am certain this man goes through life “politely” asserting himself and manipulating others all the time – he probably considers it a point of pride – and would no doubt feel himself aggrieved if anyone ever called him on his nanny-ness. Nothing I could say or do would ever change that. Any confrontation with this man – to include a “hey buddy back up” from the window of our car when he approached  would have escalated what was a ridiculous situation – and would have ended up with ME looking like the rude one (idling the car, irreversibly contributing to Climate Change with all these poor people stuck in line for the show and breathing in fumes) and the aggressive one (the man used polite language and a barely perceptible sense of superiority that would not have translated well explaining to a cop, or worse, a judge and jury, why things escalated when I told him to “back up.”)

Use common sense. Put away your pet peeves. Don’t appoint yourself the police over anybody, in terms of courtesy or morals or civil or criminal laws. DEFEND yourself if you need to, or if someone visits a real, reasonable threat upon you, but don’t open the door, or worse start the situation yourself, and then parse your articulation to create a threat of serious injury where none is apparent. And then you’ll keep yourself out of court, and possibly prison.


  1. Just learned of your blog by listening to your interview on the Evolution Security podcast. Great stuff, thank you for taking the time.

    This post is something I need to think about more. I definitely need to be more cautious with this when driving. I can handle someone talking to me like this, but I have a tendency to be very impatient with people who are rude and inconsiderate in traffic. I prefer to show my disapproval by giving them a nice, long, loud horn blast. Thinking of how that could potentially escalate a situation, I need to swallow my pride and just let those things go.


    • Well thank you! I wanted to be a writer in a past life, so this is a form of therapy for me, I guess.

      And I hear you. I am the same way in traffic – but I keep it contained in the vehicle. I have to catch myself from time to time, in my profession doing anything could come back to bite me in a big way, with career implications. Still, I try to channel the Stoics to help me with my reactions to such things.


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