Conflict Avoidance During Civil Unrest

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Duration: 3:57

What is your responsibility to avoid conflict or de-escalate existing conflict, especially in times of civil unrest or civil anxiety? Rob Pincus addresses this topic with his usual clear-thinking approach. Especially in the United States but also worldwide, we have had a lot of turmoil this year. This has included civil unrest over social issues and frustration related to the coronavirus and the restrictions put in place due to it. These have been stressors on the ideas of conflict avoidance and de-escalation.


Within the self-defense community, conflict avoidance and de-escalation are among the most important self-defense concepts. Whenever possible, you should avoid conflict and de-escalate existing conflict. This is important even if you don’t carry a firearm — for example, we teach these concepts to our children.

But when you carry a firearm, your responsibility to avoid conflict rises to another level, because any time you get into a conflict, there is at least one lethal tool in the mix. Someone can die if things escalate too far or if another person tries to take your gun.


Whether someone (including you) is wearing a mask or not, or is maintaining social distance, or has different political beliefs — these are not things that should cause lethal conflict. These disagreements should not result in anyone drawing a gun and threatening lethal force.

If you have strong feelings about an issue and feel the need to jump into an existing argument, this is the opposite of conflict avoidance, and you are potentially becoming part of the problem. Rob suggests avoiding these situations entirely, especially if you are a concealed carry holder.

On the other hand, if you want to protest and make your opinions known, you are free to do so. But attending an event where you are fairly certain there is going to be conflict, Rob suggests thinking twice about carrying a gun to such an event, or not going at all if there is a likelihood of rioting or other violence.

Rob has other advice on this timely topic, so be sure to watch the entire video.

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One Response to “Conflict Avoidance During Civil Unrest”

  1. Sarah Joy Albrecht
    Sarah Joy Albrecht

    Rob, thank you for sharing this wisdom and encouragement. This is an extremely relevant topic, and one that gun owners need to carefully consider in their day-to-day activities. As you mentioned, tensions are high and we can find ourselves faced with conflict situations when we are simply taking our kids to school activities or while out shopping. When we enter into a conflict even with the intent of de-escalation, we are also bringing a lethal variable to the conflict. We must not overlook this variable, but instead be responsibly mindful. We must choose our conflicts wisely, and perhaps even choose to avoid the conflict all together. Well said.